Anyone using/try Dean Markley Bass Helix Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by kenstee, Mar 31, 2012.


  1. kenstee

    kenstee Supporting Member

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  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    A birdie told me the Nickel Plated Steel versions have not started shipping yet, although the Nikki Sixx have. (at least that what this birdie told me).

    I haven't gotten a chance to play them, but I expect them to feel smoother and faster similar to how strings with smaller diameter outer windings feel. But since the outer winding is compressed side to side (rather than like a "pressure wound" string where the surface area is wider / winding is thinner), these strings will probably have a thicker tone to them.

    Interested in giving them a shot for sure!
  3. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    FWIW - Nickel Plated Steel's actually DID ship already!
  4. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

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    Anybody try them?
  5. bassist4dalord

    bassist4dalord

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  6. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, these are actually Exposed Core strings!

    No where on any Dean Markley documentation does it state this.

    I have seen a recent review posted on a website :D
  7. BassLife77

    BassLife77

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  8. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Just tried the Helix NPS set on my passive jazz bass for the first time and here are my initial impressions:

    Bass: Fender American Deluxe: Alder Rosewood; converted to passive w/Fralin pickups

    Gauge: Light (100 / 80 / 60 / 45) - the tension is medium/low with the E & A strings being a little looser than the D & G, most likely because they are exposed core. I had no problems setting the action or intonation and all 4 strings sounded clear up and down every note on the fingerboard (the E & A get a little mushy up at frets 17-22 but no more than any other string I've used and chords still sound good up there). Strings were top-loaded.

    Feel: Exceptional. These strings are silky smooth to the touch and not grabby like some compression wound or ground wound strings I've tried. The reduction in finger noise is significant.

    Sound: I am accustomed to a fairly bright nickel string (Fodera) so that's my point of reference. These strings don't have the zing that you expect new strings to have...until you slap/pop them. Then magically they sound reasonably crisp and snappy. With fingerstyle you don't quite get all that upper harmonic content (or the associated finger noise) but somehow they still ring clear. What was immediately noticeable was the way these strings brought out the midrange 'bark' and 'burp' that makes a jazz bass so fun to play and the growl with a pick was excellent with no harshness to tame either.

    After about 20 or 30 minutes it dawned on me that these strings remind me of my favorite strings after 6 or 8 hours of play time. Yes, I miss some of the crispness I get with new Foderas but in reality I end up dialing most of it out for gigs anyways until they settle in. I bet on an active bass I would notice it even less.

    It will be interesting to see how the sound of the Helix strings develop after some extended play time but as far as first impressions go these strings are a winner.
  9. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Two things I forgot to mention: first, upon arrival the outer wrap of the tapered A string was poking out at the bridge end and required a little love from my needle nose pliers to bend it around and out of the way. No big deal but if it's a common problem it should be noted. Second, the silk wrap on the tuner end of the strings is somewhere between raspberry and pink so it's not the most conservative looking but it's not gaudy by any means either.
  10. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

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    I'm seriously considering giving these strings a try.
  11. CapnSev

    CapnSev Supporting Member

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    I was also pretty excited, until I saw the dreaded .125 B string on all but the "medium" gauge sets. :scowl:
  12. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

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    Are you a .130 user? I see the heavier set has a .128. I really wish the standard set came with a .128. :meh:
  13. CapnSev

    CapnSev Supporting Member

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    Yeah, me too. I don't know what possesses manufacturers to think that .125 balances with a standard gauge set. I can think of one, maybe two, .125 Bs that can cut it.
  14. Batmensch

    Batmensch Supporting Member

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    How do they compare to DM's Blue Steels?
  15. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, after a giving these strings a workout in practice, rehearsal, and a 2 hour gig last night I think they are very good but not for me. The midrange growly character is cool but not what my ears are accustomed to. I will miss the super smooth feel though.
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo I like turtles. Supporting Member

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    Are they smoother than DR Sunbeams or Nickel LoRiders? Those are some darn smooth strings for rounds.
  17. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, even smoother as hard as that is to fathom.
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo I like turtles. Supporting Member

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    Bleh. No 40-100 and no 130, not the strings for me I guess :)
  19. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Yea, I just bought a bass I'm gonna string E-C. Wish these had a high C option.
  20. CapnSev

    CapnSev Supporting Member

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    Geez, that sounds perfect. Now make them with a friggin' bigger B string dagnabbit!

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