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Would a smaller guage = tighter B string?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Thunderscreech, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Or was I just smoking large quantities of cannibus when I came up with this?

    I know I posted a thread a while back about strings, and someone told me that the larger the string diameter the more it behaves like a rod and less like a string.

    My current B on my OLP is a .130. if I used, say, a .125 or a .120, would that somehow make it tighter? or do I just need to adjust things like the action and such?
  2. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    actually a thicker B would be tighter if your talking amount of tension needed for a certain pitch
  3. in fact you take smaller gauges for less tension on the strings.
  4. i'm talking about not being so floppy. My current string is a little too, like, "boomy" for my taste, if that makes any sense.
  5. deaf pea

    deaf pea

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cuernavaca 1 hr S Mexico City
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    No . . .

    "a smaller guage" = a FLOPPIER B string!

    EDIT-assuming that you're talking about the SAME model/same manufacturer . . .
  6. So instead of a .130 i'd need like a .135 or something?

    It's late and i'm having a hard time explaining myself.
  7. I read some years ago when 5 strings were the rage that the ideal B string would be .145. Seems a bit large to me, but that string probably wouldn't be very floppy.
  8. I'll have to try one of those. :) Thanks.
  9. DrArkon


    Apr 4, 2009
    Whats the point of having different string gauges?
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    One may want a tighter tone, another could wish for easier playing. DIfferent strings for different tastes.
  11. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    The actual brand and type of string has as much if not more to do with tension than the gauge itself. Hint hint, OP.

    Round core will typically have less tension than hex core.
  12. +1

    If you use, say DR High Beams, you'll find that a .130 B string would feel much floppier than a Sadowsky .130 B string simply due to the hexagonal core of the Sadowsky string. I also use Elrick strings which, at .130, are even tighter than a traditional hexagonal cored B string. You'll probably have to get your bass set up but for the different strings but it's well worth it IMO.
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Exactly. People who make it sound like "any idiot knows a bigger gauge will have higher tension" are themselves not quite up to speed. The construction of the string makes a huge difference. For example I have used .130 Chromes, TI flats, and Elixers all on the same bass, and they all felt and played quite differently, in spite of being (essentially) the same gauge on the same bass. Additionally I have played smaller-gauge roundwounds which felt (and even sounded) much tighter than any of the .130 or .135 strings I've tried.

    Gauge plays a part, sure. But don't imagine gauge is "the one factor", not by a long shot.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008

    Turn down the bass and turn up the low mids for a better low B sound.
  15. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    All my B strings are .135 for the 34"scale basses.Won't use anything smaller.
  16. You have to experiment here - there are quite a few variables string type to string type and you could like a smaller Gauge sound in spite of the trade off in tension. So I think you have to try going lighter and then heavier with a few different brands - you can get singles at Juststrings - small investment to get tuned into your liking.

    I also agree that a lighter gauge can work better than a heavier gauge - but given the end result is subjective and to your preference I would say experiment - find the right string, and then let us know what worked for you.

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