Phosphor Bronze Sub-Bass Strings
for Steel-String Harp Guitars*

Free Shipping on all orders of $100 or more! *
* International Customers
please contact us for quote.

*Including vintage and modern Dyer/Knutsen style instruments, Gibson instruments, and other vintage American instruments and modern instruments.
Note: Many vintage guitars had options of being strung with either steel, silk and steel, or gut, and often originally used silk and steel or other compound string sub-basses.  Please consult a vintage guitar expert and/or your luthier if you are unsure about your instrument.
Read about tension research on my blog

Custom Gauging for your harp guitar or similar instrument

DR sub-bass strings
Inexpensive high-quality, hand-wound harp guitar strings made exclusively for Harp Guitar Music

All Harp Guitar Music gauges individually machine-tested for true tension!

No more "boing"!  No more guessing!  This complete range of sub-bass strings is made exclusively for us by the musician-friendly folks at DR strings. They hand-wide them to the specific lengths and diameters engineered by myself (Gregg "Sir Gregory" Miner).  Gauges up to .066 are a minimum of 40" long, the single wrap wound to the end of the string.  Double-wound strings starting at .068 are ~42" long and outer wrap ends ~4" from end.  My goal is for them to be versatile and universally practical for as many harp guitar designs and instruments as possible.  Note that you may need to drill out the tuner posts of your particular instrument to accept thicker gauges (this is a common practice).  All strings come individually packaged in corrosion-proof envelopes and ship in sealed plastic bags.  Best of all, these exclusive harp guitar strings cost less than any previous option!

 

D’Addario & John Pearse Closeout Sale!

Due to the outstanding success of the new exclusive line of Harp Guitar Music/DR sub-bass string line, I am discontinuing D’Addario and John Pearse phosphor bronze strings.
Therefore, I am offering all D’Addario and John Peasre strings on this page at closeout prices (2 strings for the price of 1).  Simply select and pay for "Qty 1" and I'll send 2.  As I sell out of gauges and need to short orders, I’ll simply refund the difference.  If you are ordering for sets, and want only equal amount of all strings, let me know (also if OK to substitute other brands).
For diehard fans of these brands, I can continue to order any D’Addario or John Pearse strings (of any type) that you require (typically in minimum quantities of 5 or 6) – just let me know.

-         Gregg "Sir Gregory" Miner, proprietor

 

Sub-bass Sets
  • Stephen Bennett tuning (also used by Andy McKee and many others)

  • Stephen Bennett Low E/F tuning

  • Michael Hedges ("Because It's There") tuning

  • Dyer 6-bass Standard tuning

  • Tonedevil Standard tuning

  • Dyer/Knutsen 5-bass Standard tuning

  • Gibson Style U

Sub-bass Singles

from .034" to .130"

Brands: 
DR
(Harp Guitar Music exclusive strings)
D'Addario (half price!)
John Pearse (half price!)

Phosphor Bronze Sub-bass Sets*

* PLEASE READ THE DETAILS BELOW BEFORE ORDERING

Harp Guitar Music sub-bass sets are specifically put together by harp guitarist/engineer Gregg Miner for balanced, even tension across all open bass strings to provide optimum tone and feel while retaining a comfortable safety margin for both modern and vintage instruments in either "extra light," "light" or "medium" tensions (see String Scale & Gauge Guide for more).  These handy, pre-gauged sets are offered only through Harp Guitar Music. 

CAUTION: Harp Guitar Music sets are designed for standard Dyer or equivalent harp guitars with sub-bass scale lengths within 5% of those listed in my String Scale & Gauge GuideIf your instrument is much more than 5% different in scale for any sub-bass string, or if you use many different tunings, I strongly urge you to explore custom gauging.  Harp Guitar Music is not responsible for any instrument damage incurred by stringing.

