Hi, I bought a Tobias Toby Pro 4 bass, in natural wood grain (satin lacquer) finish, it's just lovely. I previously had a rubbish p-bass copy, but it really was rubbish. The new bass was the display model in the shop, so the strings aren't new. I don't know what they are. I bought some new D'Addario strings, Nickel round wound XL ones. When I strung it, I was really unchuffed with the new strings. They were very very quiet and dull sounding in comparison to the "old" ones I'd just taken off. So I put the old ones back on. I mentioned that on here, and afterwards, a nice chap from D'Addario messaged me explaining it could be that the new strings are nickel, and maybe my old strings were steel. He offered to send me a new set, but I've got no idea which to go for, I want to get it right this time if it was my error getting wrong strings the first time. Can anyone offer some pointers about gauge and different metals? I know the differences between flat, round, etc. Am I right in thinking the bigger the number, the thicker the string? Not the other way round like with AWG measurements? Are thinner strings easier to play? I like playing scales and learning slap/pop technique style. When I'm better, I'd play jazz/funk/groove stuff, rather than rock/metal, etc. I assume thicker strings sound "weightier", if thinner strings are easier to play, can't you just turn the bass up to compensate? Could it be that the current strings I have are steel? Is there any way to know, I really love the sound of the old strings, I want new strings that sound like those. Also, the old strings have red cotton winding around both ends, what's this for? Thanks for any advice offered.