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String suggestions for short scale basses

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jan 11, 2018.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Just got a Mustang P/J, and have a Hofner on the way.

    I like the sound of the strings on the Fender. I like bright. I like bright and thick even more, but here's the special request part...

    My band plays tuned down a half step.

    Are there any string that would give me tighter tension, without going to a higher gauge? I like to dig in a lot, and that ain't happening anymore unless I find me a solution.

    Help?

    :) OH YEAH... PLEASE READ ALL THE ABOVE BEFORE RESPONDING TO THE TITLE. I'M NOT THROWING FLATS ON. THANK YOU :).
     
    Morrighan likes this.
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Note that Hofner need medium scale
     
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    ???

    It's an LTD Ignition Club bass. I don't understand. It's 30". Please 'splain... :).
     
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Scale length does not determine the length strings you need. Scale length is the distance from nut to saddle, it does not account for any extra length before the saddle.... Hofner style basses have an extra couple inches between ball end and saddle.

    If you measure ball end to nut on the bass you will see the distance is greater than 32" while the majority of short scale strings have only a 32" winding.
     
    macmanlou, Jon Moody and Joe Nerve like this.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    That's it? No other suggestions?

    What if I say I plan to practice on these string with a metronome because it's the best way to develop excellent timing?
     
    oldrocker likes this.
  6. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Forum rules restrict me from giving suggestions that are specific. I can only provide general info.
     
  7. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Practice with a metronome on beats 2 and 4, and work your way up to just using it on 4. It will force you to keep better time.
     
    Jamvan likes this.
  8. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Didn't realize you were a commercial user. That's an interesting rule for commercial users... I would think that would go hand in hand with having that distinction.

    The metronome thing was a joke that may not go over as well as I intended :).
     
    el_Bajo_Verde and Old Blastard like this.
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Never used tapes - and not sure if that's a joke or serious. Aren't tapes halfway between rounds and flats? Would I lose high end and definition with them? And wold they have more tension?
     
  11. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I believe things changed when talkbass started competing with bassstringsonline.
     
  12. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Tapewounds are steel rounds wrapped in nylon. The white tapes are very bright. I'm not sure how you'll get higher tension without flats on the Hofner.
     
  13. CapnSev

    CapnSev

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    LaBella is a great company for short-scale strings. You can get just about any of their offerings in short or medium scale (which you’ll need for the violin bass). I would think the 45-105 or 45-100 LaBellas would work nicely for a larger gauge slack-tuning.

    Alternatively, you could try the GHS Pressurewounds in short scale. They are 40-95, but the compression winding makes them stiffer than the gauges let on.
     
    pcake likes this.
  14. fermata

    fermata

    Nov 10, 2015
    The reason most tapes have bigger gauges (a .115 E isn't unusual) is to compensate for the low diameter roundwound under the tape. The tape only changes the feel and the tone, not the tension or stiffness of the string. Low diameter tapes can be positively floppy. And yes, Hofners require medium scale strings; short scale strings won't reach the tuners and/or will have taper/silk below the nut, over the fingerboard. I'll second the La Bella suggestion--all their strings are available in medium scale lengths. Finding the correct string length for your electric bass from BassStringsOnline.
     
  15. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    OK, stepping in with my Acoustical Physics background. The resonant frequency of a string is determined by.....drum roll.....the tension on the string (more tension drives the frequency up) and the mass of it (more mass lowers the resonant frequency). The length also enters into the equation - as you've got a bass with a shorter scale, if you want the same tension, you need to up the mass of the string. Which means a higher gauge, or....a string with higher linear density. Yes, flats would do that (filling in those little voids in a round wound string gets more mass in there), but you want a bright string. So, unless you get strings wound with a heavier metal wound on the outside (tungsten, platimun, or several other heavy metals like depleted uranium would do it), you need... thicker strings. I do believe that the new GHS Pressurewound Bronze strings are a bit heavier (their tension numbers run higher than you'd expect for a steel string, as bronze is heavier than steel), but alas, not available in short scale lengths.

    So, loose strings or big strings are your options.
     
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Unless you’ve got super-precise right hand technique (assuming you’re right handed) really digging in on most short scale basses (especially a Höfner) isn’t going to work out too well. They’re not that kind of bass. At least IMO. That lower flubbier tension and feel just tends to bottom out and sound unmusical. You can get around it and get some dig with a pick and some palm muting. Or using a thin pick and really letting it snap the note. But going all Fender PB punk style on a shorty usually doesn’t fly. You will mostly only get a thud and a low floomy rumble.

    Only short scale I’ve found you can really dig into are those Scott Whitley short-scales he now has Chowny making for him. Those don’t sound or play anything like your usual shorty. But Scott does a lot of tapping and slapping, so it’s hardly surprising he designed a bass to sound and play more like a JB despite its shorter scale. Nice basses. And like many short scales they too need a medium scale string winding length due to the design of the bridge.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    fermata likes this.
  17. fermata

    fermata

    Nov 10, 2015
    I'll second that. ^ I play with a pretty light touch in general, and on my Hofner it leads to a really rich full sound and nice bloom. It's not that I can't pluck a little harder, too, but 'digging in', in the long scale sense of the word, doesn't really work. Check out how reggae players get that massive tone--a light touch is part of it.

    Since you don't want a large string diameter, @Joe Nerve, (a smart move on a Hofner; big strings feel out of sync with the instrument's dimensions) but want some resistance/tension, you'll need to find a steel or nickel plated string that's naturally pretty stiff--and available with a 34" winding length (medium scale). That's going to narrow your choices pretty quickly. If I were you, I'd consult with Jason at Bass Strings Online via email or phone. He's very helpful and knowledgeable; if anyone has the answer, he does.

    (P.S. I think you mean Scott Whitley, @40Hz.)
     
    40Hz likes this.
  18. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Joe, I've just ordered myself an Epiphone Rumblekat and have been reading up a lot on peoples's short-scale string choices.
    I've ordered a set of GHS Pressurewounds (from @SLaPiNFuNK 's Bass Strings Online store, as it happens)- which seem an excellent compromise between the brightness of Rounds and the more 'traditional' thump of Flats.
     
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I did! Thought I fixed it earlier but I guess I forgot to save the change. Corrected now. Thx! :thumbsup::)

    Pretty sad getting his name wrong considering I own one. :laugh:
     
    fermata likes this.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Agree! I’ve got a set of Pressurewounds on a Junior Jet and they’re pretty tolerant of a wide variety of playing techniques - including some fairly aggressive fingerstyle. But that may just be on that bass because the TV Jones designed pup they put on mine seems to like some moderately aggressive playing. Sounds good when played light and clean too. But give it a little more signal to work with and it perks right up. (Lordy do I ever like that little Gretsch bass!)
     
    Pocket4 likes this.

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