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A Fresh Perspective On A Stalwart American Standard

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Linnin, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth

    A Fresh Perspective On A Stalwart American Standard –
    GHS Bass Boomers

    GHS Bass Boomers are the very first American made roundwound electric bass guitar strings and as such are an industry standard. They were designed to compete directly with Great Britain’s new innovative Rotosound Swing Bass 66’s. Fifty years of sales history shows GHS Bass Boomers to have been right on target.

    The subject of this review is the M3045X set: 1-G: 0.045”/47.8 lbs. 2-D: 0.065”/52.2 lbs. 3-A: 0.085”/51.1 lbs. 4-E: 0.105”/43.6 lbs. The tension figures tend to center around the 50 pound range for the first three strings. You might think that the E string would be out of kilter with the rest of the set, but you’d be wrong. This set has proven itself to be very well balanced in terms of feel and perceived tension; tone, and string-to-string volume. This set has good flexibility for you lead bass string benders.

    This set played in very quickly indeed at only 5 hours or so needed to hold tune well, and to settle in to the real meat of the tone. This in itself is amazing. There is plenty of rich upper harmonic content that is very musically pleasant, with none of the annoying tin-can zing so characteristic of Roto 66’s. It’s been about 30 years since I have played a set of Boomers, and I was very happily met with full round rich tone along with excellent attack and deep throaty growl for days. Plenty of solid sustain with slow smooth decay. Yes these are roundwounds and yes there is some string ‘chatter’ or screech, but not nearly as much as some brands with Roto 66’s being among the worst in this regard. Boomers are a very smooth feeling roundwound. Much smoother than any D’Addario round with Roto 66’s being the most course and roughest round.

    These strings just scream to be played hard with a pick! The tone is absolutely brilliant. Plenty of top end air and high mid snarl; the mids and low mids have tons of good solid bass meat with great growl. The bottom end is taut and authoritative.

    When played with thumb & fingers they mellow right on down with a very pleasant acoustic bass guitar like richness with warmth that just glows.

    My slap technique is laughable, but Bass Boomers are plenty slap happy.

    I will, of course, continue to update this review as time goes on.

    The bass used for this review is a custom lefty with a single Seymour Duncan Single Coil P-Bass Quarter Pounder. The original Leo Fender designed single coil pickup on the 1951-55 Precisions were known for their brightness and high output (for the time period). I chose this version for the large diameter Alnico V pole pieces/magnets and the tremendous amount of treble and midrange content of the signal. The output is not too hot and this pickup is very well balanced. I like it. Volume and tone pots are 250K CTS. Tone cap is 0.047 uf Sprague Orange. Output jack is Switchcraft. I have striven to achieve electric bass purity, and believe I have done so.

    I played this bass with GHS Bass Boomers through a Zoom B3 multi-effects unit with ATH-M50X studio monitor quality headphones, and also a new V3 Fender Rumble 200 1x15 combo.
  2. jp58


    Dec 9, 2009
    P bass and the Round Core Boomers is my current set up. I go back and forth between these strings and Super Brights, but I've settled on those two as my preferred strings.

    And they sound even better through a Rumble.

    I'm hoping to nab a Nate Mendel at some point, so I'll be able to compare between a regular Fender pick-up and the QP as well.

    Good review, pretty much nails my sentiment on these.
    Pbassmanca and Linnin like this.
  3. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Yeah, this is my pickup. Very pleased with it.
  4. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    Thanks for the eloquent write-up! I had never read or heard anything that made me especially eager to try Boomers, but after hearing the video you shared in your initial thread a couple of weeks ago, I put a set on my Precision bass. The deep, rich tone surprised me. It's like, roundwound strings for people who like flatwound strings but want just a little more edge to the sound.
  5. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    You're welcome @trothwell! You're too kind. GHS Bass Boomers are classic rounds that people like me have just forgotten about or like you along with many others just have never tried.
  6. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    I've been thinking of giving them another try, not that I disliked them when I did try them. I didn't know they were the first American made rounds. That's pretty cool! I'll probably buy a pack sometime soon.
    Linnin likes this.
  7. icebox


    Jul 16, 2009
    When I started playing I used Boomers. Then I got into Diaddario because they were more readily available. I tried boomers again for the first time in 20 years and I forgot how great they sound to me. I dunno, I like the sound of nickel I guess. Most my basses have flats these days but if it's rounds, I'm usin boomers.
  8. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I should have put this in the original post. As far the slap ability and tone of GHS Bass Boomers goes, just ask Flea, or better yet listen to some of his recordings. Flea also has his own signature set of GHS Bass Boomers.
  9. For those who are wondering, it should be pointed out that the "Flea signature set" is the same as the regular medium set (45-105), except for his name on the package.

    This according to none other than our good friend from GHS, @Jon Moody.
  10. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Whenever I put a set of GHS strings on any of my basses, they immediately become: Linnin Signature Precision Flats; Linnin Signature Jazz Pressurewounds, and Linnin Signature Bass Boomers. Find your sound with genuine GHS electric bass guitar strings. "Made Pure - Made In USA"
    Heavy Blue, FranF, Pbassmanca and 4 others like this.
  11. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    If I ever use rounds again I'll have to check these out.
  12. ZonieBass

    ZonieBass Send Lawyers, Guns and Money... Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2013
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Started with Roto 66 fifty years ago. Once I tried Boomers I never looked back for all the reasons stated above. Love them on my Fender Jazz bass.
    Linnin likes this.
  13. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    The problem I had with Bass Boomers is that they seemed to go "dull" quickly, meaning that, more than other strings I've tried, the difference between the new strings, which sounded great, and couple month old strings was very big. However, maybe these are just strings you have to replace much more often than I replace my bass strings...
    Sixgunn likes this.
  14. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I have a set on my MIA J. I really like them.
    I use Flats on my Ps.
    Linnin likes this.
  15. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    That's very similar to Roto 66's. Two, maybe three month strings. For some ten hour strings. Once the top end diminishes some can afford to change everyday. One of the things I am looking at in this review is longevity. Most roundwound sets in my experience are 90 day strings, or something around 100 playing hours (which is the more accurate way to measure).
    Pbassmanca and ZonieBass like this.
  16. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    No sound clips?
  17. The Boomers are supposed to go "boom boom", not "zing zing". :D
  18. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    An astute observation, @michael_t. ;) I think I will attempt to change the bass string lexicon a bit. I don't like zing as in the Roto 66 fresh top end. You and others may have read some of my past comments of "uber ringy-zingy nonsense" or "annoyingly unmusical tin can zinginess". To me zing is bad, so a zingy string is a bad string. :thumbsdown:

    I like strings that sing! So for strings that have a top end I like, they sing. Boomers sing. You have all kinds of adjectives that describe a string's top end in a good way: pop, snap, spank, soaring crystalline highs, or they may sparkle and twinkle like unicorn tinkle. :roflmao:
    Terracite, Yahboy and michael_t like this.
  19. MoonChild2112


    Oct 16, 2013
    the exact reason I use Rotosounds, I personally love that "zing"...
    Pbassmanca and Linnin like this.
  20. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Different strokes for different folks. The very reason Roto 66's continue to sell well and why some players change them everyday. To keep that zing thing!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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