Jump to content


light top/heavy bottom guitar strings



25 replies to this topic

#1 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:01 AM

I've been using 11-49 D'Addario XLs on my electric guitar for a while now. I like the firmer feel and clearer sound on the bass strings compared to a standard .009 or .010" set, but in my experimentation with heavier strings in the past I've found that a wound G doesn't do it for me, so the 11-49s always seemed like the best compromise between light and heavy. However, playing friends' guitars with .010"s, there's a snappy quality and elastic feel on the top strings which I enjoy. I'm thinking about trying a 10-52 set to try and get some of this. Are any of you using these? I'm wondering how uneven the tension feels, and whether the mismatch will wreak havoc with my Bigsby.

#2 CPBass

    Fully fledged member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales UK

Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:57 PM

I use these and have done for a few years. Im not aware of any mismatch in tension, i just like the little bit of extra growl they give chords. Shoudnt imagine your Bigsby will know much has changed. A good set imho.

#3 apa

    Fully fledged member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 942 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glastonbury, Somerset

Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:00 PM

Back in the day I used the Dean Markley 10-52 set. No issues at all. Loved that heavy deep sound you get out of them.

A
ALL THE GEAR, NO IDEA! Which can be found here:

The J's Blondie - Hohner J Bass Pro - Cream/Tortoise/Rosewood. Jennie - Squier VM Deluxe Modified - Natural/Black/Maple. Annie - Bitsa Deluxe - Metallic BRG/Birdseye Maple/Rosewood - Fretless. Lucie - Bitsa Uber Deluxe V - Antigua/Burr Oak Burst/Rosewood- Fretless
The P's Susie - Sue Ryder RP-1 - White/White/Rosewood (My Pension Fund). Bernie - Sue Ryder RP-1 Modified - Burr Walnut/Gold Leaf/Rosewood - Fretless.

The Ray's Rosie - Vintage EST96 Modified - Black/Rosewood/Ebony - Fretless. Natalie - SBMM Ray34 - Natural/Black/Maple
The Acoustics Goldie - Fender Kingman - Natural/Rosewood. Hettie - Harley Benton HBB30 NT FL Modified (So its playable!!) - Natural/Rosewood - Fretless
The Other Stuff Poppie - Stagg 3/4 EUB, Sherlie - Squier Bass VI - Black/White/Rosewood
Through Marshall 3510 Head into Homemade Marshall 410 Cab Copy via Korg AX300B Effects Board


Feedback ----------------- and a birding blog I jointly write The EFRS your welcome to comment and share.

#4 Jono Bolton

    Very Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,530 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow
  • Interests:Playing the dad guitar

Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:15 AM

I know Ernie Ball did a set of strings with lighter gauge top strings and heavier bottom strings, 10-52. I always liked them but I never used them with a Bigsby!

Only a fiver if you fancy giving them a try:

http://www.google.co...ved=0CE8Q8wIwAA
Currently abusing:
Squier Matt Freeman Precision
Peavey Mark IV Head
Peavey 2x15 Cab

www.falsehopeshxc.bandcamp.com

#5 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:49 AM

I think I'll pick up a set later in the week when I'm passing by my local music shop. I'll stick with D'Addario XLs, just to keep everything else consistent.

#6 Dave Vader

    post-womble-deathcore hoedowns

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,624 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hatherleigh, centre of the known universe
  • Interests:are things which interest you

Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:10 AM

I use rotosound 10-52, and pretty much nothing else these days. Perfectly balanced, pretty cheap, and you get a spare top e thrown in free as well.
Also those fat bottom strings just feel better.

#7 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:17 PM

I managed to find time to drop by my local music shop yesterday, who had the Rotosound set, and stuck them on last night. I think I like them so far, and the Bigsby seems stable enough with them. It'll be hard to be sure whether I'll stick with them until I've gigged them though...

#8 MiltyG565

    Low end offender

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,400 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wild West Antrim
  • Interests:Music, cars, hockey, life.

Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:12 AM

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 08 May 2013 - 03:17 PM, said:

I managed to find time to drop by my local music shop yesterday, who had the Rotosound set, and stuck them on last night. I think I like them so far, and the Bigsby seems stable enough with them. It'll be hard to be sure whether I'll stick with them until I've gigged them though...

I've never used Roto's on guitar before, but anytime I have used Roto's, they don't measure up at all to D'Addario.

The tension shouldn't increase that much, so long as the increments between strings are even, because although you have a heavier bottom, you also have a lighter top, but you might need to tweak your setup a bit after putting them on.
Click here to see my feedback.

#9 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:53 AM

View PostMiltyG565, on 09 May 2013 - 07:12 AM, said:

I've never used Roto's on guitar before, but anytime I have used Roto's, they don't measure up at all to D'Addario.

The tension shouldn't increase that much, so long as the increments between strings are even, because although you have a heavier bottom, you also have a lighter top, but you might need to tweak your setup a bit after putting them on.
I've never really bonded with Rotosound bass strings either, but I think that's more about their formulation than actual quality. I've used their Superwound phosphor bronze strings on my acoustic guitar for years, they've been as good as any other brand and perfectly consistent from set to set.

#10 MiltyG565

    Low end offender

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,400 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wild West Antrim
  • Interests:Music, cars, hockey, life.

Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:56 AM

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 09 May 2013 - 09:53 AM, said:

I've never really bonded with Rotosound bass strings either, but I think that's more about their formulation than actual quality. I've used their Superwound phosphor bronze strings on my acoustic guitar for years, they've been as good as any other brand and perfectly consistent from set to set.

I've heard stories about their flats for guitar, and I can definitely trust the guys opinion on strings!
Click here to see my feedback.

#11 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:13 AM

View PostMiltyG565, on 09 May 2013 - 09:56 AM, said:

I've heard stories about their flats for guitar, and I can definitely trust the guys opinion on strings!
I've seen less than positive reviews of the guitar flatwounds too, but that's different materials and a different manufacturing process, so I'm quite happy to judge the roundwounds on their own merit. And if they work out for me, they have the bonus of being half a pint cheaper than D'Addarios and not having been shipped across the Atlantic. If they don't work out for me, then I still have a set of D'Addarios in my case pocket...

#12 Dave Vader

    post-womble-deathcore hoedowns

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,624 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hatherleigh, centre of the known universe
  • Interests:are things which interest you

Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:18 AM

View PostMiltyG565, on 09 May 2013 - 09:56 AM, said:

I've heard stories about their flats for guitar, and I can definitely trust the guys opinion on strings!

What guy and what stories? Colour me interested.

#13 MiltyG565

    Low end offender

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,400 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wild West Antrim
  • Interests:Music, cars, hockey, life.

Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:01 PM

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 09 May 2013 - 10:13 AM, said:

I've seen less than positive reviews of the guitar flatwounds too, but that's different materials and a different manufacturing process, so I'm quite happy to judge the roundwounds on their own merit. And if they work out for me, they have the bonus of being half a pint cheaper than D'Addarios and not having been shipped across the Atlantic. If they don't work out for me, then I still have a set of D'Addarios in my case pocket...

That's cool. I'm going to try them out some time, but I just like the sound of D'Addarios :D


View PostDave Vader, on 09 May 2013 - 11:18 AM, said:

What guy and what stories? Colour me interested.

Their flats were "rough as f***" IIRC. I'm sorry, but i'm not going to compromise a source :D :P

Edited by MiltyG565, 09 May 2013 - 05:01 PM.

Click here to see my feedback.

#14 JapanAxe

    My other bass is a Precision.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,111 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Swindon

Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:06 PM

I use 10-52 Ernie Balls on my Gretsch Duo Jet. You need a fair bit of tension to hold the floating bridge in place! My Strat and PRS get 9-46 (i.e. light top / heavy bottom, but a gauge lighter) everything else (i.e. Gibsons and Teles) gets 10-46. And yes I do have quite a few guitars, but don't worry, pretty soon you'll be able to buy one or two of them!
Bass Guitars | Fender Precision (USA 1973) | Fender Precision '63 AVRI (USA 2015) | Fender Mustang FSR (Japan 2016) | Kala U-bass

Backline | Demeter VTBP-M-800D | Markbass Nano Mark 300 | Barefaced Compact & Midget (vintage silver) | Markbass Micromark 801

Posted Image FEEDBACK

#15 skankdelvar

    Tame Sesquipedalian

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,949 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wiltshire
  • Interests:Clause wrangling

Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:08 PM

10-52's are grand, until you try to use them with re-issue Fender F-tuners, such as may be found on certain of FMIC's output and available as 'period-correct'.

