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DR Sunbeams to Lo-Rider Nickels... WOW

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by AshdownMad, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. AshdownMad


    Apr 19, 2011
    Suffolk, UK
    I thought I'd do a quick write up changing from Sunbeams to Lo-Rider Nickels on my Warwick for anyone that is thinking of a change.

    (Sunbeam .45-.105 to Lo-Rider Nickel .40-.100)

    So I've been using the Sunbeams on my Warwick Corvette $$ since I got that bass earlier this year.
    Now I loved every note played on the Sunbeams (mainly finger style with 20% playing slap), and they where awesome! Nice and punchy, funky growly mid with fingerstyle. They are a bit loose for my liking but im quite aggressive with the right hand.

    Last week I picked the bass up and thought 'these sound a bit dead' (after 3 months) and I wanted more Warwick growl (I cant get enough growl!) so research was done and between Hi-Beams or Lo-Riders I brought the .40-.100 Lo-Rider Nickels.

    WOW! Played a gig with them Saturday night and the growl was massive! Beautiful strings, very low-mid'y, very responsive and awesome attack. Cut thru the mix like a hot knife thru butter. Got really awesome reviews after the gig which made my night.
    Slap was much more bouncy and a bit more aggressive which was a bonus.

    The strings are 'tighter' to play, good! Weirdly tho the tension was not as much of a difference than I expected (reading around) maybe because of the .40 gauge.

    So from here on I'm only putting the Nickel Lo-Riders on my Warwick... Maybe give the full steel versions a try in a year if I fancy a change!

    Hope this help's anyone thinking of changing (especially from round to hex core, which was my biggest uncertainty)
  2. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Nice! I just recently tried this switch on a Peavey Foundation. They helped draw out the bark and snap in the instrument and I like the change quite a lot. The tension between these seem to be relatively similar. The mass and character are quite a bit different though.

    I may try the same experiment on my Fender Jazz at some point.
  3. AshdownMad


    Apr 19, 2011
    Suffolk, UK

    The Jazz will probably have a big tonal difference between the strings! Would be nice to know
  4. This is exactly what I've been trying to do on my Fender Jazz.

    Three months ago, I ordered a set of Sunbeams (45-105) and a set of Nickel LoRiders (40-100). So far, I've only been able to try the Sunbeams, which I like for their warm bottom with smooth top end. My left hand (ie fretting) loves the flexibility of the round-core, while my right hand sometimes begs for a bit more resistance.

    Looking forward to trying out the LoRiders in the next month or two to see how they compare with the Sunbeams.
  5. AshdownMad


    Apr 19, 2011
    Suffolk, UK
    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!
  6. I like surprises...as long as they're pleasant. ;)

    By the way, how do you compare the surface texture and playing feel between the two? Are the Lo-Riders at least as smooth as the Sunbeams? I'm very fussy when it comes to finger noise.
  7. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    The texture is similar. Still smooth.
  8. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I had the exact opposite experience with Nickel Lo Riders. I had a set of Ernie Ball Cobalt strings on my MIA Precision and MIA Jazz. I played several gigs and received a lot of compliments for my tone. However, I noticed that the cobalt strings developed spots that looked like rust after just a few gigs so I decided to try DR Nickel Lo Riders. I was so disappointed with the sound that I took them off after one rehearsal. I found that they lacked growl and clarity. I went back to cobalt.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    For whatever reason, I also found the nickel Lo-Riders somewhat lacking. They sounded dull, bland & indistinct to me - and I used to play nickel strings exclusively for years.

    The stainless steel Lo-Riders were a very pleasant surprise, however. A modern vibe with great presence, punch & clarity - but a touch of smoothness & refinement too. :cool:

  10. AshdownMad


    Apr 19, 2011
    Suffolk, UK
    The surface feel is almost identical. I assume because there both nickel plated. To be honest I've not noticed much finger noise!

    Maybe it was a bad batch? I know DR had some QQ issues a few years ago?

    Either way I can safely say (after practicing on my own last night) they are pretty awesome strings. Growly lo-blow funk :D :bassist:
  11. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    Mystic, CT
    I got the same tarnish spots on two sets of cobalts....great out of the box tone, but died quickly...sigh....:rollno:


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