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What strings for a lightweight P Bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by codyvir, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. codyvir


    Mar 14, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    I have recently gotten a very light-weight parts-built P-bass as part of a trade. It has a swamp ash body, and a maple neck and fingerboard. As currently set up, with run-of-the-mill medium-gauge round-wounds, it plays well, but it tends to sound very bright and a little... thin... towards the bottom. The high end of the scale is pretty amazing, though.

    Here's the question that all of my searching hasn't turned up a specific answer for:

    What strings should I try on it?

    This bass has a very particular sound, and I want to find strings that will take that to the next level, or a totally different one. This is not my primary bass (or secondary, or tertiary or quaternary...) - I have others for deep thump and thunder. This one could be set up to sing, or to make some other kind of unusual tone that its bright tendencies are suited to. I'm not looking for a specific sound, necessarily - just some ideas. If you had a really bright-sounding light-bodied bass, what ridiculous things might you try on a whim? What do you think it might do?

    Thanks for putting up with a very vague question.
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    I have a swamp ash bodied bass, and I've used pretty much all of our strings on it, to see what it brings out. And depending on the gig, I've used 3-4 different strings on that bass. It really comes down to what you want.

    What are you using currently on other basses? If you're happy with the current set (somewhat), why not beef up the gauges to bring in some more lower end, but retain that high end you like. If it were me, I would start there.
  3. codyvir


    Mar 14, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    Well, this thing is essentially a toy at this point. I generally use medium-heavy gauge round-wounds on my other basses, but I figured that this would be an opportunity to try something different, and take an already slightly odd-sounding bass, and see if I can make it sound really unusual. Flats? Half-rounds? B-E-A-D setup? What would these do on an instrument that's so light and so inclined to the high end? Just curious to see if anyone had any experience before I go blow a bunch of cash on half-a-dozen sets of strings.
  4. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Since you've 'generally' been using mostly heavier gauges, a lighter set of round-core nickel plated steels may give you a different growl and articulation than the others have, and could well be complimentary to that config.
  5. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    DR Sunbeams perhaps?
  6. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
  7. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Try a set of La Bella 54's flats or a set of DR Legend flats. That will fatten out your lower end.

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