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DR Lo Riders - SS vs. Nickel

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Big String, May 19, 2003.


  1. I'm going to try a set of Lo Riders. Traditionally I always have used Nickel strings. I always found SS to bright and noisey. I did try some Fat Beams and found them lacking the tension I like, although they were all right, I took them off and went back to my Sunbeams I've been using for years. On a another recent post one TBr stated that DR told him that Sunbeams have the least tension of all there line. I found the Fats to be less tension. Lately I'm finding the Sunbeams not to cut through and I'm wondering when I try the Lo Riders if I should get the SS or Nickel.

    I am finding DRs in general can fluctuate in a few areas. Out of the box tone and tension. I do like the TI Power Bass on my jazz but still want to try the Lo Riders on my Lakland 4-94 before I give up on DRs.
     
  2. i've used D'Addario XL's 45-105 for years, and i'm used to the higher tension they give. i would say that the lo riders from dr compare to the tension of the xl's. the dr lo rider nickels sound great. the stainless steel version does have more of that string noise thing you mentioned, but they sound quite good as well.
     
  3. SS is good if you need to cut through, i just dislike the way it feels. plus i think it's a little harder on your frets.
     
  4. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    I use the SS Lo-Riders and find that they cut through nicely. They are a bit noisy, but the trade-off is worth it. They seem to be quite consitent from pack to pack, too.
     
  5. DaveB

    DaveB

    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I've used DRs off and on for quite a few years. When I practice alone the like the Nickels better..warmer and not as noisy. But in the band mix the SSs cut through MUCH better and the warmth and noise become a non-issue.
     
  6. Do the nickel Lo Riders wear out any quicker than the SS? That's my big concern.
     
  7. DaveB

    DaveB

    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    If "wear out" includes the string losing it's sizzle on the high end then I quess nickels do wear out faster than SS. But that's because they start out with less sizzle in the first place and wear down from there.In fact, to me, the SS sound at their best after a couple of weeks when a little of that sizzle has worn off but the string still has more cut-through punch than nickel.
     
  8. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I've used both nickel and SS low riders on the same bass. There is very little difference between them IMO. The SS are a little brighter, that's all.
     
  9. CS Bass

    CS Bass

    Feb 18, 2003
    I absolutely love the nickels, and i loved the sound (at first) of the SS's but that went away in like 3 days cause I sweat so much. The biggest reason I wont buy them again is that they ate the crap out of my frets.
     
  10. Stainless. The difference when I went from nickel to stainless was amazing.
     
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have used both the SS Lo Riders and Hi Beams for 5 years or so, and I somewhat prefer the Hi Beams. They seem to have a bit better focus, and actually my lows seemed tighter with the Hi Beams. I switched from nickel to SS around 1991, and have never looked back. I fnd that I can get that more subdued tone of nickels through eq'ing, while trying to add the SS zing to nickel with an eq is a recipe for disaster, IMHO. I did flirt briefly with D'Addario SS Half-Rounds, though. For the right style of music, they are great. However, I could only get the tone I wanted out of their heaviest guage strings, and it definitely increased playing effort.

    Tom.
     
    BBKINGBASS likes this.
  12. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Amen brother! Those things should come with a warning label!
     
  13. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I've been using DR Hi Beams and Fat Beams for years on my SR5 and my frets a fine





























    What? No really they're fine
     
  14. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    You've been using the stainless steel Dr's? You must have a really light touch.
     
  15. I have the saem thing. Stingray 5 with Hi-beams. I don't notice any fretware, and if there was any, the difference is so great I wouldn't go back to nickel. Stingrays dont' sound like stingrays with nickel.
     
  16. Deep

    Deep

    May 8, 2002
    NY
    In my 8 years of using DR's I have never seen any premature fretwear on any of my basses. Actually, DR's are considered compression-wound strings, which "should" lower(not end)the risk of fret eating. Dean Markley's SR2000's also have very tight wraps, as well as Fodera strings,and Zon strings. But, no matter how you slice it(no pun intended)you can't avoid "some" kind of wear.
    I love nickel-plated Low-Riders. Especially on composite-necked basses.
     
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Speaking of SR2000's, has anyone compared them to DR Lo Riders? How about to Dean Markley's Blue Steels. I used to love Blue Steels, but after several batches with bad strings (either buzzed right out of the box, or broke very early on), I switched to DR's.

    Tom.
     
  18. Deep

    Deep

    May 8, 2002
    NY
    SR2000's are terrific strings. They last a long time. For me anyway. And they have a very smooth feel. The Low-Riders and DR's in general, have a sort of "toothy" feel to them which I happen to like alot. A very tactile feel. The tone on both are great but it's subjective. It all comes down to trying them and see which ones you like. I always came back to DR's though.
    We've all experimented with different, instuments,strings,amps etc. But if you notice you will always seem to come back to something, almost like coming home,'cause it just feels right.
     
  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I do like the tactile feel of the DR's. As I recall, the Blue Steels had a similar feel to them. That's why I was wondering if the SR2000's were fairly similar to the Blue Steels or if they were a different breed entirely. It sounds like you are saying that they have a more smooth feel (and tone) than the Blue Steels probably do. Actually, I found the Blue Steels and the Hi Beams to be fairly similar. The Blue Steels had a bit more zing initially, but seemed to loose it pretty quickly, so that after a few months, they sounded a lot like Hi Beams. As I recall, the Blue Steels had a bit more "grab" to the strings, which might explain why I was breaking more of them.

    Tom.
     
  20. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I just got 2 sets of Nickel Lowriders and I'll let you know how I like them when they go on...

    I have a set of Marcus Miller Stainless on my Stingray and they are lasting forever.