Bass Strings for G&L SB-2

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Old School P-Bass, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. I've researched many threads on bass strings and came up more confused than when I started. I'm asking for your advice again realizing everything is subjective.
    I have a G&L SB-2 that came with D'Addario EXL 170 45-100 from the factory. This is a 4 string bass with a 34" scale. The strings are good but is there something better? I play Blues, Classic and Alternative Rock. No slapping. Willing to pay up $50.00.
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    What do you like/dislike about the current set? Are you looking for something darker/brighter in tone?
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  3. Possibly something smoother on the fingers, less noise when sliding up the neck. Maybe more sustain without losing the sound of the flatwounds. Is stainless preferred or nickle? Is the lighter strings preferred or heavier string? I know this is all personal preference but was hoping to gain some insight.
  4. If you want a flatwound tone with roundwound-like sustain and quiet slides, try Dunlop Flats (stainless steel).
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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  5. Crispus

    Crispus Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2020
    I have been really happy with Labella 760 FS on my sb-2. Good with pick or fingers. For me, they pair well with the mfds. @$40.
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  6. What type of music do you play?
  7. WannaJazz

    WannaJazz Supporting Member

    May 7, 2010
    DR brand, Sunbeams, or Pure Blues fit the requirements you describe.

    I have tried many different brands, and types of strings over the years.

    The two models of strings I listed work very well on my SB-1.

    Playin' Blues and Classic Rock.
  8. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I had RotoSound flats on my SB2 and it was a match made in heaven. Perfect for blues and rock.
    Mine had tone control and I kept all 3 knobs dimed for most songs.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  9. Crispus

    Crispus Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2020
    Bluesy psych rock, some surf. Won’t get that high-end zing, of course, but I find I can get some surprisingly bright tones with the bridge pup dialed in. Current strings over three years old, played with regularity
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  10. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    I've had various sets on and off mine and finally settled on Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats. A bit slender and quite nice under the hands—not as glassy as say Chromes though—and with a distinct bite to the tone that seems to work synergistically with the MFD pickups on the SB-2. Very nice. :thumbsup:
  11. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    At first I would suggest GHS Pressurewounds but then you mentioned sustain... I'd definitely go with the Dunlop Flatwounds that @michael_t had suggested earlier. Definitely smooth and not as grabby as the EB Cobalt Flats on the fingers.
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  12. When I read "something smoother on the fingers, less noise when sliding up the neck", I thought of the Pressurewound first. Then I read "without losing the sound of the flatwounds". While the PWs are smoother than typical rounds, they DO NOT provide a FLATWOUND TONE. That's why I suggested the Dunlop Flats instead.
  13. Claymore


    Nov 10, 2019
    Rhode Island
    I really liked DR Pure Blues on it but eventually settled on Labella Copper White Tapewounds. They make that particular bass just a tad less aggressive in the best kind of way. I love those strings.
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  14. Mammoth_Bass

    Mammoth_Bass Check out my band Mammothor!! Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Sandown, NH
    These are also my favorite strings to use. Especially with the G&L MFD pickups. @jmlee describes them well!
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  15. I've tried so many different types and string manufacturers over the years. Getting the right combination is a moving target because my tastes change. However, I will say that the LaBella 760FS flat wound strings seem to have found a long-term home on my SB-2. I can get a lot of tonal variation for different songs and picking techniques (finger or pick) by adjusting the pick-up volumes on the bass. Different strokes for different folks, but this combination is my current favorite on my SB-2. Have fun finding your favorite, I hope you find something that really excites you.

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  16. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    I'll toss out to try the LaBella 760fl's..
    They've worked so well with everything I've played using my Duck Dunn
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  17. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    My SB-2 has GHS Precision flats on, but it's a fretless.
    I absolutely wanted my fretless to be a SB-2 and I also tried many sets before picking the GHS.
    Most strings tended to undo what the bridge pup was doing : add clarity.
    The GHS didn't do that at all.
    Not sure that's what you're after. Thought I'd share in case you happen to have the same problem.
  18. uwrossl

    uwrossl Blues/Soul/Rock N Roll Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    This 100%

    Thomastik's are close to the Dunlop's as far as sustain and still sounding decidedly like Flatwounds but higher price than you mentioned and the low tension can be off putting to some people. Dunlops would most likely be a better overall fit. They are also very similar in tension and flexibility to rounds.

    Cobalts and Fender 9050's have nice sustain and a lot of round wound qualities but don't quite have the same flatwound thump that the Dunlops do. I love them on a Jazz. GHS and La Bella flats are great but have a much shorter decay. IE thumpy and less sustain. Great for old school Jamerson motown/stax type stuff.

    All different flavors of great but based on what you are looking for @michael_t nailed it. The Dunlops fit the bill to a T. Sustain for days while still keeping that clear flatwound fundamental and thump. One of the most versatile strings on the market IME. I use them on both my Moollon P and my Serek Midwestern Short Scale and play 99% with blues and soul bands.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2020
  19. Did you clean the string with anything, like denatured alcohol?
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Less sustain is the sound of flatwounds. I think a set of pressurewounds would be a good bet for you.
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