Back with Rotosound Swing Bass 66 and I can't remember why I ever left

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by funkytoe, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. funkytoe

    funkytoe In Memoriam

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    OK. My quest for the perfect roundwound strings for me has now led me right back to where I started - Rotosound Swing Bass 66.

    My first bass, purchased in 1976, was an Ibanez copy of a Rickenbacker 4001. It had dead flats on it, so I took it to the music store to get it re-strung. The guy behind the counter suggested Rotos and I just went with it - not really knowing much about strings at the time.

    WOW. That bass was suddenly loud and full of sizzle. I bought a YES album and began playing "Roundabout" because that was the tone of my bass. My playing was a little sloppy and I had to learn to control the string noise. But, I loved them.

    Bands came and went and I got a few hundred gigs under my belt. I bought the obligatory Precision and Jazz basses to round out the arsenal. Then came the boutique basses - BC Rich, Alembic, Tobias, Warwick, Sadowsky. With each new bass came a quest for the perfect string. Dean Markley Blue Steel, Cryogenic, SR2000, taperwound, Elixirs, DR High Beam, Sunbeam, Marcus Miller, D'Addario XL-170 (My favorites for a long time) GHS Boomers, Thomastik, etc.

    Hundreds more gigs and I came to settle on D'Addario XL-170. They were my roundwound strings of choice and I played them for more than a decade. Then I heard a lot of chatter on Talkbass about the Dunlop Super Brights. So, I bought them. I really did not like them right out of the package. For me, the D'Addario set had a much better fundamental on the low E. But, over time, the Dunlops really grew on me. They broke in really nicely and I liked the lower tension for bends.

    Recently, I got a call to reunite with some old friends for a gig and the set list was like my IPod playlist - full of classic rock tunes. Rehearsals brought a smile to my face from ear to ear. But, something was missing. I tweaked my amp knobs and pedals looking for "that" sound. The sound I remembered. And it was close but somehow just not there. I was about to order my usual XL-170's to replace the Dunlops (from Jason of course) and, for some reason, I decided to go retro and ordered a set of Rotosound Swing Bass 66's instead. I am so glad I did.

    They came and I strung them on my favorite P Bass. And my sound came back to me. The sound I was looking for. Ballsy, deep and cutting at the same time. It was not just a "new" roundwound sound. I've played lots of new roundwounds. It was really a different sound and it took me back in time. These strings are definitely staying on this bass.

    Now - the 100% honest truth. The Rotos do NOT slap as well as many other rounds out there. And, I much prefer my XL's for fingerfunk and R&B. The Rotos' tension is a little stiff compared to my XL's (and especially compared to the Dunlops). But, for Hard Rock and Classic Rock, I have never played a better sounding string. Rotosound 66 for the classic rock win.
    trothwell and BrentSimons like this.
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    They make lighter gauges as well. Same great sound but with more flexibility.
    funkytoe and BrentSimons like this.
  3. Cracker7


    Jul 2, 2016
    Lakeland FL
    Love the 66s. They give me what I'm looking for. Perfect to my ears.
    funkytoe and BrentSimons like this.
  4. I put a set on my Rick a couple months ago. Hadn't played Roto's for many years. I was concerned with longevity, but they are still sounding great.
    funkytoe likes this.
  5. Thrillhouse


    Jan 21, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I went through a similar thing recently. I had used Rotos for a long time and decided to see what I might be missing so I tried every other brand under the sun. There were a lot of strings I liked but I was never totally satisfied. I decided to go back to the Rotos and I'm 100% content. At least now I know I'm sure that there aren't better strings out there (for me).
    eriky4003, funkytoe and BrentSimons like this.
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Never completely walked away from them. I've always had at least one bass with. 66s on it. It's a great set of strings. I've been using them since the '70s. :thumbsup:
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Nickel or steel?

    I've been playing them for 30 years.
    funkytoe likes this.
  8. funkytoe

    funkytoe In Memoriam

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    Steel for me. Still loving these strings. I think I've decided that my #1 Precision will be wearing Rotos from this day forward.
    BeyondFiredUp and buldog5151bass like this.