DR B String???
I just tried my third set of DR strings. First I tried a set of flats on my 35" scale, fretless 5 string. Next a set of Dragon Skins on my MM type 5 and my Variax 5.
Every set sounds fine E through G string, but the B strings on all are dead and sound completely different than the other strings. In the case of the coated Dragon Skins, the color of the low B is even different. The E through G strings are silver, and the B string has a bronze like cast.
I too the flats off my fretless and went back to the Labellas which were are brighter and more consistent than the DR's.
I put an old D'Addario B string and even that old, fairly dead B is brighter than the rest of the Dragon Skins.
I've not had problems with other strings...Dean Markley SR2000, D'Addario nickel or stainless, GHS, etc.
I won't waste my money on any more DR's.
Stick with what works for you. I've tried a few other brands, but always come back to the old reliables. If you are looking to try other brands, check with Jason (SLAPINFUNK), he owns bassstringsonline.com. He's the man to go to for string information and recommendations. He'll help you find what you're looking for, plus Talkbass members get a discount on his already low prices.
Most 5 string sets have a woefully small gauge for B - upping the tension will bring a bit more articulation to a B string and having a taper or bare core will help as well. Very few sets have a B string that is even close IMO - consider getting a 4 string set of/to your liking and single B.
DR strings in general are unique for a couple of reasons. Some of the models have round cores which can contribute to more flexibility. Also, DR uses a lot of wraps of smaller diameter which probably runs contrary to what knuckle head would recommend for solid B string performance. I had pretty mediocre experience with 135 and 130 gauge Hi Beams and was about to give up on them but decided to try a 125 and the tone and clarity actually opened up quite a bit much to my surprise. Plus, the tension actually wasn't flop city either, shockingly.
Yeah, I concur with this. I really like DR Hi-Beams, but have never been satisfied with their B string and I've tried them at .125 and .135. Sigh.
Interesting… I would agree if it was 10/15 years ago.
In My Experience DR strings have been great 'B' wise in the last several years. I've used LR and HB from 120 to 130 and never had any complaint…
but that's me :)
I like DR strings a lot.........when playing for money always use Lo-Riders on my P, but struggled with the low B on my 5 string (G&L L 2500).......just sounded dead compared to the rest.
My guess it's more my bass than the DR's though. Sadowsky Blue Nickels with the tapered B cleaned it up real nice.
I only use DR strings. On my four string they sound amazing and on my five string their even better. Its the best B string I have tried. I have found that the Dragon skins and the flatwound 5 strings are a lesser quality string to the normal ones I use (I'm a huge HI Beam fan). If you ever get the courage, i would sugguest this set.
I have used DR's on all my 4 strings, so when I got my 5 string, I put on High Beams and they sound great, G to B.
I bought these strings in the last couple months. I took off the dead B and put on the B from my last set of twice boiled, soaked in alcohol, D'Addario Pro Steels, and it is working quite well with the other DR's.
I played it at practice last night, and I'm enjoying the lower tension of the DR's, and the Pro Steel B is matching the DR's quite well...slightly brighter than the new DR's, but far closer than the B that came with the Dragon Skins.
But it will be my last set of DR's. If the dead B that doesn't sound anything like the E-G in their sets is what they do, then I'll buy strings that are better designed and manufactured, and there are plenty around.
I thought you were normally a Dean Markley SR2000 user when it came to stainless steel rounds? Have you quit using them?
I usually am, although I've been using Pro Steels on my Variax. I'll likely be going back to SR2000's in the next few weeks.
I just did two gigs with the DR's. The first night, I couldn't get a tone I liked. The second night (different venue) I loved how they sounded.
I got a good deal on the DR's, and bought two sets. I put one on my backup bass, a Stingray parts bass. I didn't like them that much, but decided to try the other set on my Variax, thinking if I got used to them on that bass, switching basses wouldn't be such a drastic tone difference.
Now I think it's back to SR2000's all around.
Did you say you used the Dragonskins? Have you tried non coated DR Strings? I've didn't like the sound or feel of any of the coated DR sets I've tried.
I have tried a set of DR flats, highly recommended for my 35" fretless. My old Labella tapewounds went back on the next day. The Labellas were consistent, clearer and even brighter. The DR's were fine on the G and D but got progressively thuddier and indistinct the lower I went.
Good News on the Dragonskin front. DR sent me two new 125's. The replacements look like the rest of the strings (The B's that came originally had a bronze-ish cast) and wonder among wonders, sound like the rest of the strings. I tried one on my MM knockoff and immediately put the other on my Variax 5. I don't know what the strings I got originally were, but obviously they were the wrong ones.
I'm still not sure they are strings I want to keep, but for the time being they are a go.
I used DR's on several occasions when I played 4 string. They were OK but not my favorites. I bought the Dragonskins because I got a good deal, the reviews were good, and I wanted to try coated strings. Summers here in WI are hot and sweaty and I wanted to see the life I would get out of coated strings. I've had good luck with coated guitar strings (not DR's).
I'll be back to SR2000. I moved away from them as I was having trouble with even response on the A string on my Variax. I switched to D'Addarios as those are the strings the bass was voiced using. The problem was the piezo on that string, which I've remedied, so it will be back to Dean Markley's.
I've come across too many low B's that aren't consistent with the rest of the strings since I changed to 5 string in the late 80's. By now manufacturers should have those problems ironed out. I bought a set of GHS Pressurewounds but the low B is terrible. The rest of that set will go on the P bass I use for lessons. (I liked Pressurewounds on a 4 when they first came out. )
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