1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

String tension tonality?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Doodaddy, Mar 4, 2008.


  1. Doodaddy

    Doodaddy

    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    I play a Yamaha RBX-775 into a Sansamp RBI - Crown XTI1000 - SWR Workingman 4x10t. Sadowsky Bright Nickel Blue Label Strings.

    I can't really find a tone I like and on a whim I tuned all strings down a full step. After that, I started to really dig the sound I was getting. I'm assuming the string tension is what did this miraculous change.

    Why is this? I would really rather not leave it in this tuning, but I doubt I'll be able to lower the string tension enough by adjustments. :(
     
  2. Roland777

    Roland777

    Jun 1, 2006
    Sweden
    When you lessen tension by tuning down, the characteristics of the sound changes. Decreased tension puts more emphasis on the fundamental of the note, while increased tension brings in more upper harmonics. In short, you get more bass with lighter tension, while strings "sing" more with higher tension. (Too much tension and the strings will sound shrill and harsh, however - this is a subjective matter, on the other hand)
     
  3. JEDI BASS

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Play a Dingwall, one time will be enough. The longer scale length for the lower pitched strings, and shorter scale for the higher strings (like in a piano) makes for perfect tension across all the strings. Piano-like clarity is another benefit. :) IMO the sound of a Dingwall is in a league by itself, at the top!
     
  4. Doodaddy

    Doodaddy

    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    I'll see if I can find one. Being as my area sucks for anything not in Musicians Friend, we'll see what I can gather.

    There's really nothing I can do as far as adjustments are concerned is there?
     
  5. Try lighter strings on the G and D
     
  6. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Or the entire set, for that matter.

    Lighter gauge = less tension. But lighter-gauge strings have other "drawbacks" in terms of the fundamental. The result is not identical to lowering the tension of your current gauge.

    You may want to explore other similar strings with lower tension at the same gauge you're using now. For example, round-core strings generally have lower tension than hex-core strings. And some strings are considered to be higher-tension than others, even if the core styles are the same; string construction and material play a significant role in this. For example, IME, DR Lo-Riders have tended to be stiffer for me than other stainless-steel strings of the same gauge, such as DR Hi-Beams (which are round core) and D'Addario ProSteels (which seem more flexible).

    It could also be that you prefer the results of downtuning... in which case, you may want to consider sticking with it. ;)
     
  7. Doodaddy

    Doodaddy

    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    I've only played one set like this, so I guess I can continue experimenting.

    I tried the Lo Riders and that was a very bad experience. I despised those strings. Really really thin, hollow sound. I played two sets of light guage Blue Steels and they were mediocre. I've still noticed the lower tension being nice across the all the strings I've used though.

    Those Dingwalls look mighty tasty, however, way out of this college kid's price range. :p
     
  8. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Sounds like you haven't liked SS strings, then.

    Stick to the nickel rounds. ;)
     
  9. For guitar, I like the sound of higher tension strings...to me, light gauge strings sound "lack luster"...the added harmonics on a guitar string are a huge benefit to the tone.

    For bass, I like the way lower tension strings blossom...however, yes, you certainly do lose clarity, so there's a trade off...that's why I use 100 or 105 for my 34" scale E strings..I don't think I could ever get myself to use a 95 or 90...by the same token 110's are just too tight for me...
     
  10. JEDI BASS

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Definitely a good option, as G and D strings are typically tighter than E and A strings on parrallel fret basses. This also keeps your bass neck from developing a twist.

    I used to use a 110 E, a 90 A, 60 D and 40 G on an old cheap bass that had a slight twist, and it straightened it right out, and had great string-to-string tensions. Can cost a lot to build a custom set though!!
     
  11. JEDI BASS

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    I dunno, maybe.

    I bought my 5 string Dingwall from a college kid for $1250. And, an Afterburner Dingwall 5er just sold on ebay for $1099, IIRC. And Sheldon is building a budget model now, it's not quite ready for release.
     
  12. Doodaddy

    Doodaddy

    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    They'll definitely be something I keep my eye on. I would just love to play/hear one at this point though.
     
  13. JEDI BASS

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    If you ever make it to Knoxville, TN we'll get together and you can try mine out. I'm sure you'll be hooked, that can be either good or BAD :). The only people, that I've talked too anyways, that don't like them, are vintage-tone kinda guys or those who don't wanna adjust to the fanning. I have known of people putting flatwounds on them to get a more vintage sound. And from experience, I know they are definitely NOT a "one sound only" kinda instrument.....very versatile electronics for a passive bass!! I've played pretty much all the popular brands, and owned most too, and Dingwalls and Laklands are my two faves.
     
  14. Doodaddy

    Doodaddy

    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    I will definitely keep that in mind. My band will be in Georgetown, KY for around 8 weeks this summer (Lifeway youth camp) and that appears to only be a bit over 2 hours away. So if we ever venture that way on a weekend, I will for sure look you up. :bassist:
     
  15. JEDI BASS

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN

    Sounds good :)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.