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Why won't string companies do this? (Purists beware: De-Tuning content)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bassman1185, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. It seems to me that it would be in the string manufacturers' best interest to make sets of bass strings designed for playing in drop D or drop C tuning. There are plenty of guitar strings that are set up for that kind of a tuning (Ernie Ball Skinny Top-Heavy Bottoms, for example) so it would only make sense to make a few sets of strings that would work for us bassists the same way. All they would really need to do is take a medium or medium-heavy-guage set and bump the lowest string up by .010" or .020".

    I know, I know, we can always buy a five-string set, or just purchase a separate .115 or .120 guage string, but wouldn't it just be so much easier if we could just buy a pack of strings that WORKED?

    Come on, string makers! Start making packs of strings in guages like .050, .070, .090, .120!!!
  2. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    I agree. I mean, it doesnt have to do with my music as I never down tune, but it seems like a common problem for most bassists.
  3. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    It would be interesting to see a poll on who uses down-tuning as opposed to standard.
  4. I know that in regards to most metal and hardcore bands, tuning to at LEAST drop D is pretty much a given. My band tunes to drop C (C-G-C-F) and I have only come across ONE set of strings that work well with that tuning: GHS heavy-guage Bass Boomers. That sucks, because I would much rather use DRs, but to special order a set of DRs that would work with my tuning, I would be paying close to $50 a set.
  5. grifff


    Jan 5, 2009
    Towson, Maryland
    That's why I bought a 5 string. I never have to detune. I know Circle K makes heavy sets of strings that you can easily order, maybe you should check them out.


    These specifically:
    4 String Set-Traditional Standard 135 Low
    4 String Set-Traditional Standard 125 Low
  6. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    I find that a I can downtune to a D good enough with regular strings. The Fender 8250's have a taperwound .110 E string that works very well too.


    Oct 16, 2009
    I actually joined the forum to ask a question about this. I am reasonably new to playing bass but have been playing in bands for around 6 years, so I have seen my fair share of bass players, and guitar players for that matter, complaining about finding strings they really like.
    I own a Fender Jazz Geddy Lee, and the band I am playing bass in now is playing in drop B tuning. I spoke with a friend of mine who also plays in drop B and he said the only way to get decent strings for that is to buy a 5 string set of D'Addario strings that start at a 135 or 140 gauge. Does anyone know of any other types of strings I could try for this?
  8. You could always buy individual strings. I think D'addario sells them directly from their web site, and juststrings.com has a large selection of different brands and types available as single strings.
  9. Boot Soul

    Boot Soul

    Feb 10, 2009
    Actually, LaBella makes a set of stings specifically made for detuning, or "D" tuning, but the gage on the lowest string isn't as fat as you seem to want. And they only offer this option in their Hard Rockin' Steel strings, which are great strings if you like Stainless Steel.


    http://www.juststrings.com/lab-m70.html (the gages are listed incorrectly on this web page, but this is a place to order them)

    I have a set that I have used on my Travis Bean bass, but not for the purpose of detuning. The TB is a 33" scale and has absolutely no relief in the solid aluminum neck, and no truss rod or other means for adjusting relief into the neck. So I find that these heavier gage strings don't buzz the frets in first position as much as lighter gages (although this is part of the Travis Bean sound), and they don't feel too tense because of the slightly shorter scale-length of this particular bass. These strings sound good and they intonate, and hold their intonation well. They also last long and clean up nicely when soaked in a little 70% ethyl alcohol. I have used the same set for a long time (although the TB also sports Ernie Ball flats much of the time).
  10. I, for years, played drop D with, here it comes, .100 E string. I liked the feel of it, BUT it was very difficult to no clank the crap out of it when Detuned. Then tried a set of standard .105 and that was fine. Eventually I got tired of the whole detuning thing altogether. As far as specially made string sets that work, I know of only one company myself, an argentinian one endorsed by Pedro Aznar among others, Magma Strings. But I don't think you could get them in USA. All in all, it seems individual strings are what string makers use to fill that niche. It's not entirely bad, tho: if you're picky, then you can custom build the "perfect" set for ya. Then again, if they run short of your preferred gauge then...
  11. dystopiate


