1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

DR Lo-Riders, nickel vs stainless tension?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sb69coupe, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Do the DR nickel strings have a lower tension than the same gauge strings in stainless? Background to follow.

    I just replaced the .130-.o45 set of Lo-Rider stainless strings with a set of the exact same gauge Lo-Riders in nickel. The bass in question is a Lakland Darryl Jones 5, and it is set up with slightly low action and very little relief in the neck.

    With the previous set of strings, there was no fret buzz, yet immediately after installing the set of nickels and tuning them, theres a substantial amount of fret buzz uniformly across the neck, and I can tell that there's essentially zero relief.

    I've got a gig tomorrow night, and will go ahead and give a quick 1/4 turn to the truss rod to loosen it and add a little relief, but I'm just curious if anyone knows if this is expected, or if DR publishes the tension numbers for their strings.
  2. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    FME, DR Lo-rider nickel are some of the highest tension strings that I've tried in nickel. But if you switch strings like that you can almost expect to do some tweaking.

    I went from light hi-beams to light sunbeams and almost immediately had to adjust my relief. Although it was minor and the opposite direction you went.
  3. Lots of folks have been agitating for tension charts from DR. I see requests here and other forums.

    They refuse. Pity.

    D'Addario publishes all the tension information you could ever want. They also publish the formulas for calculating Unit Weight so you can calculate tension in a drop-tuned environment.

    That is "customer service".
  4. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Nickel is slightly denser than stainless steel, so all else being equal the tension will be marginally greater.

  5. Coelho


    May 10, 2006
    Astoria, NY
    Nickel rulez. Can't understand people that play steel strings...
  6. brandonwong


    Dec 16, 2003
    The charts dun matter after you've tried them once.

    DRs are the best strings i've used so far. and sunbeams are the ones i recenty put on. They are just great!!!
  7. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    This is about the difference in feel to me....I found the nickel LR's just slightly, slightly higher in tenion than the SS LR's. It's barely noticable. I still like the steels a little better, but the nickels are good too.

  8. Actually, the charts matter a great deal.

    For example, a drop-tuner can use the D'Addario charts to find which higher gauge strings comes closest to his original tension. He can also use the charts to insure even tension across the neck width. For example, if the B string is really high tension, and the D and G are really low, this puts a leverage on the neck.

    A careful player can use the charts to select tensions that are more uniform across the neck, especially for drop tuning.

    The nickel is a wrap, not the core wire. I'm not a string engineer, so I have to ask if the wrap or the core is responsible for the tension.
  9. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I play the string and not the metal.

    LaBella Flats: SS, but one of the warmest most musical flats on the market to my ears.

    Roto SS 66 rounds: One of the grindiest gnarliest rounds out there, especially when new, great for a loud rock band with a few guitars. I love the edge and metallic clank from these.

    2 different SS strings, and they can sound completely different from each other.
  10. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Both the wrap and the core matter. The relevant variable is "unit mass," or mass of a certain length of string. Whichever string has the higher unit mass will have the higher tension.
  11. Thanks for the clarification. What I understood you to say is, the combined mass of core+wrap = unit weight, and bringing a given unit weight to pitch incurs a certain tension.

    My original thinking was the tension was entirely in the core material, but that is incorrect. The core is the tension device, but the wrap contributes to the unit weight. The D'Addario tension formulas show how this works.
  12. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Yep, it makes sense when you think of it like this... the tension in the core has to be enough to accelerate the entire mass of the string at the speed necessary for the desired pitch.
  13. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Well, I can confirm that the nickels seem to have a slightly higher tension than the stainless strings of the same gauge. After restringing and letting the neck stabilize overnight, I noticed that the buzzing was gone and there was slightly MORE relief in the neck. I'm liking the nickel Lo-Riders and am anxious to see how they last compared against the stainless that I've been using to date.
  14. Interesting.

    I looked at all the D'Addario tension measurements in my spread sheet. Using 34" scale for comparision, the lightest tension is SS, next is NPS, and heaviest is NIK for every string that had a comparision.
  15. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Inactive

    Nov 20, 2005
    I just slapped a set of the Nickel Lo-Riders on my ATK 305.
    These have a nice warm tone with lots of midrange bite and growl. The low end is rich and smooth. The hi end is bell like not zingy like the steels. These are stiffer than the steels and allow for a nice low action with no buzzes. They feel like a baby's bottom, nice and smooth. Very Good Strings!
  16. Maurice Carr

    Maurice Carr

    Aug 7, 2004
    Mt Wellington, Auckland, NZ
    Authorised BFM and fEARful cab builder: New Zealand
    You bet they have great service!

    I had the low B on a set of super long scale Chromes snap on my bass for no apparent reason when I was re-stringing.

    I contacted the supplier who alerted D'Adario and within 12 hrs had the sales manager of D'Adario email saying "sorry, we'll replace it, what's your address and can you help us by describing what happened so we can do an autopsy on the event - that's unusual, we'd like to get to the bottom of it"!

    The replacmenet string arrived within a week and I'm something like 8,500 miles away!!!....all for a string which cost....say...oohhh $US 3.50!!!!

    Impressive doesn't even begin to describe D'Addario's attitude.

    I tried a set of DR Lo Riders on my bass a couple of years ago.. The result was so bad, even my drummer noticed...he was real subtle like most drummers are "Hey Harley, your bass is sounding real ****** tonight, have you blown a valave in that fancy amp of yours or something?"

    Those DR's were off that bass that night...never to return!

  17. I couldn't get heavy enough DR Lo-Riders for Chelsea's (www.aroarah.com) drop tuned bass, so I went with GHS Boomers in Heavy instead (50~115). She put it through the paces at rehearsal last night, and it is back to me this morning for a relief adjustment and action lowering. The big cables put more bow in the neck. Otherwise, she is really thrilled with the Alloy52 sound and feel.

    I strung her standard 5-string with a fresh set of Nickel Lo-Rider, but with the .130 B string. She likes this much better than the .125 in the standard set. She was happy to get the SS Lo-Riders off, and into the trash can.
  18. 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.

    Jan 24, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.