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What's gauge is a 'heavy' low B string?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by rob_thebassman, Oct 29, 2016.


  1. rob_thebassman

    rob_thebassman

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    Hey guys, not been on here for awhile. Only just getting back into my bass stuff. Had other priorities, being a daddy :) getting back into the swing of things again. I'm wanting a 'heavy' gauge for my 5 string music man sub, preferably flat wounds. I once made a custom set of chromes 50 - 110 which is heavy to me, and looking for a B string which will match the gauge I'm used to. I also tuned my basses to E standard. Heavy might be a completely different gauge to others but hey.

    Any help would be good, I'm used to 4 strings
     
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    140 or 145 if you want similar tension to the "E"
     
    Root 5, Nev375 and 4StringTheorist like this.
  3. rob_thebassman

    rob_thebassman

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    I'm wanting B E A D G tuning on my bass, will that do?
     
  4. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    You should ask @SLaPiNFuNK - he runs BassStringsOnline.com and is the Guru of all things string . I just tagged him so he should be along shortly :) .
     
  5. .050 Chrome has a tension of 55.0 lbs. when tuned to G.
    .110 Chrome has a tension of 51.8 lbs. when tuned to E.
    .132 Chrome, which is the largest flatwound D'A offers, has a tension of 35.9 lbs. when tuned to B.

    It won't be easy to find a flatwound B string that would match in tension with the 50-110 set.
     
  6. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    BTW flatwounds have higher tension for a given gauge than roundwounds so you're talking super heavy gauge here.
     
  7. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Check this old post of mine (and links therein):
    In your case a .150 would have the same tension of a .110, but if they don't make one it would be another 25 greens' development fee.

    In other words, try the .132 Chrome first. If you don't like it you could get a Rotosound Jazz 77 .130 (they're regularly first in lists as far as tension/stiffness/both, so it should feel above its weight); in the bright flat camp all that's left is Fender (a mere .125); Ernie Ball, both regular and Slinky (cobalt), and it's .130 again for both types*; and Thomastik-Infeld (.136, but supple and lighter in tension than the D'Addario).

    If you absolutely need heavier it's Octave4Plus or nothing, and they cost, as shown.


    *and the cobalts are unavailable as singles, as are Fenders.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  8. rob_thebassman

    rob_thebassman

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    Ok, will give that a go. I don't know if it's my imagination but I think heavy gauges make a difference to the tone
     
  9. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    If you find the time please report back as to your choice and findings: as you could see from the thread I originally posted on, the same or a similar question does pop up from time to time, so it would be nice to add your impressions to the collective database.
     
  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    To match the tension of a .110 E you'll need a .147 B (approximately).

    Perhaps Pyramid strings of Germany might be able to make a custom flatwound for you, they make roundwounds up to .175 and advertise that they are happy to make custom roundwound strings up to .200.
    O4P are the only company i know of selling big flats.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  11. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    True - as in, Pyramid might be another possibility. However, unless they're open to tweaking the spicing in their magic sauce according to the tonal goals of the customer, a one-off Pyramid Gold flatwound in the 145 or .150 ballpark would be at least as mellow-sounding as the gauges they offer normally, and not a terribly good match with Chromes. Just something to think about.
     
  12. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Yeah, you may prefer a stainless steel flat, as O4Ps are.
     
  13. Catbuster

    Catbuster Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    .150 will be in the ballpark of the average tension of a 55-110 G-E set.

    On a side note...

    Holy Bejeezus. I hope you're putting those on a beastly neck. 55-110 Chromes are about 200 lbs.
     
  14. rob_thebassman

    rob_thebassman

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    I've used 50 - 110 chromes on my p bass, was amazing :) I've also used la Bella 49 - 109 in my other p bass, beefy as hell
     
  15. rob_thebassman

    rob_thebassman

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    I'm also considering buying a proper musicman sting ray 4, debating wether to put chromes or la Bellas on, prefered 50 - 110 chromes as they aren't as still as la Bellas, but wanting the depth of la Bella fm
     
  16. rob_thebassman

    rob_thebassman

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    Revising my question.. would la Bellas fs 45 - 105 and a 128 flat be ok?
     
  17. rob_thebassman

    rob_thebassman

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    Back to this.. I played my 5 string sub last night at band practice, sounded amazing with rounds think I'm just gonna get some la Bella stainless steels 45 - 128. I used them years ago when they were still called hrs and loved the sound
     

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