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Elixer tone, and alternatives for Nordstrand big singles

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mystic38, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    A two part question really..

    Where is the tone of Elixer roundwound nickels in the scheme of things?.. like a regular nickel roundwound?..softer?.. brighter?..

    Nord Big Singles
    I have Nordstrand big singles and with the elixer strings I am always looking to cut high mids and treble... looking for something a touch more mellower/vintage sound as a base starting point... GHS pressure wounds possibly?.. or go to brite flats?..

    I definitely wish to be able to dial in for jazz, blues, reggae, but not lose all the life and aggression of the Nords for some more rock oriented songs..(so probably not flat flats..)..

    comments? suggestions? experiences?..

  2. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Sunbeams maybe, or I had a really good experience with La Bella Stainless Steel Rounds on my JB-2. They have HUGE bottom on them and they are not really Zingy. They surprised me so much I created a thread earlier. But I've not had a chance to try these on other basses yet. For my JB-2 they were the right string and I usually use Nickels.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Elixirs will sound pretty much like a nickel roundwound (since that's what they are) with a softer top since they are coated.

    Pressurewounds are a very mid-heavy string, and definitely not as bright as nickel.

    Chromes would be the next step down in brightness. Very fat and old school sounding, but still with some brightness. I mainly use rounds, but I have one bass I keep with totally different strings on it, and I recently replaced Pressurewounds with Chromes. I'm loving the Chromes, very fat and thumpy. Pressurewounds weren't really that much different from nickels, on this bass anyway.
  4. jeffmensch

    jeffmensch Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Cambridge, Ontario
    Great questions Mystic. I was considering the same things and came across the thread below. The first post contains a link to an excellent string review article.

    I tried an Ibanez SR1200 Premium that was strung with Elixers and loved the bass and midrange tones. Those Big Singles sound amazing and the feel of the Elixers was very smooth on the fingertips. Like yourself, I kept dialing back the treble as it sounded too prominent and a bit harsh. Round wound strings may just not be my thing, but I'm not sure that I want to go 'full flat' yet either.

    A set of Big Splits will be arriving next week for my SR900. Based on that string review I picked up a few sets of GHS strings: Bass Boomers, Pressurewounds, and Brite Flats. The Boomers are on it currently but I plan to try the Brite Flats as well for comparison. The pressurewounds are for my SR1000, but it doesn't need new strings yet.

    I've subscribed to this thread. It will be a couple weeks before I can report back but we should compare notes. There are lots of great people on this forum to help us dial in our perfect tone.

  5. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    thanks for the link, I shall check it out..

    FYI, It is indeed an Ibanez SR1200 that I have.. and would very much like to hear your views on the big splits..as thats a noiseless version of the big singles, and hence something i would consider in the future..(old house = no single coil playing lol). Now, although the EQB3C preamp has 500k pots of vol & blend, Nordstrand recommend 250k pots with a quote i saw from one of their guys to "tame the treble"..so if you have the guts open ..thats something to consider...
  6. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT

    so nickel rounds> pressure> chromes is your thoughts in tone?.

    I hadnt initially considered chrome flats, so wondering if you know where they fit in the scheme of things vs grounds aka brite flats ?..

    initial feelings is to try GHS pressures then if not a big enough step to move from there.. what pickups are in your bass?.. to address the post of Andy_D above, the big singles have more punch, attack and clarity than the sc's in the JB-2 so need a proportionally calmer string methinks...

  7. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    I love the tone of my 1206E, I don't know if I would get the same tone if I were to use something other than Elixers on that bass!
  8. jeffmensch

    jeffmensch Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Cambridge, Ontario
    Yes, I was following the GHS brightness bar.

    Start with nickel roundwounds and slowly move through the mellower strings to tame the high end. I may end up with Precision Flats, who knows? The chrome flats will have a stronger fundamental, or thump, but still bright on the high end since the outer wrap is stainless steel. Check out the string review, it's very informative.

    My SR900 currently has Bartolini Mk1s which I find too muffled sounding. The Big Singles on your SR1200 blow those out of the water. It's not really a fair comparison since the Nordstrand pickups are way more expensive. I bought that bass used and figured it was worth upgrading the pickups to Big Splits and the preamp to a 3-band Glockenklang. Total bill still comes out cheaper than a new bass. Add the right set of strings and it's going to be a monster. :D

  9. Dub Wallace

    Dub Wallace

    Mar 31, 2013
    I also have the Big Singles in one of my basses and I have been on the tone quest for some time. I've been trying to find a more classic "Jazz Bass" sound. I have tried the chromes and although they have that flat "thump" sound, I found their tone to be annoying. Kind of bright in the highs, dead in the lows and no mids with too much string to fret "clatter". It seems that with my other bass, a MIM Fender Jazz with "Noiseless" pickups, I can put any string on it and it sounds great. This bass with the Big Singles - I just cannot find the tone I'm looking for. I would like to find a string that would work well rather than switching out the pickups. I really can't afford to try set after set of different brands and gauges to figure it out. I would love to here more input from players that are using the Big Singles. And to be honest, in a live situation, I don't think anybody can tell or cares about these little nuances that will drive us bass players crazy - but I think we can all relate to how much of a confidence booster it is when our tone is just "right".
  10. mr sprocket

    mr sprocket

    Jul 31, 2006
    Mystic I have the Ibanzez SR5X the anniversary edition of the SR1205 with the nord pickups and went though the exact same issue. I ended up putting a set of pressurewounds on the bass. The tamed the treble and gave a good punchy full sound.

    The set is higher tension. I have a some wrist issues(broke it when I was younger) so I did switch to Sunbeams to make playing easier. The tone is not the same. It is better than the Elixirs but I still have to roll back the trebles.

    If you can get used to the tension difference, try the pressurewounds. The difference is not that much more than roundwounds but was enough to bother my wrist.

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