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D'Addario ProSteels - disappearing in band mix

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Rickter, Jan 21, 2018.


  1. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Had something kind of odd happen at band practice today, and I think I know what the cause of the issue was, but wanted to run it past the community here at TB to see what others thought or if it had happened to anyone else.

    I recently strung my P5 with a set of D'Addario ProSteels with tapered B, E and A strings. I thought I liked them. Sounded pretty good at home. Got to band practice today, plugged up to the rig without changing any settings at all, and the other band members swore that they couldn't hear me at all. They weren't necessarily any louder than usual. Nothing else seemed to have changed where my rig was concerned aside from my having been using DR Pure Blues the last practice and this time I had D'Addario ProSteels. Even when I turned up my volume levels on my rig, I still didn't jump out in the mix like I usually do. Has anyone else experienced this with ProSteels? I've played stainless steel strings many times before, typically Rotosound 66s and recently DR Hi-Beams, and never had this happen.

    Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.
     
    AlexanderB likes this.
  2. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I can't offer anything, except that this isn't at all the reaction I get with the Pro Steels.

    I haven't seen the set with tapered B, E, and A strings. I can't imagine that having anything to do with your experience.
     
    Element Zero, Bassist30 and Solarmist like this.
  3. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Thank you @Geri O. Agreed that it doesn't seem like it should have been the cause, but strings were the only factor that changed. Very odd situation. It was like I just disappeared in the mix except for the lowest lows and some occasional fretboard clank when I tried to utilize that. Being steels, I know that they aren't going to be as "mid forward" as nickels, but this seemed a bit extreme. I'll keep experimenting, I'm not giving up on ProSteels just yet, but it may be a while before I come back to them.

    In case you're interested in the specific set here's the link: EPS300-5 Custom Lt Top, Med Bottom, 43-127, Tapered Long Scale
     
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This is probably going to come across kind if harsh, but here goes.

    Strings are a major part of our tone. You can't just slap a totally different set on your bass and not expect to have to adjust your setting on your amp. I would think little or nothing of it unless I tried tweaking my amp and still couldn't get them to come alive in a mix. Go back to flat and see what needs to be cut or boosted. Forget the numbers on the knobs and use your ears. When it sounds good, stop turning knobs.
     
  5. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Fair enough, not harsh. Appreciate it just the same. My thought was that since I had used the same settings with other steels that I would not need to deviate that much if at all. After the first set run through, I did start changing settings. I didn't change anything drastically, as I run my GK with Highs and Bass at Noon, boost my Hi-Mid to about 3oclock, cut my Low-Mid to about 11 oclock. Oddly the change that made the biggest difference was the Boost. Changing it from 10:30 to Noon made a big difference, but I never could get my usual high mid punch back. Will have to keep experimenting.
     
    Geri O and two fingers like this.
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    It also might be possible that the Prosteels aren't emphasizing enough low mids for you to be heard in the mix. IMO boost your low mids more with your amp's EQ. See if that helps.
     
    3alfa3 and El-Bob like this.
  7. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Used pro steels for a couple years. Loved them. Is be shocked if thats the reason you are having issues
     
    Bassist30 likes this.
  8. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I messed around with my Low Mid some on our second set play through. When I boosted it (from 10 or 11 oclock to 3oclock), there was more "girth" but it also seemed to become more muddy. It may be that the ProSteels were working against the wrong area of Low Mid that my GK didn't quite catch in the EQ curve of that band. I rather liked that particular set of strings and would like to use them more, but I will need to figure out what/why happened before I do it again.
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Try cutting your lows a bit to reduce the muddiness.
     
  10. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I backed the bass on the GK down from noon to 11 or 10:30. It didn't help in the same way that backing off of the LoBass did.
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  11. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    So, in retrospect, I think I've figured out the possible culprit..... Phase cancellation...... My cab was firing at roughly 90 degrees to the guitarists cab. I have no way to confirm it at this point, but if something like that happens again, I'll make sure to move the rig to rule out that possibility.

    Any thoughts on the prospect of phase cancellation (environmental factors) being the cause?
     
