Brad Pearson's Review of Dunlop SuperBrights (SS)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Brad_Pearson, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Thought I would take a minute to talk about these strings since they are still fairly new to the market (I don't know of too many people playing them here in Vancouver).

    The test basses: Pearson Bass Five string (High c) with parallel wind Nordstrand Dual Coils.
    Mollerup Bass Six String with a Single Nordstrand Dual Coil.

    Both instruments are 33'' scale.

    After coming off 6 months of labella gold tape wounds, then about two months of dr Hi-beams, which have been my go-to string for the last couple of years.

    These strings have the same pliable, bouncy character that I like in Hi-beams and feel lighter than their thickness would suggest (I was used to it due to the last two string sets I was on).

    They come in just a hair tighter I think than Hi-beams of the same gauge. The low b sounded and felt great on the 6 string. I have a light touch and actually like how a .125 b feels so the .130 in this set worked fine for me. The high c was a good match tension wise to the rest of the set, and didn't stick out like it can in some other sets.

    They have slightly less elasticity in feel across all strings when compared to round core DRs. That being said they still feel much better than other hex core stainless strings I've played from D'addario, GHS, Roto etc.

    Texture: They are stainless, so they are rough. Just the way it is. These feel actually a little rougher than Hi-beams and similar to the D'addario pro steels I used to use (but much better elasticity and sound).

    Sound: These are bright and clear but not at all harsh. Not quite as smooth as Hi-beams (which I've always found to have a nice sweet treble) but not even close to as harsh and sterile as pro steels.

    These do the "piano tone" thing with the right technique, but I had no problem getting them to blend in both big band and jazz quartet (playing everything from bebop (well my best attempt) to hip-hop and latin tunes) in quiet, restaurant type settings. With the right eq these could do the modern metal thing easily. A very versatile sound.

    I like my setup low enough that I can get a little growl and fret noise when I dig, and these did that well without covering up the fundamental.

    Durability: Heres my favourite part. Ive had them on my 5 for about a month. I gig anywhere from 1-3 times a week and have regular rehearsals two days a week, plus practice time. These strings are still bright enough to yield a slap sound I would record with. Ive found when rounds go dead they can also feel stiffer and like you need to work harder to pull a sound from them. These still have the same lively, sensitive character that has only diminished slightly from the brand new sound and feel.

    Kind of similar to Hi-beams. They come out of the pack useable and not overly bright, and they seem to keep that character for decent amount of time. Vs something like ProSteels or Rotos that come out of the pack harsh, settle after a day, then after a week become much darker than I like.

    Overall I dig these. I think I still prefer Hi-beams slightly, but these are much more affordable. Very usable sound, great feel, slightly rougher texture than some rounds but not as bad as others.

    Im kind of curious about the nickel version now. I haven't used nickel in years since they always seemed to die instantly in my hands but if they carry the same longevity of the steels I might benefit from the smoother texture.

    Conclusion: Try them! Cheap and good strings!
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Nice review and fantastic strings! I've been pushing SuperBrights on TB users for 3 years now after some fellow TB'er turned me onto them. I push them for a reason. They are phenomenal strings, they are dirt cheap (Bass Strings Online of course!), they last forever, and the Dunlop folks are great. I've talked directly to the string folks many times since I switched everything to SuperBrights.

    And yes if you like the steels, you'll love the nickels!
  3. That will be what I get next! I work for Long and McQuade so I get them dirty cheap!
    BrentSimons and mmbongo like this.
  4. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    @Brad_Pearson thanks for very helpful review.

    I'm currently on Flex Steels. Previously looooong time user of Swing 66 SS and have used the Pro Steels also, but I'm having so much fun with Flex Steels, the way they bouch and flex, their mid forward growl that stands out in band mix, and their not too rough texture as the Swing 66 SS.

    Hi-Beams and Super Bright Steels are just the two strings that I've been considered for replacement when I need to replace the Flex Steels as these are now discontinued.
  5. Both sound like good options for ya! There seems to be a movement of companies catching up with stainless and more flexible string types that DR did for years.

    I think the way Dunlop is achieving the lower tension (while still on a hex core) is by making the outer wrap a little looser. If you look closely at the SuperBrights you can see that the wraps are not as tight together and there is actually the odd perceivable gap between windings. Not large enough to feel it and I doubt MOST people would ever notice that. Just my speculation. Strings are so interesting!
    BrentSimons likes this.
  6. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    That may be A factor, but the bigger one is the core diameter. It's far smaller than nearly everything out there; closer to if you took the top four strings (ADGC) of a six string set and tuned them EADG.
    Brad_Pearson likes this.
  7. I'm okay with the idea of achieving flexibility with a smaller core wire, but not too keen on the idea of looser windings with gaps in between.

  8. Like I said. I HIGHLY doubt most people would even perceive it. As an aspiring luthier, I tend to be hyper sensitive to the physical aspects of our instrument. Now if only I could become that sensitive musically I'd be on the right track :p

    Give these strings a try and see!
  9. So smaller core wire and more outer wraps? Or just larger wraps?

    Ever tried the Hellborg DRs? I know someone who swears by them and they are a rather odd construction (just one outer wrap on an exposed core.
  10. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    Larger wraps.

    I've heard that, but never looked into them. I'd be curious on that E string as the core wire has to be huge.
    Brad_Pearson likes this.
  11. jcerio


    Jul 27, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    My regular strings are Super Bright Nickel (after hundreds and hundreds of dollars searching) but I have a bass that sounds slightly dark and dull with them. The bass in question is a MTD Kingston Z5. Mahagony body, maple top, with Bartolini P25CBC pickups. The Stainless Steels really made this bass come alive! I believe I'll be keeping these. Thanks for the review. Really helped.
    wschenk and Brad_Pearson like this.