Favourite nickel-plated string?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by JazzyJacuzzi, Jan 14, 2022 at 11:09 AM.

  1. JazzyJacuzzi

    JazzyJacuzzi Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2021
    Yeah, yeah the bass chooses the string, not the other way around.

    Anyway, what's YOUR favourite nickel-plated string?
  2. I personally don't subscribe the idea that "the bass chooses the string". You as the player choose the strings according to how you want a particular bass to sound to your ears.

    You sure have been busy starting up new threads lately. COVID boredom? ;):D
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Dunlop Super Bright
    SIT Foundation
    DR Pure Blues
  4. JazzyJacuzzi

    JazzyJacuzzi Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2021
    Partly due to COVID boredom, but also because I recently went from two basses to one. I had a Precision with flats and a Jazz with rounds. Now I just have the one Jazz. As much as I love flats, truth is, they aren’t all that versatile. I want a nickel-plated string.

    I had light Sunbeams on the Jazz, but I don’t know. Not enough tension and they had this strange feeling as if they were rolling over when playing. I’m thinking maybe regular Sunbeams or Nickel Lo-Riders, but I also want to hear what else is out there. I’ve been hearing a lot about SIT, for example, which is intriguing.
  5. Bolsyo


    Oct 18, 2015
    GHS Boomers.
  6. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019
    I choose strings based on being able to grunt and point at a package behind the counter at any music store I go into.

    Ernie Ball extra slinky…

    but recently discovered the S.I.T. Nickels that come in the same gauge as my favorite EB’s and even a bit cheaper…
    DJ Bebop and Hounddog409 like this.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think the TI jazz rounds are nickel over a round steel core --- they'd be my favorite. they last forever and they're smooth feeling for a round.
    Willicious and Frankie Fender like this.
  8. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Boomers are what bass strings sound like in my head. I only use something else if I am specifically aiming for a very different sound (e.g. mellow flats, super bright steels, etc.).
    One Way, Arthur U. Poon and DJ Bebop like this.
  9. JazzyJacuzzi

    JazzyJacuzzi Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2021
    Also because this forum is in need of something different … flats and TI conversations are getting old :)
    Artman and michael_t like this.
  10. DR for sure. Sunbeams and Pure Blues are tied for my favourite.

    I can get along just fine with most of the other NPS rounds that I have tried, as long as I choose lighter sets if they are hex core strings, but Sunbeams and Pure Blues are in a league of their own IMO.
    BOOG, tindrum and picnic01 like this.
  11. Ancientwhale

    Ancientwhale Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2019
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Nickel lo riders are my fave.
  12. I once tried the Sunbeams 45-105 and the Nickel Lo-Riders 40-100 back-to-back on my Fender Jazz and ended up preferring the NLRs. Even the medium set of SBs was a little too flexible and loose-feeling for my taste, while the NLRs provided enough firmness despite the smaller gauges so I wouldn't have to deal with "this strange feeling as if they were rolling over" under my plucking fingers.

    As far as "all-purpose nickel-plated steel roundwound for Jazz" is concerned, the NLRs would be among my top choices.
  13. JazzyJacuzzi

    JazzyJacuzzi Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2021
    Do you know if the rolling feeling is due to the round core or the gauge?
    Artman likes this.
  14. matti777


    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I keep buying D'Addario XL which I am happy with. Years ago I used DR but they aren't available around here and the D'Addario XLs are just fine.
  15. I would say it's a combination of both. I don't like strings that are too bouncy under my plucking fingers, but at the same time I want them to be comfortable for the fretting hand. And that means hex-core strings in relatively light gauges (40-95/40-100) set up with a medium-low action. Comfy by not floppy or buzzy.
    JazzyJacuzzi likes this.
  16. bigjames

    bigjames Player of Smooth Lines

    I am liking Sadowsky nickel rounds at the moment. Slightly more tension than the Sadowsky steel and feel "smoother" (less grippy) on the fingers. When new they were as bright as steels, but seem to have dulled a tiny bit now. Still sound great though. They also seem to have a darker / fuller sound in general, which is why I tried them in the first place.

    oh, and because of more tension, I was able to drop my action, which I really like.
  17. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Different basses ask for different strings - even within the nickel plated category. My favorite nickels at this time are:

    SIT Power wounds
    GHS boomers
    GHS round core boomers

    Those are listed from brightest to least bright, not preference. The preference depends on which bass you're talking about. I strive to have a decent palette of "colors" within a relatively small herd of instruments - that requires more than one kind of string. I also use Kalium Hybrids for one bass where it wants even brighter strings. I might use GHS Progressives in place of those, if they return.
  18. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Nickel Lo Riders. After many hundreds of $ spent chasing the string fairy, I am back in the NLR camp where I began around 25 years ago. Granted, I absolutely love my p-bass with either LaBella 760FL or the discontinued Sadowsky Black Label Flats, but my band often doesn't do so well with a flattie strung bass as it does when there are some roundwound tones poking through the mix. I do prefer playing flats, mostly for how they feel, but also for their ability to provide a big round bottom to things. But years of experimenting with gear have proven me that my band members will not alter their tones, styles and levels in the mix simply to accommodate my bass tone preferences (and why should they, if its all working well?). The Nickel Lo Riders can be eq’d to resemble a flattish sound when needed, and they can also deliver a very present and pleasing more “modern” tone that slices as well as supports. I hesitate to apply the “modern” adjective to roundwounds, particularly since flats have never disappeared from use, and quite a few recent recordings in various genres clearly have flats in glorious sonic display…but I think for many (most?) bassists, rounds will serve their music better. So, my Nickel Lo Riders have again saddled up for the gigs on my primary bass, but I will still make a few feeble attempts to sneak my old Fender with Labella flats onto a tune or two when I have a chance.
  19. JuanB


    Feb 20, 2010
    Fodera nickels! I was a Rotosound Swing Bass 66 stainless user for years and I love the Fodera nickels.
    e-flat likes this.
  20. JazzyJacuzzi

    JazzyJacuzzi Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2021
    thanks! What gauge are you using?
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