Washburn Basses > Bantam Basses

XB-400 recommanded string set


Hi there !

I'd like to change the string set for my XB-400 but I don't remember the brand/size.
I think the seller said it was a rather big size demanding some strength to play,
so I am not sure it is a standard 45-105 set.
The top and the base of the 4 strings are covered with a red coton-like coat.

Do you now which set is recommended for the XB-400 ?
Which set do you use ?

Thanks in advance

Tony Raven:
I'll skip to the punchline first: I highly recommend D'Addario strings.

The first question that I would ask, though, is do you want a "brighter" sound than you presently have, or a "warmer" tone? I find nickel-plated strings preferable to stainless, because the latter are really bright-toned, too much for me.

As you know the numbers you have, the next question is "do you want to stay with that, or would you like to try something heavier or lighter?" There's no risk in trying something different, after all, & it's not as though a set of strings is a major investment.

But let's say you choose to remain with a .045-.105 set, which really is rather standard. In that case, I'd recommend D'Addario's EL165 Custom Light (long scale) or EXL170BT Balanced Tension Regular Light (.045-.107).

With new strings, & especially if you haven't changed them in quite a while, or if you change gauge significantly, you may need to check intonation & trussrod.

If you change gauges dramatically -- like from a .105 E to .095 or .120 -- you might need to re-cut or replace the nut.

Aside from that, changes in brand or gauge are unimportant.

I have somewhat small hands, yet I prefer my gauges (bass or acoustic or electric) to be Medium-Light or even Medium, as I find these easier to play than finer gauges.

To put it diplomatically, your string-seller was a fool. ;) If what he told you had ANY truth, wouldn't the E string be a LOT harder to play than the G string? :(

Let me put it this way: strength only becomes a factor when the strings are "stiff". Stiffness has NOTHING to do with string gauge, but EVERYTHING to do with string tension. (And I'm assuming here that the instrument is properly adjusted & you're not struggling to simply press the strings to the frets.)

One reason I tend to use D'Addario strings is because they happily TELL you what the tensions are -- on each package AND on the website (so you can compare). They have a few "Balanced Tension" sets like this one:
Click on the grey Family Tension Chart bar to see how they compare.

I've always had a dislike for string sets where one string feels quite stiff yet the one next to it feels floppy as though it's somehow tuned too low. The Balanced Tension set takes care of that, but D'Addario in general has (for me) been the least problematic over the years, so I'm happy to use whatever is on sale -- fwiw, my present "backup" set is EXL160 (.050-.105).

Thanks a lot for your very complete reply.
I remember the guy said d'Addario to be its favorite brand.
I think I'll go for the D'Addario's EL165 Custom Light.

Do you confirm I need the long scale version for my XB-400 ?

Tony Raven:
Yah, that threw me as well. But "long scale" means 34-inch -- well, to be honest, 33- to 35-inch. This covers the vast majority of basses.

Don't be afraid to experiment! ;)


[0] Message Index

Go to full version