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String tension

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by soulgroovn, Jan 23, 2003.


  1. soulgroovn

    soulgroovn

    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    I know that a 35" bass generally feels tighter and sounds tighter compared to a 34" bass. That said, I own two 35" scale basses that are exactly the same make and model. However, when plucking each bass, one definitely feels tighter the other. The strings just 'snap' off of your fingers on one while the other one feels a little 'lazy', if that makes sense. Not really bad but you can tell that there is a difference.

    My question - What other factors besides scale length affects the tightness and feel of the strings? I have the same strings and setup on both and I'm 90% sure they are the same woods. They are bolt-on so could it be the neck angle?

    :confused:
     
  2. BassWizard55

    BassWizard55 Guest

    Dec 21, 2002
    Rome, Ga
    Is one of them a string-through bass, or does one have an angled headstock?
     
  3. soulgroovn

    soulgroovn

    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    No basswiz, they are exactly the same. As a matter of fact they are same make, model and year (1991 Q5's) and they are 20 units apart according to the serial numbers.
     
  4. BassWizard55

    BassWizard55 Guest

    Dec 21, 2002
    Rome, Ga
    hmmm.....something to ponder....
     
  5. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    1 No piece of wood is exactly the same as the other. Ever.

    2 The neck stiffness and string anchorage rigidity are the two major factors that affect the "feel" of the string. Scale is second...along with the strings themselves.

    Thus, the variance you can feel is perfectly natural.
     
  6. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    soulgroovn:

    I would LOVE to have your two basses in front of me to make some side by side measurements.

    Playing tension or tightness/stiffness is usually very subjective.

    I've read and heard a lot of reasons and explanations but none that I bought completely.

    I would like to know if the strings break over the bridge at the same angle.

    It would be a lot of trouble for you but I'm curious whether the stiffness stayed with one set of strings if you traded strings from one bass to the other. Possibly one bass has been used more than the other and has less stretch in the strings.

    Do you have the same number of turns on the tuning posts on both basses?

    To respond to your question about the difference possibly being in the neck tilt/angle, I really don't know. Theoretically the neck angle has some effect on the the bridge break angle. Whether it has enough effect to be noticeable is the question.

    One other question: has there always been a difference between the two basses or is it something that developed over a period of time?

    Bottom line guess is that the difference is in the strings.

    Pkr2
     
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Are they both strung with the same make and guage of string?

    Chas
     
  8. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    According to the original post, they are.

    Interesting, huh?

    Pkr2
     
  9. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    This is fascinating, and a good object lesson in why it's not worth wasting too much time lauding one type of bass and putting down another. There's no substitute for trying the bass in question yourself - one person's 'horribly loose' may be another's 'wonderfully low tension'... and both may be able to make the instruments they are comfortable with sound really good.

    Wulf
     
  10. soulgroovn

    soulgroovn

    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    Hey guys,

    I'm back and I just caught up with the thread.

    Yes, the strings are the same. Daddario 170XL super longs. I just remembered that on the one that is looser feeling, I changed the tuners and they are a hair shorter than the other bass. However, the windings are the same. Think that could be it?