Original F-tuners will take a .52, but the RI's won't. Too narrow.

Tried gently filing the RI slot to widen and snapped part of the shaft off. Because they're not steel like the old ones, they're a cheap, granular alloy.

Posted Image

Re-issue. Narrower, will not take 52. Quick clue: No centre-drilled guide right at the top of the peg for vertical insertion. Oo-er.

Posted Image
Original Fender-made Safe-T post type tuner. Will take .52


So I've had to buy original 70's F-tuners one at a time at about £30-odd a pop.

Bastards.

Edited by skankdelvar, 09 May 2013 - 05:10 PM.


#16 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:22 PM

View Postskankdelvar, on 09 May 2013 - 05:08 PM, said:

10-52's are grand, until you try to use them with re-issue Fender F-tuners, such as may be found on certain of FMIC's output and available as 'period-correct'.
That's a curious one. Are those the the 70's style tuners? An old bandmate used to string his Japanese 60's reissue strat with 13-56 with no problems, so I presume so. That was a good sounding guitar, though really not bend friendly! My cheap chinese Schaller rip-offs take the 52 gauge string just fine, fortunately.

#17 skankdelvar

    Tame Sesquipedalian

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,949 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wiltshire
  • Interests:Clause wrangling

Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:06 PM

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 09 May 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

That's a curious one.

Ain't it, though?

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 09 May 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

Are those the the 70's style tuners?

Yep, surely are. These chaps.

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 09 May 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

An old bandmate used to string his Japanese 60's reissue strat with 13-56 with no problems, so I presume so.

Similarly, no probs with 52's in the Kluson RI's on my Jap '57 RI. In fact no probs with any other tuner I've used since I switched to 52's. 13-56 on a Korean Danelectro left in open E warped the neck pocket though :(

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 09 May 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

My cheap chinese Schaller rip-offs take the 52 gauge string just fine, fortunately.

Then I may be looking at a set of those. Ta for the tip, Beer-man :) :)

Edited by skankdelvar, 09 May 2013 - 06:09 PM.


#18 Dave Vader

    post-womble-deathcore hoedowns

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,624 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hatherleigh, centre of the known universe
  • Interests:are things which interest you

Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:22 PM

View PostMiltyG565, on 09 May 2013 - 05:01 PM, said:

Their flats were "rough as f***" IIRC. I'm sorry, but i'm not going to compromise a source :D :P

Ah, fair enough, forewarned is forearmed as they say, never used flats on guitar anyway, but their roundwound guitar strings are cheap and good and last ages. Never been impressed by their bass strings or acoustics though.
:)

#19 MiltyG565

    Low end offender

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,400 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wild West Antrim
  • Interests:Music, cars, hockey, life.

Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:24 PM

View PostDave Vader, on 09 May 2013 - 08:22 PM, said:

Ah, fair enough, forewarned is forearmed as they say, never used flats on guitar anyway, but their roundwound guitar strings are cheap and good and last ages. Never been impressed by their bass strings or acoustics though.
:)

I was thinking about getting flats for guitar. Usually, I'd go and watch a review on YouTube, but there aren't any for flatwound guitar strings... so guess what i'll be making a review on? :D
Click here to see my feedback.

#20 Dave Vader

    post-womble-deathcore hoedowns

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,624 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hatherleigh, centre of the known universe
  • Interests:are things which interest you

Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:30 PM

View PostMiltyG565, on 09 May 2013 - 08:24 PM, said:

I was thinking about getting flats for guitar. Usually, I'd go and watch a review on YouTube, but there aren't any for flatwound guitar strings... so guess what i'll be making a review on? :D

Plectrums? ;)

Only guy I know who uses flats on guitar is a proper rockabilly type with a quiff and an ancient hofner. Works for that.

