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String Tension on a scale of 1 - 10

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jason Hollar, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I'm very impressed by the amount of information and opinions regarding strings in this section. However, I'm still curious about many of the brands people are currently using. Too bad I don't have a couple extra grand to buy a few sets from each manufacturer to determine the best string for me.

    I'd like to propose a friendly chart-like comparison in the different gauges available. All I can offer is my opinion on several sets that I've worked with and enjoyed over the years.

    Yes, this is incredibly subjective and depends on many factors -- including the setup and action of each instrument.

    However, I'd like to start a conversation regarding how you rank each string and its relative tension to the other brands available. Thickness, diameter, material is not important -- as I think we all have our own opinions on whether gut, steel, nickel, synthetic, etc., is best for our own particular needs.

    So, the following is my humble offering to start the discussion. I'm choosing the Thomastik Spirocore Orchestra (medium gauge) as my bench mark and arbitrarily setting them as a 5, or middle of the road. On a tension scale of 1-10 how do you rate your favorite strings? Please feel free to copy my list and make improvements as you see fit including rearranging the order -- especially if you feel I'm incorrect in my assessments.

    I'd love to hear how various gut and solo steel strings might be rated as well.


    1= Lowest tension...10 = highest tension

    3 Correlli 370 Forte (medium gauge)
    3 D'addario Hybrid & Pizz Helicore light gauge
    3.5 Correlli 370 Forte TX (heavier gauge)
    4 Pirastro Obligato
    4 Thomastik Spirocore Weich
    4.5 D'addario Hybrid medium
    5 Thomastik Spirocore Orchestra
    6 Labella Black Nylon 7710
    6 D'addario Pizzicato heavy
    7 Eurosonic (white coating heavier gauge)
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Any opinions on how the Eudoxas relate to the Spiro Mittels? I'm looking to get a Eudoxa G for my bass in the near future and I'd like it to somewhat match, feel-wise (already know it sounds great.)
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'll be damned - that's some chart! Still, there are some inexplicable numbers there that don't explain why some strings with technically lower tensions feel stiffer than others with higher numbers. Francois?

    Either way, this one should go in the newbie links!
  4. Factors involved in the stiffness are the tension and the construction of the string.
    Strings loaded with dampening material may feel stiffer than others, at the same tension, for instance.
    This is so subjective that I'm staying deliberately away from that kind of survey.
  5. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area

    Yes, this is a helpful link indeed.

    I'm only trying to distill some of the information in all of the descriptions people give about their impressions of string feel.

    I was interested in another conversation going on recently about finding solo strings for use at "regular" tuning.

    Just wanted to spark a conversation (with handy chart) to see if anyone has found quantifiable evidence (in their own experience) in which strings "feel" looser than others.

    Yes...I'm looking for strings with less tension...but not necessarily ones that are thinner. And it's such a darned expensive pursuit, or I'd try every one of every brand myself and let you know!
  6. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Correlli 370 Forte TX D&G = 3.5 :)
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Hrmmm... I'll say that....

    Kolstein Heritage - 3.5
    Labella 7710 Black Tapewound - 4 (Spiro's were MUCH tighter on my bass)
  8. Maybe we should call it a Fitzgerald-ism, or better yet...

    Fitz-jism :eek:
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    Heh...let's just stick (NPI!) with "FUQUISM", m'kay?
  10. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Thanks for some constructive input. I might like to give the Heritage strings a try...