Billy Sheehan endorsing Rotosound strings again

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by The Mock Turtle Regulator, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. p.25 of the current Bass Player- Billy Sheehan in a new Rotosound ad.

    I wonder what the story is behind his return to Rotosound Swing bass strings- previously he quit using them as the quality control wasn't good enough;

    There are rumors out that you may be leaving Rotosound. Is this true?
    Yeah. I feel bad about it because Rotosound has been so great to me and they were my first endorsement. I love Rotosound strings but they have a problem with quality control where a lot of times you will get a dead string in a set. That started way back in 1984. Actually when I first started buying the strings and paying full-price for them, we had that happen a few times, which was very painful, because at the time I was pretty broke. Then when I got the string endorsement and started getting them at a reduced price, we still got dead strings. Then when the endorsement expanded and we began getting them free, we were still getting dead strings! I started getting upset when they began putting my picture on the package because people were out there buying them and getting dead strings in their sets.
    Each time I brought it up to the company, Rotosound would insure me that they fixed the problem and they would for a short time, then the dead ones would start showing up again. So I had kids coming up to me after the show saying, “Hey I bought your strings and there was a dead one in there.” So I would have the crew guys go get them a new set. I felt so bad about it that after a while I just had to leave Rotosound. They are a great company and I love the strings, but they simply have a problem with their quality control. I don’t know if they are working to fix the problem, but in the mean time I needed to get a string that was consistent. Yamaha at the time did not have strings out in the States-they were just made to put on their basses and for Japan only. So they made up a set and their intonation and tuning is perfect. The new Yamaha strings are awesome!

    after using Yamaha strings he had a signature set of Snarling dogs strings, but now he's back with Rotosound, it seems.

    certainly I've had no problems with the card-packaged newer sets of Swing bass, so maybe Rotosound have improved their production techniques.
  2. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Hmmm strange, I've been using Rotosound 'Swingbass' strings for years and never had any problems with them

    Now the Fender strings on the other hand............
  3. I've never had any trouble with Rotos either!!! Now Elites are a completely different story - I'll never buy another pack:)
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I used Rotosounds exclusively from 82-88 when I switched to Elites from 88-97. Ive used 50/50 since 97 with mainly roto's on the Warwick and Elites on the Stingray5. In Feb I got a pack of Roto's that died after a weekend. Thinking it a fluke I replaced them and those died after 2 weeks.

    I couldnt get Elites for the 5 and it was a choice of Rotos or EB guess who won and guess what the new 1 2 string choice is?
  5. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I used steel Swing Bass strings (two sets over about 18 months) and thought they were very good - real growl to them, although the very light gauge (30-50-65-85!) I used took getting used to.

    I had my bass set-up and restrung properly by Martin Petersen at the Bass Gallery a couple of months ago. I'm not sure what strings he put on - dark blue silk at the top (not Elites though) and they've been the best strings I've played yet - they haven't lost any of their brightness.
  6. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    PS. Surely this thread should be in the Strings forum?
  7. yep, that's where I posted it originally- but a moderator moved it here for some reason.:confused:

    Martin Petersen likes Labella strings- so the strings he fitted on your bass could be Labella Hard rockin' steels.
  8. ahpook


    Jul 13, 2001
    i'm curious - what problems did you have with the elites ? were they duds ?

    i'm really happy with elites...tryied rotosound, but there was something about them i didn't like.

  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    His Snarlin' Dogs strings are (were?) pretty nice. I've got a set on my Palaedium that's about 4 years old - just getting broken in.
  10. I believe Charlie Stringer passed away....That's my guess...
  11. I like my steel Rotos. After going back to nickels for a couple months, I'm getting some more Swing 66 strings for both basses. I've only found one dead G, but it wasn't even that bad.
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That's what my local CS dealer told me. He used to love talking about Charlie apparently he was a real character.
  13. Charlie Stringer seemed to have a vendetta against Rotosound- all those ads with a crazed doberman attacking a small sausage dog wearing a Rotosound T-Shirt:p
  14. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    To my knowledge, before Charlie Stringer started marketing his own strings, he was Rotosound's US distributor. I used to use Rotosounds (Swing Bass and the Black Spacers) from '89-'93 and the Swingbass sets were very inconsistent. Some strings actually seemed to have some sort of grease on them, including two Billy Sheehan signature sets I bought. The Black Spacers were always very bright and long lasting. Maybe someone was messing up the strings on purpose? Not trying to start a conspiracy theory but I just can't see strings that are dead or covered with a grease leaving the factory as OK. It was around this time that I think Stringer was starting the ad campaign where he specifically targeted Rotosound strings. Seems strange to me....
  15. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Right...back to strings.
  16. yay!- back in the strings forum!:D

    interesting to learn that about Charlie Stringer formerly being Rotosound's US distributor.
    it was odd how those ads always went after Rotosound eg. "the orange-t-shirt-wearing weiner dog's strings are great- but so are Snarling Dogs- and they're $x cheaper" - totally ignoring D'Addario, Dean Markley, Labella, GHS etc. as competitors.
  17. Misanthrope


    Feb 7, 2002
    dunno..i`m confused.. i was using rotosounds years before (cause of price) but they were dead too soon.. now i use other marks.. maybe it should deserve to check it after 4 yrs.. but i don belive in a big change (i really dig billy sheehan`s noise.. but it`s more in his hands than in his strings)... :rolleyes:
  18. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    When I still had my Yamaha Attitude bass I used the Billy Sheehan Rotosound sets that were supposedly the same gauges he used on his Yamaha. I never had a problem with any set I bought, so I was surprised when Sheehan said he no longer endorsed the Rotos because they frequently had bad quality.

    I was equally surprised when I saw his picture in a Rorosound ad in Bass Player, because I wondered...had Rotos suddenly improved their quality significantly? (Or had they suddenly made him an offer to good to refuse?)
  19. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I wonder if they are Dean Markley Blue Steel strings. I bought those after reading Jason Newsted liked them. They had dark blue silk on the ends. Maybe it was just my imagination because I respected Newted's opinion, but I thought they were excelelnt strings. They stayed bright even in the hot, humid conditions they were usually subjected to.
  20. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Newsted uses Blue Steels? I know that he used to use Labella Hard Rockin' Steels but I think he is endorsing Ernie Ball strings now.