Alternative to Rotosound RS66LDN / RB45

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Phaidrus, Aug 5, 2022.


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  1. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    Any suggestions for an alternative nickel plated roundwound set to the Rotosound RS66LDN / RB45 (which are np rounds) welcome. For a Pbass with Original 62 pup. I do like the Roto tone, feel and tension. Thanks.
     
  2. If you like the Roto, why are you looking for an alternative?
     
  3. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    Good question. I have the impression, they won't/don't last all that long. And also just to try out something similar but different and perhaps even better.:woot:
     
  4. trothwell

    trothwell

    Apr 9, 2008
    If looking for something similar but different and perhaps even better, you might like the Rotosound Ultramag set, wrapped with the nickel-iron Alloy 52.
     
  5. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    Interesting!
     
  6. Barton Lee

    Barton Lee Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2018
    I had Roto RS66LDNs on my Ric 4003S for a few months and a few gigs until six weeks ago, when I swapped them out for Infeld Superalloys (IN344) which feel very similar in tension to the Rotos, a little smoother to the touch and a wee bit brighter, I think. From current and past experience, the Superalloys retain most of the original tone longer than the Rotos, though I would not characterize them as having too "bright" sound after initial break-in. They sound like really nice nickel/alloy-plated strings. The Infelds also cost at least twice as much (US$) as the Rotos, so if one is price sensitive, stick with the Rotos. I do prefer the Superalloys, though.

    Another nickel-plated round that I've tried and liked a lot recently are the Dogal NickelSteels. Strings by Mail had their 40-100s (RW160B) on sale this spring for the same price as Roto nickels, so I bought a set and liked them more than anticipated. Lower tension, a very nice growl on my Fender Jazz and they've retained their brightness longer than average (whatever that is) for rounds. I've used a couple of other Dogal strings and I like their products but again, they are higher cost.
     
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  7. I found the Dunlop Super Bright nickels to be comparable. In the same ballpark but different, if you will.
     
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  8. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    UK
    45-105 Boomers are very similar to the RB45. Less commanding E string. A bit more open air to the tone, perhaps slightly more complexity. Almost identical published total tension, but perhaps a very little bit less stiff.
     
  9. FirewalZ

    FirewalZ

    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    A bit off topic, but for as long as I’ve been playing, etc, I have never tried rotos….regular Boomers are to stiff for me, so not sure if I’d like them….but have always wanted to try
     
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  10. tindrum

    tindrum Supporting Member

    May 2, 2007
    Suffolk, VA
    DR nickel Low Riders would be similar but much longer lasting.
     
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  11. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    I (think) I don't like stiff strings and find the RB45 (45-105) to be of "normal" tension. But had the same impression with other strings that have less tension according to the published specs. I supposed one gets used to it and adapts accordingly provided the difference is not huge.
     
  12. tindrum

    tindrum Supporting Member

    May 2, 2007
    Suffolk, VA
    If you want a more flexible string you really, really need to try Dunlop Super Brights or DR Sunbeams. Both are fantastic.
     
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  13. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1

    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    I think RotoSound bass strings are the best sounding round wound strings I've played, for the first 25-40 minutes. For there the degradation of sound is rather rapid.

    I used DR Lo Riders mostly which IMO will give you a more refined sound than rotos but a good deal longer life. GHS Bass Boomers wouldn't be a bad option either, not as refined sounding as Lo Riders, and have a nice taught feel. Out of the 3 that I mentioned, Boomers will give you the best life.
     
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  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    IMO GHS Bass Boomers compare quite favorably with Rotosound’s Swing Bass NPS version. I’ve tried both sets on my Alembic Excel-5, and on my Mike Lull M5V. Bass Boomers are actually my favorite of the two, BTW. They sound more unrefined to my ears.

    I personally think the nickel plated Rotosound Swing Bass set sounds more “polite”, but they’re great sounding strings regardless.
    4F599021-F681-43D0-8CAC-D972AC43F45D.jpeg C9450DA2-F10E-4528-9742-1DF7A7F566DE.jpeg 9C825168-05D5-409E-920F-7AE0CCBAF8F1.jpeg .


    And, for me anyway, I hear more of a similarity between Rotosound’s stainless steel Swing Bass 66’s and GHS Bass Boomers, in that both sets have a lot of midrange content in their sound. The stainless steel SB66’s have a high mids emphasis, and GHS Bass Boomers have a low mids emphasis.
    Obviously, the stainless SB66’s have more top end, but not by a huge margin, IMO.

    I have a gig coming up, so just yesterday, I took the DR Pure Blues off of my Spector NS4CRFM, and I replaced them with a brand new set of stainless steel SB66’s.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  15. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    @tindrum

    For a while I've been quite tempted to try out the DR Nickel Lo Riders. However they cost more than twice the price of the Roto RB45 in the part of EU where I live, €35 and €15 respectively. Saddly, as mentioned, the Roto sparkle doesn't seem to last that long. They're probably alright if one likes dead rounds but I don't at the moment.
     
  16. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    GHS Bass Boomers are on my list!
     
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  17. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Nottingham, MD
    So - I used Roto 66’s (SS & NPS) for 35yrs… decided to make some changes - put GHS Pressurewounds on my ‘Classic Rock’ bass… they def. are less ‘clanky’ - but give a nice, crisp sound & last longer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  18. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    How long would you say does a Roto 66 nps set last on average?
     
  19. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I’ve read that it you prefer a bright sounding string. IMO GHS Bass Boomers aren’t top-end bright at all. Their tone is centered very much in the midrange. If you’re looking for a lot of top end brightness, you might be disappointed with Bass Boomers.
     
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  20. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    Yes, the RB45 and probably most Roto roundwound strings have distinctive sizzle / sparkle that I do like. This was the reason I put on this RB45 set and it didn't disappoint. Probably not long lasting but at least quite affordable at €14.90.
     

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