String tension question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by TLATX, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. TLATX


    Mar 10, 2018
    I just loosened my strings to oil/clean/regular maintain my bass. I left the strings tuned a half step lower on accident and absolutely loved to feel of the strings.
    (E- spiro Med. A-Gamut Red Diamond wrapped Gut
    D-Gamut Lyon Gut heavy G-mystery Pirastro Gut)

    Any idea on adjustments other than string height to lessen the tension a bit?
    Thank you!
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  2. Raised saddle.
  3. Soundpost adjustment. Less tension, further from foot.
  4. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Spiro solo E.
  5. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Well, the obvious: lighter strings.
    Dabndug and JeffKissell like this.
  6. And this is the only thing you really get less tension.

    A raised saddle gives you a looser feeling because the coupling with the top is less. Just did that a few weeks ago with my adjustable saddle. Higher saddle needed for steel core strings (Spiro 4/4 Weich), lower saddle for synthetic core strings (Innovation Braided/prototype mix), both with basically the same tension to get a comparable feel. The point is probably the power needed to elongate the string by a certain amount. Synthetic core and gut (core) strings need less power to elongate by the same amount than steel core strings. But this also depends on diameter and core construction a bit.
    Similarly a soundpost replacement that can make the coupling with the back a bit more loose.
    A lower action gives you less power needed to press the strings down because they are less elongated (the shortest distance between two points is a straight line).

    So it depends if you really want less tension or a looser fingerboard or pizz feel.
    luisraulmunoz likes this.
  7. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Not sure if you have a ply/hybrid/solid wood bass but...I have done everything to my Thompson RM200/hybrid to make it more playable w/a softer feel - wire tailpiece, lowered string height at string nut, light tension strings. These all helped a bit. I also have a solid wood bass that has a softer feel. I've come to the conclusion that the plywood back on the hybrid is causing the tension. The stiffness of the ply back translates to increased string tension. When I play the solid wood bass the back moves a lot, I can feel it w/my knee against it. The ply back on the Thompson doesn't move nearly as much.
  8. Did you try to set the soundpost more away from the bridge?
  9. TLATX


    Mar 10, 2018
    Just barely got done putting new stings on...gamut gut d and g light + and it has never felt better. I can’t stop playing it...
    Reiska, AGCurry and Povl Carstensen like this.
  10. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    I've tried everything including a new sound post and moving the position
  11. Well, then the obvious, lighter strings.
    Tuning a halftone down is like going from medium to light or from light to downtuned Solo.
    In numbers at least 10% less tension than your current strings.

    And the other obvious, but expensive solution: a different (shorter scale) bass for your strings...