What string gauge should I get?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by ACfireandiceDC, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. ACfireandiceDC

    ACfireandiceDC Active Member

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    Hi,

    I just bought a 5-string Brice Defiant. I want to know what string gauge I should get because I am setting it up to tune to drop A flat. I think that .130 is too light and .174 is too heavy (I have a .185 that I tune down to F# on my other bass). Any suggestions? And for the other strings, I was thinking something like .105 to .45. Would this work?
     
  2. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Anything from .145 (extra light) upwards.
     
  3. Harry

    Harry Doom man of Doom. Contributor

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    .145 or .150 would be pretty good
     
  4. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head SS.org Regular

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    .164/.165/.166
     
  5. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Member

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    Any of the .145 and .150 would work fine with the drop A. For the rest of the strings, you are looking for a balanced set so that your timbre will be even across the board instead of boomy lows and brittle sounding highs.
     
  6. Systolic

    Systolic Active Member

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    Is this the standard 35" Defiant or the multiscale?

    Very generally - .140 or larger. So much of it has to do with the specific construction of the string you are looking at though. Round core vs Hex core and the size of the core itself.

    For low tuning like this you'll generally want a larger core string as they tend to be more stable for tuning that low. This is the idea/premise behind the DR DDT's and the GHS Big Cores. Not sure about the Kaliums.

    Hex cores "feel" stiffer than round cores. So a hex core of a given gauge can generally set a lower action without fretbuzz (matters more the more aggressively you play.)

    Flats, if you are going that route, is a whole different story as they are usually a much stiffer string anyway.


    Example: I've recently been working on a Drop G#/Ab (G#, D#, G#, C#, F#) tuned 34" scale Warwick Corvette 5 with the DR DDT Heavey Set. (.135, .115, .95, .75, .55) which is a big hex core.

    .135 = Just a tad too floppy for aggressive playing, but not terrible at all. Most people would have you believe that .135 is far too small for Ab, but not necessarily so.
    .115 = Perfect, could probably go down to C# before running into any issues. Or up to E.
    .95 = Decent. This probably wants to sit at G to be happy though.
    .75 = Too stiff at only a half step down. Small loss in dynamics.
    .55 = Way to stiff. Hard time fretting at 1st and 2nd frets. Large loss in string dynamics.

    YMMV/IMHO etc etc etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015

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