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D'adarrio XL's

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Stu L., Dec 12, 2002.


  1. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I couldn't find much on these strings. Did find tons on Prisms though. Who's used them? I still love my Boomers, but these look good to me. Anyone? Anyone?
     
  2. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    After trying them time after time on both my fretted and fretless, my overall assessment is: meh.

    I really like how (relatively) inexpensive they are. Buying their EcoPack or whatever it is, you get two sets of strings for only a little bit more than a normal set. This gives you a backup set right out of the door.

    Put 'em on my fretted five, and thought they were pretty vanilla. Didn't have a lot of character. Put on some Blue Steels, and decided that I'm more of a SS kind of guy.

    Have 'em on my fretless Jazz right now, and am not too impressed. Not was I was looking for, in terms of the fretless sound. Kind of thin. (Although, I DID order the ultra-light set, just for kicks. Even for the light gauge, though, they're only okay.) Once this set dies, I'm going to spend the money on some Elixirs and see how those work.

    My main problem is that they are kind of inconsistent, from string to string. I had a dead B in one set, and the G on my fretless definitely has a different output than the other strings. (Even after numerous pickup/string height adjustments.) Getting a good B out of a set became a gamble, which should't be. Some would blend well with the other strings, some shouldn't. Bleh.

    Overall, not my cup of tea. But, some may like them. Great bargain strings, if you're strapped for cash.
     
  3. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    I'm trying some now. I don't like them on my 5 string, but I do like them on my P-bass. They're getting a little old now and have a good balance string to string and a good fundamental. I use them to play Blues and R&B stuff. Good match with my Lakland P-bass. I ask George Porter Jr. what he plays, and he said XL's. He has a faily high set up, and he really digs in to the string with a hard attack. Lately I've been on a string search, especially for a pumping P-bass sound. The more I dig in, the better they sound. They don't wash out like SS strings. I'm pretty happy, don't know if they will stay, but I like them so far. Check out George at:
    http://www.funkymeters.com/
    http://www.georgeporterjr.com/
     
  4. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Can either of you compare them to boomers?
     
  5. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    I'll try, but it's soooo subjective. First off, it's all in you hands, what works for me, sucks for someone else. What I wanted when I started this string search was to find a string that when pulled, or really dug into, didn't clank, or have a metallic sound, but a more even and mello blat. Listen to some Funky Meters to understand. I don't slap or do pulls, so when I dig in I wanted the string to form more of a note that just gets gritty instead of spanky, thin, or metalic sounding.
    But I'm not answering your question. I have played Boomers for years in the '70s, and those were the sh*t. But somewhere along the line I went to Smiths liking the SS mid range. When I recently revisited Boomers, I still found them a little too metalic for what I was looking for. I'm going for the Pre CBS '60s P-bass thang. Boomers do that nicely, but I like the XL's better right now. Maybe a feel thing too, I like the feel of the XL's under my fingers, boomers feel harsher somehow.......Thats the best I can do. Anybody will tell you, the only way to find strings is to keep trying sets till you know. Once you have tryed everthing , you know what you know, you know? GOOD LUCK!
     
  6. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Hey Nola, thanks for trying! I know its not easy to compare strings like that.

    Out of sheer curiousity, what gauges do you use?

    I really like the way my Boomers sound, but it's time for new strings and I was thinking of wandering a bit. I've even thought of picollo(sp?) strings this time around.
     
  7. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    45-65-85-105 I believe, I tend to stick to medium or medium heavy guages. The smaller the string, the more the fundamental seems to wash out when I get to playing hard. Style, volumn, attack, wood all make a big difference. I like Lakland strings for my 5 a lot, can't do without them. Some say Carvin strings are good for the $$$. I really likes D' Addario Slowwounds for the MMwwaaaah kinda thing, great for jazz and lead stuff. I think if you invest over a year or so you'll really find your sound, it cost, but it made the difference for me. I now know more what I don't like too.
     
  8. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Just re-read SuperDuck's reply, and realized we said the same thing. Superduck thought XL's lacked character, and I was looking for a more traditional sound. Newer technology strings have a whole lot more charactor, like the Slowounds, I wanted the Old School sound.
     
  9. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've used XLs for years, and recently had to put on a set of Boomers when my local music store ran out of the XLs - so you're in luck for another 'in the field' comparison...

    Maybe just what I'm used to, but I definitely prefer the XLs over the Boomers. New, the Boomers were okay - Not quite what I was used to, but no substantial complaints, either. The problem with the Boomers to me is that they didn't age gracefully at all - at three weeks old, the sound was just plain intolerable to me. The XLs seem to retain much more pleasing harmonic character as they age.

