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Change from Steel To Nickel

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by crazybassist601, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. I have Extra Heavy DR Lowriders on right now, and I just got a setup. I dont like how harsh the steels sound, and I wanted to get DR Lowriders in nickel with the same guage. I would like to know if this would throw anything off too bad on my bass. My bass is a MIM P bass with a badass II bridge and a Hipshot Drop D tuner.


    P.S. Please note guitar center does not stock extra heavy ANYTHING in my area, so I would have to order them, so I would like to know beforehand what to expect.
  2. anybody?
  3. fatsobasso


    Dec 24, 2005
    Ormond florida
    you will love nickel strings,same gauge won't change anything.
  4. thank you, thats all i needed :hyper:
  5. fatsobasso


    Dec 24, 2005
    Ormond florida
    why do you like extra heavy?what are the gauges on those?
    just remember,whenever you change your strings,do it one at a time,don't take all the strings off,take e off then put new e on--then a off then new a on ect..
  6. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    I used to like heavy strings. 50-110's or 55-115's. They give you lots of boom, thump and you could hammer the crap out of them. You could get really low action with them too. The downside is they tire you out and you can't do bends or any of that stuff on them. They do add BEEF to your bass however. I have toned down to 45-100's in recent years. Easier to play, jazzier tone, clearer more defined sound.
  7. I think you'll really like the nickels. If you perceive your strings as a little too harsh, then the only time you won't is if you use a huge amp cranked up. You won't lose a ton of that brightness and bite with the nickels but it will be considerably less harsh. (And they'll last longer too!:hyper: )
  8. I dont know what people are talking about with the bend issue on 115's. I can bend with them fine, and they sound beautiful when bent. They have a completely different sound when you do it though.

    I like extra heavys for the punch, depth, but most of all I like how they play. They are a snappier string, and I play with a pick. If I played fingerstyle I would definately not go with extra heavies. I tune drop D right now (when I get my 5 it will be ADADG) and I just love how they play. They actually play better on my dropped string then I used to get with 100's with a normal E. I just like something stiff to play against.
  9. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    How long have the steels been on? They should loose that new string edge in a week or two of regular playing ...
  10. Well...the ones right now are fairly new, and are starting to lose the extra harshness, but no matter how dead they are they still sound harsh to me. I think Ill just keep these on till they break and then change to nickels.
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    If your amp has flexible EQ, you can also eq out some ~2kHz to mellow it out.
  12. Id love if it did...I only have a GK Backline 600 though...
  13. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    If you're using the RBI from your signature, try backing off the "presence" a bit and if the tone becomes too dark then turn up "high" instead. The presence EQ is centered lower than the high EQ and can be harsh if you go too far with it.

    Oh and by the way -- you're definately going to need to get new strings and a setup on the G&L if you are used to .115s!
  14. Yea..That was the plan.

    I gotta get all other expeses taken care of first ;)
  15. I'm almost limited to Nickel. Personally, I dont see a huge difference in sound between Nickel and steel, aside from the steel being brighter by a little bit. But on my bass, just using steel gives me buzz, I'm not sure why. I had a set of DR lowriders and was getting horrible buzz even after setup, but then I swapped them out for GHS boomers, buzz was gone, but they died after about a week and a half. Now I'm using elixer nickel rounds, to get the nickel feel on my frets, with the long life of steels.
  16. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    DR's are looser than most brands. Especially Boomers and Elixirs.
  17. Really? I found my boomers to be much looser than the DRs I used to use, not quite as tight, with a more sluggish slapping response (I may have gotten a different gauge without noticing, who knows). Although the Elixers I'm using now are just how I like them, tight and responsive.
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    In my experience anything with the "DR" name sounds "harsh" to me, nickel or steel. But you'll definitely calm things down a little with nickels if you don't like how "lively" the steels are. Another thing to try is going back to the bent metal Fender Bridge.

    Personally I love nickel strings and hate steels.
  19. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Each bass has its sweet spot. And each players sweet spot is different.

    I threw a set of DR Steel Low Riders on a G&L L-2500 and it was harsh as you describe. That bass really sung with Nickel rounds with cheap old D'Addario XLs being really a nice match.

    But on my Sadowsky alder / rosewood fiver, nickels just don't do it. I have tried two brands of nickel and three brands of steel. And the steels are the sweet spot on that bass.

    Get out the wallet and be patient if you are looking for tonal Nirvana. Or just shut up and play. ;)