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Things that affect string tension other than scale length

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mud Flaps, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I'm looking to pick up a new 5 fretless soon, and I am pretty settled on a Carvin, but I'm not sure which one. I am deciding between 34" and about 35" (35 1/4 or something like that) and whether I want to put out the extra bucks for a neck-through.

    My question: What, if anything, can affect string tension besides scale length? With dual truss rods, do you think I can avoid the floppy B problem commonly associated with 34" 5 string basses?
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    String gauges- a higher gauge string will (should) be more tense than a lower gauge one. That isn't to say a .135 B string is for everyone- if you play with a lighter attack, for instance, a .120 B could do just fine.

    But mostly the build quality and the scale length will be the deciding factors. The truss rods won't make a difference. Your playing style will determine just how taught you need a B string to be. If you play lightly, a floppy B can still sound good and you shouldn't worry much about it. But if you tend to hammer away with a pick, a floppy B is probably going to sound like mud.