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  #1  
Old 10-01-2012, 01:42 PM
rizzo9247's Avatar
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Stainless Steel String Shootout!!



Let me preface by saying that I have used Rotosound Swing Bass 66 user for a number of years and switched over to nickel plated strings about a year ago (I also went through a flatwound period as well), but I did miss that 'authority' that stainless steel strings offer. So I ordered four sets from bassstringsonline.com and gave them a whirl. Each were strung on my jazz bass for about a half hour and played through the same rig. Here's (IMO) from least favorite to favorite.


4.) Rotosound Swing Bass 66: High tension, rough feeling strings but really nail that snappy, zingy SS tone.

3.) D'Addario ProSteels: Not as high tension as the Rotos (although it was a medium-light gauge) but just as powerful tone-wise. Not as grabby either, but would build up those fingers in a heartbeat! Great price on these.

2.) Sadowsky Blue Label: These are great strings. period. Sound phenomenal, feels a lot smoother than the above, and response felt nice and even across strings.

1.) DR Hi-Beams: The SS string that doesn't feel like one! great tone like the Sad blues, but just have a little more 'give' to them.

The High Beams and Sadowsky Blues are the best I've played (so far). If you dig that slightly lighter tension and slinky feel but want that unmistakeable SS sound, go with the High-Beams. If you want a slightly higher tension, smidge more mid presence and tiny bit of "stick', go with the Sadowsky Blues!! All IMO of course!!
  #2  
Old 10-01-2012, 02:29 PM
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Nice review, thanks!!
  #3  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:44 PM
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Nice work. My 5er is in for minor repairs on Saturday and I was going to try steels on it. D'Addario and Roto are already on my 'possible' list, along with Ken Smith and Elites. I'd half dismissed DR as they're 38 a set over here (so I'd order them from Jason instead at a later date).

I've got D'Addarios Pro Steels on my 4-string, which has forced the 5er into the reserve spot. I'm loving the sound of steel and want to see how well it suits the 5er.
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Last edited by SoVeryTired : 10-01-2012 at 03:47 PM.
  #4  
Old 10-01-2012, 04:30 PM
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I agree with the DR hi beams.
Tried many many strings out there and I come back to the hi beams and I'm happy.
SIT strings are also worth checking out.
I have the SIT power steels on my other bass and they sound just as good for a cheaper price.
They have slightly more tension and a bit more rough feel than the DR's but sound amazing.
The hi beams go on my main gigging bass.
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2012, 04:35 PM
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My luthier dropped some DRs on my bass last year after I brought it in for a set up - I had XLs on it before that. I definitely prefer the DRs, both tonally and in terms of feel.

It has been literally decades since I tried any other strings, so I can't fairly make any comparisons between those two types and others, but I *feel* like the DRs are some of the best, if not the best, strings that I've played.
  #6  
Old 10-01-2012, 05:08 PM
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I tried some Hi-Beams then took them off and
put on ProSteels so I could A/B them. I kept the
ProSteels on. They seem more ballsy for slapping.
  #7  
Old 10-01-2012, 06:38 PM
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for me DR Hi Beams are the best I've played so far... they're extra smooth and they feel like nickel rounds... tones overall i can dial in a good tone out of them so +1 on the DRs
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:24 PM
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Havnet tried sadowskis, but havent played a stainless string I liked as well as rotosound swing66. They sound better then the competition to me. Deam markley blue steel made for a nice change of pace, but not more then that to me.
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:31 PM
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Recently switched to the ProSteels on my Schecter studio 6. I love them on this particular bass to brighten it up a bit, but I would not use them on my MM Stingrays.
  #10  
Old 10-01-2012, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzo9247 View Post
4.) Rotosound Swing Bass 66: High tension, rough feeling strings but really nail that snappy, zingy SS tone.

3.) D'Addario ProSteels: Not as high tension as the Rotos (although it was a medium-light gauge) but just as powerful tone-wise. Not as grabby either, but would build up those fingers in a heartbeat! Great price on these.

