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Are You Experienced? . . . with Taper Wound or Exposed Core strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FatStringer52, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. TLDR: Would love to hear comments from those with first-hand experience with Exposed Core and Taper Wound strings.

    My PB5 came stock with the Fender 82505M string set. And even tho I played them until I wore them out, I never really took a liking to them. Ever since I have been using DR Nickel Lo-Riders NMH5-130. It's getting time to change strings again and I've been thinking about trying some of the Taper Wound or Exposed Core strings. I've already read the threads here on site already and am aware that some experience problems with intonation, but would like to hear from some of you about your experiences with these strings.

    So far, I have narrowed down my list to 3 string sets. I am a DR fanboy, so it goes without saying that they are on the top of my list. The string sets in consideration are, in order:

    1. DR Long Necks TMH5-45 (.045, .065, .085, .105, .125) From reading about these, it is my understanding that all 5 strings in this set are tapered. These are hex core strings, which I prefer, since it helps to mimimize the "floppy B" syndrome on a 34" scale instrument.

    2. La Bella Super Steps SS45-B (Exposed Core) (.045, .065, .085, .105, .128) These peak my interest because, as advertised by La Bella, they have "an exposed core at the bridge, which brings out the high overtone content of each note. This design maintains an exceptionally quick response with a clear, distinct sound." And, I'm assuming, that these are built on a round core since it is exposed.

    3. D'Addario Pro Steels EPS300-5 (.043, .063, .085tw, .107tw, .127tw) These are also built on a hex core. My only concern with these is that the "piano-like" highs may be a little much for my taste. But they are readily available and less expensive.

    I have not been able to locate much information regarding the length from the ball-end to the beginning of the increase in taper (or from exposed core to beginning of taper). The PB5 is a string-thru and I would like to know whether or not these strings can be used in that fashion.

    So, if you have any first-hand experience with any exposed core or taper wound strings, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  2. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    I like the tone of tapered E's and B's, as I feel that the fundamental is a little clearer. Tapered strings (to me) feel like they have a little more give when plucking, and the attack has a nice bouncy feel. My experience has been that there are more intonation compromises with the thickest tapered strings. I compensate to favor the lowest 6 frets on a B string anyway, rather than trying to get the 12th fret in tune.

    With a full tapered set- the last set I tried was LaBella Super Steps on my Modulus back in 1996. I liked the sound, but I had trouble intonating the set. Honestly, it could have been my relative inexperience and I don't recall anyone else complaining about them so please don't be deterred from trying them. They are well made strings.
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  3. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    If you’re playing a fender with the high mass bridge, I recommend at least a tapered B string and top load it.
    I have ruined more than one B string by bending the thick cables thru the body. This bridge doesn’t really allow for anything other than a tapered B if going for a straight pull.
    I recently bought an ( expensive) set of DR nickel lo-riders; the first set had dead strings in it and the replacement set wasn’t any better.
    I currently use EBMM Slinkies for the first four strings of my fivers and a D’Addario tapered nickel for the B and it seems balanced
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  4. Thanks for the input Rodger and Joe. I really appreciate it.
  5. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    As far as i know the DR Long Necks have a very long ball to taper distance and are for through-body stringing, top-loaded there will be too much tapered length in the vibrating length, causing tone issues.
    Exposed core is, for me, too thin at the saddle, it seemed to exaggerate any tone issues caused by a tapered string. I find the best results are from the tapered section having 1 layer of wrap wire. However note i haven't tried the Super Steps.
    The D'Addario ProSteel tapered .145s i used a few years ago had a 2" ball to taper distance, which worked well for top-loading. Very good tone and intonation.
    Rodger Bryan and FatStringer52 like this.
  6. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA
    Thread revival! What strings did you end up going with @FatStringer52?
  7. I bought both the DR's and the La Bella's. The DR's went on the bass and I have the La Bella's for my next restring.
  8. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    I like a tapered B on my Ibanez BTB675 (NYXL 45-130). However the tapered B didn't work well on my Yamaha and I didn't bother trying it on my Fender Jazz 5 as everything seemed to be balanced nicely as things were.

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