DR Nickel Lo Riders: higher tension alternative?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by LamarKafka, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. LamarKafka


    Oct 25, 2015
    I've been using DR Nickel Lo Riders on my Jazz and love the way they sound, feel, etc. However, I've found that they're a bit looser than I'd prefer for most styles of playing (especially since I often tune down a half step). The .045-.105 set I use is the heaviest one they make for 4 string, as far as I'm aware. Are there any strings that come close to their sound and feel with a little bit higher tension?
  2. Nickel Lo-Riders. Same feel as Sunbeams, just a bit stiffer.
  3. GHS Boomers (regular hex-core version).
    Linnin and LamarKafka like this.
  4. LamarKafka


    Oct 25, 2015
    Not sure if I worded something incorrectly but I'm already using the Nickel Lo-Riders, never tried Sunbeams.
  5. Gosh...don't know why I read "Sunbeams"! :rollno:. In that case, I've found D'Addario XL's to be slightly stiffer than Lo's, with GHS Boomers being considerably stiffer and something like Rotosound nickels being stiffer yet.
    LamarKafka likes this.
  6. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    michael_t likes this.
  7. fakeneckplate'65

    fakeneckplate'65 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    Labella Nickel roundwounds are quite stiff..
  8. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Another vote for XL's.
    Not sure if they are higher tension but feel stiffer.
  9. LamarKafka


    Oct 25, 2015
    So it seems like hex core Boomers and D'Addario XLs are my best options. Can anyone who's tried both give some thoughts on the difference between the two? The Boomers seem to have higher tension and more of the sound I'm looking for (dark and punchy but still distinctly roundwound), while the XLs are cheaper, easier to find, and I've had good luck with their EXL guitar strings. Also, how much truth is there to the rumour that Boomers go dead extremely quickly?
  10. My experience is with the D'A EXL170BT (45-60-80-107) and the GHS Boomer custom, 45-60-80-105.

    The Boomers are stiffer-feeling, but only slightly; it's not a night-and-day difference.
    Tonally, the Boomers have a little more meat down low with punchier low-mids, while the XL Nickels are brighter with a bit more of the hi-mid clang.

    Here's a comparison in terms of the actual tension numbers:

    Boomer Custom Balanced:

    G 045 - 44.8
    D 060 - 42.2
    A 080 - 45.0
    E 105 - 42.2

    Total 174.2 lbs.

    D'Addario EXL170BT:

    G 045 - 42.52
    D 060 - 40.86
    A 080 - 40.05
    E 107 - 39.45

    Total 162.88 lbs.
    LamarKafka likes this.
  11. LamarKafka


    Oct 25, 2015
    It seems like Boomers would be the better fit. I'll pick up a set next time I see one and hope my body chemistry agrees with them.