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Best nickel rounds for vintage J-Bass tone

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Ryan Mohr, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Title says it all. I am going for that '60s Fender Jazz Bass tone with nickel rounds. Steels are too bright and clanky for me, but I still want the growl of rounds. I have found that nickel rounds nail that tone the best for me.

    I want full lows, growly/warm/complex/punchy mids, and smooth highs. I currently have DR Nickle Lo-Riders, but I'm curious how other nickels stack up. Here are the strings I am considering:

    DR Sunbeams
    DR Nickel Lo-Riders
    Fender 7150M
    Fender 7250ML
    Sadowsky Blue Nickels
    TI Superalloy

    What do you guys think? Feel free to mention other strings that meet my criteria. Thanks
  2. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    '60s roundwound sound on a Jazz to me says Fender 7250 strings, your gauge of choice. The DRs Lo-Riders are a bit bright, in my opinion, based on what you've described. Sunbeams also very good.
  3. CElton

    CElton I'm a new note finder...

    Consider a set of D'Addario XL nickels.
  4. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks for the opinion. You do know I am using the Nickel Lo-Riders, not the standard SS Lo-Riders.

    I am interested in the Sunbeams, but it seems that the frequency range isn't very balanced.
  5. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I have used XLs in the past, they are a little too bright and "dry" sounding for my tastes.
  6. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    The Sunbeams sound really good, but are kind of floppy compared to the Lo-Riders. The 7150s sound good, but are noticably lower in volume. 7250s sound good, they're cheap and last a while. Nickel Lo-Riders are my fave, but if you're looking to switch, I second jasper383 in giving the 7250s a try.
  7. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray

    Feb 20, 2009
    Fender 7250's are still my favorite nickel....they do die quickly. I tried the Sunbeams I found them to have less bass and lower mids...which I need. I still need to try the Nickel Lowriders.
  8. MmmmKaayy......well I'm happy to say I have not noticed this at all. I like them a lot.
  9. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    How would you compare the Nickel Lo-Riders and 7250s? Which has more low mids?
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Fender 7170 and 7250's are the go to in my book. I keep a baked (used) set on hand in case i need to string them for recording or I get a bass that they will fit. I prefer 7150's that are going dead to get the vintage tone and 7250s second cuz they are brighter. Although i mainly play flats now both are great strings and right up your alley tone wise.
  11. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I don't doubt that they are great strings, in fact I have used the 7150s. I am more interested in the 7250s for my J-Bass. However, I hear about many people taking off the stock Fender strings for D'Addario XLs among others. Why is this?
  12. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Could anyone compare these strings in terms of tone?
  13. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    I loved 7150s on my J, now I have there Sunbeams and I am very happy. Great mid range definition, deep bass, snappy highs if digged in.
    Of strings mentioned above I would suggest you just get the Sunbeams and give them a couple of weeks to settle down and broke in.
    D'Addario XLs are too "moderny" or "artificially" for me and quite stiff. I did not like 7250 at all.
  14. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I had trouble also getting 7250s to tame down and get the vintage tone. 7150s are perfect for this tone. D'a strings are way to bright IMO.
  15. xav_paris

    xav_paris Gold Supporting Member

    May 9, 2003
    FRANCE, near PARIS
    characteristics: smooth, warm, balanced

    E-Bass Jazz Series are strings with extended durability and high output. A highly flexible steel core gives the string a balanced feeling and a special character.

    very low tension : you might have to raise the action in order not to have fretbuzz pbs.

    I do have them on a OEM's Fender jazz bass 74 ash + maple, very very vintage with these strings, nearly the feeling of fltas with the sound of roundwounds


    Jazz E-Bass 4-string set Round Wound

    Set: JR344 long scale 34" medium | Set No.: JR344 long scale 34"
    ins mm lbs kp
    JR34043 G 1st Nickel Round Wound Roundcore .043 1.09 34.61 15.70
    JR34051 D 2nd Nickel Round Wound Roundcore .051 1.30 30.20 13.70
    JR34068 A 3rd Nickel Round Wound Roundcore .068 1.72 29.54 13.40
    JR34089 E 4th Nickel Round Wound Roundcore .089 2.25 27.99 12.70
  16. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I agree the 7150s have a great tone, but the tension was a little too high and the output was a little too low. Interesting about the Sunbeams, I have heard they have a lot of highs and high mids, but not much low mids or lows. I agree about the XLs, but what didn't you like about the 7250?

    As I stated, I have Nickel Lo-Riders currently. I do like them, I just want to know if there is a better nickel round.
  17. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    TI Superalloys are a great long lasting string. On a alder / rosewood jazz, they have the round definition but not a whole lot of sizzle when new. There is a low mid hump in them that is fantastic IMO.
  18. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Sounds like my kind of string!
  19. boondox


    Oct 8, 2008
    I agree. Sunbeams are WAY mellower and vintage flavored than the XL's. A little mellower than the Nickel Low Riders (what I'm using now) too. The Sunbeams are a must try, imho.
  20. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    fender 7250

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