• mbm88

    String Tension

    So this may be an exceedingly simple question, but none of the answers on the first few pages when I searched really helped me...

    I have an Eclipse II and an RG350. The string tension on the RG is much tighter than that of the Eclipse. Unfortunately, since I bought the RG recently (used), I am unsure of the string guage on it. The Eclipse has GHS Boomer 10's on it. The string tension on the Eclipse is way to low for my liking now and I was wondering what the best way to increase it was. Is it as simple as choosing a heavier guage string? If so, what do you recommend? Also- I've been eyeing a KH2 for some time now, as I've always loved everything about them, but I just want to make sure that one way or another I will be able to get enough tension in the strings (comparable to the Ibanez). I am familiar enough with FR and FR style trems. I know this is simple, but I just wanted to double check.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Beaten Beyond

      Actually it's a rather complicated topic that is often oversimplified. Here are some basics:

      Measureable tension comes down to three things (and three things only):

      -pitch (tuning)
      -vibrating length (scale length)
      -string mass

      Perceived tension ("feel") factors in as well. Things that can affect feel of strings:

      -string lengths outside the scale length.
      -break angles of the strings
      -tremolo "give"

      I would guess the main reasons for the RG playing tighter are the longer scale length and perhaps strings with more mass.

      To up the tension on the Eclipse II, you could try upping the string mass and/or dropping the tailpiece down as far as possible to make the break angle the sharpest possible.

      Notice I say string mass. Gauge is a factor and generally larger gauges will have more tension, but it depends on their construction and overall....mass. A flatwound .050" string will have a lot more tension and play tighter than a nickel wound .050".

      Hope that helps.

    • Grindting

      Chad that post was absolutely spot on. and no one need elaborate on it further, spoiling its perfect simplicity.

      if there are further questions, they should be basically break downs of what you have said in more basic english. but you answered everything spot on even for the most uninformed IMO

      one thing to add which is not part of the question.. is that when (or if) mbm88 changes the string gauge, he should check his intonation is set right. as a change of gauge, especially if drastic - usually results in the intonation being put a bit out of whack

    • mbm88

      Excellent. Thank you for the prompt and spot on replies. I look forward to getting a new setup. What are a good set of strings with a greater mass?

    • Sutekh

      You own a standard series ESP and you don't know this?
      I thought everyone learned on cheap guitars

    • mbm88

      I hadn't had a problem with it until I played something that much tighter. I've tried plenty of guages and I wasn't sure what more there was to it.

    • Beaten Beyond

      I've tried a lot of brands and several models within each brand and I tend to use plain ole' D'Addario EXLs on 90% of my guitars, so I reckon that's what I'd recommend. For the Eclipse II, I'd start with a pack of 10-46 and maybe a pack of 11-49 (with plain G). I actually use a hybrid of those two sets on one guitar so its: 10, 13, 17, 28, 38, 49. Kinda like a heavier version of the 9-46 set (which I use on several guitars).

      I'm not a big GHS fan, but I did run Nickel Rockers for awhile and they seemed to have more tension, but GHS doesn't post near the tech info that D'Addario does, so I don't know their actual mass. Dunlop recently started making that "Heavy Core" line, which is supposed to have a thicker core wire, which should equal more mass. But I'm yet to try those.

    • mbm88

      Thank's alot. I will try that out and let you guys know what luck I have. I really appreciate it.