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DR or Elixir?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by all_your_bass, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. all_your_bass


    Jul 20, 2004
    I'm still on my first set of strings on my SRX400 (Elixir Nanowebs) and I'm quite happy with the tone and feel of the strings but they obviously won't last forever. My question is basically how the tone and durability of DR strings compare with the Elixirs. From what I've heard, they're fairly similar strings as far as durability with the Elixirs having the edge, but since I can't try before I buy, I can't test tone or feel at all. Basically, I need to know what you guys recommend, thanks in advance.
  2. Here's my unbiased opinion and test between the two:

    My tech was sent some Elixer strings to test out, so he gave me a few sets to try on my basses. At the time, I was comparring the Elixers to the DR Hi-Beams and Low-Riders. My first comparison was going from Hi-beams to Elixers. My first impression of the Elixers was that I liked the feel, but the sound sucked. The sound was dead out of the box with very little brilliance in them at all. I left them on for a long while, and in fact, the strings sounded as they did when I put them on for a good few months. After getting sick of them, I then switched to the Low-Riders. I was blown away by how much better sounding the Low-Riders were after making the switch. It added so much more life to my bass. Both DR's lasted for a good long while. I left both sets on for about 6-8 weeks, and they sounded good to me untill the last few days or so. I then switched back to the Elixers after the Low-Riders, and again, I was disappointed in the sound. To me the DR's are a much better string from the start and overall would be my choice over the Elixers hands down. The only positive that I can draw from the Elixers are that they do keep their sound for a long while, but they just don't sound good at any point and pretty much lack any kind of life. If you aren't bothered by the sound, the Elixers aren't a bad choice because they seem to last for a super long time. If tone is your main concern, the DR's are a better choice. If you flat out just prefer the bright sound of new strings, buy any cheap brand of strings, like Carvins(very good for the money!), and change strings more often. They you go, that was my test that I a while back...hope that helps!
  3. Fruitfly

    Fruitfly Guest

    Jul 25, 2004
    DR Low-Rider strings are great for harmonics. :D
  4. Boondog Reisbol

    Boondog Reisbol

    Dec 7, 2002
    and I think it depends upon your own personal preference. I am a huge nanoweb fan in terms of tension, sound uniformity and feel (durability is just an added bonus). But I also prefer DR sunbeams (nickel) to the hi or lo beams. I prefer the low-mid range tone to the harsh brightness of DR's stainless steel strings and find the Elixir/Sunbeams plenty bright. The Lo-rider nickels are ok. IMHO
  5. all_your_bass


    Jul 20, 2004
    Hmm... I suppose I'll try the DR's then, now to figure out what kind to get. This is going to be my first set of new strings so I don't have much of a feel for what I want in terms of nickel/steel, etc. Thanks, tho
  6. LowEbandit


    Aug 11, 2004
    I had some extra $$ to play with so I got a pair of both Elixer lights and DR HI-Beams. First I put on the Elixers then The DR's. The Elixers gave a very punchy tone along with some brightness and seemed to slap pretty well but lacked that "zingy" high end. Not as elastic for popping as the DR's. The mids stood out very well though. Very smooth feeling and comforable to play. Didn't tear your fingers up.

    The DR high beams had more zing to them and they were definitly more elastic, a great slap and pop string. Not as punchy sounding as the Elixers but more crisp. The Elixers seemed to stand out more in the mix because of that added punch in the mids. They have been on my bass ever since, (the DR's)
    but that is not saying I like them more, i'm just being lazy about changing them back.

    One thing though, if you change to the DR's expect your fingers to get tore up at first because they are plenty rough. It was like going to a nice smooth feel to running your fingers over sandpaper. The only advantage to that it seems for me is that since my fingers tend to stick to the strings better so on a slide, it's harder to miss a note by overrunning the fret.

    All in all, I can't say which ones I like better, as they are both really good strings for any purpose, I probably will continue to buy both if I can afford it.

  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    If you want strings that sound bright and new, and stay that way for many hours of playing time, get the DRs.

    If you want strings that sound like 6 month old DRs and sound that way for a long time, get the Elixirs.
  8. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Personally, brand new DR Lo-Rider nickels are very bright, but not annoyingly so. They're my favorite strings right now. I would get Elixirs, but there's no way I can justify $100 for Elixirs when they break just as often as the DR's do (and cost 2-3 times as much). Just my humble opinion. :bassist:
  9. DR's...specially LowRiders are my favorites right now...
  10. FUNKonthewall

    FUNKonthewall Nailing The Groove

    Sep 29, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Endorsing: Fodera Guitars, Aguilar Amps, Dunlop/MXR Accessories
    I'm using DR Sunbeams and I love them.
  11. all_your_bass


    Jul 20, 2004
    2-3 times as much? At the local Guitar Center, the elixirs are about 45 and the drs are about 35-40, am I just lucky?
  12. Boondog Reisbol

    Boondog Reisbol

    Dec 7, 2002
    Agreed - one of my favorites - similar to the nickel lo-riders w/less tension due to the round core (vs. hex) - nice feel.

    All_your_bass, SS strings are brighter & harsher on your fingers & frets. Some folks prefer their clarity & high end so decide what you're after. The nickels are plenty bright IMO & feel better. I've played every DR (loSS-loNkl-hi-sunbeam) & they're all good . . . but try the Sunbeams :hyper:
  13. Tried Elixir and DR but the set that beats them all is Firewire from Canada superb Nickel strings that sound great and last longer and do not have a coating on.

    Best strings ive tried

  14. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    +1 for DR's
  15. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Well, OK. Last time I checked at Mother's Music, a 5 string set of DR's was $39.99 and a 5 string set of Elixirs was $74.99 (I think). So they're a little less than twice the price.

    Still, I swear I've seen em for $99.99 before!
  16. Wore out my DRs in 3 days. Completely dead.

    Of course I'm a slapper, so that explains a lot. My Elixirs, however, have lasted 6 months and still sound great.

    D'addario XLs are a pretty good inexpensive alternative to Elixirs. They wear out in a week or two, but they really have a unique sound to them that I dig.
  17. That's weird, I've seen the Elixers priced at like $45 for a 5 string set(well, 2/$90). The DR's are also right at $25-$30 a set. Those prices seem really high.
  18. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB

    Yeah, adjusting for the exchange rate, it's still a lot more than what you people in the States pay! :(

    Well, even more reason for me not to buy Elixirs! Both my basses initially had Elixirs, but they sounded too lifeless for me (I understand that lots of people probably played on them, but still!) I like how DR's aren't too bright or too dull. Juuuuuust right! :D
  19. all_your_bass


    Jul 20, 2004
    Can anybody explain the advantages of the different types of DR strings (lo-riders, hi-beams, sunbeams,etc.)? I'm pretty sure hi-beams are brighter and lo-riders are bassier, but I've only got vague ideas of how they're going to sound.

    Also, as far as pricing, Elixirs are 40 for 4 and 50 for a 5-string set while DR's run 35-35 or so at my local guitar center
  20. ApeIsHigh81


    Aug 24, 2004
    LaBella HRS owns both of these strings.....well I think the DR's and Labella's are cousins, with the LaBella's having a masters degree in bass tone while the DR's have a bachelor's :p