Acoustic Bass Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lilcrate, Jan 15, 2014.


  1. lilcrate

    lilcrate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    What strings do people reco for an acoustic bass?

    I lean toward flats(Rotos and chromes) and have them on a couple of my basses but also have a bass with rounds (DR).

    Play a lot of blues, blues/rock and rock right now.

    Anyone want to share their preferences?
  2. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

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    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    Ernie Ball Earthwood
  3. Shimmidybone

    Shimmidybone

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've had some elixirs that are labeled as "acoustic strings" on my acoustic for 6 years or so. I don't play it that often but they still sound great. I've been really happy with them.
  4. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    SE Como
    I have always been curious what electric bass strings would sound like on an acoustic or a/e bass. I'll be interested in this thread if anyone has experience along those lines.
  5. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Disclosures:
    Product Specialist, Marketing/Social Media: GHS Strings
    They are a little bit quieter, which isn't a really big issue when you realize you have to plug in an acoustic/electric bass anyway just to be heard in a group.

    I've used electric bass strings on my Warwick Alien 6 string fretless for a while, mainly because I really don't like the phosphor bronze sound (and after two seconds leaves my fingers black). Current favorite are the GHS Pressurewounds that give a great tone with a lot of character and is "easier" on the fingerboard than regular rounds.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    I just bought a Martin and I love the stock strings I love that acoustic clank sound and the bonus is they are cheap.
  7. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    If you like flats, try them on your ABG. I've been using Chromes on both my fretless acoustics for years.
  8. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    Hey, I just bought a Martin too! We actually bought the same instrument.
  9. bswag

    bswag Not a Real Bass Player Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    I put Chromes on the Fender Kingman I had a few years ago- the sound was OK except with flats the intonation was audibly off. On a fretless you can maybe fudge that, but on that Kingman I would have needed a new saddle and/or nut to intonate the flats properly. Also a bit too much tension overall for that bass.
    Currently I'm trying D'A Tapewounds on my cracked-out Breedlove fretless, and liking them a lot. They're not as loud as the rounds when played acoustically, so consider that if volume is an issue for you when not plugged in.
    So on an ABG, factors like how much overall string tension it can handle, how loud you like to be, and intonation are all important.
  10. DogBone

    DogBone

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Location:
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Me too.

    I've had Chromes on my Hondo for a loooooooong time, works fine, great tone.

    IMO, yes, those phos-bronze "acoustic bass strings" have much more twang, but I much prefer the tone of flatwounds, they just sing and thump just right for a great ABG tone. :bassist:

    I do want to say for any ABG, check the tension specs for whatever string you are considering. Some flatwounds have heavy tension, but Chromes in particular are pretty much in line with "normal" strings, even phos-bronze ABG specific string sets.

    [​IMG]
  11. fretlessguy

    fretlessguy

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Location:
    West Memphis/Marion area, AR.
    I have a set of Fender tapes on my Carvin fretless AB 40 these days, and they sound great . I have also used flats by GHS and D'Addario, as well as the LaBella tapes that came, stock. They all sound great, but I just prefer the Fenders.
  12. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    For an Ibanez AEB5E which has a 32" scale would you use the regular long scale strings or the medium scale set?
  13. bassman blue

    bassman blue Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Location:
    A small island- Sunshine Coast
    I use DR Hellborg strings on my acoustic bass and have for years. Love them on an acoustic. But didnt really like them enough to keep them on my electric basses though...
  14. pecBass

    pecBass

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    DFW
    I know the Breedlove comes with expr170 Strings. I checked and the d'addario ecb81's I use on my EB are the same guage. Not sure if the tension is the same and definitely do not want to stress the neck on the studio bj350.

    I will normally be playing plugged into an amp when we are doing an acoustic praise session. Even the acoustic guitars will be amp'd.

    Will these strings work well with the AB?

    Thanks!
  15. CJAtheBassman

    CJAtheBassman

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Long scale strings. I learned this the hard way.

    I had bought a medium-scale set of D'Addario tapes for my AEB5E and found that they were too short.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    I put Chromes on my Applause acoustic/electric. They work fine and feel good.
  17. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    USA, Washington
    I like heavy balanced Chromes on mine setup with high action so I can get more volume out of the string(my ABG isn't acoustic/electric). It's loud enough to play with a soft acoustic guitarist/singer and somebody playing bongos in a small room, the midrange presence of the Chromes help out a lot.
  18. gary m

    gary m

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Mid -Atlantic
    I use D'Addario black tapewound strings on my Dean acoustic electric. Great sound and feel.
  19. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    Washington, DC Area
    Anybody try La Bella white (actually clear) tapes on their ABG yet? They sound great on my semi-hollow Douglas violin bass, and folks like the sound of the prototypes La Bella has made for the little U-Bass and GT MicroBass. They're available in 30, 32 and 34" scale lengths in regular and light gauges now. Very bright sound for tapes (clear tape over stainless steel). Very smooth and flexible:

    http://www.bassstringsonline.com/La-Bella-WHITE-Nylon-Tape-Wound--4-String-Set-_p_1409.html

    (I have no affiliation with basstringsonline)
  20. mimaz

    mimaz Gold Supporting Member

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    Wheeling WV
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    I have a fretted Rick Turner Renaissance RB5 that had the black tape LaBella's on it when I bought it. They are a little dark sounding for my tastes, so it currently has Dean Markley Blue Steels on it, just like all of my electrics and all but one of my acoustics. That being said, I'm going to try out the white tape LaBella's next for that bass.

    The one exception...I also have a fretless RB5, and it has the "factory" Thomastik-Infeld Acousticore strings....excellent on the fretless!

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