#21 MiltyG565

    Low end offender

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,400 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wild West Antrim
  • Interests:Music, cars, hockey, life.

Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:39 PM

View PostDave Vader, on 09 May 2013 - 08:30 PM, said:

Plectrums? ;)

Only guy I know who uses flats on guitar is a proper rockabilly type with a quiff and an ancient hofner. Works for that.

Yeah, it's quite an old rock and roll sound I think. Good for jazz too I suppose. Definitely the opposite of what you want for reggae or funk though.
Click here to see my feedback.

#22 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:58 PM

View PostMiltyG565, on 09 May 2013 - 08:39 PM, said:

Yeah, it's quite an old rock and roll sound I think. Good for jazz too I suppose. Definitely the opposite of what you want for reggae or funk though.
I dunno, I could imagine flats sounding good for some types of reggae guitar. Ernest Ranglin (legendary Studio One guitarist and the man who coined the word Ska) was a jazzer on the sly, and it shows in his playing.

#23 MiltyG565

    Low end offender

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,400 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wild West Antrim
  • Interests:Music, cars, hockey, life.

Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:17 AM

View PostBeer of the Bass, on 09 May 2013 - 08:58 PM, said:

I dunno, I could imagine flats sounding good for some types of reggae guitar. Ernest Ranglin (legendary Studio One guitarist and the man who coined the word Ska) was a jazzer on the sly, and it shows in his playing.

Suppose, but he was in to jazz, so that explains it :D
Click here to see my feedback.

#24 BigRedX

    RockinRollin VampireMan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,691 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham

Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:33 AM

First off, if you are using D'Addario XL nickel wound strings they do a set of 11-49s with a plain G. Check their web site for details.

Secondly, if you look at the D'Addario string tension charts you'll find that most sets tend towards being lower tension as the strings get thicker. Look at a typical 9-46 set. The E string has a high tension and then the strings get progressively lower tension with the B and G until you get to the wound D which is higher tension again dropping off with the A and E. Even on a heavy bottom set like 10-52 the low E still isn't as high tension as the high E. Whether any of this is "balanced" or not is entirely subjective as it is all about feel and besides when most people talk about tension in strings they actually mean compliance which is governed by more than just vibrating length, unit mass and the pitch of the string.

Finally, because of the way the Bigsby vibrato works, you don't need to adjust anything. If it was a start-type unit or a locking vibrato then you'd be in for loads of adjustments to get everything balanced.

My Music:
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


#25 Beer of the Bass

    I ought to be practicing really...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:edinburgh

Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:06 AM

I'd been using the plain-G D'Addario 11-49 set for a while, I used them because they were about as heavy as I could go before getting into wound-G sets, which have never felt right on electric guitar to me.
The 10-52s turn out to work absolutely fine with my Bigsby, and sure enough, looking at the tension charts D'Addario publish they're not really more unbalanced than most other popular sets. I hadn't found those charts when I started the thread! As it is, I'm enjoying the 10-52s as I can get better finger vibrato on the top strings but also dig in harder on the bottom strings than I could with 11-49s. I may go back to D'Addario for the next set though, as the Rotos seem a little darker on the wound strings after a week or so, and I enjoy a bright, glassy sort of sound.

#26 The Admiral

    Fully fledged member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 688 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sunny Staffordshire!

Posted 16 November 2015 - 10:30 PM

I've been using the Ernie Ball 'Skinny top, heavy bottom' strings on my strat for years, and I like them. That's got a trem, and I don't find it suffers tuning issues, but a Bigsby may be very different. If you want to go all Stevie Ray Vaughan, you can go up to a 56 on the bottom E : which may explain the fantastic tone on stuff like Pride & Joy!

56 to 13!!!!

https://www.stringjo...-string-gauges/


Edited by The Admiral, 16 November 2015 - 10:33 PM.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users