DR Fat Beams?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Chico16, Nov 24, 2012.


  1. Chico16

    Chico16

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    Well my friends, I'm going through string G.A.S again, and I ran into the DR Fat Beams that everyone praises and claim it has a "booty-shakin' low end" :bassist: this instantly made me want to try them out, however I was surprised since usually Nickel strings are generally deeper than stainless steel and these strings are steel. Well, long story short, how do you guys think these would compare to half wounds (or GHS Pressure Wounds to be exact) I really like the mellow tone from the PW's, but I'm always trying to dial in the cleanest, deepest tone possible from my bass. Would this be easier to achieve with the Fat Beams, or should I just stick with the PWs? I would try the nickel Lo-Riders but I'm not a big fan of midrange growl. I'm more into a clean sound.
     
  2. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

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    Hi!

    I have both pressure wounds and Fat-Beams on tap to do some comparison for you.

    Strings: Pressure wound 7200L vs DR Fat Beams 105-45

    As far as tension feel, they are very similar in these guages. The GHS are so much smoother feeling since they are ground flatter than normal, but the DR's have the stainless feel which is not as abrasive as other brands steel (like Rotosound or Markley.)

    The DR's seem to have a broken in Hi-Beam sound that lasts.

    GHS Bends easier than DR's in these gauges, but I've had higher gauge Pressurewounds and they did not bend as easy as the DR's.

    The pressure wounds are LOUDER, meaning, if you swap the strings while the volume knob is on and listen and meter with your input console, the GHS are a good 2db hotter over the entire range.

    Mind you, I did not need to adjust the truss when making the switch between. They are similar tension for the truss so the bass was playable as such. I measured the pickup height to make sure the truss didn't loose relief (which puts the pickups closer to the strings) but it was not the case. The GHS Alloy IS louder than stainless steel.

    If you want the cleanest deepest tone from your bass, I cant help but feel that the Fatbeams are going to work in some aspects but not in others. Clean? Fatbeams have finger noise, ghs do not. This makes getting a cleaner tone with the fatbeams harder, trust me. The fat beams might snarl against the frets but the GHS tend to clang and as such sizzle a deal when touching frets (i've found). Overall, rounds sound like rounds and GHS Pressurewounds sound like GHS Pressurewounds; a class by themselves of sorts.

    Fatbeams have more harmonic content. Not a ton, but more. The Pressurewounds have more fundamental, but still a ton of brilliance and still much harmonic content. They seem midrange focused compared to fat beams, which seem like they are low frequency focuses.

    So, I've had fatbeams on a Jazz Bass and Precision Bass. I've Had pressurewounds on Musicman, Jazz and Precision Basses. I did not like the strings on the musicman, because they accentuated the mids much too much. On that bass, the hi-beams were the ticket, giving me the most low extension and improving the high frequency extension while dialing back the nasal honk in the mids a great deal. On the precision bass, the steel strings never work for me. I'm stuck with Nickle rounds on that bass, but since i've put pressurewounds on it I will not switch on that one.

    The jazz bass sounded best with the EQ profile of the Fat beams. Hi-beams sound very bright on a Jazz. Fat Beams, they sounded meaty and full. Consiquently, I have found that HI-beams last longer. I'm going on 8 months with the same set right now that I've boiled a few times. They are keeping their tone and holding pitch, and sound better than new after a few boils.

    On a precision bass, Fat beams are just okay but they sound remarkably better than Hi-Beams. More mids, more lows. Less highs. It fits that tone profile.

    I think Fat-beams die quicker than Hi-beams. Hi-Beams is a longer lasting string for me, IME, YMMV, FWIW. The reason I would bring this up is that Fat beams and HI-beams are almost identical strings, except for the speed that they are wound at is lower for fat beams. You also pay for Marcus' face on the package. Fat beams are nice, but those two facts make the more expensive for me and as such hi-beams are a superior string IMO.

    To better answer your question.. What bass is this going on? To me if you like GHS pressure wounds, you do like some midrange growl, but I concur that you will not be happy with the Lo-beams (unless were talking about Nickle lo-beams. That might be an idea.)
     
  3. Chico16

    Chico16

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    Wow, thanks JOELB79. The strings would be going on an Ibanez SR605. My EQ consists of mostly Bass. Everything else is either flat or slightly cut, Low Mids I boost a tab maybe at about 1 or 2 o'clock. I'm not a fan of the growl the Low Mids provide. I listened to some sound clips of DR Lo-Riders (nickel) and what drove me away was the growl. The Fat Beams caught my eye since would I always want to emphasize on my tone is the lows. I favor the feel of nickel played strings, I've played some SS strings that felt like I couldn't even slide properly. Well, thanks for your input it answered a lot. I'm playing at a festival in about 3 weeks so I'd rather not mess with my set-up right now in case end up not liking the strings (it happened to me once before when I switched to flat wounds a few weeks before a show. Not my brightest moment - no pun intended ;)
     
  4. johnnynitro

    johnnynitro

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    Im shure I'll cach alot of crap for this BUT I thought my SunBeams have a deeper fatter tone on my JazzBass then the Fat beams ?!! ( I know im weired )
     
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  6. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    GHS Pressurewounds and DR "Compression Windings" are very different things.