    Feb 21, 2008
    New York City
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar
    I've been ordering single strings direct through daddario.com for years now. Even on my 6 string tuned BEADGC I have a custom set. I hate the dramatic difference in tension from string-to-string on "standard" sets of strings. I recently fell in love with DR hi-beams though... I may have to see about working something out with a dealer.
  12. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    By next week - keep an open eye.
  13. anonymous073020132

    anonymous073020132 Guest

    Dec 15, 2007
    Ok here it goes. I've been playing almost 20 years & for the most part 4 string basses in drop D. On every bass I've owned from Fender Jazz & P's to Warwicks & spectors a set of 45-105strings is perfect as long as you intonate the "E" string AFTER! you detune it not while it's tuned to E. That goes for any string you detune. When you do this it will stretch the string out to playing pitch giving it way better feel & tone. I've also got a fender 4 string Jazz & a Stringray. I've strung them 65-125 low B-D. After I set them up & intonated them everything was nice, tight & smooth playing. Metal & rock players that detune, try using a set of Nickle Plated Steel strings instead of Stainless Steels. The Nickles will give you more midrange to cut through, the Steels just boost the high end for the most part & bring in string noise. When you intonate Nickles Vs. Steels you will notice your bridge saddles will not have to be moved so far back with nickles & with steels you will almost always end up with the saddle slid back under the end wrap of the string (especially if the strings are heavy gauge) which is no good for playing. When you want to drop in the "C" area you need to either buy a 4 string bass made for this like Warwick built, The Vampyre BO Dark Lord Bass http://www.warwick.de/modules/produkte/produkt.php?katID=14460&cl=EN Or you can retrofit a NOVAX Fanned-Fret neck to your 4 string bass body, http://www.novaxguitars.com/parts-accessories/necks-bass.html droping to "C" on a regular 34" scale bass is hell. Intonation is out of the box as well as tone & playability, believe me I've tried. Here is my band, USA Fender Jazz, Dimarzio model J (wired Parallel), Fender Super Bass Strings 45-105 drop "D" http://www.myspace.com/chalklinebeautyrva & for 4 string strung 65-125 D-B with a Ernie Ball Stingray my man Judd from Halo Of Locust http://www.myspace.com/halooflocusts & yes thats Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God on vocals. We keep it real in Richmond, VA. Here is another retro fit 35" replacement for 34" neck choice http://www.mosesgraphite.com/cgi-bin/moses/MM-154?r3w9FybQ;;46
  14. dystopiate


    Feb 21, 2008
    New York City
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar
    I have never seen this to be the case. Are you comparing different kinds of steels & nickels? I.e., ones with different tensions or gauges. I can take one of my basses with D'Addario Nickels and put ProSteels on and the intonation will remain exactly the same.

    I'm currently tuned to drop Bb on my stock 34" scale basses with no problems. I've just upped the gauge of my strings appropriately. Currently I'm strung 135, 95, 70, 50. There's no reason you can't take a typical 34" scale and detune the hell out of it; it's just not as easy to use strings that were intended to be tuned EADG when you do it.
  15. The problem with those Rotos is that they aren't actually designed for "drop" tuning (where the lowest string is tuned an extra step down) but for "low" tuning, like BEAD or F#BEA.
  16. Thegian


    Aug 14, 2008
    Indeed, I'm playing with GCGCF right now with a set of .135 high beams, i think i could do much better though. Theres been talk of new tunings though so who knows.

    Looking at the Circle K string site and it looks ok, not familiar with how the gauges are gonna act or if i wanna spend 48 to 60 dollars on a set though.
  17. Ken Smith all the way. They sound great and are affordable. Any combination of any gauges you want, multiple styles (Nickel, SS etc...)
  18. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    I'm gonna post this here, cause I need some help with this, and this seems to be the place to ask it without making a new thread.

    My band is playing in B-F#-B-E tuning for a few songs, and I have a Five String ESP that i use for that tuning, and here is my issues. I've tried a good number of different strings and string combinations for it, and I still can't get anything that has a solid feel. I know everything will be floppy cause of the slack tension, but it's almost unbearably floppy. On top of that I have yet to find a set of strings that I can play anything on what would normally be the low B string, so does anyone have any advice as far as what I should look at to go with a tuning similar to like F#-B-F#-B-E? or am I just kinda SOL and should buy separate heavy gauge strings?
  19. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I can get you to F# C# F# B E - how important is that low B?

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