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DR Lo-Riders vs. Hi-Beams

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by rsautrey, Sep 1, 2000.

  1. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    I've never tried DR strings at all but I'm curious about them. Mainly because someone told me that they don't eat frets as bad as most stainless steel roundwounds due to a finer outer winding? Is this true? Also, those of you that use Stainless DR strings, which do you prefer, Lo-Riders or Hi-Beams? Why? Thanx in Advance!
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I use DR Sunbeams and can confirm that they're easier on the hands and frets than most other brands. The "thinner outer winding" isn't a gimmick; it's noticeable.
  3. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Thanks, Christopher. Have you ever used stainless steel DR strings? Sunbeams are nickel plated steel which is usually less abrasive anyway.
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Haven't tried the steels, as my bass is extremely bright sounding to begin with.
  5. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    The nickel low riders are the only DR strings ive tried.They sound great but a little on the dry side.Perhaps due to the thin winding.They lasted about 6 weeks with daily use and still had some life left in them when replaced.Good luck!
  6. I used to be a Rotosound man all the way. I used them for over 15 years strait. But their quality seemed to be lacking so I started checking out other strings. I settled on DR High Beams. They are a bright sounding string but not too much, like D'Addarios(sp?). To me they had just the right balance for a good round-wound sound. I've been using them for at least a year or so and have been pretty happy. They seem to last pretty long too. I mean, they still sound right, even when I know they're old and cruddy.

    The bummer about them is paying $30/set. I use the 5-string set 45-130 on my Zon.
  7. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Love the DR's. I haven't used Sun Beams. My favorite's are definatly the Low Riders. At least on my P bass. I would try these first. I have used High Beams, but they're not as bright, responsive or as clear as the Low Riders. And they are stainless and still eat your frets. I don't know if its less so than other stainless. Hey I want to switch to flat wounds, or ground wounds. Any suggestions out there????

    [Edited by mubiksski on 09-06-2000 at 07:57 PM]
  8. mr t

    mr t

    Aug 24, 2000
    manhattan, ks
    i play the sunbeams and think they're the greatest string to come along since...the hi-beams. i used to play hi-beams and liked them a lot. they don't quite have that mid-range growl that i get out of the sunbeams. the hi-beams sound more open, like a piano. bright and glassy is how i'd describe 'em. i didn't like the lo-riders too much, but i haven't played a hex-core string that i've liked yet. they seem to be too stiff. i don't believe there's any fret wear difference between the hi-beams and lo-riders.
  9. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    I've used both hi-beams and lo-riders; they're both great strings! I'd say the biggest difference is in the feel -- the lo-riders are pretty rigid whereas the hi-beams are more flexible and loose under your hands. It may just be that my last set of lo-riders were rather dead out of the box, but the hi-beams had a lot more snap on the top end.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  10. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    I love DR's, too. I think the "secret" to stainless steel DR's being easier on frets is the compression winding. As I understand it, the CW process takes the rough edge off the stainless steel outer winding and produces a smoother string.

    I use both Hi-Beams and Lo-Riders. I want to try Sunbeams now!

  11. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Just put some Hi-Beams on my bass and they are flexible and bright but with plenty of bottom. They actually remind me of Dean Markley SR2000 even though the DR strings aren't taperwound. They feel very loose but give a solid sound. I guess the round core does make a difference. The Lo-Riders are supposedly much stiffer, probably like most other strings.
  12. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've been using DR strings almost exclusively since I got my Spector back in October of 1995. I've primarily used the Hi-Beams, though I've used the Lo-Riders perhaps a half-dozen times.

    What I've noticed, to my ears, anyway, is that both sets seem to operate in the same frequency ranges, meaning I get highs out of the Lo-Riders, and good low end from the Hi-Beams. However, the Lo-Riders are definitely thicker sounding on the low-end, and the Hi-Beams are a little fatter on the high-end.

