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itoprover

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
 

Normal Tension basses 

Hi everyone,

Can you guys help me put the folowing list of normal tension bass strings in the correct order tension wise (say from most loose to most stiff). Please use your experiences on different guitars rather than tension numbers on the package or websites.

La Bella 427
La Bella 820
La Bella 2001 MT Flamenco
La Bella 2001 MT Classical
Savarez Corum NT
DAddario EJ45
Luthier PS20

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 30 2024 15:29:57
 
etta

 

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 20 2010
 

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to itoprover

Not the reply you are looking for but, the Savarez Corum High Tension will move your guitar to a new threshold in sound. The Basses are explosive on all my guitars unlike anything else I have tried.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2024 16:38:30
 
AndresK

Posts: 326
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
From: Patras, Greece

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to etta

High tension is explosive in most brands and guitars, but they are hard to play flamenco for me, and tiring for everyday study, except the guitar they are mounted is really soft.

Nevertheless, do you find the corum more explosive than the cantiga?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 5 2024 1:35:53
 
itoprover

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
 

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to itoprover

yeah, not too many replies - cmon guys, I just need some relative references that you know for sure. But they have to be within the bass string sets that I listed (trebles are irrelevant here) - like for example I know for sure that La Bella 427 basses feel super loose compared to Savarez Corum NT. Luthier PS20 feels slightly more tense than Corum NT. So for me this list will look like:

La Bella 427
Savarez Corum NT
Luthier PS20

I don't remember how the rest of the basses feel, need that info so I can try them again in the certain order

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2024 3:25:50
 
AndresK

Posts: 326
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
From: Patras, Greece

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to itoprover

Maybe noone is actually pretty sure about this.

So what I say is from what I think I remember:

La Bella 427 is one of the easiest. The EJ45 is a bit harder but quite less flamenco and not so bright too and die quickly. That is why Vicente Amigo used the D'Addario exp basses. The 2001 flamenco and classical to me have the same basses maybe?? I do not actually remember, sorry. They are both easy and better on the hands than the EJ45 for flamenco I think. The old Luthiers were less bassy than the new ones that are made in Europe in my opinion and easier too. The corum were a little harder than the EJ45 but maybe the same tension feel as the 820? But generally I find Savarez medium tension, corum new cristal and cantiga new cristal slower for some reason. The 820 are fast. But the corum basses have more meat for drop tunings.

Other basses to consider would be: Knobloch Luna flamenca low tension basses, because they are one the lowest and easiest basses I have played that actually produce a good tone and last as all Knobloch basses an eternity, especially compared to the standard D'Addario pro arte basses.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2024 12:42:35
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14966
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to itoprover

quote:

I just need some relative references that you know for sure.


Well, on this topic there is no such thing. It is subject “feelings”. As kitarist posted on this subject at some point (TREBLE strings I refer to from here on), we learned that even when tensions are printed as “different”, it turned out that when tuned up to pitch, certain strings will thin out, and as such they lose tension or balance out such that in the end, all the strings are more or less the same, and it is a subjective thing about diameter of strings and how hard or soft they respond, how bright they sound, etc., all illusions more or less of the subjective experience of each individual. In the end the ACTION of the guitar is the thing that determines feel, and that is all really. Blind fold, objective tests, reveal nothing major going on. There are some coatings that have something to do with certain strings, but basically machines are spitting these things out all the same and the packaging etc begins the illusion of something going on in your mind.

Bass strings are wrapped in nickel and there you might find differences of stiffness. The first thing I notice is the stiff strings break sooner than more flexible versions. It is a trade off because those same ones that break easy sound better because they activate more bass frequency and give the illusion of more volume out put. In the end I have given up on this trade off and settle on cheap “normal tension” strings, take your pick. I have noting against D’Addario but I find them uninspiring. They function just fine. On a guitar with low buzzing action I might used “hard tension” but everything about that label affects my subjective experience…in the end the guitar still buzzes. I have settled on 820 labella and Luthier 20 after many years, and continue to pretend in my own mind that one guitar or the other prefers some brand, but I know scientifically that is BS i have been telling myself.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2024 14:18:22
 
itoprover

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
 

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to itoprover

Thanks so much for your replies Andres and Ricardo!

Here is the thing, I have been using Savarez Corum NT basses with LaBella trebles for a very long time but recently found a better sounding trebles combo which when used with Corum NT basses make basses feel a bit stiffer somehow. I tried Luthier PS 20 bass set, it felt even stiffer then Savarez. Then I tried La Bella 427 basses and they felt waaay too loose. Now trying Knobloch Luna Flamenca 33.5 Medium Tension - they feel less stiff than Savarez but still kinda on the loose side. So ideally I need something in between this Knobloch 33.5 bass set and Savarez Corum NT bass set. Maybe Knobloch Luna Flamenca 34.0 will be good but I wanted to explore more affordable options like La Bella, DAddario, this is how I came up with this list.. When I try strings I give them at least 2 weeks on the guitar, scale is 650 with 2.8mm action if this is relevant..

Andres - how do you find LaBella 2001 basses compared to Savarez Corum NT?

Ricardo - would it be fair to say that LaBella 820 basses are less stiff than Luthier PS20 basses?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2024 15:17:47
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14966
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to itoprover

quote:

Ricardo - would it be fair to say that LaBella 820 basses are less stiff than Luthier PS20 basses?


Sure, but I find old D strings snap equally consistently. I have often mixed Luther 20 basses with 820 trebles, but in the end just prefer to use matching sets when possible. At one point I used 427 and they seemed exactly like Luthiers, so again, I think it is all subjective.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2024 16:17:37
 
JasonM

Posts: 2081
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Normal Tension basses (in reply to itoprover

From what I remember…

La Bella 427 very close to Ej45
Slightly More tension than those 2, 820 and Luthier 20

The rest I’m not sure
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2024 17:40:30
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