Growly Nickels ?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. So I'v heard Thomastiks are growly so I ordered a set of the PowerBass and the Supperalloys and I await egerly for delivery.

    Does anyone else know of these/other growly nickels?

    Playing on a MIA Fender Jazz
  2. I know that I thought that Powerbass strings was the least growly strings I've tried. Maybe we don't define growl in the same way. Super Alloys should be even mellower. I don't have much experience with nickel strings, but I would say that Ernie Balls are pretty growly (and so was Slowounds), and DR Sunbeams also had some growl to them.
  3. my thoughts on good growl is a nice pronounced low midrange and mid voice.
  4. For me growl is when the strings bangs against the frets, mostly as a direct result of playing harder, and in that respect the Powerbass strings didn't cut it for me. The sound sort of broke up. I don't know how to explain it, but when I played harder it only resultet in a trebly click with no midrange growl to back it up. It was just the same mellow sound, with added click. The opposite sound is the sound of Hi-Beams where you really can hear an almost vocal fullness in the growl.

    But as I define growl in this 'strings-against-frets' way, it clearly has a great deal to say how the bass is set up, and how the strings react to your playing. You might find the TI's growly even if we think of growl in the same way, simply because they fit your bass and playing style better that they did mine.
  5. :eek: ...that can't be healthy

  6. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    That's not growl, that's clank.
  7. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Recently I have played DR Sunbeams, DR Nickel Low Riders, Ken Smith Burners, D'Addario XLs, and Ernie Ball Slinkies. I keep coming back to the XLs. They were not all on the same bass. The XLs are more alive sounding to me. BP magazine listed them as having a flat spectrum which may tranlate into more mids than a lot of strings.

  8. Well, care to share your wisdom on growl then...
  9. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    This is from


    Your bass should produce a nice growl when plucking (say) the E and/or A strings around third position. Actually it should sing everywhere, but these are optimal positions for checking and tweaking your growl factor. With your pizzicato (plucking) hand a good two inches in front of where the neck joins the body, (actually out onto the fingerboard) pluck a nice strong note while pinning down the stopping hand. This should produce a nice ringing, singing note that actually buzzes a tad as the note swells. This is not to be confused with fret buzz. Strive to have that dream bass set up with a relatively low action, and with the truss rod at the perfect relief so as to create the maximum growl or sustain.
  10. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    That's a column on fretless basses, though.
  11. So, even though this is for fretless, I guess we agree that growl is a factor of an interaction between the fingerboard and the strings. And I still think describing growl on a fretted bass as the equivalent of mwah on a fretless has some sense. To me Marcus Millers solo fingered sound is a good example of growl.

    Or, could growl be achieved with the string never touching the fingerboard? (on both frettet/fretless)

  12. Yes, and a better example of growl can be had on a Musicman Stingray or Sterling.
  13. Hehe... that's why I play a Stingray5 :) 'Aeroplane' by RHCP displays some good Stingray growl I should think. And though I don't know that much about him, Tony Levin has a very growly sound too.

    And to get back on topic, Flea uses GHS Bass boomers, and Levin uses Ernie Ball Slinkies. Both nickelplated strings.
  14. So... there's a personal vote for XL's and a reference that some Pro's use GHS and Ernie Ball's.

    Any others? I've used XL's and think that they are great strings. I'm not sure they are the most growly nickels out there though. I've never tried GHS, and I just bought a set of Ernie's.... we'll see how those compare. I have a set of DM Blue Steel NPS on there right now. I think these strings have a nice bass response, and nice bright treble... mids are a bit lacking. this is my first impression so far anyways...

    But, anyone else?
  15. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    I am curious what you conclude on the TI rounds on a Jazz bass.

  16. I've never used the, but the gauge is WAY too small I'm using 45-105/50-110's these days.

    If i would consider anything from TI it would be the superalloy/powerbass.
    do you know anything about these for 'growl' i hear mixed things on these strings for growl. some say no growl. some say mucho growl.

    any info?

  17. sincity


    Oct 16, 2002
    Fender 7150 Pure Nickels. Very nice growl. I use them on my Geddy Lee. I really like how they sound on the D & A strings.

    Not as flexible as other strings listed, but I like a tighter string, especially when I am playing in the neck position of a jazz bass. I tend to dig in a little bit.
  18. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    I just put a set of DR Lo-Riders on my fretless Zon. They have a nice bark to them.
  19. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    I Like XL's, but....

    Why do the strings have to be nickel? Stainless stings have much more of what I define as "growl". To my ears, they have more upper midrange even in the low notes, which some would consider to be "growl".

    One other question. If you are in search of so much "growl", why did you get rid of a G&L, a Fender Geddy Lee, and EB basses? At least that's what your profile says.

    It almost seems like your G.A.S. has led you in the wrong direction, when in my opinion, you had some of the most "growly" basses made at one point.

    EDIT: I'm not trying to sound hostile, just trying to understand you logic.