string length affecting tension

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by heymrbassman, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. How does the length of the string between the tailpeice and the bridge affect tension?

    Is it a simple case of the more length there is the more flexible the strings become?
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    This is an area ripe with misinformation and pseudo-science. IMHO, you won't know how changing the afterlength will affect the tension of the bass unless you experiment with it. Tonally, moving the tailpiece toward the bass' lower end tends to increase the bottom and reduce punchiness. Towards the bridge tends to dampen wolftones, to a certain extent. Of course these are generalizations and many basses work contrary to the "rules". That's why there's no substitute for intelligent experimentation.
  3. I suppose the only way to experiment is to fit different length tailpeices then?

    I did see an adjustable one in a previous thread but I would not want to take a chance with something so expensive.

    Any ideas on where to buy cheap tailpeices.
  4. I believe a more inexpensive way to do this is simply change the length of the tail gut.
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Remember that releasing the tension of the strings and then tuning them back up has an aural effect. If the tension of your strings is not satisfactory, you might be better off with a different kind of string. Everybody has their own likes and dislikes.