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105 E string DR Sunbeams vs 100 E string Lo riders

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by phangtonpower, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. I have DR 105 E string nickel lo riders on by jazz bass right now. I love high tension strings, I have La Bella 760 FM's on my other bass. I like the lo riders, but the tension may be a little too much for my neck. I don't mind having lower tension strings as I think it'll teach me to adapt to different technique due to tension.
    So my question is if the two strings I'm asking about are about the same tension. I would prefer the lo riders since I have read this in another thread and I like a more fat sound since I'm primarily a flats player.

    Also want to say that my truss rod is already maxed out, so I can't just adjust it. There is a little less than a 1mm of relief. I wanna see if lower tension string will lower just a little more since I really don't mind it right now. I just don't want to do any permanent damage.

  2. mmbongo

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

    Interesting situation. Wouldn't you need a higher tension string to get more relief? Is your truss rod maxed out tight, or loose?

    High/normal tension= LoRider .105
    Lower tension= LoRider .100
    Lowest tension= Sunbeam/ExtraLife/DragonSkin .100

    I'm just not sure where the Sunbeam .105 would fit in, probably comparable to the LoRider .100 like you said.

    What would I do? Buy one of each in singles and see what you like better. Then you can build the rest of your set around which E string you like:
  3. Jason has been a big help already :) I just don't want to keep bothering him with questions. Plus the only problem with experimenting like that is I live in Japan and shipping here is usually a lot.

    1 mm is a lot of relief. Maybe 2 or more business cards. I mean it feels fine to me and that's what's important, but at the same time knowing I have that much relief bugs me:rolleyes:

    If they might be the same tension, I wonder which one will have less harshness.....
  4. mmbongo

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

    Oh, okay. 1mm does not sound like a lot until you picture a 1mm pick sitting under your strings :)

    So yeah, you need low tension to let the neck ease back some.

    Sunbeams are very mellow sounding, in fact I thought Nickel LoRiders were way brighter than Sunbeams but not according to DR so I don't know!
  5. Thanks for the input though. I would like to try sunbeams in 105, but if the 100 gauge lo riders are less tension and warmer sounding, I would rather go for those or if they're the same tension, I'd want the more warmer sounding strings.
  6. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    Recently went through a similar scenario. I think the 105 Sunbeam is slightly lower in tension than the 100 nickel lo-rider. I tried both on my five string Pbass. Wound up with Sunbeam E-G (105-45) and a 130 nickel lo-rider B string.

    As fresh strings, I also thought the lo-riders were a brighter string. Tho I think after breaking them in they wouldn't be too far apart. Obviously mileage varies if DR said the opposite.

    But my thought, given the maxed truss, would be to try the Sunbeam 105. Best O luck whichever way you go.
  7. Thanks for the input. I'm leaning more towards the sunbeams at the moment since trying different strings are good thing in seeing if you like them or not and since you were on a similar dilemma, it's good to hear that you've tried what I want to do maybe saving me money :)

    By the way nice club in your avatar!
  8. Matt Lake

    Matt Lake Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2010
    Lost in the Ozarks
    The Sunbeams are round core and lower tension and a little flabbier. The Low Riders are hex core and higher tension and less flabby. That's why they can have lower action without string buzz if I'm not mistaken. I use Sunbeams because they are easy to fret and have a nice fat sound. I like the LoRiders too. They are a little more of a hi fidelity sound. I hope this helps.
  9. Sounds right about hex core and round core.

    It's funny how people mention that the sunbeams sound fatter when DR say that they're supposed to be more zingy. My Jazz has EMG's, so maybe sunbeams are the choice since EMG's are supposed to be more "HiFi". I think they sounded best with 760 FM's. Neutralized the HiFi a little. Don't know how my bass handled that gauge for a year @_@ I'm not really trying to do that this time around since I want different basses with different purposes and I have another bass setup for the 760FM's. My favorites by the way, but I still want to retain some low end since I play mostly reggae ( I love rocksteady era), blues, soul. I kinda want this setup for rock, but still be able to use it for the other styles I like if I can only take one bass with me.

