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Best B string for a Lakland 55-94 (55-02)?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by vlad335, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    I've been messen with different strings on my Lakland and so far I like the DR Hi-beams. Except the B string... I'm thinking there might be something better for this bass.
    Today I have been perusing the single string section over at JustStrings and considering maybe buying 4 string DR sets and picking up single B's.


    Too many choices!

    I have read during searches that people really like the single MTD B strings but they have all but disappeared from JustStrings. really wanted to give one a try.

    Any recommendations? Also open to 5 string sets that you guys think work well with this bass too.

  2. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    Are you stringing through the body or the bridge.
  3. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    (Edit) Through body.
  4. Muckaluck


    Oct 11, 2005
    Whitby, Ontario
    Try going through the body with the DR long necks. My 55-01 through the body with the long necks has a nice, tight, focused B.
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Same thing with me. The hi-beam E-G are perfect on that bass, but the B is so-so. This is true with beams on 90% of the 5 string basses I've tried.

    Other so-so Bs on this bass for me are the SR2000s, Ken Smith Tapers, Long Necks ... probably others I'm forgetting.

    The Dean Markley blue steels are better, and the Slinky .130 is OK, but the best are Sadowsky Extra Longs, LaBella Hard Rockin Steels and LaBella Slappers. I wish Sadowsky made his black labels steels in extra long lights ... I think that'd be perfect.

    Unfortnatley, none of those are really what I want on the -94, so I tend to just use DRs and baby the low B. If you're going to do a lot of Low B work, then I'd try some of the others.

    I'd LOVE to find that magical set of strings for this bass. I tried the lakland nickels and hated them (seemed like GHS boomers to me). Their stainless strings have been "out of stock" forever -- I wonder what they're shipping on new basses?
  6. nismaniac


    Feb 21, 2005
    OKC, OK
    I've tried a lot of different strings on my 55-02 and DJ5 and I always end up coming back to the Lakland Steels. I know you're stringing through the bridge, but I've really had a lot of luck with the Lakland strings through the body. I get a nice piano like clarity out of my B strings which is ideal for me.
  7. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    Jeesh! Meant I string through the body. Can't believe I typed that.

    Tried a set of Lakland nickels light gauge. 40-128 and they were just Blah. Nothing special. Wanted to try some steels but they have been sold out for weeks. Maybe the fact that they were nickel and light gauge had something to do with it.
  8. nismaniac


    Feb 21, 2005
    OKC, OK

    It's possible...I don't care for the Lakland Nickels and I always use the medium gauge. Maybe check back and try the Medium Steels when they're back in stock. Also, a tapered B is very important to me and the Lakland strings are the only ones with a tapered B that will fit strung through the body. (at least that I've come across so far)
  9. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    I would try Labella HRS thru bridge. Their tapered B is awesome. Big City String sells extra long 5 strings sets for a good price.
  10. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    D-Addario nickle super long scales worked for me. I used medium lights.
    I now have a different bass, but I now use sets that have a .135 string for the low B. I won't go back to lighter. I like the extra tightness that the low B now has. I did not know how heavy the gauge was until I tried to replace it. You may want the heavier gauge. It did not affect the playabilty one bit for me.
  11. CElton

    CElton I'm a new note finder...

    I would give a +1 to mention of the Sadowsky strings. Both the Bright Nickel and Stainless sets sound great and for me last a long time.

    I also had good luck with Ken Smith Rock Masters as well.

    In the end, my hands sweat quite a bit and Elixirs are what I've gone to. I really like the tension and tone.

    Lakland steels sound good, but they just die too fast.

    Try the Sad's, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Just be sure to get the XL's.
  12. Donnow, I love the nickle Lo-Riders on my JO5. ( although I'll try a set of Sunbeams on this 35" neck) Chicago shipped the bass with a tapered B; I had tried one before on a 55-01 and didnt dig it.

    Put a set of DR LoRiders on almsot immdiately ( prefer the warmer sound of nickle). After using the std Lo Rider B ( and not changing intonation , which was off), I ordered separate taperd B's with my new sets of nickle Lo Riders.

    They came in steel.

    Certainly dont prefer the steel tapered B's they got me as comapred to the other 4 nickles. DR is sending two to my house, after my email inquiry, so they do have nickle tapered B's. .125 . The steel B doesnt have that nice piano like ring I dig on.

    Nickle B should be here today. ( I hope, I'm recording tomorrow!) I'll let u know.
  13. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I just installed some Lakland steel lights on my 55-94 and I think thats the best set I've ever had on there! We'll see how they wear in, but right now I'm REALLy happy with them! Very snappy with great mid punch and a killer low B (its the same B they use in the medium gauge set, so it feels nice and tight compared to the .100 E).

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Hey vlad335, what's your main dislike: tone, tension, clarity? 'Cause I love my DR Longneck medium set, once I got 'em broke in. I have barts in my 55-94, I wonder if the different pups are a factor??

    oops, just realized you weren't the one who had tried DR longnecks.......give 'em a try
  15. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    Actually I have but on a different bass. I think there was something wrong with the particular set though.

    I have set of Sadowsky nickel XL's on now and used them on a gig last night. Good sound but I'm not sure I'm digging the tension. A little stiff with through body stringing.

    So far I like the Hi-beams best except the B string. In my experience, every bass has a set of strings that just works. SIT Silencers for example, are perfect on my Euro Spector 5.

    Going to buy the Lakland steels and a couple different B strings and continue the search. Thanks for all the replies!
  16. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    If you go through-body on the sadowskys, the taper core ends before you reach the saddle ... :eyebrow:

    The benefits of through body stringing are a myth. I only do it when the string is specifically designed for it, like the Lakland B (where the taper core ends just past the saddle ... perfect) or the long necks (on which the B is very similar to hi beams IMO).
  17. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    Hey Pickles. Do you think there would be any harm in stringing the B through the body and the rest thru bridge? I'm thinking potential neck twist D/T increased tension on the B side. (OK, I'm the paranoid type.) The 55-94 B string is awesome and I think the tension of thru-body is a factor. It has to have some effect or Lakland wouldn't bother.

    I still have the set of Long Necks here. Going to give the B string a try with the Hi-Beams for the other 4. ( Have these soaking in the denatured ETOH tube now.) Never thought of trying this actually.

  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Stringing through the body does not change string tension at all! So its perfectly fine to string one string though body and others through bridge. Tension is defined by scale length and string materials, period. Its just physics.

    With string through body, you tend to get a bit of an "arc" past the saddle instead of the string staying flatter past the witness point, which is a de-facto action adjustment upwards. Thats where the "tight" feel comes from ... the action is slightly higher.

    The only possible advantage of string through body is increased downward pressure on the saddle, but that can also be achieved with a neck shim, and is a non-issue unless you've got an extreme setup.

    Search a bit and you'll find plenty of discussion on this topic. In the meantime, that B string is nowhere near as good as it could be if you were actually taking advantage of the taper core. At this point you've probably caused irreparable damage to the full part of the string by bending it over the saddle, so I'd try a fresh set if you want to experience what that string is supposed to sound like.
  19. I've been using S.I.T. NR545125L on my 55-01, and S.I.T.'s on my other basses, for a couple years now and I'm 100% pleased with them..

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