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F Bass string suggestions

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by notonthehorse, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. I am going to record in a little over a week and trying to find some recommmendations for strings to use on an F Bass BN5. I know George sells some recommended strings; the trick, however, is that we tune all strings down a half step and I am worried that the recommended strings might be too loose.

    Any suggestions or warnings are greatly appreciated.
  2. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I believe his strings are La Bellas, if not they used to be, try another gauge of La Bella.
  3. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I own a bN6 and have tried several times to like the Labella Supersteps that George ships his basses with. For me, they just don't feel right, maybe its the exposed cores, I dunno. But I'm a nickel guy anyway and have never found a set of SS strings I liked as much as a fresh set of nickels.

    My reccomendations for Fbass are D'addario XL's, D'addario Slowounds if you can still find them, DR lowriders, or the undisputed kings IMO, Fodera diamond strings. Hands down, the best out there, that I have found. The Foderas seem to last a little longer than the D'addarios as well.

    I'm going to try a set of DR black beauties next, in my quest to find a decent coated string that will still sound zingy after a couple of months with my acid hands.

    About the Labella's George uses, I will say they have exceptional clarity down low on the B string, I'm guessing because of the tapered core, but lots of companies offer tapered B strings these days.

    good luck

  4. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    As for the tuning down a half step, I'd say go 45,65,85,105,130 or 50,70,90,110,130. The latter is really stiff, and I would only reccomend that if that is the only tuning you use. If you switch back and forth, the 45-130 should work well.

    Another consideration is that you'll be more prone to have to adjust your rod with that heavier set, and if you have a recording session coming up, and you're happy with your basses action and setup, don't go with a set that is going to drastically change the setup of your bass, especially with an F, which has a sensitive neck to begin with, IME.
  5. If you'd like to save a few bucks on a great set of strings that are very close, if not the same strings George puts on, give Carvin Nickels a try. They're tapored strings and made by LaBella as well. I've tried them both back to back, and the feel and tone is very similar. I believe George has a custom guaging on his strings, but to be honest with you, I couldn't really validate the difference, especially at double the price.
  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I also don't like the super steps, not at all actually.

    I've got an F on the way to me this week and a new set of Fodera Nickel's ready to go on it. They're my favorite string by far.


  7. Enjoy the F. Is it new? What is the finish?
  8. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    I agree; the LaBella's George puts on his basses just don't feel right to me (although, I'm tempted to try a single tapered B string...).

    On my BN5, I use either Fodera or DR strings. I prefer Foderas a bit more, but DR's always last MUCH MUCH longer than the Foderas...Also, I like Ken Smith strings.

    I prefer the thickest guage I can find, and I can't remember what that is right now. I also set my bass up with high action. It takes some getting used to, but after a couple weeks it's fine. The tone is so much better this way....at least to me.
  9. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Just got the BN6 today. I love it! It's used but in great shape. It's deep purple with an ebony board.

    It has D'Addario XL's on it right now. Their ok. I'm holding off for a gig next week untill I put my Fodera's on.
  10. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I almost bought a used Bn6 that was deep purple with an ebony board. I wonder if it is the same one. Does it have a flame maple top?

    The one I was looking at, Adrian Garcia was selling a couple of years ago through his site.

    Anyways, Enjoy Andy! George makes a mean 6 string
  11. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    :D That's the bass!!!! No flame maple top though. Just plain ash. I also wanted to buy it when Adrian had it and I missed the opportunity. I'm so glad that I ended up with it! :hyper: What a great bass. I've wanted an F for a long time and I'm so glad that I now own one. Every time I'd bring a new bass into my friends' music shop one of them would have his BN5 and it'd blow the doors off of any bass I had with me. I'm glad that won't happen now! :D
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Oh, my F does have a flame maple neck though and it shows through on the headstock....
  13. I tried DRs and Rotos after the stock La Bellas, and the DR lowriders were the best on my old BN5.
  14. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've tried DRs, GHS super steels, and settled on using Elixer Nanos exclusively on my BN5. Used them at recording sessions a couple of times with good results. :D
  15. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Thats awesome Andy! I liked that bass alot. Its hard enough to find a used BN6, let alone one with an ebony board. Initially, I really wanted one with a flame top and an ebony board, but I'm really fond of the one I have, with a one piece ash body and a maple board. It kills. Lately I have been running it passive more often than not. Passive with single coil mode on that bass sounds so good through the right amp!!

    As for strings, I recently constructed one of those PVC tube jobs for soaking strings in denatured alcohol. Man, theres a great way to save a few hundred bucks every year!! They come out of that alcohol sparkling! I'm going to pick up a couple of sets of Fodera Nickel strings at NAMM, and just rotate them in the alcohol tube. See if I can get through 2006 with 2 sets of strings!

    If I recall correctly, my favorite gauge set for my F was this set: 28125 - .028 .044 .062 .085 .106 .125
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY

    Yeah, that's the same gauge set that I use. I love 'em!

    I'm just so happy that this bass came up when I was looking for one. I got a stupid deal on it as well. I will say that I'm honestly probably going to switch out the pickups though. I like a darker sound then they give up. I really need dual coils (side by side coils). I love how the bass plays and how it was designed though. It's much more comfortable to play than my Roscoe was whether sitting or standing; especially standing though.
  17. Dave Hill

    Dave Hill Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I really like LowRiders, but the winding is so thick by the ball on the B string that it doesn't want to go into the bridge on my BN5. Thoughts of laquer chunks coming off made me stop using them. I actually had to crush it down a bit with pliers to fit into the bridge of a SSII I had. I've recently used 3 consecutive sets of George's strings to give them a fair chance, and now I really like them. They seem comparitively "loose" and have a real strong fundamental tone. They are damn expensive though. I'm convinced that taper/exposed core B strings sound better too.
  18. greenbass

    greenbass Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    I got the new F'in bass from Joey Squid last week and today I put on a set of Dean Markley SR2000 LT and now this bass smokes more than before. SR2000 are the best strings that I've come across thus far.
  19. In general, I don't like Markley strings at all, but those SR2000's seem to work nicely with the Fbass.
  20. C-5KO


    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Not to hijack, but I'd be interested in hearing about your "tube job". Maybe in a new thread, or PM me if you'd like.