Are Sunbeams a Good Bet?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Splintered Skul, Jan 12, 2014.


  1. Splintered Skul

    Splintered Skul

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    I'm looking to get new strings for P/J bass I recently built. I got a pair of what I think were light gauge strings free with some of the parts I got. I liked the feel and playability of the lighter gauge but I don't want to sacrifice the tone/warmth/fatness of a medium set. On my other bass I have been using a heavier gauge stainless steel set, and I know stainless would be too bright for this particular bass. Would getting a pair of Medium/Medium-Lite DR Sunbeams give me that light gauge playability but retain the heavier gauge depth of sound? Or is the difference between .105 and .95 not that noticeable? Any other string Recommendations? I don't necessarily want a big thick sound, just something full and not thin.
  2. KeithKlaxwell

    KeithKlaxwell

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Monica Beach, CA
    Yes, take it from a professional gambler they are a good bet. My favorite round. You can get a custom gauge set through BassStringsOnline.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    I think Sunbeams will nail what you're looking for. The 'light string feel from a fat string' is what I love about DR's. www.bassstringsonline.com has the best price on them, plus he can do custom sets if you want to experiment a little. And don't forget the TB user discount :)
  4. Splintered Skul

    Splintered Skul

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    I was actually using BassStringsOnline to research some strings :smug:. But awesome, thanks guys :) And TB user discount :D?? Do tell
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  6. Splintered Skul

    Splintered Skul

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    Just searched on that one: signed up and done :bassist: Can't wait to order and enjoy the great service from them that I've heard about. Any more comments on Sunbeams? Other round core candidates?
  7. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Sunbeams are my favorite nickels. Circle K is also worth a look if you want an alternative to Sunbeams.
  8. schecter5string

    schecter5string

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Morton IL USA
    Sunbeams are also my favorite, i play a P/J also.
    I find them a little to bright the first 3-5 days, but after that they are perfect.
    They also last quite a long time.

    My second favorite is the lowriders, great strings also!
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    Circle K's are very bright and somewhat mid scooped though. Tonally the opposite of Sunbeams, and not round core.

    Another good round core string is Fodera. Really nice strings that I'm currently using on my Lakland.
  10. Maz

    Maz

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    ^ Fodera's nickel strings are nice. I haven't a/b them on the same bass with Sunbeams yet so I can't speak to the bottom and warmth comparison, but Foderas are a little bitier to my ears, a little growlier, while still nice and mellow. Don't know about the lighter guages though. I'll tell you this: they're on an active bass and I think they sound best with everything flat; it's like they are perfectly dialed in already and there's no need to mess with it. That being said, Sunbeams are still my first love.
  11. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Champaign, IL
    Fodera's can come with a Tapered B too.
  12. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    Maz for a non-direct comparison you're pretty close. I have done the A/B recently and actually switched from Sunbeams to the Foderas.

    Foderas have ever so slightly higher tension, a drier sound with more bite, quite a bit more growl, a lot more clarity and increased harmonic. Not quite as smooth as Sunbeams and their emphasis is shifted more towards the mids. When broken in the Foderas increase in warmth but don't lose their bite all the way to their death. That can't be said about Sunbeams which say warm but scoop as well as losing top end. In some ways the Foderas remind me of DR Fatbeams but with nickel warmth. What is impressive is how long the Fodera's last with someone who has a PH that doesn't agree with nickel. I still think the feel of Sunbeams are unbeatable but what the Fodera's did for my tone and overall longevity, I had to make the switch.

    If exploring Sunbeams, I'd recommend trying both Fodera and Dunlop in comparison. Sunbeams are the best if low end thump, flexibility and smooth feel are your primary concern. Fodera if you want more bite and texture in your tone that can be heard and slice their way through the band mix. Dunlop is somewhere in between tonally, not quite as smooth, less give and the least longevity of the three.
  13. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    OP, a point I forgot to make in that last post... IMHO based on your described criteria Sunbeams are the best option. If you aren't pleased with the results, try Dunlop next, then Fodera last.
  14. Splintered Skul

    Splintered Skul

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    Cool deal, thanks for the input guys :smug: The Foderas sound very intriguing. I'll have to give them a go around, along with the Dunlops, after I try out the Sunbeams
  15. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I've personally found DR strings to be inconsistent. I bought several sets that came with one string already dead right out of the pack. I use Ernie Ball and have for nearly 20 years now due to them sounding the same every time when I first put them on.
  16. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    I have had issues with a shorter than expected life with EB.
    I use Sunbeams for most applications.
  17. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    +1
  18. xroads

    xroads

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    I can second that - after a few days they settle in nicely, and they have a low-mid growl that is just great.
  19. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    If you want light string feel with thick string tone, I recommend the Fodera nickels in .40-.100. They aren't as skinny as the .95 and the tone and playability are fantastic. I use them on my Monarch and would never use anything else. The Sadowsky I just got has hi-beams and I'm waiting for some sunbeams to go on there. They're lower tension than the Foderas in the same gauge. I hate steels, so I'm waiting to get the sunbeams before I really make a decision on them.

    Michael


    Michael
  20. pedroims

    pedroims

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have Sunbeams in my P and like them alot, however, I just put a set of Dean Markley Helix Nickel (light set 45-100) oh my God , deepest tone ever with crispy highs, strings online have the set on sale plus free shipping, check them out, if you are looking for a warm tone this may be your set

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