    GHS Pressurewounds actually have the outer winding pressed between rollers into an oval shape before winding around the strings. This makes the surface of the string smoother.

    DR Compression Windings are still standard round wire wrapped around a core, but rather than 2 or 3 winding layers, they put sometimes 6 windings around the core. The result will be a string that is .108 when making an E string for example. They then do a process where the string is then compressed together into a .105 string ("Tite-Fit Process")

    The DR strings use a smaller diamater wrap wire to achieve this so the result is a round wound string with smaller ridges than a standard round wound using larger diameter outer windings.

    The below image shows Ken Smith Compressors (similar to GHS Pressurewounds) next to standard Round Wounds and Half-Rounds.

    [​IMG]

    I do not have an image comparing the smaller diameter outer windings of a DR string to a standard wrapped string.
     
  7. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

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    I would think fatbeams will be a good thing to try and see if they work. But; I'd imagine them to be quieter in volume than the pressurewounds. they are going to sound somewhat subdued compared to the pressurewounds mids. They might be much louder acoustically though. That is the case on my bass, lower output plugged in, higher volume unplugged.

    FWIW: You won't know until you try. But I hope all the information on the differences help you some.
     
  8. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

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    I have FatBeams on my Carvin 5 string and love them. I try a lot of strings and keep coming back to them. Yes they do have the standard roundwound finger noise but the complex, scooped sound is great.
     
  9. bgavin

    bgavin Supporting Member

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    Thanks for an excellent summary.

    Q: which Musicman do you reference?

    I have an SR5HH with factory SS, and it is time for a change.
    My 'Ray has no end of big bottom but thin on the G string.
     
  10. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

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    A few different ones. Both were ceramic magnet MM's; A 90's Sterling USA and a SBMM Sterling.

    Come to think of it, the G string thing you speak of can be fixed to some degree or totally, especially if you can re-stagger the poles and take the E side of the pickup down some.
     
  11. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

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    Just bought Fat Beams but have not tried them yet. Going to put on a set on the alleva LM5 tomorrow morning. Strange some say they sound similar to the sadowsky blues but its hard to believe that although I like the sadowsky blues a lot.
     
  12. bgavin

    bgavin Supporting Member

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    Mine was one of the few SR5HH that came with ceramic magnets.
    It has the original factory EB Slinky SS, so I'm thinking about Lo-Rider SS for snarl and aggressive mids.
     
  13. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

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    Don't discredit Rotosounds for that aggressive tone.
     
  14. Chico16

    Chico16

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    I've never used Rotos, but I've heard plenty about their aggressive tone. Might be something you want to take a look at as well as the Lo-Riders. The Lo-Riders growl like crazy though do a YouTube search on both!
     
  15. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

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    I've got both hanging around (I have to stop buying strings soon or I'll be divorced). I think Roto SM66 set are more aggressive sounding than Lo-Rider nickles 105-45. Much easier to play as well, Lo-Riders are a bit too tight near the bridge. Lo-Riders don't have the same clank against the frets as Rotos. They do both growl but I'd have to give the nudge to rotos, IMO. I might need to A/B them a little more tho. Mind you I'm rating Nickle DR's against Stainless Rotos.
     
  16. bgavin

    bgavin Supporting Member

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    I've seen far too many comments about early death with Rotos, so I will pass.
     
  17. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

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    I played them this weekend (Fat Beams) and i like them a lot. I want to see how they hold up but I am really likeing them. They are not as bright as say the Hi Beams but close, yet they have a better mid and bottom end. I really like them and they may be the new string of choice.
    I have seen posts about the roto's. has anyone tried the Dean Markley Superound. They were supposed to be similar to Roro's but to me they are less brite but have a real good tone to them. I think they sound big and last longer than Roto's.
     
  18. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

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    Really like the Fat Beams. Personally there are so many strings I do like and change a lot. more than i should. But these strings have so many qualities i like. One the mids are more pronounced and love the bottom end as well. Joel I liked your review some post down. Its amazing how one string will sound so much better on one bass and not the other. It can get expensive.
     
  19. Chico16

    Chico16

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    Alright so from what I've read, DR FatBeams are stainless steel however they're smoother than your typical SS string. Would it be safe to say then that they're comparable to a nickel-plated string feel?
     
  20. eukatheude

    eukatheude

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    I used them for years, they are definitely great.
     
  21. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    The outer windings are a smaller diameter than other stings. Being nickel or stainless they are overall smoother to the touch than other rounds that use larger diameter windings.
     

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