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Super light gauge strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Leftybass12, Sep 27, 2010.


  1. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    I'm looking into having a piccolo bass....from what i understand it is just tuned an octave higher than the standard EADG. I'm assuming that super light gauge strings are needed for this. I know daddario makes them, but i can only find one set and it's not the ones I'm looking for. Looking more for a set that Michael Manring would use....really super light gauge strings. Help please!
     
  2. recnsci

    recnsci

    Apr 8, 2010
    You mean you want thinner? If bass is 34 inch scale, than you can get Circle K strings. Get .043 .031 .022 .017 , they will have about 30 lbs of tension, which is quite ok IMHO for playing with strings that thin (you could drop maybe even to 20 lbs region, with even thinner strings).

    (BTW, I dont know how these strings feel or sound, you must ask somebody else for that info)
     
  3. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Hi :) I can recommend gauges if you let me know what tension you are after.

    Perhaps you would like to try the following: Do you have a bass with a .040 or .045 (or whatever gauge) G string? If so try detuning that string to E (this will be piccolo E) how does it feel? Keep detuning until you get the tension you like, then let me know the note and the gauge of the G string.

    I think Manring uses low tension strings since that makes Ebow and tapping easier.

    There will be at least 1 plain steel string in the set, Rotosound plain steel guitar strings are just long enough to use or alternatively you can get a complete custom set of single strings from Circle K Strings
     
  4. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Is the scale too long to use the lower 4 strings of a regular guitar set?
     
  5. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Good point. What scale instrument is this for?

    I'm thinking roughly .040 .027 .018p .013p on a 34 inch scale. Tensions 26, 22, 19, 17 lbf. Almost down to guitar tension.

    This way you avoid using plain strings thicker than .018 which IMO are stiff and inharmonic. Reducing the tension towards the highest string helps with advanced techniques like tapping, bending, chording and Ebow, and reduces breakage of the .013p.
     
  6. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    Yes, it is a 34" scale bass. I essentially want to emulate Manrings way of using the ebow and the tapping methods he does (not his tuning changes...that's a whole new universe)...I found out that he uses D'Addario EXL 280 piccolo bass strings.
    here is a link....sorry it's from guitar center

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/D-Addar...Regular-Long-String-Set-100345820-i1122057.gc

    here is a link....sorry it's from guitar cente
     
  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    .052, .042, .032, .020 tuned to piccolo EADG will have a similar tension to .105, .085, .065, .040 standard EADG, too tight for advanced techniques. Tapping thin strings is very difficult at those high tensions So if you use the EXL280 set you will probably need to detune it a lot.

    It's also not tension balanced, it has a traditional style tension profile (middle strings tighter) which is not ideal for advanced techniques. I've found that for tapping, the tension needs to steadily decrease towards the highest string. That also helps with Ebow too.
     
  8. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    Okay. What else could you recommend?
     
  9. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    *thinks* :rolleyes:
     
  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Okay I'm going to recommend a tension for advanced techniques / Ebow / tapping / chording / bending. Assuming you want to tune to EADG one octave up. I think the set I mentioned above will be good:

    G .013p 17.3 lbf
    D .018p 18.6 lbf
    A .027 22.2 lbf or a .028 is fine too
    E .040 26.2 lbf

    lbf = pound-force of tension

    I designed this set using the Circle K Strings tension chart pdf

    For comparison, a 40-100 bass set has roughly 40 lbf, a 9-42 guitar set has 15 lbf.

    I have just bought a fretless 4 which I have strung as a piccolo in fifths DAEB .045 .028 .016p .010p using D'Addario XL nickel roundwounds. I find D'Addario XL nickels and prosteels work well at low tension, possibly due to being so flexible.

    I'm using Rotosound plain steel guitar strings for my highest 2 strings, they're just long enough. I detach a bass ball-end from a dead string and thread it onto the guitar string, and slide it up against the guitar ball-end.

    Alternatively you could buy 4 single strings from Circle K Strings I think they will be ideal due to being ultra-flexible.
     
  11. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    Okay thank you very much. One last question though...the circle K strings, what do they sound like? Meaning, I'm a big user of D'Addario and Ernie Ball super slinkys...can they be compared to those?
     
  12. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    I haven't tried them yet, but I will at some point. Best to read the 'Circle K Strings' thread in this subforum for reviews :)
     
  13. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    Okay, thank you.
     
  14. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73

    May 5, 2008
    Ken Smith Ultralight Slappers? Those still around? I have some on a Harmony brand Precision Bass copy, and they are wonderful. They are really, really light gauge. I want to say .30 something...
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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