    I've also tried some DR Sunbeams - they're on my bass right now. I really am wanting to like DR strings, but I don't think the Sunbeams beat the XLs, either, frankly. The Sunbeams weren't quite as crisp sounding out of the box, and not as consistent from string-to-string. I DO love the slinkiness that the round core DRs have, and I'm about to put on a set of Fatbeams to see if I can find a DR string to become my new regular set instead of the XLs. I've long preferred the natural warmth of nickel - we'll see if the Fatbeams can get me back on the SS bandwagon...

    If not, it might be back to the XLs :)

    Hope you find some of that useful ;)
     
  10. Hey Secretdonkey. Please post your views on Fatbeams vs. XL's. I've tried the Fatbeams, which I liked, but not the XL's
     
  11. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    I've used the D'addario XL's for approx. 20 years and really like them. When I got my first 35" scale bass (Roscoe) I had to use GHS boomers for a while because the D'addario XL Long Scale strings wouldn't fit on the Roscoe. I couldn't find the XL's in the Super Long scale. The GHS didn't sound as warm to me and I also felt that the string windings were much rougher feeling to my fingers. I found the Slowound's in Super Long scale and tried them on the Roscoe. Great sounding and playing strings! I get much better intonation with the taper wound "B" also. I've been using them on my Roscoe for the last 3 years and love them. They seem to be a little more consistant sounding than the XL's and last much longer. As an added note, I quit using SS strings on my basses years ago because of excessive fret wear. The nickle (or nickle coated steel) don't wear the frets down nearly as quickly as the SS strings. I use .045, .065, .080, .100, & .130 gauges.
     
  12. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Ackk... Would have been happy to oblige you - I was stringing them up when I realized the .065 D string looked way too fat. Looks like I've got two .080 A strings. For what it's worth, I got the G string on and though that's hardly enough to tell, I REALLY like it - a very, very nice tone from a stainless string.

    Hmmm... now what to do for tonight's gig? String the Sunbeams back up? Go see if my music store has Highbeams in my gauge? (I haven't tried them yet, and since I ordered the Fats from juststrings.com, I'll have to wait until Monday to talk to them and/or DR about my problem set).

    Oh, well I'll try to remember to post my impressions once I finally do get a set on...:rolleyes: :)
     
  13. I've tried the Hi-beams and I don't think they're so close to the Fat-beams that you could replace a Fat-beam with one. The Hi-beams sound thinner and have a more zingy highend. Not as meaty as the Fat-beams but still good, just not the same string. (I for one didn't expect the Fat-beams to sound so different from the Hi-beams as they do). What I like about the Fat-beams is that they got the warmth and fullness of nicklestrings, and the bright growly edge of stainless steels strings.

    Please do :)
     
  14. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Just an update. Still playing the XLs on my Bob Glaub. Left the bass out of the case and play daily on it. The XLs are getting better. However, I'm curious about TI flats now. If the flats don't gimme what I crave, I'll step up a size in the XLs and stay with them for a while. Till I change my mind anyway.
     
  15. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Very interesting. Boomers work really well for me, XL's don't. The only D'Addario string I've tried that I like is Slowounds, but I didn't like them enough to keep buying them. I've used different gauges of Boomers, from .030-.090 to .050-.110, they all sounded great. Just goes to show you that no string is perfect for everybody. XL'sj seem to be VERY popular, so they must work well for a lot of folks, but I don't think I'm destined to be a D'Addario man.
     
  16. Matthew T.

    Matthew T.

    Feb 17, 2002
    Springdale, AR
    It's been years since I've strung up a bass with Boomers but as I recall, they are in the same tonal ballpark as the XLs. Slowounds have less high-end than the XLs, if that's the sounds you're looking for. I haven't tried Prisms since I'm not into the feel or sound of stainless steel. To me, XLs have a fairly neutral, middle of the road kind of sound. It works for me but, as has been noted, opinions (and mileage) may vary.
     
  17. NOLABASS

    NOLABASS

    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Hey flatwound. what style of music and bass are you playing? I liked the Slowounds myself for a differant bass of mine. Thay have a mmmaaaahh to them on that bass. This is the first set of XLs I've tried. Played Smiths for years.
     
  18. Deep

    Deep

    May 8, 2002
    NY
    Secretdonkey! Why not give nickel plated Low-Riders a try? You just might like them.