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Low tension nickel strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by toughluxury2010, Feb 25, 2013.


  1. toughluxury2010

    toughluxury2010

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Hi.
    Still a newbie here. Been using Rotosound Swing Bass for 30 years, but due to distributor changes in Australia, hard to come by. Have a nerve problem with my hands now. Play a 1982 custom built Schecter guitar Research P bass with a Warmoth birds eye maple neck. Looking for lower tension, easier on the fingers string - nickel? Anybody recommend any good brands? I've got DR high beam Stainless against Ernie ball nickel on my Washburn, but the EB's went dull pretty quickly.

    1982 Schecter Guitar Research Left Hand P Bass (One piece ash body, Warmoth bird's eye maple neck, Bill Lawrence EB60's & Babicz FCH bridge) Markbass CMD102p, Markbass Super Synth, Digitech Bass Chorus, MXR bass envelope filter
     

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  2. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I've been having great luck with Elixirs for the past few years. Consistent string (made by D'Addario & Coated by Elixir) with balanced tone.

    D'Addario does a good job and last a reasonable amount of time. I've had bad luck with EB and find Rotosounds very abrasive.

    I vote D'Addario or Elixir if you're willing to spend the cash on Elixirs and they're available where you are.
     
  3. toughluxury2010

    toughluxury2010

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Thanks - I'll give the Elixirs a try. They cost twice as much as other strings, but I've heard they last a lot longer before going dull?
     
  4. bassfreakah

    bassfreakah

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    the Ernie ball coated sound good and last a while and dont have the rubber coating that wears off.
    Eb uses an enamel coating that you cant see or feel. I have uses a few sets and like them but i am enjoying the cobalts by ernie ball.
     
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  6. MOTORHEADBANGER

    MOTORHEADBANGER Spud-boy looking for a Real Tomato Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    Sidney, Indiana
    Circle K strings. They're nickel/steel hybrids with a ridiculously long lifespan and you can order them in any gauge you want. Their balanced tension sets are amazingly flexible and easy on the fingers.
     
  7. matante

    matante

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
  8. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
  9. Pimpernel Smith

    Pimpernel Smith

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Location:
    In the Pond
    Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Round wound (Nickel) have very low tension and beautiful tone. They are very easy to play.
     
  10. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 EBMM Nut Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Aren't Elixirs kind of stiff? I remember owning an Ibby 6er that came with elixirs on it and felt like they were really high tension.
     
  11. lucam

    lucam

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    They do come in multiple tension. I too find the medium tension set to be on the stiff side, but the light tension set is light for real :)
     
  12. mmbongo

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

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    Yeah you pretty much described DR Sunbeams.
     
  13. Troph

    Troph

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    +1
    I love DR Sunbeams. While they don't sound quite as "massive" as the Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky nickels when slapping (IMO), they have an incredible low-tension feel, and they have their own exceedingly pleasant midrange character with enough "zing" to stand out in the mix.

    I like to keep these strung on at least one bass, and I usually find myself playing it more than others. :)

    They usually run me about $20 for a 4-string set, which is only a few dollars more than the competition. They're worth it.
     
  14. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    I recommend trying a balanced tension set, or building one from singles, they are more comfortable to play and less stressful on the body, good for anyone with hand / wrist problems. Also i recommend trying very low tension, perhaps as low as 30 pounds, using a light touch and refining your technique. As a first step i suggest this medium-light balanced set 95 70 50 35. You can use the D'Addario or Circle K Strings tension charts to design your sets, they are roughly accurate for any brand of string.
     
  15. bigswifty1

    bigswifty1

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    They might be miles away from the tone you want, but the Tomastik Infeld Jazz Flats are without challenge the lowest tension strings I have played. They feel like playing with rubber bands. It's hard to imagine the instrument working with anything much softer than these.
     
  16. joebar

    joebar

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    yep
    on every bass i own
    perfect tension
    perfect gauge
    perfect tone
     
  17. Lackey

    Lackey

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Another vote for Elixir. VERY longlasting tone, starts off sounding broken in and the honeymoon period can last years... serious. I've had the same set on my fretless since I got it 5 years ago.. Fretted basses I change out about once a year. For the record I don't like dead sounding strings either, granted its time to change the fretless..

    Oh and they have a nice slick smooth feel to them, very easy on the fingers.
     
  18. toughluxury2010

    toughluxury2010

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Thanks everyone. Some stuff to ponder. So the DR Sunbeams are nickel, yeah? Might give both those and the Elixir Nanowebs nickel a try. Do you find if you go to a lighter gauge, you sacrifice some of the "fat" sound? (I know you can't have your cake and eat it)
     

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  19. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2000
    Location:
    Layton, UT
    You don't have to go with a light gauge with Sunbeams, they have a round core which contributes to the low tension
     
  20. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento California
    ^^^ This!
     
  21. toughluxury2010

    toughluxury2010

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Hi everyone.
    I must thank you all for your fantastic insight into the previously dark uncharted world of bass strings.

    I got a set of the Elixir Nanoweb nickel (45-105) strings today and I've fallen in love with my bass all over again. IMO they feel to be lower tension with a bright (not too much) sound and a soft, smooth feel. Makes it more of a joy to play than I previously thought. I may still try the DR sunbeams when these ones eventually die, or some of the other suggestions. Thank you so much to all of you. You've broken my habit of just buying one particular brand (Rotosound RS66) for the last 30 years. Talk bass is a most useful tool!

    Pic attached of home made checker plate pedal board - Markbass Super Synth, Digitech Bass Chorus, MXR Bass Envelope filter. Any thoughts on these? Just bought them
     

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