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Ernie Ball or DR?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Joecoolnes, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Ernie Ball

    19 vote(s)
  2. DR

    52 vote(s)
  1. Joecoolnes


    Feb 18, 2016
    I use Ernie Balls on both my sanatoga and Fender jazz bass. I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to try DR strings. I usually play classic rock on the Fender and jazz on the sanatoga.
    jwilson67 likes this.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There's one good way to find out.

    Ernie Balls are basic, middle of the road rounds. DRs are compression wound and mostly round core. Very different strings. Smoother and more springy and supple than other strings. Try them and see.
  3. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Which kind of Ernie Ball strings are you using--Flats/rounds, ss/nickel/cobalt? What about them do you think could be better?
    Joecoolnes likes this.
  4. Joecoolnes


    Feb 18, 2016
    I usually use slinky or super slinky. Not flat wound
  5. SkinCoffin


    Aug 18, 2015
    So far DR 100% of the votes... with good reason too.

    High beams/sunbeams/black beauties for me :D
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Both make lots of kinds of strings.

    DR makes nickel, steel, bright, warm, etc. It's kind of hard to say. You may just have to take a leap of faith. Best of luck with it.

    And Welcome to TalkBass!
  7. TrentB

    TrentB Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Orange County, Ca
    I've been using DR Nickel Lo Riders on my Fender Jazz. Sound great and add a little more tension. They seem to last a long time too.
  8. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    I was just trying to get a feel of what you were looking for. I personally use Sunbeams because I like their warmth, flexibility, and smooth feel. But there are other DR strings that will take you in other directions.
  9. TimB 619

    TimB 619 Guest

    May 28, 2010
    I prefer the DR Sunbeams and HiBeams over Ernie Ball, although I think the Ernie Ball strings are good strings.
  10. DR for sure. Hi Beams are my favorite by DR
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Pure Blues or Sunbeams are a good place to start with DRs. You may never get beyond one or the other of those. Excellent strings.
  12. arginator


    Feb 28, 2009
    Upstate NY
    I love DR Sunbeams on my Fender Jazz V.


    Jun 10, 2013
    Western Ma.
    DR SS Lo Riders. They make the sound I'm after and feel right to me. And yes DRs are worthwhile to try, for sure. But to each thier own. So start down the buy em and try em road. It's the only way to know for yourself.
    AlexanderB likes this.
  14. El Tookay

    El Tookay Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    I use both, DR SunBeams and Super Slinkys. Here's the differences...
    The Slinkys are slightly stiffer due to their hex core- upside to that is you can get slightly lower action. Slinkys are also slightly 'louder', possibly because of more magnetic presence in the hex core. Not a big deal, just bump the gain on your amp. Sonically, DR's have a very full spectrum of overtones, and the highs, mids and lows are extremely well balanced. Slinkys have an inherent midrange scoop and high harmonics jump out. Lastly, DR's hold their broken-in tone for a LONG time, whereas Slinkys will get kinda lifeless after a few 4 hour nights- YMMV totally here, depending on your playing style, and body chemistry.

    Full-time gig basses are both 2001 American Hot Rod Precisions, both loaded with D. Allen CS1080's in the front and split-coil Fralin J's in the back, just so you know what to base my opinion on...

    Depending on the gig, I will use Slinkys on my #2 and SunBeams on the #1...slappy/ pick stuff gets done on the #2. and everything finger is on the #1. If I'm looking for a very aggressive pick tone, Slinkys have more cut. In terms of bang for the buck, Slinkys win simply because they sound close to the DR's, but for a polished, refined and full sound, you can't beat the DR's...and they feel great under your fingers.
    beardedclam and Joecoolnes like this.
  15. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    I've not used Ernie Ball strings for a long time, and don't recall anything specific about them one way or the other. On the internet, that qualifies me to vote DR. I have mixed feelings about their flatwound strings, but all of their roundwound strings I've tried I liked on one bass or another. Currently using stainless steel Lo Riders on a fretted Jazz bass.
  16. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    EB regular steel flats (not the cobalt) are the most underrated string in the string world. They have good body, a touch of growl, and slot the mix very well indeed.
  17. EricMordus


    Aug 29, 2013
    For me it's all about DR Fat Beams. There's just something about the tonal quality from those strings that just sets them apart from any other string I've tried.
    I never liked Ernie Ball strings.

    Truth is though, it's all subjective and each individual player will have his/her preference.

    Try as many different strings as you can and zero in on the ones that make you feel like they're the ones.

    I float between DR Fat Beams Low Riders, but 75% of the time it's Fat Beams all the time.... (see what I did there)
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I used to use Ernie Ball strings. I found much better options though and switched. In my opinion, Ernie Ball strings are not even in the same league as DR. I find better playability, tone, and life out of DR.
  19. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    I've tried all the DR strings that everyone here has talked about and I keep coming back to EB's - especially the Cobalts, which are now the only string I'll use. My favorite DR string was the Fatbeams which are truly excellent. The EB's just cut through in a way the DR's don't for me personally.

    Seriously, give the Cobalt rounds a try. You won't regret it!
    kkaarrll likes this.
  20. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    I really like the cobalt rounds
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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