Review: Dean Markley SR2000

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Silver Blues, Nov 12, 2012.


  1. Silver Blues

    Silver Blues

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    :)

    After much waiting for a set of Rotosound Swing 66 Nickels that never came, I decided to go buy a set of Dean Markley SR2000 exposed-core strings. I had considered these for the particular bass they went on previously, but discounted them because I thought my local store didn't carry them (oh look, they do. I am surely ordering from BSO from now on, I'm sick of string shopping there.) Anyway, after having them on for a little while and playing the snot out of them the past few days, I felt like posting a little review.

    I got the 47-107 set, which went on one of my Embassy Special IVs that also has a CTS 500K audio pot (oops) for the volume and an Alpha linear for the tone, with a swapped 0.033uF Orange Drop. The pickup is stock (do they ever sound good), but for comparison's sake let's call it similar to a Wilkinson or GFS.

    Firstly, I think the tan silk is kind of neat (I'm big on the silk), and they apply it generously to the tuner ends (not the ball end, obviously), but it's already beginning to release threads, so I expect that it will fray faster than most other silked strings I've seen. Not a major thing but it won't help all of you who don't like silk to begin with. It seems to me like the E is a little on the long side as well, because the entirety of the silk wrap is around the tuner on my bass when tuned to pitch. The other three are fine, and for those snobs, the bottoms are pretty close to in line with one another. Moving to the other end, the exposed cores are not fully exposed but rather wrapped in a few fine windings, which is great because I'm a little less afraid of breaking them now. From the witness point, the core only protrudes about 25mm (about an inch for all you statesmen), which is honestly much less than I expected with my previously limited experience with strings of this construction. Overall they seem quite sturdy, particularly for exposed-core strings. (Also note that the G is a regular string, it does not have an exposed core.)

    On to tone. (This is the place for you TLDR'ers to jump to.) The first thing that struck me upon plugging in was holy shite, are these things ever bright. "Piano" sure comes to mind. They are most certainly the "brightest" strings I've ever tried, but in a bit of an unorthodox way in that they are extremely mid-heavy to the point of aggression but/and lack a lot of bottom-end power and treble-y sizzle that most would look for in a "bright" string. They are certainly much more mid-focused than your typical stainless round. With the EQ flat and the tone open, the brilliant mids really showed through and you get this kind of raunchy, in-your-face and bounce-off-the-frets-for-extra-clank kind of aggression that really cuts. Tone rolled off and you lose a bit of the brilliance but keep the middy growl, which is nice. Something I found was that if you boost the bass and treble a tad to match the prominent mids of this string, you lose the hump and end up with a beautifully balanced and exceptionally clear-sounding tone. They lose a little of the aggression but just gain so much clarity. In this setting, rolling off the tone gives you a nice slap tone (not that I can slap to save my life) that is crisp and focused. It'll take some EQ tweaking if you want these to sound "huge" (which they don't to begin with) but you can certainly add a little power to the lows if that's your speed. The range of tones is excellent as well, I went through the four typical P-bass playing positions and went from a nice warm burp :oops: to a deep (relative) but sparkly tone at the fingerboard. When you put plastic to these things, they really start to snarl like a pissed-off wolf. Roll the tone up and you'll be attracting rottweilers and back it off if you don't want... that. :eyebrow: You kind of have to be careful when picking though because of the core - I hear this is how most people break SR2000s. I'm lucky because when I mute, my hand ends up at about the pickup and when I don't (which entails actually wrapping my hand around the bridge, odd I know) I end up a few cm south. If you have little hands or play far back take notice of where you're picking so you don't pluck the core, with fingers or with a pick.

    Moving on to feel, I can say that they are nowhere near as rough or noisy as say, the stainless Roto 66s. For an aggressive round, they are quite smooth, which is really nice for a guy that likes to whack the heck out of his Chromes. These are the largest-gauge strings I have ever used, but interestingly enough they are much more flexible than one would expect. I would say that they are high-tension, but they are flexible as well. Don't expect slinky out of these, because you won't find it, but I did find myself throwing in random little expressive bends without much effort (something I never do on bass.) Finger noise is very reasonable for a stainless round, which is also great. I find as well that the 47 is a great gauge for a G, it isn't too thin or to thick and it pops like a boss, that is something I really like about this set. They are big but they aren't an exercise to play, which in my book is a plus. Just don't play on the core! :spit:

    Overall, I think that these were a great choice for the vision I had for this particular bass and are an impressive string. Do I recommend? Yes, with some reservations. If you're not used to big, want something really low-tens and slinky, break strings a lot/play your bass with a sledgehammer, or don't like bright, don't even go here. (I'm even a bit afraid to drop-tune them still.) Otherwise I say give them a try. These get four pilfered grand pianos out of five.

