Any love for the good ole D'addario XL Nickel Round Wound strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dnp41, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. dnp41


    May 10, 2016
    There is a lot of talk regarding all sorts of strings, and I'm also one of those guys who likes to try everything. I've been playing bass now again for a little over a year and so far I've tried, rounds, flats, stainless steels, coated rounds.. but I just keep coming back to these strings. The good ole D'addario rounds. Nothing fancy about them, just very affordable and good strings. IMO the coated Elixers strings can't even come close to the tone of the XL rounds. Yeah I have to change them every 2-3 months, but they also cost about 1/3th of the cost of Elixer strings so.. value for money seems pretty ok.

    Anyway, no real question, just wanted to show some love for the "nothing fancy" but nice, cheap and reliable strings. Sure there are many others out there, and I will probably try out some more rounds but for now, I keep coming back to these strings :)
  2. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    I am a flats convert, but I use these for roundwounds, or Sadowsky blue label rounds. I like them both, and D'Addario are cheaper than the Sads, so :)
  3. I call them "the Toyota Camry of bass strings" - quietly competent, reliable and relatively affordable. I have no problem recommending them to anyone who's new to bass who's looking for a "good starting point".
    armybass, Al Kraft and LowNloud1 like this.
  4. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Good solid generic roundwounds. Well made in USA and value priced to boot.
    There is a reason D'Addario is the best selling string in the country.
    villis, Al Kraft and BrentSimons like this.
  5. bearfoot

    bearfoot Inactive

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    I started using them a few months ago, after decades of prefering Roto 66s.
    I like the smoother feel of the DA XL's, and the ability to dial in tension with the chart they provide.
    The price is right. For me, they last several months even with heavy playing.

    The only strangeness to my thinking, is even with shipping, the best deal I can find on the DA's, a New York string, is via Bassstringonline, which is in CA. So the strings are sent cross-country, twice, to my door. I find that an insane waste of energy. I like bassstringsonline, its nothing particular to them. But if I could buy the strings from a NY dealer, I would. Unfortunately the standard markup for single strings from small shops is MUCH higher. If I find an east coast string dealer, sorry Jason. Peace.

    On a side note (oooh punny), I'd love to have a Reading Rainbow/Mister Rogers esque tour of the DA factory. I'm weird like that. Got transfixed on the elevator mechanism at a mall the other day, and security started checking me out.
    Arthur U. Poon and Klonk like this.
  6. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    Wantage, New Jersey
    Very good strings and provide some of my favorite tone. Just moving away right now to explore some other choices.
  7. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Used them pretty much exclusively for years and wouldn't hesitate to use them again or to recommend them. I'm having nice luck with DRs and Dunlops right now and have just settled in on those for a while.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  8. Long term XL user here. Been playing for 27 years and have been using them for the last 8. Tone is so subjective, I won't speak to it as you might prefer another flavor. Nickel XL's do the job, sound like nickel strings should, and are not overpriced. They are reliable and even. You would be hard pressed to find another string comparable in quality for the price.

    Bassstrings online for sure. I order 10 sets at a time.
    dnp41 likes this.
  9. Yes. Me likey.
  10. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    I don't use them on everything, but they've been a go-to for me since the '80s. I even have them on my '67 Hagstrom eight-string.
  11. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Hate to say it, but... no, I'm not a big fan - of D'Addario strings in general, and their bass strings in particular. They aren't bad strings; the ones that come on the rare new bass I buy are OK, in a "generic bass sound" kind of way. For me, the problem with them is that I'm allergic to whatever they use in their polishing/finishing procedure; they make my fingers itch like crazy. And, no, it isn't a nickel allergy - I have nickel strings on every bass that doesn't have flats or tapes on it. If I spend a lot of time and effort - and use some fairly toxic chemicals - I can get them clean enough to play. Or, I can just yank them off; put a set of Hybrid Slinkys on the bass; and just play the thing. I get pretty much the same "generic bass" sound, with a lot less effort - with no chemical fumes, and no itchy fingers, either...:whistle:

    There are some D'addario strings that I will go through the cleaning effort for, though. Their EXL157 strings sound great on my Eastwood Sidejack Baritone guitar; better than anything else I've tried, in fact. And, on my Eastman 905A mandolin? Their EJ74 strings are the stuff... But, their bass strings? Uh.. sorry, but not for me...;)
  12. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I like them on my Roscoe fretless.
    The siren song of EB Cobalt flats may tempt me to try those, but I expect I'll always have a set of EXL-170-6's on the shelf...
  13. whatever4


    Dec 12, 2012
    I started using XLs again after about 35 years of experimenting with different strings. They seem to last a long time and keep their tone without being as abrasive as Rotosounds. The sound is versatile, and they're cheap. I can't get excited about expensive strings, which wear out like cheap strings. The average listener probably can't tell how much you spent on strings by the sound. I've had better luck with machine-wound strings than with hand-wound strings--no loose windings. So for what I do, XLs work.
  14. KickingBass

    KickingBass Look into it

    I'm actually about to try some D'addarios again. The ones that came on my Sire lasted a really long time which is something my usual favorite strings, Dunlops, havent done lately. I just bought XLs for both of my basses. We'll see what happens...
  15. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    They were my string for many years then I got away from them. I know use them fairly regularly and keep them in quantity as my backup strings. Love em on my Ric.
  16. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    been using the dunlop nickel plated rounds recently, they seem to work a little bit better with the mfd g&ls, while the xls seem to work a little bit better with the normal output fender style basses
  17. D's are fine, affordable, strings. I've burned through lots of them. But I prefer roto's for that Dennis Dunnaway"growl".
  18. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    So far i love the EXL 170-5SL in my Ibby SRFF805. Sound great, Sound right!
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