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Frustrated with my strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Dirk Rockbottom, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Oct 30, 2012
    I've been looking at a lot of posts here and they are helpful, but I'm still confused about the best bass string for me.

    I play a Fender Jazz Standard with Seymour Duncan dual-core hot stack pu's through a GK-115mb. Also use an Ibanez Bass Tube Screamer for special effects.
    Mostly have been using D'Addario XL .045 Nickel round wounds, but there seems to be toO much finger noise if I turn up the treble which I like for the punch. I mainly finger pick, but occasionally for fast rock, I'll switch to a flat pick - Dunlop .73 yellows.

    I'm thinking about buying some heavier gauge strings - maybe a .50 for the G, but I'm confused whether I need flat wounds with a lighter gauge, or rounds with a heavier gauge.

    I looking for a warm, milky sound with a bit of a growl to it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    i'm one of the rounds fans for sure, but you may enjoy flats. i kind of enjoy the bright stringy noise, but i understand what you are saying.

    i prefer old rounds over flats, and they are far less noisy when they are greased up and stretched really good.

    growl vs warm may be your issue. hard to have it all. i want that Dr Dre thump with that Steve Harris clarity. haven't figured it out yet after years. growl usually comes from some type of overdrive/fuzz/distortion. smoother/milky strings will likely cut some of the high end 'bite' that makes it growl.

    i'm a fan of 'hot' pickups and GK amps also. you are gonna get more mid grind/punch with these than maybe some other choices. i think the bottom line is that it ALL matters from fingers to speakers. you are gonna have to experiment. that's where the real fun is ;)
  3. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  4. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Oct 30, 2012
    Thanks. I watched a youtube video on the GHS Pressurewounds. I think I'll give them a try. What do you think of the Boomers?
  5. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Oct 30, 2012
    Do you like the Mediums or the Medium Lights?
  6. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I know this isn't string advice, but... instead of turning up the treble for punch, try turning up the mids. This should also give you a bit of growl, especially on a J.
  7. Yup. I turn up the bass and mids on my amp and back off the treble in equal amounts. Sounds great.

  8. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    If you want that Geezer sound, try GHS Precision Flats. DR Sunbeams are very warm too.
  9. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    You could try lowering your pickups to get rid of the finger noise.
  10. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I like high tension and super low action, and I don't really slap so I go as heavy as my nut slots can take. Never tried boomers.
  11. Or cleaning up your technique.
  12. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    rural New Mexico
    Are you using the tweeter on your GK115MB? If so, that piezo tweeter has a nasty peak that IME really brings out finger noise on rounds (along with hiss and static), especially with the treble boosted. With the exception of that treble issue, I love the sound of that combo. Ended up replacing the tweeter with something much smoother (and an L-pad to adjust tweeter level). If you are 'handy' with basic tools and a soldering iron, it's a relatively easy project.
  13. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
  14. Nylon Tapewounds may be something to consider.

    Kept the growl and treble of my Ibby but added a nice percussive thump to it as well. It brought a personality to each string that no other string I have had before did.
  15. Ron G

    Ron G

    Mar 16, 2009
    Portsmouth, VA
    Try DR Hi-beams, I have a friend how hates finger noise so he only played flats. Then I gave him a set of DR Hi-beams 45-105 and now he is going back to rounds.
  16. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Sounds like your looking for flats. the smooth surface of the flats will create 0 finger noise. If you bent on rounds though you can try coated strings like 73jbass suggested. I used Elixirs for a long time and they have only a little noise.
  17. I still use medium-gauge Boomers for everything. I just don't like the feel of everything else I've tried, and I've tried 90% of the market over the past 25 years. Most rounds rip the hair out of my arms so they stay on my basses for about 30 seconds before they get trashed. GHS rounds don't do that. They're smoother.

    I get decent growl and bite with them, which is a bonus. I also don't break them like I constantly broke Dean Markley strings and D'Addarios, which couldn't stay in one piece on my basses long enough to get dull.

    I had a blonde bass when coated strings came out. They only had black at the time and they left powder on my finish. Couldn't tell you if they've really improved any since then because my first few experiments sucked enough that I gave up on them. They sounded no different to me than standard rounds, but that could have changed in the past 20 years too.

    All rounds are going to give you some amount of finger noise. Some more than others. If you can stand flats, try 'em. You'll get zero noise, but they're nowhere near as bright as most rounds which will cut into your clarity somewhat... which might not be a bad thing. Steve Harris used flats for Iron Maiden :bassist:
  18. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    Besides the pickup height, a pad setting on the amp could help as well.
  19. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    Go with the pressurewounds! Thats my new string jazz bass with GK amps and cabs. they are warm and mellow yet the highs are still bright with growl in the mids....they also feel great playing! I love them! I was going to keep my other bass roundwound but I might have to put them on both basses!
  20. i just tried D'addario Chromes on my fretless jazz. Nice feel, I can't speak to longevity but so far it's a nice sound