DR Sunbeams love. Sacrificing slap tone?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Syl_Funky_bass, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    Hi All,

    After trying several string types over the last few years I've come to the conclusion that what most suits my style and preferences are DR Sunbeams (45-125). I play them on my 5-string Fender Victor Bailey jazz bass.

    I play mostly funk, soul, hip-hop and afro-beat and jazz.

    What I'm looking for in bass strings is something very versatile that enables me to play any of the above mentioned genres. For some reason I've always excluded flatwounds because I always had the preconceived idea that they were not good for slapping (even though slap is far from being central in my play) and more recently Dunlop super brights (way too zingy and bright for my taste) from the possibilities.

    Of course to choose is to renounce but although I'm pretty sure DR Sunbeams really meet my expectations, I occasionally have doubts as far as their lack of brightness is concerned.

    I'm definitely not crazy about slap bass and only slap occasionally but still I keep wondering from time to time whether I don't miss too much brightness with the Sunbeams.

    Are there any strings that offer the same warm and round vintage tone as the DR Sunbeams with a little more brightness for slap without being too zingy and being too prone to string noise?

    Edit: Oh yeah, and I definitely need a strong B string with a fat and articulate tone and enough tension, which is the case with DR Sunbeams in my opinion. Aside from the excessive amount of string noise I got with Dunlop Super Brights, I found the B string awful for the above mentioned reasons (flabby and deprived of character).

    Please feel free to share your thoughts/experiences with the DR Sunbeams.

    Thanks guys.

    Best regards,
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
  2. When I tried the Sunbeams, I thought they had a nice sparkly high end with some snap without being zingy bright. If I were a slapper, which I'm not, I would consider using them again.
    MonetBass, tindrum and Syl_Funky_bass like this.
  3. BassinCT

    BassinCT …still tuning… Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Connecticut, USA
    Check out reviews of DR FatBeams. Not quite as smooth feeling as Sunbeams, but they have a bit more going on in the highs and lows. Another option: Pure Blues is close to what you are describing- but not necessarily brighter. Initially, Sunbeams seem both midrange-forward and brighter than PB’s, but then they settle into a nice balance across the frequency range and keep that quality for a long time.

    Another difference with the Pure Blues is that they sound more broken-in right away, with more bottom presence. PB’s also feel a tad stiffer under the plucking hand.

    If you like to play with a lighter or more nuanced touch with a louder amp volume, then Sunbeams are a great choice. They are some of the most responsive and smooth-feeling strings I have used.
    Syl_Funky_bass likes this.
  4. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    For the tone you describe I like Dunlop Nickel wound strings. The Dunlop super brights for me were very pingy sounding and then just dead. The other Dunlop strings, in the black packaging, have a bit more bite than Sunbeams when new and age similarly. Very meaty sounding slap tone. Much higher tension all around then the Superbrights in a similar gauge. Cheap to try out at around $20 to your doorstep in 2 days.

    I discovered these when my tech was in the process of messing up everything I asked him to do. I asked for superbrights and these are what he gave me. I was blown away, now all my Basses have them in differing gauge.
    Syl_Funky_bass likes this.