Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Our lowest notes need the most tension, yet your low E string doesn’t have as much tension as your A string with a traditional string pack… doesn’t make much sense, does it? I’m not saying they’re perfect for every bass player, or every instrument for that matter, but the tension really is uniform from string to string, allowing for technique to be consistent no matter which string you’re playing on. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The outer strings will sound and feel good, but the inner strings are a little wonky. This means you can achieve all the great tonal and practical improvements at a fraction of the cost! Which Strings Are Right For Me? However, just because we’ve used something for more than half a century doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved! I like their sound and feel and I also think they have pretty good sustain. EXL170 BT is a Balanced Tension set that allows for evenly balanced bending, fretting, plucking and slapping. On top of that, thicker strings tend to sound more round, darker, and produce less harmonic content. Progressive tension was created to mimic the benefits of a multi-scale guitar without needing to spend thousands of dollars on a custom instrument. So you end up with a low string that doesn’t stay in tune, a bit of an odd feeling jump between all of your strings, and a slight impairment to your tone. Traditional Strings They are super smooth to the touch, but have plenty of zing and treble response. ( Log Out /  They feel slick like nickels, but have the punch, zing, and quickness of some of my favorite stainless sets. Typically these players want heavier strings on the bottom so they can play hard and tune to drop tunings while still having a good amount of tension and pitch stability, while the higher strings stay looser so they’re easy to bend. The EXL115BT guitar strings are a bit stiffer than the EXL110s, but I still found them to be easy on the fingers and responsive enough to perform slides and bends without any problems, and I also noticed that I didn’t have to apply as much pressure to the strings when fretting notes to get a clear sound. Your email address will not be published. Bass Review – De Gier BeBop 5 by Jake Wolf, Ibanez BTB7 and AFB200, Review by Jake Wolf, Benavente Guitars SCD5 & DCD4 Basses – Gear review by Jake Wolf, Circle K Strings Balanced Set – Bass String Review by Jake Wolf, Circle K just happens to make a handful of sets for us mortal bassists, Circle K’s balanced set does a great job of giving me what I want from a string without any substantial trade-offs. So are they all bogus? Before I do, here are the new string gauges for the EXL115 balanced tension guitar strings: I also reviewed D’Addario’s EXL110BT guitar strings and in my opinion I prefer the heavier gauge of the EXL115BT strings because they have amazing sustain, their sound quality is loud and clear, they respond beautifully, and they are soft and smooth to the touch. mmcm4, Jan 30, 2013. mmcm4, Jan 30, 2013 #3. If guitar strings have worked for decades already, why should I switch? You’ve already tried traditional sets, so take a look at what sounds most appealing to you and take the plunge! These newly released Universals Balanced Tension sets bring the perfect combination of feel and tone. I had to do a bit of work on my guitar and adjust the nut and a couple of high frets, when I was done I put the EXL115BT guitar strings on and found that it was so much easier to intonate the guitar and tune up to pitch. Maybe you’re like me though in that you’ve spent too much money on various string sets trying to find the set that works best for you, only to find that they all have pro’s and con’s in terms of tone and feel. Hypothetically your thickest string should be the tightest, and your highest string should be the loosest, but this isn’t the case with 90% of strings. I was from that moment, and still am, enamored with the playability, and evenness of the Circle K’s. Many people ask if balanced tension will have any benefits on the instrument itself, whether it will be easier to set up, have improved tuning stability or have more even action across the neck… the short answer: no. You can find the EXL115BT guitar strings for around $5.00 from most online dealers and music stores, including the D’Addario official web page. If you want to read more about the new D’Addario balanced tension guitar strings, please click on the provided link up above. Luckily for us guitarists, it’s a very small financial leap to try new strings, what’ve you got to lose? What’s “progressive tension”? The higher the tension, the more consistent the tuning of that string will be when it’s played, minimizing the the amount of “pitch bend.” Not only that, but the A and D strings will be darker and duller sounding than they need to be just to accommodate the lower tunings, while the G and B strings will be a bit on the light side. Circle K just happens to make a handful of sets for us mortal bassists, including traditional sets (review coming soon!) Balanced tension strings primarily focus on the feel under your fingers from one string to the next rather than any kind of tonal or other practical benefits. Overall, I would recommend that you give the EXL115BT guitar strings a try. I also found that my guitar was easier to tune with these strings on. These strings tackle a very common request of rock and metal guitarists who tune down low. I’m never gonna get decent playability and intonation with that massive B string.’  