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What gauge do you prefer and Why?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by cassanova, Jun 8, 2001.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Was just curious to know what guage everyone uses and why? Me I prefer light guage, they're easy on the fingers, ez on the fretboard, easier for me to bend, as well as pick. And they dont put as much tension on the neck like a heavy gauge would. The current gauge on now is .130 .100 .080 .065 .045
  2. Well, I've always kept to medium = 45 - 105. 'Really not sure why that is. Perhaps it's just because that's what basses usually come fitted with. My new (to me) Bass Collection did as does the Squier P.

    I'm honestly not certain what the difference in sound is likely to be between lights, med's and heavys. And how do lights stand the punishment: do they tend to break more easily?

    Rockin John
  3. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I am among the medium/medium light endorsers as well. I have 45-65-80-100 (and -130 on my 5) and I am quite happy with that. I think having medium G & D and lighter A & E helps the thinner strings to compete with the thicker ones, so they won't sound thin in comparison... although I actually prefer the feel of 40-60 G's & D's.

    A compromise between playability and impact, I would think. :)

    I have never played an ultra-light set, but I have come in contact with a heavy one, 50-70-95-115. I thought it was pretty much unplayable at the time, and the change to a lighter gauge was like night and day.
  4. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    T/I AB344 (41-53-68-86) and Roto RS88-LD (65-75-100-115)
    `cause that's the gauges they come in :) . It's definitely an
    exercise in "touch control" :D
  5. I am quite fond of Medium gauge strings. 45-65-85-105 set of DR highbeams I have on my jazz bass right now are nice although the "E" string lost a little too much zing too soon for my liking. Time to clean that set I suppose.

    I recently picked up a '74 P-Bass and the guy put D'Addrio XL160 Regular on it which have a .50 "G" string. I really like that thicker "G". Not quite as metallic sounding as the .40 or .45 IMO.
  6. i have some 50-105 Ernie Balls on my P-bass right now. They're pretty good, but I've been meaning to try some Power Slinkys (55-110)
  7. i just switched from super slinkys (100) to regular slinkys (105) because i hardly ever slap and pop anymore so i don't need those light high strings, plus i heard that heavier strings make the low notes more clear. it seems to be working, but that could be my imagination. they are noticeably harder to play, but i'm getting used to them, haven't decided yet whether i'll keep this guage.
    in any case, i think my next set will be DR lo-riders, because everyone here raves about them, i might as well try 'em out.
  8. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I like heavier, stiffer strings. Maybe because I'm a little clumsy and tend to yank the G off the side of the neck if it's not stiff enough. There's more to it than gauge, though. For instance, Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkys, .045-.105 are noticeably stiffer than Roto 66 LD's, although they're the same guage. I just put Fender 9050 ML's on my Precision and they are really stiff, even though they're .050-.100.
  9. I just can't decide! I've played for many years, and settled for 45-105. But right now I won't go higher than 45-100 (slowound 'soft'), and I'm trying out a 40-95 set. The 45-100 set has a more tight sound, and 'sings' more. But I also like the agressive growl the 40-95 set gives me, which I can't get from the thicker set, even if I play it harder. But when I play with the band, I just think the light ones suck. The growl is just heard as a farting sound, and the lower freq's is rumbling and unprecise. I don't now if it's because the the light set I have right now is a no-name brand, and the 45-100 set is slowounds which I like velly muts.

    What do you think?
  10. I like thicker strings, deeper sound, I find.
  11. agyeman

    agyeman Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    45 - 105.

    I might get some 50 - 105 as my G string feels a little weak.
  12. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    In my opinion heavier gauge strings sound better.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I use nickel rounds. They vary from bass to bass, I might use a 125-128 B, usually a 100 E, 75-80 A, 55-60 D, 40-45 G. I have a 4 string set 90-35 I haven't put on yet.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I'm surprised when people talk about a light set and then mention a 130 B-string. I find 130 much too wide a gauge and prefer 118-125, but they are difficult to get. I think a 125 is a good compromise for a B, but to me 118 is ideal.

    Like Brad, I prefer Nickel roundwounds and have been trying as many sets as I can and have found that the lighter the gauge, the better I play! But it is a compromise with sound, to a certain extent. So, the lightest gauge set I have tried so far, was Thomastik Infeld, but I didn't like the sound as much as D'addarios. I am currently using a set of "light" Zon strings and these are slightly heavier, but do sound better.

    I don't believe that tone is directly related to gauge, but playability certainly is.
  15. We tune down three steps, so my standard set is 140 (tapered), 110, 85, 65, 45. However, I might soon try going for a slightly heavier set 140, 115, 90, 70, 50.

    On my 4-string fretless I use 110, 90, 70 & 50 (I'm experimenting with a 115 E)
  16. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    you tune your 5 string down 3 steps or do you use your 5 string normal tuned?
  17. CJY


    Apr 30, 2001
    I read somewhere that for chords ,lighter guages sound better.I actually prefer .130 .100 .80.
    .60 .40 but I cannot get these here so I settle for D'addarios .130 to .45.
  18. Yep


    .045 to .130, GHS Progressives on RB5
  19. Well, I am from the South and personally I use a 12-gague...............Wait are we talking about strings? Sorry. I use Heavy gague strings.
  20. On my Jazz, its 105 85 75 50

    On my P its 100 (i think) 85 65 45

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