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What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

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  • What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

    My bass came with 45-105's. But they're real old. So I ordered some DR Pure Blues of the same gauge. Then I got to thinking about using a smaller gauge to make it easier to play. So I ordered some DR Pure Blues 40-100's. What tonal impact might these smaller strings have? We're only talking about 5 thousandths difference.

  • #2
    Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

    Thatís the gauge I use, only a 5 string set. I like them because if you hit them hard you get a nice attack. And they are great for more nuanced playing, i.e., vibrato and bends.

    I find no lack of low end or fatness.


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    • #3
      Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

      Thanks Dave. That's good to know. Do you re-adjust your action, or setup, with the smaller gauge strings.

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      • #4
        Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

        You might want to check the intonation .

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        • #5
          Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

          Yup. I'll definitely do a full setup after the new strings. Or, to be more accurate, my luthier friend will. My "Badass" bridge should arrive tomorrow.

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          • #6
            Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

            Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
            Thanks Dave. That's good to know. Do you re-adjust your action, or setup, with the smaller gauge strings.
            Yes, any time the action changes you need to set the intonation. Your truss rod will probably need a slight loosening too.


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            • #7
              Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

              Thanks again guys. I understand about re-doing the setup. My main concern is about losing the basic "bass" snap 'n grind. I don't want to take my strings down so light that I effectively have another guitar. If that makes any sense.

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              • #8
                Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                Thanks again guys. I understand about re-doing the setup. My main concern is about losing the basic "bass" snap 'n grind. I don't want to take my strings down so light that I effectively have another guitar. If that makes any sense.
                You get more snap and grind.

                These are DíAddario XLs on an Ď87 Ibanez SR885LE. Itís running direct into Logic Pro X, with one of the amp plugins.

                https://soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon/supercollider


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                • #9
                  Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                  Wow. Nice bass licks. That's encouraging. I guess I'll need to practice more.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                    One of the local guys uses a really light set with a 90 on the low E. He had one of the clearest, most present bass tones I've ever heard.

                    The only bass I currently own is an Ibanez Mikro, but I'd like to try a really light set on it.
                    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                    • #11
                      Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                      I just "googled" that. Nice little bass. Part of the reason I want to try lighter strings is because I can't help playing my bass like a guitar. It's a hard habit to break. I'm wanting to try the more traditional "finger stroking" thing, but I keep coming back to thumb picking.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                        Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                        I just "googled" that. Nice little bass. Part of the reason I want to try lighter strings is because I can't help playing my bass like a guitar. It's a hard habit to break. I'm wanting to try the more traditional "finger stroking" thing, but I keep coming back to thumb picking.
                        I play with a pick most of the time. But sometimes with fingers.


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                        • #13
                          Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                          I put a set of DR Black Beauties 40-120 on my Jazz V, very good bass sound and I think more balanced with the smaller B string. Sounding as good as my medium (45-130) set.
                          No you won't sound like a guitar.

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                          • #14
                            Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                            Originally posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
                            You get more snap and grind.

                            These are D’Addario XLs on an ‘87 Ibanez SR885LE. It’s running direct into Logic Pro X, with one of the amp plugins.

                            https://soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon/supercollider
                            Yep... I thought I couldn’t slap on bass, then I put light gauge stainless on and wow... slap and pop fest!

                            It’s probably best to have a jazz with light roundwound strings and a P with heavier flats for ultimate tonal versatility.
                            Oh no.....


                            Oh Yeah!

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                            • #15
                              Re: What's the tonal impact of smaller gauge strings?

                              Originally posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
                              You get more snap and grind.

                              These are D’Addario XLs on an ‘87 Ibanez SR885LE. It’s running direct into Logic Pro X, with one of the amp plugins.

                              https://soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon/supercollider


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                              Dunno about the '87's (JJ pups, right?), but later Japanese 5string Soundgears with the soapbars really, and I mean REALLY benefitted from ditching the preamp and swapping in Duncan Actives with basic pots

                              Moved them up from just plain good to downright ridiculously superior to anything you can buy off the shelf
                              "New stuff always sucks" -Me

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