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Hi-Beams vs. Lo-Riders . . .

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by RSchuster, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    Okay, I currently have a set of medium gauge Hi-Beams on my Ric, and they have just now gone dead (that would be about 6 months being played on average an hour a day) . . . I love them, but now that I need new strings, I'm wondering . . . what are the differences in sound and feel between a set of Hi-Beams and a set of steel Lo-Riders of the same gauge?
  2. Feel: The Hi-Beams have a flexible feel to them, similar to many other strings on the market. Hi-Beams are somewhat similar in sound and feel to Dean Markley Blue Steels.

    The Lo-Riders have a noticeably stiffer feel to them.

    Sound: The Hi-Beams are pretty bright, and have a good bottom, very good midrange and open-sounding highs.

    Lo-Riders seem to be much more focused in the lower midrange and have a "quicker" top end. By this, I mean that they seem to recover from being plucked more quickly. This also adds to a more focused bottom. I didn't try a set of Lo-Riders until last November, and I could kick myself for waiting so long. I love these strings, and I think they're the best sounding string for finger style playing due to their stiffness, which I equate with control.

    I have SS Lo-Riders on my Stingray, and want to get a nickle set as I prefer darker-sounding strings. The SS are OK though.

    That's my spin.

  3. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I tried a set of LowRiders on my 6 string but I took them off after 1 set because they were killing my hands. They were too stiff for me. I guess I'm getting soft in my old age. The Hi Beams are more bendy and that suits me fine.
  4. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    Are the Lo-Riders, like, a LOT stiffer than the Hi-Beams? Or is it kinda just enough to be noticeable?

    Because I think I would like the sound of the Lo-Riders more; Hi-Beams are great sounding but a little too . . . um . . . sparkly or zingy for my tastes, but I don't want to play strings that'll kill my hands. Someone told me that Lo-Riders sound similar to Rotosound RS66 strings, but without the whole "eat-your-frets-and-go-dead-in-a-week" thing . . . is that an accurate description of the sound?
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Its a big difference. If you find the high beams to be too zingy, just keep playing them and in a week or two they will settle down ... then sound good for a LONG time. IME.
  6. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Lo-Riders on a Ric will sound great. They are not that much stiffer than Hi-Beams. They are not as stiff as XL's for that matter. All DR strings are pretty flexible. If I use DR's I usually have to go up a guage so they don't feel floppy. In other words I use 45-65-80-100's in XL's, and 45-65-85-105's in DR's. Go with the LO's you won't be dissapointed. Lo-Riders are louder than Hi-Beams so you won't have to play them that hard anyway.
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I owned a set of Lo-Riders once, they were so loose compared to what I was used to. I don't get it, everyone says they're too stiff yet they're too loose for me. Maybe it was a freak set of Lo-Riders.
  8. Low Riders are a somewhat stiffer than Hi Beams, and it is noticable to me. I strongly prefer the Low Riders. They sound exactly right to me - focused and punchy but not too bright. They also work great for me as I use a lot of detunings so the extra tension feels just right when I tune down to C# G# C# F#. Plus they last forever (compared to other brands). Try 'em - you might like 'em!

    Good luck!
  9. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    and if you like Lo riders you might want to try some Bootzillas

    they are pretty much lo riders except they are coated
  10. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    "keep playing them and in a week or two they will settle down ... then sound good for a LONG time"

    Yeah, I know, that's why I love them. When I firts put them on last August, I thought, "Wow, that's a little brighter than I'd anticipated . . ." and for a bit I was seriously considering going back to the RS55 strings I had on. But I played them and, in pretty much a week, they toned down just a bit and sounded FANTASTIC . . . and they sounded just as fantastic up until about a week ago when they finally decided to die.

    I think I might give Lo-Riders a shot. If I don't like them, for whatever reason, I'll just go back to Hi-Beams, because I already know that they're great.

    Also, on the Bootsy strings, what effect does the coating have? Is it more, um, "funkified" or something?
  11. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    LowRiders on my 6 string gave me a workout but I think I would like to try them on my Lakland.
  12. I just bought a set of Nickel Lo Riders.

    Cant wait to try them out.
  13. I don't think so.

    I'd say that Roto 66s sound closer to Ernie Ball Slinkys than LoRiders. Both have a rough feel and brash highs. I never had 66s on any bass long enough to notice any fret damage. The best way I can describe LRs to someone who's never played them/heard them is: A stiffer-feeling, darker-sounding Hi-Beam.

    I really like Elixirs, Blue Steels, and Hi-Beams, but I love LoRiders!

    The sad thing about strings is that we really have to try them out first hand to see if we like them. It can get a bit expensive and frustrating when we try out a new set only to discover that we don't like them, but that's part of the game.

    Mike ;)
  14. As others said, the only way you will know is if you try. I found lo-riders to be noticeably stiffer than hi-beams, but more importantly noticeably darker - the lo vs. hi. Since I prefer a brighter less boomy sound, the hi-beams were my preference.

    Probably depends a great deal on the bass and the amp as well...

    Just give it a shot and if they aren't your thing, you've got a spare set of last-ditch emergency strings!
  15. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Have you considered the Sunbeams? They are like the Hi-Beams but are nickel instead of stainless steel, so they should have about the same tightness but less zing (and they'll be easier on your hands & frets).
  16. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    I have not played Sunbeams, though I was tempted to try them. However, every time I get nickel strings, I'm always disappointed for some reason . . . usually I just can't get enough growl out of them. I may try the Sunbeams late, though, simply because DR makes the best strings I've every played, and I figure they can't be bad.
  17. hi-beams are my string now...i haven't tried a ton of brands or types, but i've spent enough to realize that i don't waste my money on them.
  18. DR Lo Riders Stainless Steel. 45 -105
  19. My choice have always been LoRiders Nickel and never found them too stiff. I love their sound, specially after a few week they get into their "zone"... they get this really ballsy sound!!!

    Even though I'm thinking of trying Hibeams on my MTD...
  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 IMO