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Thread: Lower tension strings

  1. #1

    Default Lower tension strings

    I was looking at D’Addario’s string tension site and worked up a set with about 20 lbs per string for a 4 string electric with a 14.5 scale length. Gauges were .95, .140, .230 and .360. Anybody have experience with this light a set?

    Play it like you mean it.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lower tension strings

    Short answer is it will be fine, assuming you are prepared to do a setup to match the strings, electrics have easily adjustable bridges, so easy to dial in a string tension change.

    If you are planning on bending you might want to go lighter. Electric guitar players can run anywhere from over 20 lbs down to 10 lbs per string, so it varies quite a bit.

    I am running 15 lbs per string on my four string right now, and full-step bends require two fingers for my tired old hands.
    I have the E string at 19 lbs (10) though, it just gets too tinny if I go lower.
    I would like to go lighter, but I think intonation issues might begin to crop up.

    I have a 14" scale Mandostang, here is what I am running according to string tension pro (Nickel round wound on bottom two strings):
    0.0100 in. 19.56 lbs PS
    0.0130 in. 14.73 lbs PS
    0.0210 in. 14.44 lbs NPS
    0.0320 in. 14.84 lbs NPS

    It came with ~19 lbs for each string, I gave up a little sustain, for ease of playing. A touch of compressor dials in the desired sustain anyway.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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