DR Hi-beams vs Lo-beams

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by wildsponge, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. wildsponge


    Oct 21, 2004
    Novato, CA
    I am completely torn between Hi and Lo beams. What are the differences? I don't want to know which ones you prefer, just the differences. I really want to bring out the powerful lows of my Stingray. Right now my elixir nanowebs sound a little subdued especially on the low E string. I want the E string to sound authoritative and powerful, harmonically resonant, etc. I also want good cutting mids (or at least flat, just not subdued) and clear sparkling highs although I don't need THAT much since I don't slap, but I do like a bright sound. Which would be better and what are the differences? THX
  2. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Hi Beams tend to have more audible harmonics - very bright with a very piano-ish tone, lows are definitley there, but not as prominent. They also feel a little more springy and flexible due to their round cores.

    Lo Beams have more lows and mids, but they aren't "thumpy" at all like flat wounds. Harmonics are less prominent. They are rather stiff feeling due to their hexagonal cores, but don't take that as a bad thing; this stiffness can help a lot on a 5 string bass with a limp feeling B string.

    Both of these strings would be considered pretty bright in comparison to most strings, but the Hi Beams a little more so than Lo beams.

    I've found a very nice combination on 5 strings is to us a 4 string set of Lo Beams for the E, A, D, and G strings, then buy a single Hi Beam for the B. This combination brightens up a dark sounding B string, while keeping the rest from being overly bright for a very well balanced sound. Some 5's don't need this approach, but a lot of them benefit from it. Hi Beams are available in singles up to .135, too.
  3. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    My rule of thumb with DR's is active basses get LR's passives get HB's. Both will sound good. If you are looking for good low and the Ray sounds a little bright to begin with I would go with the LR's. But HB's would really make that thing growl. What guage strings do you use?
  4. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    To me, Lowriders are my top choice of strings. Very good sound that lasts and the tension is good.

    Hi beams...tried them once and hated them. They sounded ok but the feel was horrible IMO...to "loose" or low tension.
  5. modflea


    Apr 26, 2004
    Lafayette, LA
    I agree. I was a die hard GHS boomers fan for years until I tried the Low Riders. Definitely the strings for me.