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String Tension and Sound

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by macmrkt, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I've been wondering about the relationship between string tension and DB sound. Is it merely a matter getting a good match between strings and your DB so you maximize the movement of the top? Or are there a lot of other factors involved? Also, how do gut strings get their sound when I've heard their tension is quite low? Thanks.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Some basses actually react much better to lower tension strings. It's as if the added compression on the top from higher tension strings actually chokes the bass' response.

    In any case, you often have to give the bass a little time to acclimate if you make a drastic change in tension. It may take a few weeks for you to fully appreciate what a bass is going to do if you switch from steel to gut.

    As Ken said so well, it is really about the bass, the setup, the player and strings all coming together for something that works at that moment.
  3. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Thanks for the replies. I wanted to get a feeling for the factors involved as one of my DB's came alive with Corellis after removing Spirocore Weichs. I just got the opposite result on another bass. This will help my selections in the future.

    By the way, I really appreciate reading Ken's DB comments over the last months. I take his advice seriously as I'm aware of his knowledge and talents. Ken built me a top of line 5 string bass guitar in the late 1980's while I was living in Massachusetts. He was the first guy to get the low 'B' string on BG's correct. I've owned a lot of high-end BG's, including a Fodera, but none were as well made as Ken's, regardless of price. It was a piece of art. Nice article on Ken's company in Bass Player a while back too...it made me appreciate even more what he knows about fine instruments and woods.