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Could it be that stainless steel strings aren't really the right strings for me?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by phxlbrmpf, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I kind of like a bass sound with a bit of bite, so I've always used stainless steel strings plus the occasional set of nickels when I couldn't get any steels.
    Thing is, I noticed that some stainless steel strings have a very "high" top end, not a lot of mids and lots of bass, which makes them sound a bit muddy when their freshness is gone.
    Is it just me, or do nickels not "age" this badly or is it just my imagination?

    In closing, could someone recommend me some strings to me that sound bright and snappy, have strong high mids and not that much bass? My Status fiver has enough bass of its own which can sometimes be too much, which I'm trying to correct with a set of bright strings.
  2. DR Hi-Beams
  3. +43550

    nothing else than high beams for me now...
  4. Steel strings...meh....
  5. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Hmmm. I swore up and down that Prosteels were the string for me. And they are. . . . on my Reverend and other passive basses. They did NOT sound good on my Sadowsky, however. Probably the worst string imagineable. I went to a nickel. Fender 7150s. I highly recommend the Fenders.
  6. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Hey great quote Daniel!
  7. Heh.

    Steel strings just sound awful on my current bass. Half rounds and my bass couldn't make a better couple. I really like super slinkeys, just on certain basses. And I REALLY like steel strings on marcus miller sig basses. (Don't own one, but have played one with steel strings).
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    DR Hi-beams are the best strings I've played, but unfortunately they're not easily available where I live. What I normally use is a set of La Bella Hard Rockin' Steels and I like them a lot. It's strange to me that musicians seem to have sort of a grudge against La Bella (at least where I live) and I think that's the reason why these strings are cheaper than D'addario XLs (nickels), the most popular and expensive strings in my town. Normally, steels are more expensive than nickels, but that's not the case here with these two brands (I think if someone ever brought D'addario steels, they should be extremely expensive).

    That's exactly the reason why I don't like the XLs. They sound incredibly good when fresh, but they die too quickly. In general, I've found that steels last much longer than nickels and that's why I prefer them. My advice is to try a set of DR Hi-beams first and if you don't like them (after a considerable amount of time and playing, of course), try the Hard Rockin' Steels.
  9. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Ok, I think I'm gonna try the HiBeams when I have some cash lying around. What do yo think of the Rotosound Swing Bass strings? They're a bit cheaper and as far as I know, they're pretty much the "classic" steel string. I remember the first pack of strings I ever bought being Rotosounds, the E string kept on jumping out of my bass's nut because I had no clue you were supposed to wind the string around the post from one direction only due to the positioning of the tuning machine and I kept trying again and again. My entire room was full of fuzzy red bits of cloth from the stuff that was wound around the end of the strings. :p
  10. Yeah, I actually had Roto's in my mind too, when I recommended Hi-Beams. They sound somewhat different from the DRs, but still matches your critia for emphasis on the hi-end and higher mids. More raw and hollow sounding. www.stringbusters.com has them cheap, and taxes should be no problem since you are in europe too.
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I don't like the feel of steel plated strings.
    They act like a file on my calluses.
    I don't like the tone when they're brand new, clanky and all.
    And yes, I too noticed they wear really quickly.
    Nickel for me.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    What you are describing is "dead on" to me - in about 20-25 years of bass playing this has been my experience as well.

    So there was a time when Rotosound steels were the only reasonable bass strings I could get, but I hated how they were too bright and scratchy when you first put them on - then there was only a brief period where they were usable! :meh:

    It was such a revelation to discover decent nickel strings and especially D'Addario SlowWounds!! :)