1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

String Gauges/Diameters

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by TroyK, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've been looking through all the normal places for a table of string gauges, but have had no luck. I've found the tension tables, which is nice and helpful and I've seen a few old threads where someone has measured their strings with a caliper.

    Does anyone know where I could find this info? Specifically, pertaining to the threads around diameter differences of Mettiel, Weich and Solo gauge Spirocores, I've longed for some metrics to go with the subjective. It would also be great, by the way to know what the tensions of Solos tuned to Orchestral are actually, compared to Weichs. Thomastik doesn't seem to publish diameters like some other manufactures do and while they do publish tensions, they of course represent Solos tuned as they were intended.

    I'd also be curious about actual measurements of Corellis, since we always read about how thin they are.

    Have I missed the thread or table that covers this?

  2. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
  3. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    That's great, thanks Adrian!
  5. Adrian,
    Don't know if you're interested in adding some 3rd party measurements to your chart, but here are my caliper readings for Velvet Animas: G = .080, D = .085, A = .100, E = .110

    Actually the G read between .075 and .080 depending on where I measured. It read .080 more often, though, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

    It's great to have all this info on one chart!
  6. I've been lurking around here for a while, and I've really enjoyed the wealth of knowledge that is being shared. I've learned a lot, and I'm very greatful. With that in mind, here's a contribution to the world of arcane DB minutiae.

    During the first 15 years I played DB, I played Spirocore Orchestra gauge exclusively, even in orchestral settings. Starting in the early 90's, I started trying different string sets. Being curious and being the anal retentive guy that I am, I started measuring the gauges of all (well, most) of the strings I tried. Below is a listing of stings gauges, sorted by manufacturer. All measurements were taken using a General micrometer and each string was measured at three different points along the playing length. In almost all cases, the measurements were within .001 of being the same at any spot on the string. The exception, as someone noted above, was Velvet Anima. In that case, I used an average. Some of these measurements are several years old, so if the string maker has "reformulated" them, the gauges might not be the same.

    So, here goes:

    370 Medium .045 .054 .066 .086
    370 Forte TX .044 .056 .071 .097
    380 Forte TX .045 .056 .075 .101

    Helicore Hybrid Medium .050 .056 .080 .112
    Helicore Hybrid Heavy .050 .058 .082 .114
    Helicore Orch. Medium .049 .056 .076 .104
    Helicore Orch Heavy .051 .057 .079 .105
    Helicore Pizz. Medium .050 .064 .087 .113

    Medium .080 .103 .126 .160

    Heritage .052 .068 .086 .109
    Varicore .050 .067 N/A N/A

    7720 Rope Core Medium .051 .065 .087 .109

    Innovation 140H .065 .077 .097 .113

    Chromcor .056 .069 .085 .105
    Flexocor '92 Medium .047 .058 .072 .100
    Flexocor '92 Stark .052 .061 N/A N/A
    Original Flexocor .052 .063 N/A N/A
    Jazzer .049 .066 .081 .110
    Obligato .055 .065 .085 .105
    Permanent .052 .063 .081 .105

    Dominant Solo .048 .061 .075 .102
    Dominant Orch. .056 .065 .085 .113
    Spirocore Solo .043 .061 .075 .102
    Spirocore Weich .046 .067 .078 .106
    Spirocore Orch. .050 .069 .081 .111
    Superflexible .050 .074 .081 .108

    Anima .077 .081 .093 .111

    I hope someone finds this useful. Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.

    EDIT: I guess it would have been a good idea to look at Adrian's chart carefully before I posted. Oh well, at least this post doesn't contain ALL duplicate info .....
  7. Thank you for taking time to post this info. I know I will refer to it from time to time, I'm sure others will too.
  8. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    hey jim, where do you take your measurements and are they under tension when you do?

    i might go out and buy some calipers to measure the diameter of the pirastro pizzicato's i just put on. or i'll get the luthier i take my bass to measure them, i bet he has some calipers......he can add some more scoop for my E string and move my soundpost some while he's at it :D
  9. I measure each string at three different spots along the string length. I'll measure maybe a few inches up from the silk near the ball end, then somewhere in the middle, then up near the silk at the other end. Usually I do this when the strings are fresh out of the package before I put them on, so they're not under tension.

    BTW, I'd be curious to know what the measurements are for the Pizzicato's and also what you think of them after you've played them for a while. That's one of the sets I haven't tried .........
  10. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    i'm gonna call the luthier tomorrow or tonight to see if i can get him to move the soundpost down or maybe out some, i'll get him to measure the strings too.

    my first impression, the strings have been on for five days, was that they sound real good, the G string is a little brighter with a bit more sustain than the Eudoxa i had on there for a while, tension is about the same it seems.
    the Eudoxa was on there with the rest of a superflexible set that i was trying out. the bass got a little louder when i put the eudoxa on in place of the SF g string so i was hoping my bass would be ok with a low tension set like this.....only the E string sounds weak on this bass.
    fortunately when i got the bass setup the only strings i had were some pirastro original flatchromes so the bridge and nut slots worked out ok, the bridge seems a little thicker than it needs to be but oh well.

    as far as the pizzicatos go, the whole set seems pretty good. the only string i might have a problem with is the E string, it is pretty low tension and floppy. if i dig into that then it makes nasty noise on the fingerboard, but the superflexible did it too and also the spirocore mittel, both to a lesser degree though.

    the arco actually surprised me, it is not as bad as i expected and i actually like the edge they have to them (i do not play complicated and fast arco passages though, just practice usually). they are easy to screech with though, about like spirocores i guess.

    the feel of the strings is pretty loose and the material they have on them makes them feel kinda sticky if you like to slide your fingers on the strings (glassando???).

    i played my bass last night and it was like a step and half flat....it had rained that day so i think it was climate that made that change.....perhaps they are still stretching.
    i guess i'm gonna have to get used to strings that change with the climate or get something different.........

    too bad i haven't played more sets of gut strings on my bass, i would think this is a step up from the eudoxa in terms of brightness and sustain but that is only a guess as i just had the eudoxa G string on my bass so that statement might not be true.
  11. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    pizzicato's measured at just below the fingerboard and under tension were .067 .077 .093 .107 from g to E.