Strings for metal

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bassistcali, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Bassistcali


    Nov 10, 2013
    Hi, I'm looking for strings to play mostly Metallica (maybe a little slap). Not sure what strings to use. Cliff used rotosounds but-your opinion what to get. EADG only
  2. Matt_T


    Dec 18, 2013
    Springdale, AR
    It's hard to argue with Roto 66s for metal/hard rock but Steve Harris uses (fresh) Roto 77 flats. YMMV
  3. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    Strings for metal? Long, shiny, metal ones. :bag:

    Mostly Metallica and a little slap? I would say that any basic roundwound will get you in the ballpark.
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    The world may never know the best bass for metal, but the best strings for metal are indeed the Rotosound 66 Swing Bass. Why? Nothing else this side of Hades snarls like that. Nothing. \m/

    EDIT: Oh yeah, they're very good for slap too.
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  6. Bassistcali


    Nov 10, 2013

    These guys?

    Attached Files:

  7. Matt_T


    Dec 18, 2013
    Springdale, AR
  8. Bassistcali


    Nov 10, 2013
  9. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    Agree w/ Roto 66s. Just a heads up- they are probably the roughest strings I've ever played- I mean tough on fingers and frets. I still use them, but not on all my basses.

    Another option I'd recommend is Ernie Ball Slinkys. They are nickel, as opposed to solid steel, are bright sounding, and feel pretty smooth.
  10. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Since a lot of people are recommending the Roto 66s, I was wondering if anyone could recommend the most even sounding guage. The two most popular 66s that I see are the same except the A string which is either 80 or 85 guage. Does anyone recommend one over the other?
  11. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I'd use long ones...those made from metal wire, anchored at both ends of the bass.
    I'm sure they'll do.
  12. PipeRain

    PipeRain Operator Of Pointy Basses

    Dec 4, 2012
    Just for the sake of a different opinion... :bag:

    I've never used Roto's, but I really like GHS Contact Core Stainless. They will give you what you need if you want a serious face-melting tone. They are probably the widest range sounding string I have ever used, seriously strong lows to very present high's. For slap, I couldn't begin to offer any string advice as I am not a slap kinda guy, just not my thing. For reference, I believe Newsted used (And maybe still does use) LaBella's, Super Steps I think, and Ellefson uses SIT's now. He used Roto's in the "Rust" days, but I think he jumped from brand to brand a lot before settling in with SIT's. I used to use Blue Steels a lot, then moved to Progressives and really liked what the taper did for my tone, then moved to the Contact Cores and liked it even more.

    So there ya go, a slightly different opinion that is worth exactly what you just paid for it.
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    The one string I hate most are Rotosounds rough and meh sound.
  14. Matt_T


    Dec 18, 2013
    Springdale, AR
    The 80 A string feels like it has about the same amount of tension on it as the 105 E string. The 65 D is a lot harder to bend in comparison. The 45 G is a little more flexible than the D but not by much. It's almost like the E and A strings and the D and G strings are from two different sets.

    Mo Foster has a nice series of videos demonstrating the tones of the various Rotosound strings.
  15. Creeper2


    Sep 30, 2013
    You can't go wrong with D'Addarrio pro steels.
  16. Matt_T


    Dec 18, 2013
    Springdale, AR
    I likes Pro Steels okay but I took 'em off my SUB SB4 in favor of the Roto 66s to get more upper mids. Pro Steels have plenty of zing and bottom but are too scooped for my taste on a StingRay type bass.

    And big props go out to Jason at for recommending the Rotos or GHS Super Steels (haven't tried the GHS yet). I imagine the Contact Core stainless would be even brighter.
  17. roundwounds of your choice.

  18. I like my Ernie Ball strings, they have a nice zing to them. I use Sfarzo strings too, they're a little bit more tame compared to the EBs but will get the job done. I won't be ordering them again however, as the G string was too short and slipped right off the post. Probably a mistakenly packaged string, but still (twas a 5er pack).
  19. Back in the olden days (the 80's and '90s when I played in several metal bands that never went anywhere) I started with Rotos, and as previously noted they're hard on fingers and frets. After some experimenting I used the Dean Markley Blue Steels, which had similar sound (to me at least) and were much more playable and less destructive. Yesterday, I went to the only local shop that's less than an hour away, who of course didn't have Blue Steels, so I got a set of slightly lighter (.102 E string, rather than the typical .105) DM SR2000's. I like 'em, but they're brighter than anything I've played before. I think I dig 'em.
  20. Levin


    Oct 30, 2012
    Optimas! Not their flats. So... bright...
    But seriously, they are extremely bright, and last a long time.
    ....maybe not for pick-playing, tho'.
  21. Bassistcali


    Nov 10, 2013
    I seriously doubt any metal bass players who always use a pick know the difference