  12. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    You would have to have identical frequencies at identical levels for phase cancellation to be a real consideration, but it’s certainly possible that these cabinet proximities could be a player.

    See what happens on the next gig.

    I gotta say, some comments here have me going done thinking. Lately, I changed string to the Pro Steels, I just started using a new amp head (Ampeg SVT-7Pro), and just got an Ampeg 410HLF Cab. Lots of new stuff going on. And after 3 gigs, I still don’t have things quite settled in. And I’m not that picky about my stage sound. I love, love, my SVT 810 rig, but I was still using the EB Power Slinkies. I have a gig tonight and if it doesn’t quite dial up, I may go back to the Power Slinkies just for process-of-elimination’s sake. I’ll report back on that.
     
  13. Jonahlane

    Jonahlane

    Mar 29, 2016
    I had the same issue with prosteels (and rotosounds to an extent). Weird as it may sound, I punched through the mix much more when I switched to D'addario XL nickels. I found that the pro steels lacked a low end articulation that I needed for my sound.
     
    AlexanderB and Rickter like this.
  14. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Would definitely like to hear a post gig report on that @Geri O !!
     
  15. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Glad to hear that I'm not the only one whom has experienced this phenomenon. The more and more I think about it, the more I think that I am likely going to be going back to Nickels. The Rotosound SS 66s have a mid growl about them that may have kept them from doing this to some degree.

    I'm going to use my Stainless EB Slinkys at the next rehearsal and see if the issue duplicates and to what extent. If it sounds like it is duplicating at all, will probably be ordering some more nickels. Either the Rotosound 66 Nickels or some DR Sunbeams, may just go with Slinkys if I want to save some money.
     
  16. Jonahlane

    Jonahlane

    Mar 29, 2016
    For the price, I love the sound of my XL nickels from d’addario. They are actually cheaper than Ernie balls where I live haha!
     
    BrentSimons and Rickter like this.
  17. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I run ProSteels on one of my basses and it sounds wonderful in clubs. It is a very mid-forward bass to begin with though, and I use the steel strings to wake up the top end a little.

    Arthur Poon had the same suggestion I would have - monkey with your mids and see where you get the correct definition. If that fails, maybe those strings aren’t a good fit for your bass and tone goal.
     
    Rickter and Arthur U. Poon like this.
  18. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I've been going through BassStringsOnline a lot lately. There's basically a 1-2 dollar difference between the EBs and the D'Addarios for 5 string sets, both either at or under the $20 mark per set. The Rotosound Nickels run about $24 a set, but are harder to come by unless you're buying them online.
     
  19. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Pro steels are pretty scooped in the mids so you are probably missing some mids to cut through
     
    AlexanderB, knumbskull and Rickter like this.
  20. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    To the OP:

    Here's my experience with changing back to the EB Power Slinkies from the Pro Steels as promised...

    I had a few EB Power Slinky sets on hand, so I put a set of those back on my bass. I gotta say, and I realize this is just a preference thing, I'm happier with the Power Slinkies. I was initially attracted to the brightness of the Power Steels, not realizing that they seemed to be missing some mid-range tone (to my ear and taste, anyway). Yeah, the EBs aren't as bright, but I can fix that easily. To my ear and taste, there's more upper mid tones in the Power Slinkies that I was missing. The SVT cabs are from the dark years, but the tone is better and closer to what I'm looking for.

    So I'm a happy camper with the EB Power Slinkies. I just ordered a couple of the D'Addario XL-165s which are nickels, too. I've used them and want to refresh my memory on how they sound and feel.

    Now one may read this and think, "he's lost his mind, I don't get that at all". And that's perfectly fine. This is about relating an experience, not a crusade to get anyone to try the EBs or an assertion that they are best for everyone. EBs are constantly bashed here for various reasons and that's fine, I get it. But they've put me (back) where I need to be with "my" (whatever the hell that means anymore) tone.

    If this looks familiar, it's because I posted this in another thread about the same topic.
     
    Arthur U. Poon and Rickter like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 4, 2021

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