2.) Sadowsky Blue Label: These are great strings. period. Sound phenomenal, feels a lot smoother than the above, and response felt nice and even across strings.

1.) DR Hi-Beams: The SS string that doesn't feel like one! great tone like the Sad blues, but just have a little more 'give' to them.

The High Beams and Sadowsky Blues are the best I've played (so far). If you dig that slightly lighter tension and slinky feel but want that unmistakeable SS sound, go with the High-Beams. If you want a slightly higher tension, smidge more mid presence and tiny bit of "stick', go with the Sadowsky Blues!! All IMO of course!!
It seems to me that you're just ranking them based on how stiff/flexible and how smooth/rough they feel, not on what they sound like. Or are you saying that they all sound pretty much the same?
  #11  
Old 10-02-2012, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by matante View Post
It seems to me that you're just ranking them based on how stiff/flexible and how smooth/rough they feel, not on what they sound like. Or are you saying that they all sound pretty much the same?
4.) Rotosound Swing Bass 66: High tension, rough feeling strings but really nail that snappy, zingy SS tone.

3.) D'Addario ProSteels: Not as high tension as the Rotos (although it was a medium-light gauge) but just as powerful tone-wise. Not as grabby either, but would build up those fingers in a heartbeat! Great price on these.

2.) Sadowsky Blue Label: These are great strings. period. Sound phenomenal feels a lot smoother than the above, andresponse felt nice and even across strings.

1.) DR Hi-Beams: The SS string that doesn't feel like one! great tone like the Sad blues, but just have a little more 'give' to them.

The High Beams and Sadowsky Blues are the best I've played (so far). If you dig that slightly lighter tension and slinky feel but want that unmistakeable SS sound, go with the High-Beams. If you want a slightly higher tension, smidge more mid presence and tiny bit of "stick', go with the Sadowsky Blues!! All IMO of course!!
  #12  
Old 10-02-2012, 04:49 AM
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Which did you find to be the brightest? I'm guessing the Rotos or the ProSteels.
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2012, 06:26 AM
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They are all bright, but I'd rank the pro steels first, Sadowsky and Rotos are close (to my ear) and then the high beams.

I've been rotating strings all night and have gone back and forth between blue steels and highbeams as my go to string. Granted, the comparisons have all been done on a passive jazz.

Last edited by rizzo9247 : 10-02-2012 at 06:52 AM.
  #14  
Old 10-02-2012, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzo9247 View Post
They are all brifht, but id rank the pro steels first, Sadowsky and Rotos are close (to my ear) and then the high beams
Thanks, good to know. I'm enjoying the ProSteels on my 4-string so I'll probably go that way for the 5.
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  #15  
Old 10-02-2012, 07:51 AM
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I'm mostly a flatwound/tapewound kind of dude. But when I want some more treble/bite - I like the D'Addario Prosteels in 55-110. I think they feel great and sound great, too.

I'm sure the other brands listed are fine strings, too. I've tried some. But the Prosteels do all the things I would ever need them to do.
  #16  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:39 AM
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How about the Dr lo riders? I put those on my bass yesterday, my first set of stainless steel strings. Very nice and easy to play
  #17  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:29 AM
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Nice! I've been using Prosteels for a while but I'll be getting my first set of DR Hi Beams tomorrow. I'm hoping to love them and switch permanently.
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  #18  
Old 10-02-2012, 12:07 PM
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Hi Beams are my SS choice every time.
  #19  
Old 10-03-2012, 04:15 PM
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When it comes to SS strings, the only ones I like are the Swing Bass 66s. Every other SS string I have tried has had this scooped sound which is not really my thing. Plus, pretty much every bassist whose tone I admire uses them. Also the quality is quite consistent.
  #20  
Old 10-03-2012, 05:30 PM
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I'm a stainless steel string user (not by choice) but my favorite so far are D'addarios.

D'addario strings allow you to easily calculate string tension which let me get very nicely balanced set, and they feel and sound nice.

Ken Smiths are my second favorite so far.
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