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Which balanced tension strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by unclebass, Apr 3, 2013.

Which balanced tension set

Poll closed Apr 8, 2013.
  1. D'Addario balanced tensions

  2. Circle K Hybrids

  3. Try to make balanced set from your favorite strings

  4. Just play what the store sells and don't think so much

  1. 1. D'Addario Balanced Tensions
    2. Circle K Hybrids
    3. Try to make balanced set from your favorite strings.
    4. Just play what comes prepackaged and don't think so much.

    Want to know your opinion for balanced set with a great sounding B string. Want good deep bass, low action, but not too much tension. I know I will likely have to sacrifice and come to some middle ground, but would like recommendations where I should start. Is it better for B to have a little less tension like standard sets?
  2. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I would recommend Circle K's first, they are the most balanced and versatile strings that I know of.
  3. KodyAudette


    Apr 30, 2012
    I can't recommend Circle K's highly enough. The balanced tension is great and you can get a slightly heavier gauge than you normally would to help give a solid B string. Since their strings have less wraps, they are more flexible and so a larger gauge string still feels very natural. I've outfitted every one of my basses with Circle K strings.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    There are pro's and con's to all of them.

    Circle K:
    Pros: Great strings, lots of gauges to choose from. If you want bigger than .135, Circle K should be at the top of your list. D'Addario and LaBella do make .145 and .150. Above THAT, Circle K is about it. Their .136 is one of the best B strings I've ever used.

    Cons: Not sold through Bass Strings Online. Can be expensive compared to more common brands. Cannot be used on string through body basses. Seem to go through lulls where people keep wondering if they are still in business. They are nickel plated steel, so if you prefer stainless steel or flats you're out of luck.

    Pros: Readily available through Bass String Online for dirt cheap. Easy to make custom sets from singles.

    Cons: Limited selection of gauges, especially for B strings.

    I make my own custom balanced sets with D'Addario and DR strings and they work great. It can also be done with GHS, LaBella, Dean Markley, and a few others. I like them because I prefer to string through body. A custom set of D'Addario for 5 string is like $24, as opposed to $36 for Circle K.

    So what is the correct answer as to which you should buy?

    All of them. Try them all and see what works for you. That's the only way!
  5. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    Since I play steels and both the Circle K and D'Addario's are nickels, I make my own balanced sets. Right now DR Hi-Beams are doing it for me.
  6. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    This is something being worked on :ninja:
  7. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Pro: D'addario listens to it's players!

    I am using the Balanced Tension D'Addario's and I love them!

    I will not buy strings unless they come from Jason's business, so I was extremely happy when D'Addario announced the BT sets.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    You don't say...:eyebrow:
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    D'Addario ProSteels are....steels. Available in custom sets at Bass Strings Online.

    But so are HiBeams, and they are great strings :)
  10. +1
    +2. All my basses have flats or Circle K's.
    My Carvins have shorter ferrules, so I have been able to run them through-body since day 1 with Circle K's, which was at least 2 summers ago.
    I really wish they would sell through Jason, as I also prefer to buy from him. But the strings are so good, so versatile and last so long that I have to get them where available. I don't even think about other nickels anymore. I do get my flats, gigbags and every other item I can from Jason.
  11. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    The CK's are a no brainer for alternate tunings and heavier strings for sure. Love the tapered ends so I don't have to screw around with my bridge.

    Con as mentioned is the consistency in service. I also agree if they were sold through BSO it would be great. Jason's customer service is excellent.

    I'm still considering going back to ProSteels on my standard tuned Spectors, I just need to decide on gauges. I'm not sure if I need the SL or not on the 145 B for a 35" Spector so I have a bit of experimenting to do. Thankfully the D'Addario's are cheap enough that I can just order a bunch of singles and see what works.
  12. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Circle K's are awesome. One of the best B strings I've heard, and on my fretless, sooo much mwaah.
  13. If I do attempt to make a balanced set from strings I like, would these sets likely be balanced? 40,55,75,100,130...or 45,60,80,105,135. Brand I like has no tension charts, but it looks like this is somewhat balanced on the charts I can find, with the exception that the B string has a little less tension.
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    The set I put together with D'Addario XL's is 42, 55, 75, 100, 135.

    I went by feel and sound, not so much by the tension chart.
  15. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Good to know. I have Sunbeams on my current Carvin fretless butI was thinking about something different for a Spector fretless I ordered.
  16. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I tune in fifths so I have to make my own sets, whether I want balanced tension or not. I am not a big fan of rounds so Circle K is a non-starter for me right now. I've been using GHS strings so far, mostly Precision Flats but I have tried the Pressure Wound Flats and the Boomers. I am thinking about trying some Brite Flats and D'Addario Tape Wounds.

  17. Ian_Flash


    Jan 17, 2013
    I have not yet tried Circle K's, but I have NO DOUBT that they would be amazing, and deliver what they promise. The only other option I could suggest is the LaBella Stainless Steels (Formerly HRS Hard Rockin' Steel) or their Deep Talkin' roundwound IN THE EVENT that you want an all-Stainless Steel wrap rather than CK' hybrid design. Both LaBellas come in a Custom Balanced gauge that has a great balanced feel and tone. Ken Smith makes SS in a balanced set as well. Both strings are excellent for SS.
  18. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Sunbeams are pretty good too, I prefer their B to say, the Nickel Lo-Riders. That said, I still like Fat Beams more than Sunbeams on my fretless.
  19. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    40 55 75 100 135 and 45 60 80 105 145 would have more equal tensions ... but if you prefer a slightly looser B that's cool :) i encourage everyone to experiment and find their personal optimum set of tensions whatever those are.
  20. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Just what I was about to suggest! I've run the sums on the Daddario tension figures and those sets are the closest you can get to balanced tension outside of their few nickel balanced sets.

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