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To increase the strings tension...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Richard Sabines, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Sep 25, 2007
    I bought a Jay Turser bass, wich I love the sound. The action is exactly what I want and the intonation is perfect. The only thing that I dont like about the set up is the string tension, which I think is too weak. How can I increase the tension?
  2. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Heavier gauge strings, which will then affect everything you like about it.
  3. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Sep 25, 2007

    Yes, I love the 45-105 strings, is that the only solution?
  4. yes...unfortunately...physics is unforgiving in this respect...

    you could tune the notes up a 1/2 step, but that's really not a great idea, musically speaking.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You mean "floppy"? Similar string gauges by different manufacturers will have the same tension per se but may feel stiffer due to differences in construction (round vs. hex core wire, windings, wrappings, whatever). I, for the life of me, can't think of a good example other than the roundwound offerings from Status. They offer both round-core and hex-core.

    I guess you could go with a 50-110 but, before you do, go do a search on the Strings forum. They'll have some solid suggestions.

  6. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    DR makes at least one set with hex core. So does Ken Smith, I think. These are supposed to be "stiffer" than round core in the same gauge. Same with flat wound vs round wound (or is it the other way around?).

    Also, even though it may take a little hunting, you can buy a set that is only a tiny bit heavier than what you currently use. For example, .046-.106. GHS isn't my favorite brand, but they do have lots of choices.

    I was on a kick for a while where I would buy a different brand at each string change. I kept notes on them too. One .045 can feel squishier or tighter than another one.
  7. davec

    davec Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 4, 2006
    bartlett illinois
    Owner; Cody Electric Basses
    you can also use computer board spacers to increase the length slightly at the bridge. See Gary Willis 101 bass tips for the full idea
  8. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I'm pretty sure Gary Willis got that one wrong. Most people will tell you that according to the laws of physics, increasing the string length behind the bridge saddles will not change the string's vibrating length or its tension.
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    This one has been debated to death. Some folks believe they can feel an increase in tension with the spacers behind the bridge. The science of it says differently, and there is also a scientific argument that the spacers will effectively decrease the tension. For my part, I favour the scientific argument.

    Having said that, I think that you could try the spacers and if you believe you feel a difference, so be it. It may all be in your head, but it's your head and your perception that counts. It's really not important that you are scientifically correct.
  10. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    You can increase percieved tension by slightly raising your action. Real tension won't be effected, it will just feel that way. I raise my B string slightly more than the "low as you can go" method I do for the other strings.
  11. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    The real tension WILL be increased, albeit minimally. BUT we are talking about tiny differences getting us closer to our own personal Nirvahna (not the band). I can elaborate on this with charts and graphs, or you can just trust me that there is simple mathematics at work here.

    Of course, raising the action will change the perfect action that the OP mentioned. That's why changing string gauges or string brands or designs was suggested. However, a tiny tweak in string height may be an acceptable compromise. I'm continually trying to get the best of both worlds on my bass setup.
  12. yeah...raising your saddles definitely increases tension. I can't stand it if my saddles are just a couple of millimeters too high. It messes up everything...
  13. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    Well raising saddles will increase the amount of pressure needed to fret, but I don't think this would correspond to "tension". Maybe it's still what you're looking for :)
  14. davec

    davec Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 4, 2006
    bartlett illinois
    Owner; Cody Electric Basses
    For the record, I never tried it ( the spacers) I will say that Warwick black labels are a nice tight set
  15. peakdesign


    Aug 25, 2008
    It's been said, that if you like everything but the tension, you can't change anything and only affect the tension. It depends how important it is to you, but there is tension data available for each manufacturer's strings, and there's a good master table of tension for different string types, on I think the D'Addario site. Tension depends of "specific weight" of the strings, as in weight of materials, so you can have .045-105 sets with more tension, if heavier metals are used. I think you have to do your homework :D. Personally, I'd look for the right strings, but if it really bothers you, tuning up is not at all out of the question if you play by relative position.
  16. Hey guys, Bass player magazine devoted an issue to this maybe 10 years ago. I think you can look it up on their website. It gives their data on a ton of different string types and manufacturers. The majority of them are still the top brands and flavours that are available now. Just looked to put the link up but I can't find it now. It was there not too long ago.:eyebrow: The point is that one of the things they got into was each strings tension. I will post it later if I can find it.
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    This is wrong. Please ignore.
  18. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    Which is a pet peeve of mine that tension data is never indicated on string packaging (like gauges and other info). IMO, tension is an important component of a string that is widely overlooked and should be mentioned on the packaging, as it can get costly by trial and error to find out which strings offer comfortable tension.
  19. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Sound, action, intonation, all fine. Why would you think the tension is, "too weak"?
  20. Most practical answers: learn to like it as is, or try a higher-tension string. Juststrings.com has tension specs for some (not all) of the brands they carry. Fender flats are often thought to be higher-tension than most.

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