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Hi-Beam replacements

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dfmilkman, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. dfmilkman


    Nov 13, 2012
    Hey guys, so I'd like to see if anyone has some recommendations for me. I'm looking for a new set of strings for my Stingray HH. I'm currently using medium-gauge DR hi beams, and I like the way they sound, but I have smaller hands and the tension was causing me some issues with pull-offs. Tuning down a half step actually seems to have really helped, but I don't want to do that all the time. So, I want something with a comparable sound to hi-beams (or fat beams), but with a little less tension. I was thinking some lite-gauge DR sunbeams. Anyone have some thoughts on that?

    I'd like something good for slapping and finger-style as well. And I'd like to stick with round-wounds, I think. Thanks in advance!
  2. Ron G

    Ron G

    Mar 16, 2009
    Portsmouth, VA
  3. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    Why don't you just step down to a medium light or light gauge of Hi Beams?? They do make other gauges you know! :)
  4. dfmilkman


    Nov 13, 2012
    That's a good point! Would this have a similar effect to downtuning? I feel like I like everything better (feel, sound, slap/pop tone...) when it's tuned down. I'll take it into consideration :)
  5. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    The medium gauge set of Hi Beams is 105 85 65 45 so the lite gauge set 100 80 60 40 would probably work good for you for standard tuning to give you a similar feel.
  6. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    You might want to give DR Sunbeams a shot. No where as stiff as Hi Beams but no where as loose as some hex core strings that are in the 100 80 60 40 range. I had a D'Addario set of 100 thru 40 (hex core) on my Jazz bass for a while and last week tried Sunbeams for the first time. I've found them to be a nice compromise in tension.
  7. dfmilkman


    Nov 13, 2012
    To clarify, do you mean lite gauge sunbeams?
  8. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    No, the Sunbeams I have is the 45 65 85 105 set. I too was looking for something with a bit less tension than what I was using. I was using 45 thru 105 sets that were hex core and for starters thought I'd try a hex core set that was 40 60 80 100 but found them to be a bit too loose for my liking.

    That's when I thought I'd try the Sunbeams (round core) in the mentioned gage. The tension of these strings seems to be just what I was looking for. Again, not as stiff as Hi Beams and not as loose as the 40 thru 100 hex core D'Addario set that I tried.

    Hope this helped!
  9. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    As a former Hi-Beam user, let me throw in a plug for Circle K. You can "have it your way" with a wide variety of balanced tension or traditional sets. The strings are bright, smooth to the touch unlike most stainless strings I've experienced, and last a long time.
  10. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Would you say lo-riders from DR follow this? I have a set of .45-.100 DR lo riders (SS) and I have them tuned down to drop C# and they are pretty darn stiff for being tuned down that low. Feels like playing a standard tuned set for me....they are on an Ibanez SRX3EXQM1 btw
  11. AndroWal


    Sep 28, 2003
    Ojai, CA
    I have been using HiBeams, 40-120, on my basses for years. These gauges are flexible and have lower tension....a couple of the reasons why I really enjoy them.
  12. There are few strings on the market with less tension than the HI Beams. Not sure how long you've been playing, but small hands or not, a trip to the woodshed will fix your issues.

    That being said, the sun beams (basically nickel Hi Beams) are lower tension feeling. Per the comments above, lighter gauge will also feel 'looser'.
  13. dfmilkman


    Nov 13, 2012
    You're probably right, but I've developed some wrist pains trying to just force it through practice. I've been playing for about 10 years, but it's only been about a year since I started practicing daily. I'm thinking lite gauge might be the answer for me, after looking at this chart:


    going down from 105 tuned to Eb to 100 tuned to E looks like it should be a pretty similar tension. I appreciate everyone's help here! Thanks to all :D
  14. Are you stretching properly before, during and after you do your practice routine, and also before a performance and/or rehearsal? Just asking because as Kjung mentioned above, the DR Hi Beams have pretty low tension. I love them because of that - and of course because of the way they sound.
  15. dfmilkman


    Nov 13, 2012
    Hmm, no I guess I don't really have a stretching routine. Maybe that would help. I'll look up some youtube videos, any recommendations?

    The stingray is still new so I'm still getting used to playing on it, but I really like the hi-beam feel (at least when down-tuned) and the sound goes without saying. I've played with fat/sun beams before, and I've never had the problems I've been having with the hi-beams, but that was on my old Schecter elite-4, so I'm not sure if it's a fair comparison.
  16. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Whoops! My bad on something. When I mentioned Hi Beams....I meant Lo Riders. My apologies if I confused anybody because I have never tried Hi Beams. Sorry, I work nights, last night was a killer and I was pretty tired when I typed things out here.

    Sorry about the confusion.
  17. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Lo Riders - Stiff as heck

    Hi Beams - Flexible!

    Sunbeams - Nickel version of Hi Beams, probably slightly less tension because they are plated in nickel, not 100% steel

    DR Coated Strings - Basically coated versions of Sunbeams

    This should answer your questions on DR's. As far as other strings that are similar to Lo Riders, Dean Markley Blue Steels seem the best bet. Hi Beam replacements, I have no idea. They are so low in tension, but I suppose I go between Dunlops and Hi Beams without problems, although Dunlops definitely have mo' tension.