DR Nickel Sunbeams alternative..
I have been using DR nickel sunbeams (45-105) on my jazz and love the feel, but at the moment I am looking for a tone that isn't so bright/upper-mids/clanky sounding.
Could someone suggest an alternative? Maybe another DR string that feels similar but is warmer sounding?
Interesting that you would characterize the Sunbeams as "bright", "upper-mid clanky sounding", as those terms are generally reserved for stainless steel roundwounds - and Sunbeams are widely regarded as among the warmest, mellowest strings that DR offers. :hmm:
I don't know how you could go much warmer and more subdued in the DR line, and still remain with a roundwound string. AFAIK, DR Legend flatwounds would be about the only option left that satisfies your tonal demands.
Have you tried tapewound strings? They're going to have the same flexibility that the 'beams have but a warmer/rounder tone. More flats than rounds but not quite as "dead" sounding.
The Sunbeams (roundwound nickels) are about the warmest. They have a round core that makes them low tension. That might be causing fret clanking for you. Try the Lo-Riders which are still nickel (warm) but they have a hex core so they are higher tension and rattle less. I like 'em.
You need to go flat if the sunbeams are too bright.
i just tried these also ... like others have said , when compared to flats ... they have more mids /highs ... but nothing like steel ..
i have Ti flats on one bass ... next i have GHS ' Pressurewounds ' ... you can make up your own set at bassstrings online ... as i did for my 5er ... they are wound tightly as to actually flatten the round outer Alloy 52 wrap ..
so they feel smoother , less finger noise , ... and they do loose some hi-mids for sure ... but the brighter Alloy 52 helps a bit ... they're a nice ' in between ' string ....
the Sunbeams are nickel over a round core ... they do sound different , interesting , etc ?? i think it depends on the pickups a bit also ... i moved them over to an old bass that has humbuckers , and they sound very nice ... warm yet edgy ...
this really falls into crap you just gotta try out with Your gear .. !? lots of variables going on ... at least here you might find some slightly used strings to 'try out' ... !!
If you think Sunbeams are to bright, clanky.
Try Ken Smith Compressors. mellower than Sunbeams.
If that's to bright for you. Then TI JF344 flats.
I think Sunbeams, Compressors, or TI-Flats. All sound great on a Jazz Bass.
Just different colors.
Ehhh... I must have gotten a mislabeled package or a bunk set or something then. These are brighter than stainless blue steels which I used to get most of the time.. Definitely nowhere near flats. They sound hollow and percussive.
Did you have other strings on that same bass?
Whatever brightness exists on Sunbeams doesn't last long at all. The only way you might consider them bright is if you've been using years old dead strings prior. At that point anything new will seem bright.
Sunbeams have much lower tension than hex core nps strings if that is what you've been using. Depending on your prior setup you may have to increase the relief to prevent fret buzz.
As far as alternatives you could try Dunlop nickel. Somewhat similar feel but more broken in sound from day one and go darker rather quickly.
I love DR Lo-Riders (nickel or steel).
But, maybe consider D'Addario half-rounds.
I'm fairly certain it's a setup and flexibility issue coming from blue steels.
Blue steels are NOT bright... they're one of the most dull pre-worn sounding string I've bought. I used them for years back in the day. Sunbeam design is very different' and likely everything DR will be too bright for you in comparison' but I'd suggest nickel low riders if you want DR. Not steel low riders which I think exist also. Nickel low riders will NOT give you a completely different playing experience or require a setup coming from blue steels. More a comparison like green apples to red apples instead of apples to chicken.
But in general DR is a company targeting people who want modern attack and zing with superior craftsmanship, longer life, more flexibility.
I love them, but they're not for everyone.
Sunbeams do not lose their zing fast though imho despite someone saying they do earlier in this thread. Maybe it depends on the bass.
I would try the DR Nickel Lo-Riders.
Try the Fodera nickels! They are in my experience so far at least very similiar to the Sunbeams but have quite another sound and I think they feel... better? I'm still at a loss on how to describe them despite playing them for some time now but I really like them and recommend them, they are easily my to-go nickel-string!
It's roundcore as well, very balanced, varm sets. Try them out!
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