    I still use the Hi-Beams, and prefer them to the Lo-Riders, but I'd still use Lo-Riders happily if a store is out of the Hi-Beams.
  13. I have both hi-beams and lo-riders on my basses right now, and I prefer the lo-riders all the way. Compared to other strings like D'addario's, Ernie Ball's, and Rotosounds they are both much smoother and more flexible with the hi-beams being more so than the lo-riders. The hi-beams have more of a crunchy sound to them that is 150% suited for slap bass, they really sparkle on the top. The lo-riders are a bit stiffer but just as smooth, but still more flexible than any other hex-core bass string. The lo-riders also have a bigger bottom end and more of a punch to them. They also both last a long time and are easy on the fingers. When it comes down to it one isn't better than the other, but I like the lo-riders the best because they fit my style and feel more versatile to me, also lo-riders project harmonics better.
  14. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    I love Low-riders. They sound particularly good to me when they get old and lose that bright edge and you can even get a nice deep thump from them too.
  15. bohemond


    Nov 3, 2007
    SunBeams on my P Bass, Hi-Beams on my jazz and I'm all set. No desire to ever change
  16. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Low riders are wound around a hex core. High beams are wound around a round core. I just thought somewhere in this 9 year/9month old thread, someone probably ought to finally mention that.

    I like HighBeams, FatBeams, & SunBeams. They do what I need them to do, depending on the bass they're on and the sound I want.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  17. Nikoubis


    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    Way to start the new decade, resurrecting a thread from the very beginning of the last one. :D
  18. radiohead860

    radiohead860 Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    Baltimore, MD
    You may want to consider the Marcus Miller Fat Beams as well. I have those on my Warwick Corvette 5... they're basically lo-riders with a round core, so they feel a lot less stiff. If you like a super low action (which I do on my Stingray) the Lo-Riders are great and sound almost identical to my ear as the fat beams.

    I tried the hi-beams on my Stingray and HATED them, as they were way too bright for my liking. If you like the Mudvayne style trebly jangle (which sounds great for what he does) or Mike Dirnt punk sound the hi-beams are great for that. Overall, I have really dug the lo-riders and they last about a month or so for me without cleaning, and about another 2 weeks post cleaning, with playing everyday for 2-3 hours.

    Oh, this is probably way better justice than most of us can do through words, he plays all of the different DRs here. It's kinda hard to distinguish between some for me, but you should get a better idea before committing some money:

  19. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Ewww..that's not correct at all. FatBeams are identical to HiBeams, except that FatBeams are wound at a slower speed. Other than that, HiBeams and FatBeams are the same exact string....hence the 'beams' in their names. It's even explained in the article you posted.

    So I find it very very strange that you hate HiBeams, but love FatBeams. The only difference is that the FatBeams have more bottom end. You might want to check again what strings you actually have :)
  20. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    My faves are the SunBeams and the FatBeams. I've tried most of the DR sets, except the Jonas Hellborg, Bootzillas, and Long Necks (don't care for tapered strings on my current basses). The Lo-Riders and Nickel Lo-Riders are hex core, that makes them feel tighter and sound more punchy, a little bit. But, the SunBeams and the FatBeams just feel plain awesome. Several years back I noticed a big inconsistency with the HighBeams, that the low B and high C in 6-string sets didn't sound the same as the other strings. They also screwed up a custom order I made, probably my first 6-string set of DRs back in the day. I tried Lo-Riders, and they were WAY more even across all of the strings. However, I've recently switched back to the round core sets, as they are way more consistent now and they just feel much better to me now that I've tried just about everything under the sun. The FatBeams are noticeably punchier in the lows and low mids than that HighBeams. The SunBeams are much warmer than the Nickel Lo-Riders. I think I like the SunBeams the best overall. Only thing I will tell you is you have to adjust your action/truss rod when switching from a hex core to a round core and vice versa. The hex core strings have more tension--this is an advantage if you have piezo element in your bridge. (I've noticed the Lo-Riders to sound better with my Ghost system piezo pickup, especially the low E and B.)

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