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Surprise - .130 sounded floppier than .125

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by kesslari, Feb 18, 2008.


  1. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I have my Tobias 5 strung with my favorites, KS Compression Wounds. The only Low B option is a .125, and I've got a taper core on there.
    The low B sounds great, but I thought I'd try a KS .130 (non comp-wound, not taper-core) to see if it sounded tighter. I had one, but it's regular roundwound.
    To my surprise, there was more fret buzz (probably action-releated) and it sounded generally floppier.
    I know it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, since the two strings are different winding and one is taper-core.
    But I was surprised that the .125 sounded better and stronger, at least to my ear.
    Gonna stick with .125...
     
  2. Bass Below

    Bass Below

    Oct 24, 2006
    New York
    Since the measurement is of the diameter of the string, the compression wound may actually have a higher mass even though the gauge is .005 less. Same reasoning behind why flats tend to have more tension than rounds of the same gauge.
     
  3. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Yep, mass and diameter are not locked together. Good call, Bass Below
     
  4. onlyclave

    onlyclave

    Oct 28, 2005
    Seattle
    You probably also have a better witness point at the bridge with .125.
     
  5. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Ah, makes sense on the mass issue.

    OK - what's a witness point?
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    A witness point is where the string actually contacts the saddles, nut slots, or frets. I fail to see how a .125 would have a "better" witness point than a .130.

    FWIW my current favorite low B string is a .130, but the particular model feels "tighter" to me than the .135 and .136 strings I tried from a few other brands. So yeah, diameter is not the only factor.
     
  7. onlyclave

    onlyclave

    Oct 28, 2005
    Seattle
    He'd have a better witness point with his compression wound .125 taper core than he would with his non-taper wound .130 because the taper wound is more flexible down at the ball end than the regular .130. If, when he installed the string, he spent a lot of time pressing the string down at the bridge saddle and bent it to create a better witness point he probably would have heard a difference.

    I personally can't play with a B-string smaller than .130 because it feels too floppy. I don't know what a "floppy sound" is, I'm just want tension on a 34 inch scale neck.
     
  8. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    The Compressor .125 is a pretty tight/focused sounding string as Smith low Bs go (others tend to sound a little woolly to me in general) - though I like the Labella .128 tapered rounds better than just about anything in mix with the Compressor 4-string sets. Compressors in the lightest gauges really match up nicely with their .125 though and work very well for a versatile fretless set that can kinda span a couple different approaches.
     

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