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Stainless Steel String Shootout!!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by rizzo9247, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    Let me preface by saying that I have used Rotosound Swing Bass 66 user for a number of years and switched over to nickel plated strings about a year ago (I also went through a flatwound period as well), but I did miss that 'authority' that stainless steel strings offer. So I ordered four sets from bassstringsonline.com and gave them a whirl. Each were strung on my jazz bass for about a half hour and played through the same rig. Here's (IMO) from least favorite to favorite.


    4.) Rotosound Swing Bass 66: High tension, rough feeling strings but really nail that snappy, zingy SS tone.

    3.) D'Addario ProSteels: Not as high tension as the Rotos (although it was a medium-light gauge) but just as powerful tone-wise. Not as grabby either, but would build up those fingers in a heartbeat! Great price on these.

    2.) Sadowsky Blue Label: These are great strings. period. Sound phenomenal, feels a lot smoother than the above, and response felt nice and even across strings.

    1.) DR Hi-Beams: The SS string that doesn't feel like one! great tone like the Sad blues, but just have a little more 'give' to them.

    The High Beams and Sadowsky Blues are the best I've played (so far). If you dig that slightly lighter tension and slinky feel but want that unmistakeable SS sound, go with the High-Beams. If you want a slightly higher tension, smidge more mid presence and tiny bit of "stick', go with the Sadowsky Blues!! All IMO of course!!
  2. joejoejoe

    joejoejoe

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    Nice review, thanks!!
  3. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

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    Nice work. My 5er is in for minor repairs on Saturday and I was going to try steels on it. D'Addario and Roto are already on my 'possible' list, along with Ken Smith and Elites. I'd half dismissed DR as they're £38 a set over here (so I'd order them from Jason instead at a later date).

    I've got D'Addarios Pro Steels on my 4-string, which has forced the 5er into the reserve spot. I'm loving the sound of steel and want to see how well it suits the 5er.
  4. ShowKing

    ShowKing

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    I agree with the DR hi beams.
    Tried many many strings out there and I come back to the hi beams and I'm happy.
    SIT strings are also worth checking out.
    I have the SIT power steels on my other bass and they sound just as good for a cheaper price.
    They have slightly more tension and a bit more rough feel than the DR's but sound amazing.
    The hi beams go on my main gigging bass.
  5. blindrabbit

    blindrabbit

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    My luthier dropped some DRs on my bass last year after I brought it in for a set up - I had XLs on it before that. I definitely prefer the DRs, both tonally and in terms of feel.

    It has been literally decades since I tried any other strings, so I can't fairly make any comparisons between those two types and others, but I *feel* like the DRs are some of the best, if not the best, strings that I've played.
  6. mozilla314

    mozilla314

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    I tried some Hi-Beams then took them off and
    put on ProSteels so I could A/B them. I kept the
    ProSteels on. They seem more ballsy for slapping.
  7. eyecandy

    eyecandy

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    Jul 28, 2009
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    for me DR Hi Beams are the best I've played so far... they're extra smooth and they feel like nickel rounds... tones overall i can dial in a good tone out of them so +1 on the DRs
  8. darkstorm

    darkstorm

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    Havnet tried sadowskis, but havent played a stainless string I liked as well as rotosound swing66. They sound better then the competition to me. Deam markley blue steel made for a nice change of pace, but not more then that to me.
  9. redhed

    redhed TUBE LOVER! Gold Supporting Member

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    Recently switched to the ProSteels on my Schecter studio 6. I love them on this particular bass to brighten it up a bit, but I would not use them on my MM Stingrays.
  10. matante

    matante

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    It seems to me that you're just ranking them based on how stiff/flexible and how smooth/rough they feel, not on what they sound like. Or are you saying that they all sound pretty much the same?
  11. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

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    4.) Rotosound Swing Bass 66: High tension, rough feeling strings but really nail that snappy, zingy SS tone.

    3.) D'Addario ProSteels: Not as high tension as the Rotos (although it was a medium-light gauge) but just as powerful tone-wise. Not as grabby either, but would build up those fingers in a heartbeat! Great price on these.

    2.) Sadowsky Blue Label: These are great strings. period. Sound phenomenal feels a lot smoother than the above, andresponse felt nice and even across strings.

    1.) DR Hi-Beams: The SS string that doesn't feel like one! great tone like the Sad blues, but just have a little more 'give' to them.

    The High Beams and Sadowsky Blues are the best I've played (so far). If you dig that slightly lighter tension and slinky feel but want that unmistakeable SS sound, go with the High-Beams. If you want a slightly higher tension, smidge more mid presence and tiny bit of "stick', go with the Sadowsky Blues!! All IMO of course!!
  12. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

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    Which did you find to be the brightest? I'm guessing the Rotos or the ProSteels.
  13. rizzo9247

    rizzo9247 Supporting Member

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    They are all bright, but I'd rank the pro steels first, Sadowsky and Rotos are close (to my ear) and then the high beams.

    I've been rotating strings all night and have gone back and forth between blue steels and highbeams as my go to string. Granted, the comparisons have all been done on a passive jazz.
  14. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

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    Thanks, good to know. I'm enjoying the ProSteels on my 4-string so I'll probably go that way for the 5.
  15. Root 5

    Root 5

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    I'm mostly a flatwound/tapewound kind of dude. But when I want some more treble/bite - I like the D'Addario Prosteels in 55-110. I think they feel great and sound great, too.

    I'm sure the other brands listed are fine strings, too. I've tried some. But the Prosteels do all the things I would ever need them to do.
  16. edisonsexybeast

    edisonsexybeast

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    How about the Dr lo riders? I put those on my bass yesterday, my first set of stainless steel strings. Very nice and easy to play
  17. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

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    Nice! I've been using Prosteels for a while but I'll be getting my first set of DR Hi Beams tomorrow. I'm hoping to love them and switch permanently.
  18. EricF

    EricF Habitual User Gold Supporting Member

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    Hi Beams are my SS choice every time.
  19. cfsporn

    cfsporn

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    When it comes to SS strings, the only ones I like are the Swing Bass 66s. Every other SS string I have tried has had this scooped sound which is not really my thing. Plus, pretty much every bassist whose tone I admire uses them. Also the quality is quite consistent.
  20. rpsands

    rpsands

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    I'm a stainless steel string user (not by choice) but my favorite so far are D'addarios.

    D'addario strings allow you to easily calculate string tension which let me get very nicely balanced set, and they feel and sound nice.

    Ken Smiths are my second favorite so far.

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