On and on I went, until I finally had the bass tuned up. Circle K Strings Balanced Set – Bass String Review by Jake Wolf… In addition to making string sets for modern extended range basses in every possible scale length and tuning, (40” 0.254 low C# anyone?) Change ). Thus the name: light top heavy bottom. The idea is that by having a consistent “feel” between strings that you. When new strings keep slipping out of tune it sometimes makes the process take longer because you have to wait for them to stretch and settle in place to make sure that the guitar is properly in tune. It lacks any consistency between the feel of the strings as mentioned earlier. This means that when you go from one string to another you should feel a similar performance under your fingers. After a brief conversation with Skip at Circle K, I decided to check out, per his recommendation, a balanced .136 set  (.136 .102 .076 .057 .041 .029) for my 6 string, the bass I use most frequently. You’ve already tried traditional sets, so take a look at what sounds most appealing to you and take the plunge! Not only can we choose from a wide variety of gauges and material types, but now each set can provide its own unique impact on tension across the strings. For more info, visit Circle K on the web at www.circlekstrings.com. I have never heard my B string sound so huge and focused with as clear of a fundamental. Thus the name: light top heavy bottom. Required fields are marked *. So, while it’s one step forward, it’s another step backward. Producing a distinctly clear and focused tone, Nickel Bronze strings bring out the unique character of your acoustic instrument, allowing its natural voice to be heard. A looser string will tend to go very sharp when initially hit, and then settle back into tune. From Circle K’s website: “The greatest compromise to a string’s structural integrity and playable life is coiling and packaging them in the traditional manner. I can hear some of you now. have more consistent technique across the fretboard. Balanced Tension Strings Traditional guitar strings have been around for decades, but today guitarists have far more options when it comes to string tension. and their signature “balanced tension” sets. Tonally, they have a deep, complex and authoritative voice, with lots of rich harmonic content. It is worth mentioning that this is something primarily helpful for players who play rock and metal, or who tend to play in. Messages: 845. These strings were designed to give a more balanced sound from one string to the next to give your guitar a more even sounding tone. Drop me a line at jakewolf24@gmail.com with any feedback, suggestions, or requests for upcoming reviews. Circle K’s balanced set does a great job of giving me what I want from a string without any substantial trade-offs. In short, traditional guitar strings totally get the job done, but they are not without their flaws, which is why modern innovations have sought out modern solutions. The standard off-the-rack guitar strings you’ve been buying for ages are good enough for all your guitar idols, I know. Joined: Aug 16, 2010 Location: Sunny Florida. Copyright © 2020 Bass Musician Magazine, All rights reserved. They sound big and full, but are pliable and supple. Progressive tension strings achieve the same easy bends and tight rhythm parts by using heavier tension on the bottom and lighter tension on the top, but the difference is that it does so… well… progressively! So, using a thicker string for more tuning consistency is a trade-off. As I was stringing up my bass with the circle K’s, the preconceived notions starting cropping up in my mind: ‘these gauges are weird. The result can sound “dull” and lack in clarity. Rather than simply taking two sets of string gauges and mashing them together, they look at each individual string to make sure the tension increase happens over time, minimizing the awkward jumps between strings. Rather than simply taking two sets of string gauges and mashing them together, they look at each individual string to make sure the tension increase happens over time, minimizing the awkward jumps between strings. NB1252BT is a light balanced tension Nickel Bronze set optimized for even tension and playability across all strings. A newer development, balanced tension aims to keep the tension across all the strings roughly the same. It’s an even more. This means that when you go from one string to another you should. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Depending on your priorities this might be a trade-off that’s worth it, but to others, it may feel like running in circles. They do this by adjusting the diameter of the core and the wrap, which will vary the tension/response of the string without affecting the outer diameter (or “gauge”). Circle K just happens to make a handful of sets for us mortal bassists, including traditional sets (review coming soon!) Although I had no problems with them, I recommend that you get your guitar properly setup before putting these guitar strings on so that you can get the best sound quality out of them. Made from a combination of nickel and steel, Circle K claims to offer a string that is “not quite as bright as steels and not as ‘scooped’ as nickels. Progressive Tension Well, tension actually plays a huge role in tone, tuning stability, and playability. However, just because we’ve used something for more than half a century doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved! Well, tension actually plays a huge role in tone, tuning stability, and playability. Typically these players want heavier strings on the bottom so they can play hard and tune to drop tunings while still having a good amount of tension and pitch stability, while the higher strings stay looser so they’re easy to bend.

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