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Short scale double bass strings on electric bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mastershake, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. mastershake


    May 12, 2011
    I'm wondering if anyone has got good results from doing this. What size or scale length Double Bass strings will fit a 34" scale electric bass? 1/8?
  2. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    I've never done this and would advise against it unless you are absolutely certain that the tension won't exceed standard flatwounds, or your neck could be damaged.

    If the goal is to get more of an upright-like thud or some other effect, read reviews of the available brands to narrow down other candidates. Also, fractional upright strings will cost at least double what a standard E-flatwound would.
  3. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Aug 23, 2011
    I was wondering the same thing this morning, I figured the tension may be too high for an electric bass neck to handle.

    Then I found the Daddario tension charts.

    1/4 scale double bass strings, medium tension, ranges about 51 lb for the G, about 58 for the E. THat's on 35 1/2 scale.

    Now, Long Scale, medium guage Chromes have a 55 lb G, and a 41 lb E. Highest tension on G, at around 60.

    I don't think that a set of double bass strings would damage your neck, but I don't want to find out. On alot of electric string sets, I notice the E is normally loosest, with the D being tightest. On the tension charts, it looks that E is tightest, G is loosest on the DB sets.

    I honestly would not buy double bass strings for an electric. I thought string prices were already high as it is. A single double bass string costs as much as a set of decent electric rounds. Unless you want to spend $100+ to restring your bass, I'd say go with heavier gauge flats.
  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Also, don't forget that most double bass strings have a non-metallic core. Only the outer wraps are metal. So, unless your bass has piezo pickups in the bridge, or some other type of obscure bridge pickup, you'll get a very weak output from the pickups. Normal magnetic pickups require steel strings to function.

    There are some steel core upright bass strings, such as the Super Sensitive brand, but they will have much higher tension. And they are similar to electric bass flatwounds anyway.
  5. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Why would you want to do this? Got some old strings kicking around?
  6. mastershake


    May 12, 2011
    No. Just looking to see if there is any alternatives to the electric bass strings that are already available.

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