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Alternative for Roto Swing66 lasts longer

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Clemouze, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Salut les gars (et filles)

    Ok another " swing 66 alternative " thread I know sorry! But I didnt find the same idea on the other threads.
    I don't want softer strings. I don't want less bright strings .
    I want to know if an alternative exists that lasts longer but sounds like swing 66.

    The rotos lost their brightness sooo fast !
    Ok they still sound cool after that loss but come on I buy them for that bright clanky crunch, low action and everything .

    I wash my hands before, I clean the strings after, I use some dunlop blue thing to keep them alive, I slap them TO HELL before playing to work on their elasticity, etc
    I am Ok to change them before every gig ( which is not often ) but not every week !

    Any proposals?

    Thanks for Reading
    BrentSimons and trothwell like this.
  2. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    If you're after the tone of Rotosounds immediately after installing them... not sure I've heard anything else quite like that. If you're okay with the tone of slightly broken-in Rotosounds, I think the closest (maybe even slightly better) is GHS Progressives.
    Root 5 and Clemouze like this.
  3. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I have a skin chemistry that causes Rotosounds to lose their zing almost immediately, and possibly during installation...
    I've been using Fender 7250ML NPS for a while, and they seem to work for me. Plenty of that Roto vibe, but don't go dead as soon as I look at them.
    If you can find any old stock of the black silk ones, they're even more growly.
    Clemouze likes this.
  4. Michael4bass


    Aug 20, 2011
    Florence, MS
    I've usually have good luck with GHS Super Steels ML5000 and Warwick 42200 Red Label Stainless steels.

    Bassically, Michael
    Root 5 and Clemouze like this.
  5. That would make them lose their initial brightness faster than if you were to let them settle quietly and naturally.
  6. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Ok I mean I do that when they start to sound a little dead
    RyanOh likes this.
  7. Ok... I get it now. ;)
  8. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    For info I love a lot the kind of Geddy Lee/ Squire / Entwistle rotosound tone
    ( who I guess could afford a new set of strings before every session)
  9. Clemouze - the correct answer:woot: is Marcus Miller signature Dunlop Super Brights. Similar tonal (and feel) qualities to Roto 66's but just last longer! Replaced my strings back in August, played a gig in September and am now pondering if they should do the gig in two weeks because they still sound amazing! FYI, huge fan of Lee & Squire here.
    Clemouze, BrentSimons and Marihino like this.
  10. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015

    Salut Clement

    I havent found anything that has the same piano ring as Roto 66 (mind you, I still have to try those MM Super Brights) but...after going through several cleaning scenarios. I now do this and it works quite well (at least it spreads the cleaning further out).

    I dampen this The String Cleaner | stewmac.com or this https://www.amazon.ca/WINGO-Cleaner...-1-spons&keywords=guitar+string+cleaner&psc=1 (I have both) with denatured alcohol or ethanol 3.78L Ambiance Ethanol Fuel and carefully wipe the strings while still on the bass. Just a little bit on the upper pad mind you and it really works wonders.

    Taking the strings completly off and soaking them for a couple of hours (in denatured alcohol/ethanol) completley restores them. The only drawback is that the silks eventually fade and/or breakdown after a few removals. I usually have two sets in rotation.
    Clemouze and BrentSimons like this.
  11. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Thank you for all your answers
    I will try the alcool soaking but also try the MM super bright

    Here is a video I found comparing the two set of strings :

    Ok not a super good playing or testing ( he doesn't attack the strings like I'd like to hear to compare ) but the idea is here.
    Seems close soundwise

    EDIT : Wow it s not even the MM super bright, just the standard version
    Since the MM are meant to be brighter and bassier than the standard I can understand how close it could be from Rotosound Swing66
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I bought my first set of Swing Bass Rotos around 1972. If an exact timbre match is the goal, I’ve never found one. And I’ve tried a lot of different roundwounds over the last 40+ years I’ve played bass.

    If close or “close enough” is your goal there’s a few (or several) choices depending upon how fussy you are.

    However, there are some things in the bass world (e.g. TI Jazz Flats, Ric basses, the Ampeg SVT or B-15, a Höfner 500/1 to name a few) there’s no 100% match for. You want the real sound, you need the real deal.

    Or at least that’s been my experience. YMMV.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  13. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    DR Lowriders SS come to mind.

    Good Luck!
  14. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Roto Swing 66 SS were my favorite in the 80s, but I've stopped using them since early 90s. Then for the sake of nostalgic, I tried them again in 2015, which I bought a few sets, but only to be reminded the reasons why I had stopped using them in the first place, which one of them was that loosing of mojo growly brightness too fast.

    I'm currently using Dunlop MM SB on my main gigging bass and I kinda quite like them. In my opinion, these aren't anywhere the same as the Swing 66 SS. The growl seems not in the same frequencies and for sure the MM SB are far less tense and less harsh on fingertips, which actually are far more preferred for me. The brightness seems stay longer too.
    Root 5, eriky4003 and Clemouze like this.
  15. jjmuckluckjr


    Mar 24, 2015
    Roto’s have almost perfected a near-perfect piano tone. Sharp, bright, alive! And regetably, short lived and kinda dated. But ideal for recording or a concert. And I’ve seen/tried alcohol rubdowns, boiling in water, and stretching/snapping like a bow & arrow. I assume these measures get rid of the oil and gunk buildup, to reclaim past glory. Results were so so at best.
    At some point in my playing, I stopped changing my strings every 6-12 months. It’s not about the money (although it should be a little). What older strings lack in brightness, they make up for in funk. My oldest strings are 10+ Rotos hung on my Jazz. My P & 5’er have 8 y/o D’Addario flats. And my SS Jaguar’s got 5y/o D’Addario Chromes. Those are my favorite.
    In addition to other idiosyncrasies, new Rotos always felt like a buzz saw. Sharp, grippy and unforgiving. Definitely not for the soft of finger! Still a fan though.
    Arthur U. Poon and Clemouze like this.
  16. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    DR Hi Beams perhaps. I used to use Roto 66's through the 1970's but stopped because I didn't like them eating my frets. For my basses with rounds Hi beams have been my go to.
    Clemouze likes this.
  17. Always used Rotosounds to get that Squire sound but got fed up with them dying so quickly.
    I now use Elixir nickles on my Jazz and Elixir Stainless on my Rick.
    Love the tone and they last for months.
    Works out cheaper in the long run too!
    Clemouze likes this.
  18. CayGee


    Feb 21, 2018
    I have the DR Hi-Beams on my 5 and they seem to hold up.
  19. LaBella Bass RX stainless have my "go to" rounds in the last several years, after playing Rotos for a long time. They're relatively inexpensive, have that piano thing, and last a good deal longer.
    Root 5 likes this.
  20. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    I used DR Hi-Beams for awhile back in the 90's when Rotosound was having some issues with dead strings right out of the package. The DR's sounded great and lasted a lot longer than the Rotosounds did but... they don't sound anything like Rotosounds and nothing else does. I use Rotosound RS66LD's. The award for strings that die the quickest, IMHO goes to GHS Boomers. Dead within an hour.
    Groove Doctor and Clemouze like this.
  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.

    Jan 26, 2021

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