Proper Way To Increase String Tension

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by GuitarKidd, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. GuitarKidd

    GuitarKidd Member

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    I recently bought a Squire Strat to play around with and to get familiar with Strats in general, and to do some upgrading.

    I actually plays pretty nice. Pickups however are pretty bad, but new ones are in the mail.

    My question is this. The string tension (suspension) on this guitar is by far the loosest of all 3 of my guitars. I can bend the string with incredible ease. That's great... However my low E string is too loose and needs to have a little more tension. The string is buzzing way entirely too much on on the entire neck.. So at this point I am happy with all the strings except for the low E string.

    I think increasing guage will increase tension, however I really do prefer the guage that I am using. EB Hybrid 9's.

    The bridge can float if I want it to, But I don't have it set to do so...

    Anything that I can try guys..
     
  2. dave251

    dave251 Member

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    For a given scale length, only a heavier string will increase tension. There are some modern strings however, that use a finer(thinner) core wire under the wrap. These can allow a looser "feel" for a given string tension...or conversely. a heavier string with a smaller core can feel a bit more flexible, like a lighter string.
     
  3. GuitarKidd

    GuitarKidd Member

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    Thanks for the help..

    I'm using EB's Hybrid 9's. 9 on top and I believe it has the 46 on the bottom. Maybe I should go to 10 hybrids..
     
  4. Fourth Feline

    Fourth Feline Member

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    Yes, 10 -52's allow me to take the action down on the bass side with less chance of fret buzz / rattle. Curiously, I find GHS Burnished Nickel have a higher tension in the bass on 'standard' guages ( i.e 9 - 42 & 10-46 ). The only problem there is that the nickel wrap also makes the bass sound mellower and therefore quieter than the unwound strings on Humbucker guitars.

    I like D'addario 10 - 52 for Gibson type guitars - and 10 - 46 on Fender types. I did gig for years with a '57 re-issue Strat with E.B. 10 - 52s though, and the sonic balance / string tension was spot on ... :)
     
  5. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    +1 for higher guage strings. Try light top heavy bottom see if that helps. Also, if your trem is set so that it floats or moves when you bend, that is something to look at. I never use my bar, mostly because it is broken off in the trem block(...ahem...) but have it set with all 5 springs so that it doesn't budge, even with 11's tuned standard pitch.
     
  6. GuitarKidd

    GuitarKidd Member

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    Yep, went and bought a set of EB's Light top Heavy Bottoms 10's.. Gave me a 52 guage on the bottom and that tightend everything up. I also blocked the trem, and also put in the new loaded pickguard with Mighty Mite Pickups. Man what HUGE difference over those crapy squire pickups. Not just the tone, but also the wiring, the pots, everything. What a huge difference these pickups make.

    I was initially going to go with some GFS pickups.. Well I was browsing Ebay last Friday and found a store that stocked a bunch of Mighty Mite stuff and had a loaded black pickguard for $40.00 bucks shipped. It was a scratch and dent Item. 3 ply B/W/B. It came today and I wired it up and set it up. It had a very small scratch in pickguard.

    I have only played a few Fenders before, so I am by no means a tone expert, but man the many different tones that I can pull out of this guitar now is great. I plugged it straight into my Princeton Chorus and man I was getting some nice Stratty tones out of this thing and some great blues tones and some nice rock as well. These Mighty Mite pickups have brought this guitar to life.

    I think I am going to have to shim the neck though. That will be my next step.
     
  7. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    Glad it worked out for ya. Great score on the PU's. I have a set of Fender 57/62's that I love and they were only $119new. Through my 18 watter I got my Blackmore hangin'!!! Nothing better than that...for now!!!
     

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