DR Pure Blues vs. Rotosound Nickel over Steel

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dougjwray, Jul 30, 2020.


  1. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    I haven't found a direct comparison, with no other strings mentioned.
    Anyone?
    I'm interested in tone and flexibility.
     
  2. gigetto

    gigetto

    Sep 25, 2019
    Italy
    DR are more softening feels, and Roto are similar to anyone nickel in tone
     
    tindrum likes this.
  3. butterfingers1

    butterfingers1

    Apr 22, 2019
    Montreal
    I find the Pure Blues a bit warmer and rounder than other nickel roundwounds, less harsh and more musical. Also more consistent and long-lasting. My favourites since I tried them a year ago.
     
    Passinwind and jmattbassplaya like this.
  4. Rotosound actually offers two different NPS rounds - Swing Bass 66 Nickel and Roto Bass. Are you referring to any specific one of the two?
     
    Ricky Rioli likes this.
  5. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    UK
    You will find plenty of people online including Mr Fret Nation, stating that these two strings are identical, except for the silks. And the price. I very much hope they are wrong, but the info coming from Rotosound themselves has not been sufficiently clear to be helpful. There are other people who are very sure that they are not the same string. Tbh, I've given up trying to work out the truth.

    But I do currently have the cheaper, Roto Bass RB45 45-65-85-105 on my BB424. The sound is extremely thick in the lower mids. For me, this is useful, because I had gone off the natural scoop of the PJ combination, and the strings thickness fills in the scoop, but their sound is definitely less well balanced than the GHS Boomers I had on before.

    What I do like very much about them is that the 105 E string has a strong commanding tone, much more convincing than the 105 E on the 45-105 Boomers.

    PS they feel very stiff, which I love, but which I know some would find very off-putting
     
    butterfingers1 likes this.
  6. Here's my uneducated guess...

    GHS offers two hex-core NPS rounds - Boomers and Bassics. The Boomers have nickel-plated steel for all of their layers, except for the innermost layer on the 3-wrap strings (= anything bigger than .100), while the Bassics only have NPS for the final cover with all stainless steel inner layers.

    According to the info I got directly from Rotosound, the Swing Bass 66 Nickels have the same stainless steel inner layers as the Swing Bass 66 Stainless Steels with only the final cover being nickel-plated steel. (The same idea as the Bassics.)

    This makes me wonder whether the Roto Bass might be the equivalent to the Boomers, where they consist of NPS for all of their layers? As I said, just an uneducated guess and a speculation as I haven't found any definitive info on this anywhere.
     
  7. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    I didn't realize there were two. So I guess all three could be compared, if anyone has experienced them.
     
    butterfingers1 likes this.
  8. trothwell

    trothwell

    Apr 9, 2008
    As I recall, my one experience with the RotoBass set was that they were very warm sounding, so much so that I did not like them for the purpose I bought them. I later tried the 66 nickel set, and found that fine.

    Could have been a fluke, but it does seem to match this hypothesis. I for one don't plan to buy another set of RotoBass to confirm though. :)
     
    tindrum, dagrev and butterfingers1 like this.
  9. butterfingers1

    butterfingers1

    Apr 22, 2019
    Montreal
    I’m finding out now there are two. I used both over the years, packaging looked the same, I was always eager to open the package to see if there was red silk or not.
     
  10. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    "Warm" is what I'm looking for. Hopefully without being scooped, which is my complaint against DR Sunbeams.
     
  11. Warm without being scooped? Try the DR Nickel Lo-Riders!

    The NLRs on my P bass are now one month old and they're living up to my expectations for "punchy warmth with clarity".

    I've tried both the Sunbeams and the Pure Blues in the past but decided I'm a hex-core guy after all. ;)
     
  12. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Funny you should say that, because I just put a set of Nickel Lo-Riders on a P-Bass last week. I had tried them on a different bass a few months ago and took them right off... But I decided to give them another shot, on a bass which tends to be too bright. I'm looking forward to using them on a gig.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2022
    butterfingers1 and michael_t like this.
  13. Barton Lee

    Barton Lee Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2018
    I have a set of Rotosound nickel rounds (SM66N, 40-100) on my Ric 4003S, and the "standard" gauge Roto nickels (RS66LDN, 45-105) on my Epiphone Embassy Pro. I recently played a four-hour gig with the Ric and did notice afterward the somewhat higher tension of these hex core strings as I use TI flats and rounds on some of my other gigging basses, but nothing intolerable. The Roto nickel rounds are not nearly as bright as the Roto stainless steel rounds but still bring some of that Rotosound grind. I really like them.

    I've used DR Nickel Lo-Riders and Sunbeams, Infeld Superalloys and (currently) Dogal nickel rounds, and they're all great strings. The Rotosound nickel rounds that I've used are similar quality and the most affordable of the lot. As always, YMMV.
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  14. I just sent off an email to Rotosound, asking them to clarify the difference, if any, between the Roto Bass and the Swing Bass 66 Nickel.

    I asked them about the material for the inner layers as well as the core-to-wrap ratio. I'll let you know what they have to tell us when I hear back from them.
     
    Ricky Rioli, tindrum and dagrev like this.
  15. Dan_reeves

    Dan_reeves

    Jun 14, 2013
    I honestly have very little experience with these, but from what experience I do have I thought the same as you. I am guessing you are pretty close to the truth.
     
    tindrum and michael_t like this.
  16. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    UK
    I've finally managed to find this from last year!

    "Rotobass and Roto 66 nickels are NOT the same (and I got this info directly from Rotosound). They told me the Roto 66 nickels use differently spec'ed wire for the wrapping (but other than that they didn't give any details).

    I suspect the comments about Roto nickels being dull, muffled and indistinguishable from other cheap NPS strings must be about the cheaper Rotobass sets. These fit this description well and they are pretty close to other cheapo strings like D'Addario XLs.

    .....after a couple of weeks the Rotobass set will be muffled/dead and the Roto 66 nickels will still sound reasonably fresh.....

    The Roto 66 nickels are VERY different to Rotobass and MUCH better quality IMO. They have more uniquely voiced mids, somewhat more aggressive, edgy and metallic sounding than the Rotobass sets (or D'Addario, etc). The Roto 66 nickels also last considerably longer."

    One indisputable difference is the gauges available

    Roto Bass
    RB35 35-55-75-95
    RB40 40-60-80-100
    RB45 45-65-85-105
    RB50 50-70-90-110

    Swing Bass
    SM66N 40-60-80-100
    RS66LN 45-65-80-100
    RS66LDN 45-65-85-105
     
    tindrum likes this.
  17. butterfingers1

    butterfingers1

    Apr 22, 2019
    Montreal
    For the small price differences, may as well get the more expensive ones and keep them on a bit longer.
     
    tindrum likes this.
  18. gigetto

    gigetto

    Sep 25, 2019
    Italy
    rotosound for me are cheaper and less longlasting. Sound? Depends, in thin gauges Roto's RB are.....(...like all similar cheap strings)
     
  19. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    UK
    Aside from the silks, would it be possible to make two strings of identical design at two different price points, using different grades of raw materials?
     
  20. I just heard back from Rotosound regarding the difference between the Roto Bass and the Nickel Swing Bass.

    Here's what "Jack" from Rotosound wrote:

    "Yes, they are constructed the same way using the same material – except for the silk."
     
    Vinny_G, Jim C, dagrev and 2 others like this.

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