Harp Guitar Music sets of DR brand phosphor bronze harp guitar strings 
for Dyer Harp Guitars and "copies" with similar scale*

* See String Chart.  For different sub-bass string lengths, see custom gauging option.
Note: "Total tension" listed for sets below is total of sub-basses only!

Stephen Bennett tuning
(also used by Andy McKee and many others)

6 sub-basses, tuned GABCDG low to high

Extra Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.064 .060 .056 .054 .050 .038 total tension
G A B C D G ~134 lbs
$11.95
Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.068 .064 .060 .058 .054 .040 total tension
G A B C D G ~153 lbs
$12.95
Medium tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.072 .066 .062 .060 .056 .042 total tension
G A B C D G ~166 lbs
$13.50

Stephen Bennett Low E/F tuning

These sets are identical to the above but substitute a thicker gauge for the low string (Stephen's current practice, as his low string is often tuned E or F).  Similarly, it is ideal for handling some of Andy McKee's tunes.

The gauge is still safe to use for the original G, but is best nominally kept at E or F.

If you never deviate from a low E, then order the "E only" option.

Extra Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)

Substitute .068 for low E/F/G

$12.50

Substitute .074 for low E

$12.95

Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)

Substitute .072 for low E/F/G

$13.25

Substitute .078 for low E

$13.50
Medium tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)

Substitute .076 for low E/F/G

$13.75

Substitute .085 for low E

$14.25

 

Dan LaVoie signature sets (Bennett tuning)
Introduced on Gregg’s Blogg and debuted at the 11th Harp Guitar Gathering on October 12th, 2013, these are a permanent item now that DR is making harp guitar strings exclusively for Harp Guitar Music (thanks to Dan).

Sunbeam Round Core set
(6 sub-basses, light/medium tension)
Dan requested round core sub-basses for a warmer sound.
.072 .066 .062 .060 .054 .042
G A B C D G
$12.95

 

Standard 6-bass Dyer tuning

6 sub-basses, tuned FGABCD low to high

Extra Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.072 .066 .062 .058 .058 .050 total tension
F G A B C D ~131 lbs
$13.50
Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.076 .070 .064 .062 .060 .054 total tension
F G A B C D ~147 lbs
$14.75
Medium tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.080 .074 .068 .064 .062 .058 total tension
F G A B C D ~167 lbs
$16.50

Standard 6-bass Dyer tuning for Tonedevil S-12

6 sub-basses, tuned FGABCD low to high

This set is what Tonedevil recommends for their standard S-12 harp guitar (which has a different sub-bass scale than the Dyer).  They state that it gives the optimum tone with the lightest tension.
.072 .064 .060 .054 .052 .050 total tension
F G A B C D ~122 lbs
$13.50

Standard 5-bass Knutsen/Dyer tuning

5 sub-basses, tuned GABCD low to high

Extra Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.064 .060 .056 .056 .050 total tension
G A B C D ~110 lbs
$9.95
Light tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.068 .064 .060 .060 .054 total tension
G A B C D ~125 lbs
$11.25
Medium tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.072 .066 .062 .062 .058 total tension
G A B C D ~137 lbs
$11.75

 

Michael Hedges "Because It's There" tuning

Harp Guitar Music 5-string set for 6-bass Dyer

NOTE: This first Hedges set is designed specifically for Dyers and copies with 6 sub-basses, even though only 5 strings are used.  What's the deal?!
It's because Michael's Dyer was an original 6-bass with the holes of the low string plugged! (see Guitar World poster and my write-up in Harp Guitar Player of the Month: Michael Hedges). 
Like Michael, you will leave the lowest string off (so you are only buying 5 strings).  Use this set if you plan to play only this song.

Note: It is not known what gauges Hedges actually used.  My sets are optimally balanced and tensioned Light-Medium (25.5-27.5 lbs per string, total tension 130+ lbs).

