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DR Lo Riders Clearer Than Hi Beams???

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by phnord, Apr 20, 2017.


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  1. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Okay, so this seems *incredibly* counterintuitive... but I've been listening to sound samples of Lo Riders vs. sound samples of Hi Beams, and it feels to me like the former is clearer

    Take the official samples for instance:

    DR Strings

    While the Lo Riders clearly have more of a bottom end than the Hi Beams, their top end seems clearer / more precise than the Hi Beams, too.

    What I mean is the Lo Riders sound like they have more of a snap / attack in the highs, whereas the highs in the Hi Beams sound like they ring out, collide with the mids, and generally aren't as... clear.

    Both sets sound like they produce high-frequencies very well, unlike the nickel Sunbeams and Pure Blues that mute them down. But they just feel... I guess clearer in the Lo Riders.

    Is this a thing?? If so, I may have to try out Lo Riders... I'd go super light gauge with them (.025 .040 .060 .075 .095 on my C-E bass) to make up for the Hex Core stiffness, as I'm used to round core and light gauge.

    Side note: the Fat Beams on those samples, those have to be recorded on a different bass / different pickup, right? They sound *drastically* different from the Hi Beams and Lo Riders... as if they were recorded on the Neck P/U, whereas the others sound like they're on Both P/Us
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  2. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think maybe what I'm hearing has to do with the attack / sustain as well as the tonal balance of the high end

    That is to say, the Hi Beams have highs present in both the attack and sustain phases, whereas the Lo Riders mostly only have the highs present in the attack phase

    That combined with more high-mids in the Hi Beams, whereas the Lo Riders have less high mids, is creating an effect wherein the highs of the Hi Beams spread out – tonally into the mids and dynamically into the sustain – whereas the highs of the Lo Riders are more focused – tonally in the just the treble and dynamically just in the attack – lending it the clarity I speak of.

    Does that seem right?
     
    AlexanderB, BrentSimons and smeet like this.
  3. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I have had the same question.. I am familiar with Hi Beams.. But the sound samples of the Lo Beams seems bigger,, I may need to try them
     
  4. My experience is with the Sunbeams and the Nickel Lo-Riders, which are the nickel-plated versions of the Hi-Beams and the SS Lo-Riders.

    I would describe the SBs to be "warmer with a full bottom and smooth highs" while the LRs are "punchier and more focused in the low-mids". I believe the difference comes from the fact one is round core and the other is hex core.

    All in all, your descriptions do make sense.
     
  5. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    @michael_t thanks for that info. That does seem in line with what I'm hearing, transferred over to the nickel side of things.

    Anyone with experience with DR steels – with both the Hi Beams and Lo Riders – want to chime in on what I'm hearing in those samples?
     
  6. klokker

    klokker

    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    The lo-riders have something gnarly going on in the upper mids that masks the high more, at least as I hear it. I agree that the High Beams have a "ringier" high. I don't know, DR lo-rider SS are my go to string for just that aggressiveness and "gnarl" that I want. Stick it through a VT pedal and you have clang galore and all kinds of things happening. The High Beams are nice for sure, the lo-riders a little more in your face. Especially the SS. Yup.
     
    Wrylygrin85 and AlexanderB like this.
  7. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    @klokker – do you think, then, that the two samples on the Soundcloud page I linked to (DR Strings) are not a good reference for the differences between Hi Beams and Lo Riders?

    Because in the samples on that page, the Lo Riders, in comparison to the Hi Beams, don't seem to have a whole lot going on in the upper mids...
     
  8. klokker

    klokker

    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I'm sure the samples are fine. I guess we hear it differently, or intepret it differently etc. I could be completely wrong as well. You seem to hear the lo-rider as being much clearer than the high beams, I thought it was the other way around really. But I'm not criticizing the samples. I play SS lo-riders because of a kind aggressive, edgy thing that I think they have. It's sort of like running your hand over a file. Clear, but rough. It seemed to be more prominent in the upper mids to the point of covering the high end at times. Didn't hear that on the High Beam sample which seemed a little "tamer", perhaps more "refined" would be a better term. But not saying I'm right.........not at all.
     
  9. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    @klokker - I should rephrase. What I'm asking is, to your ear, the differences you've noted between Lo Rider SS and Hi Beams when playing them, is that difference the same as the difference you hear in the two samples on that SoundCloud?
     
  10. klokker

    klokker

    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    That's pretty subtle. But I've played a few different sets of DR's over a fairly long period of time. Lo rider nickels, Sunbeams, Hi Beams, then a stint with Sadowsky Blue Label nickles and flats, Dunlops which I didn't like. Never really ABed them at the same time on the same bass. You talked about a snap or attack that SS lo rider have and I guess that's what I could say I've experienced as well that I didn't find in the other strings that fits with your experience. The SS lo riders are just more aggressive which is what works best for me. I run them through a compressor that really brings out what to my ear are the upper mids, then a VT pedal for lots of clang. Is it the same as the sample? I could answer that with a qualified yes. From the sample the Hi beams seem cleaner with more separation from the "ringing" high than the lo riders. Best I can do.
     
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  11. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Geez, no contest...I think the SS Lo-Riders take the cake for clarity and aggression. That's impressive, and the only other strings that impressed me on that page, which really stood out, were the Fat Beams.
     
  12. I haven't heard the samples but I would say the Fat Beams bring the best of Hi-Beams and Lo-Riders on one string. They have more piano-like tone than the Lo-Riders and bring out more booty than the Hi-Beams. That's been my experience on an active 5-string bass.
     
    BrentSimons likes this.
  13. I agree wholeheartedly! :) and you get essentially the same tension as with Hi-Beams.
    Brent
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    eriky4003 likes this.
  14. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    For my playing it's come down to either I want the hi beam clang and clearness or I want the tone of a flat wound. I've ended up going with Ernie Ball Cobalt Flatwounds and am very impressed with them. Especially after break in. They are the equivalent of medium gauge butter tubes running up and down the bass neck. All the other round wounds besides Hi Beams I've played end up feeling like worn out strings once the zing is gone.
     
  15. ...and a similar feel.
     
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  16. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've used Fat Beams for quite a while, but I'm really digging how the attack sounds super sharp, and very differentiated from the thick, fat sustain in the Lo Rider samples on DR's Soundcloud, so I went ahead and ordered them.
     
    BrentSimons likes this.
  17. Yupper :). They just feel slightly rougher to my fingers.
    Brent
     
    eriky4003 likes this.
  18. I've had a set on my 62 AVRI Jazz for about 6 months now? They still sound very good. Granted I'm not gigging currently or under hot lights sweating but this set has lasted through 3 bass re-strings. First they were on my G&L L2000 then my Geddy Lee Jazz then to my 62. They are still super stable. Closest sound to my dear Rotos I've found yet.
    Brent
     
  19. I've read a lot about the Cobalts and feel they may be right up my alley in terms of tone. Anyone who has tried Cobalt roundwounds, please let me know what kind of life I could expect. Like Brent, I find the Fat Beams are an amazing string and I plan to go back to them once my current stock of MM Dunlop Super Brights is exhausted for my five-string.
     
    BrentSimons likes this.
  20. Woah! Just checked the pricing on the Cobalts and they're much more than the Fats (TB has great pricing on Fats, btw). I'll have to be feeling pretty flushed to take this flyer...
     
    BrentSimons likes this.

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