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Strings for an octave course 8 string bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by keiththebassist, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Hey TB'ers

    I've got a Dean Rhapsody 8 octave course bass that I love to play and hear, but here's the problem.

    I normally use D'addarrio XL's on it (they actually make the 8 string set) but the highest g string is actually unwound, which really gives it a twangy kind of sound that kinda irks me. Does anyone know of a string manufacturer that makes a set for an octave course 8 string with all roundwound strings? I'd like to avoid throwing away the highest G right outta the box and replacing it with a custom gauge one (hard enough to find).

  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Pretty much all the 8 string sets are packaged with a Plain Steel string up top...

    Usually a .018p Plain Steel depending on the manufacturer...

    The thinnest Wound string I have seen is a .020W which is usually used as a High-F on 7 string instruments. You can tune it up a whole step I suppose if you really wanted to. A .020W string is already a pretty weak string since the core needs to be so thin for the wrap wire...

    You can always try it.

    MTD makes a Nickel or Stainless Steel .020W string
    Ken Smith has a Stainless .020W string
    GHS Nickel Plated Steel (Boomer) .020W string

    Not sure any others...
  3. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    ^ Yeah wound strings are right at their limit at 7-string F.

    Conklin sell wound .020 and .022 designed for F Conklin Guitars Snakeskins Extended-Range Bass Strings you may have to tune DDGGCCFF for a full wound set.

    Otherwise contact custom string maker Octave 4 Plus octave4plus.com i remember that Garry was attempting to make wound strings for above F, they will be expensive like $20 since thin wounds are labour intensive to make. I have one of their wound .018s, amazing string but i don't dare tune it up to F let alone G.

    If all else fails, try a thinner plain, the lower tension and thinner gauge mellows and quietens the sound a bit to blend better with the wounds. You can use cheap plain guitar strings if you can find ones long enough (D'Aquisto might be and Rotosound certainly are for a 2+2 headstock), thread an old bass ball end onto one and slide it up against the guitar ball end. I recommend experimenting with cheap guitar plains from .017 down to .014, just keep decreasing the gauge and you might find something you can live with. Problem with a .020 is that, being a thick solid rod, it vibrates with a bizarre 'stiff' inharmonic tone, i don't use any plain larger than .016 for this reason.

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