    So how was my first attempt at a review? :smug:
    Thanks for reading,

    --Silvie

    EDIT: I should mention that I was playing straight-through into an Ampeg Micro-VR stack. No effects, no limiter, no pad.
     
  2. PBnJBassist

    PBnJBassist

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Might give these a try. I've been looking for strings with a high focus on mids (straight mids, not low-mids or high-mids) and a drop on the low end. Thanks for the review!

    Edit- Never really gave a look at these strings since I've read some negative stuff from TBers on DM strings before, especially on breakage.
     
  3. Silver Blues

    Silver Blues

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    Me too, but I mean YMMV with anything, especially with respect to personal choices like strings. They seem sturdy enough and as long as you have some prudence you should be fine. We'll see how things work out, though. Thanks for reading!

    --Silvie
     
  4. PBnJBassist

    PBnJBassist

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Hoping they are sturdy. When my nickels die out, I'll order a set of these and test it out. I slap & pop with heavy finger attack playing, and my current gauge selection is 35-55-75-95. You can see my concern for breakage when a .35 is under constant popping, pulling, and bending. Thanks again!
     
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  6. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    NY/NJ Metro Area
    Don't pop so hard and you shouldn't break a string...

    I've been playing bass for 12 years and I've NEVER broke a strings.

    If your breaking SR2000's, you'll break any strings. Its not like some strings are built to be more resistant to being abused. Pluck to hard on any string and they will break. Chill out with your technique.
     
  7. PipeRain

    PipeRain Operator Of Pointy Basses

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    To the OP: A month and a half down the line, how are you feeling about these strings?

    Great review BTW!
     
  8. Silver Blues

    Silver Blues

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    Thank you! :D

    I must say, the strings even now are very satisfactory. They haven't lost any of their character, even with consistent few hours a day every day playing. I haven't broken them yet, which is good, and I find that they fit very well with the heavier styles of music I tend to like. (This isn't to say that they won't smooth over for classic tunes, but they do aggressive like a champ.) They've broken in some, which has increased their flexibility a little (IMO).

    Overall, they're great. I am pleasantly surprised.

    --Silvie
     
  9. steelin4u

    steelin4u

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois (Chicago Suburbs)
    Just a quick bandwagon comment...I've played sr2000s on 4, 5, and 7 string basses over the last 6 years and I agree with the OP about snappy piano like tone. On most active basses, I didnt notice a lower bass response, but I did notice a nice midrange compared to other stainless.
     
  10. Silver Blues

    Silver Blues

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    Just a little update on my journey with these strings. I decided I was going to keep that particular bass in D standard for the time being. IMO, these things are even better now! :bassist: Lost a tad of the brilliant edge but now they've got a raspy, throaty tone to them that is still clear and concise. I like it!

    --Silvie

    I also don't really notice the extra step down, it's funny. I'm sure I would if I tried to play over a recording or something, but in a back to back A/B they sound similar. (No I'm not tone deaf :()
     
  11. geddeeee

    geddeeee

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    So they are basically copies of Rotosound's PSD strings???
     
  12. Silver Blues

    Silver Blues

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    Well that's a question for someone else because I have never used the PSDs. Although by design, I wouldn't think so, especially as the PSDs have that weird adjustable ball end thing and they only come in one gauge.

    --Silvie
     
  13. BassPlayer900

    BassPlayer900

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    These sound like the strings I need to try next!
     
  14. Silver Blues

    Silver Blues

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    So I did something crazy. I wanted to try this one song in an odd tuning so I grabbed Brie and started twiddling tuners.

    Guess what...

    The .107 E makes a usable B.

    The song was in BADG. Yes really. The string works and sounds aiight. It's sure not the best B out there but it's usable with a light touch. Funniest thing is that the homemade pre I use to hook my bass to my computer actually registers the note.

    Yet more reason to really like these strings. Funny they're not better known.

    --Silvie
     

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