    Thanks for the help!

    I wonder if I'll have to raise the strings more with the sunbeams. Kinda sounds dumb maybe, but I'm really trying to get this bass as low as possible. I'm used to medium high action, but I want to try something a little different. Right now the sunbeams are setup that way, but the E and G strings almost bottomed out at the bridge. Neck is already shimmed too >< I wonder how much adjustment I'll have to do to the bridge with the neck slightly straighter. Part of the fun I guess :bassist:

  10. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    Regarding action: I have Sunbeams on my 4 string precision. I'm able to get my neck at about .3mm relief and medium-lowish action (as defined by Sadowsky setup guide). IMO, the lower tension negates some of the action effect and makes fretting easier. With slightly higher action I still find the Sunbeams very comfy. But my hands is sensitive to the high tension strings regardless of action height, so it SBs work well for me. I would think a set of sunbeams would allow you to back off the truss a bit and get a bit better relief. But if you are shimming your neck and have your saddles bottomed out you are fighting an uphill battle. I think in general, lower tension strings would be better for that bass.

    And thanks, I love the Club bass. It kills on all gigs, but particularly enjoy it on reggae gigs. Just a huge sound.
  11. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Sunbeams may be higher tension than Lo Riders, but not as stiff. This will effect how the relief on your neck will be. On average, round core strings will have more tension than hex core strings, but will also be more flexible. Keep this in mind.
  12. I have read about this as well and another reason why I'm a little confused. Have you had any experience with these strings and had a different conclusion than the other posters:confused:
  13. I've been using DR strings for over 20 years. I've tried most of them. Here's what I know about the various DR strings:

    Hi Beams are stainless steel round core.
    Lo Riders are stainless steel hex core.

    Lo Riders have more tension than Hi Beams and (IMHO) more grind and bottom than Hi Beams.

    Sun Beams are Nickel round core strings; the nickel version of Hi Beams.
    Nickel Lo riders are Nickel Hex core strings; as the name suggests, the nickel version of Lo Riders.

    Nickel Lo Riders have more tension and (IMHO) more bottom than Sunbeams.

    BTW: Marcus Miller Fat Beams are also derived from Hi Beams. (Round core) The difference is that they have a unique wrap process (as per MM's specs)

    Like others have said, order some singles from Jason at bassstringsonline.com and do a little experimenting.
  14. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Basically every time someone tells you that Lo Riders have more tension than Sunbeams or Hi Beams, you have to understand they actually mean stiffness. Many attempts at education have happened but they won't have any of it. ;)
  15. So which do you guys think cause the neck to bow more stiffness or tension?
  16. Like I said though I live in Japan, and as you probably know, shipping singles would cost money then ordering a set that I actually like. Plus singles wont really solve my neck relief issues.

    Also I thought that Nickel Lo riders where hex core?
  17. Lemon Of Troy

    Lemon Of Troy Banned

    Nov 6, 2012
    Palmetto State
    They are hex core. Must have been a typo.
  18. Yes, sorry. It was a typo. Hex core on the Nickel Lo Riders. I'll edit that!

    phangtonpower: I live in Japan, too. I have had Jason ship me orders here and the shipping fee wasn't too bad. I try to wait until I need 2 or 3 sets and then I order. That's how I save a few yen!
  19. Like I've mentioned, I've been through Jason before. He is awesome, very helpful, and I will probably go through him again in the future, but right now I think it would be cheaper going through sound house here buying single sets of strings.

    Where do you live in Japan? Maybe you have some old set of DR's that I can try out ;)

    P.S. If I had a real job I would go through Jason all the time with amount of help he provides. I can't highly recommend him enough.
  20. So Sunbeams have more tension and Lo-Riders are stiffer...

    My question is, which one has smaller vibrations? If you plucked both strings just as hard, which would move less?