Light-Medium tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)

6th string left off

.074 .064 .060 .072 .056 total tension
G Bb C A D ~133 lbs
$12.75
Harp Guitar Music 5-string set for 5-bass Dyer

This set is intended for a Dyer with only 5 sub-bass strings

Light-Medium tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.072 .062 .058 .072 .056 total tension
G Bb C A D ~132 lbs
$12.50
Alternating between Michael Hedges and Stephen Bennett/Andy McKee tuning

Harp Guitar Music set for 6-bass Dyer

Many players want to be able to play "Because It's There" along with other material in a complete different tuning.  As Michael's tuning is a mixed-up, non-linear tuning, this can be tricky and possibly risky.  See my blog Stringing for Hedges for more.

These two sets (for either Bennett or Standard tuning players) allow you to have usable tension for playing both Hedges’ song and your normal material, while never going over 30 lbs for any individual string (a couple will drop below 21 lbs). Total tension will be ~155-157 for all tunings.

In the tuning charts at right, Hedges' pitch is shown second where applicable.

XXL-Medium tension range
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.072 .064 .060 .062 .054 .040
G A/Bb B/C C/A D High G/
Unused
$13.50
Alternating between Michael Hedges and Standard tuning

Harp Guitar Music set for 6-bass Dyer

Medium tension
(Harp Guitar Music set)
.078 .074 .064 .062 .062 .056
F/
Unused
G A/Bb B/C C/A D

$14.95

Gibson Style U Harp Guitar
(standard 10-bass model, either floating bridge or attached bridge)

Harp Guitar Music Gibson set for 1908-1920s Style U
Light
tension

Finally - a balanced phosphor bronze Gibson set that won't destroy your instrument!  Gauged "light" at 25±2 lbs per string for a total sub-bass pull of ~247 pounds.

10 sub-basses, tuned (descending, first sub-bass is equivalent to the 4th fret on the guitar's 6th string; and remember, no E string):

.056 .054 .050 .048 .045 .042 .038 .038 .034 .034
A# B C C# D D# F F# G G#
$17.95

Phosphor Bronze Sub-bass Singles
Gauge
DR
Exclusively made for Harp Guitar Music
D'Addario
Closeout: 
2 for 1 sale
John Pearse
Closeout: 
2 for 1 sale
.034"

$1.75

 

   

 

.038"

$1.75

       
.040"

$1.85

       
.042"

$1.85

 

 

$2.45

.042" long    

 

 

$2.70
(44-48")

.045"

$1.85

       
.048"

$1.85

       
.050"

$1.95

 

 

$2.75

.052"

$1.95

       
.053"        

$2.75

Out of Stock

.054"

$1.95

 

 

$2.75

.055"

     

 

$2.75

Out of Stock

.056"

$1.95

 

 

$2.75

Out of Stock

.058"

$1.95

 

 

$2.75

.059"

   

 

 

$2.75

Out of Stock

.060"

$2.15

 

 

$3.45

Out of Stock

.062"

$2.15

   

$3.45

Out of Stock

.064"

$2.25
 
   

$3.95

.065" 

     

 

$7.95 (dbl-wound)

 Out of Stock

.066"

$2.25

 

 

$7.95 (dbl-wound)

Out of Stock

.066"
long

     

 

$8.75
(44-48")

.068"

$2.95

 

 

$7.95 (dbl-wound)

.070"

$2.95

   

$9.95 (dbl-wound)

.070"
long
        $10.95
(44-48")

.072"

$3.25

    $9.95 (dbl-wound)  Out of Stock
.074"

$3.25

       
.076"

$3.45

    $9.95 (dbl-wound)

.078" $3.45
       
.080" $3.95

    $9.95 (dbl-wound)

Out of Stock

.085" $3.95
       
.090" $3.95
       

D'Addario acoustic bass strings of extra long length and large ball 
(feed in from underneath bridge; drill out tuner - do not try to unwrap outer layers).
Closeout: 2 for 1 sale

.045" $2.95
   
.065" $5.95 (dbl-wound)
   
.100" $11.95 (triple-wound)
   
.130" $11.95 (triple-wound)
   

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