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I don't know s**t... what strings should I buy?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by onoffknapp, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. onoffknapp


    Jan 4, 2006
    First of all, I'm a complete n00b when it comes to strings, so... go easy on me :)
    Second of all... I don't know much about basses, period, haha.

    I tried to go through all threads of interest (my first post, yay!), as well as the "what strings do you have"-thread, but... eh, that was tiresome and I don't think I got any wiser.
    So, here it is:

    Before I've just bought whatever they had - preferably something that I had heard someone mention before. Warwick Red Label, Ernie Ball Super Slinky and D'Addario Whatever are the only ones I've tried (that I remember), and I can't really recall any big difference in how they sounded.

    I play a 5-string Warwick Corvette, passive - mostly 1) pick-play with a nice bit of treble, but looking for a crunchy, growling sound with some bass in it (mostly for metal, which is my main focus), or 2) smooth, warm, soulfull finger-play.
    Not much slap, although it has been known to happen...
    I ONLY play at home as a hobby - connected directly through my computer/headphones, so there's not even an amplifier to help me :p

    If there's one thing I've noticed, it is that the B-string gets kind of flat kind of fast... I've had my current strings for over 2 years (yeah, they sound like **** now, haha), and although E,A,D,G sound more or less acceptable to me, the B-string is very subtle. I have to either beat the crap out of the string with a plectrum, or play with my fingers very close to the ...eh, thingy at the end of the body where the strings are attached (called "stable" in swedish, I think...), to get the sound to come through as well as the other strings (barely).

    Any recomendations?
    I don't know how much a brand of strings can do - maybe some are just better than others, and there's not much variety in sound?
    I was thinking about Elixir for a moment... just for the hell of it, you know? But is it a complete waste of money for someone who only plays for a hobby and isn't much of a sound-nerd? Are they good at anything else than just lasting long?
  2. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Maybe try some DR Lo-Riders. People here swear by them. In fact, if they weren't stainless steel, I'd probably give them a try. I play a lot of metal too, and for what it's worth, I use DR Sunbeams. I'll be switching to Rotosound 55s soon though.

    Oh, and the thing that the strings attach to is called the bridge.

    As for Elixers, I used to use them, but I found they were very clean, no growl or bite, which isn't too good for metal. There also quite expensive, and many don't like the feel of Elixers, due to the coating.

  3. First you gotta ask your self, What sound do I want?

    1). Bright jazzy sound?
    2). Deep Talking P bass sound?
    3). Or all above.

    if all of a above mybe some round wounds.
    if deep talkinf flatwounds.
    if bright jazzy sound roundwounds

    But the brand is your choice, and your choice alone.

    I hope this helped a little bit. :bassist:
  4. onoffknapp


    Jan 4, 2006
    What's wrong with stainless steel? How does that affect the sound or whatever?

    "I hope this helped a little bit."
    Yeah, thanks - it's my choice and my choice alone. Thanks ;)
    But I guess I'm looking for the deep talking one, as long as there can still exist some treble and growling in their - I still need some edge.
    Do the DR Lo-Riders come in flatwounds? (also for BassGod, perhaps)
  5. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Oh I just have a thing against stainless steel. They feel too coarse to my fingers. That's why I prefer nickles. Softer feel, less fret wear, and more consistant tone. I find that stainless strings have more initial brightness to thier tone, but that dies off quickly.

    The Lo-Riders don't come in flats. If you want the tone of roundwound strings with a smoother feel, try Rotosound Solo Bass 55s. If you want full on flatwounds, try Rotosound SH77s. They're Steve Harris' signature strings. Other than those, I don't think you'll like flats for metal.

    Let me know if you have more questions.

  6. No problem, I find what Bassgod says not true about the corse feel? I find them way better feeling then the softer strings on my p-bass, but go figure Im just wierd.

    And a sidenote: Duck Dunns Sig strings are the Standard 45-105 deep talking flat wounds :).
  7. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Ha, maybe my fingers are more sensitive? The only way to really know is try them for yourself. ;)

    Oh, if you don't mind the feel, try LaBella Hard Rockin' Steels. I hear good things about these all the time. Jason Newsted uses 'em.

  8. Curt Mangun (mangan?) are great strings
  9. onoffknapp


    Jan 4, 2006
    The reason I'm deciding to buy new strings now is because I found a gift certificate for a local shop here, at about the same amount as a good set of strings costs.
    However, I just went through the shop's inventory, and all they have is this:

    EBS-5S-CM 5-strings, LC, 100% Stainless-Steel. Classic Medium 045,065,085,105,128
    EBS-5S-ML 5-strings, LC, 100% Stainless-Steel. Medium Light 040,060,080,100,125

    Black, Red and Yellow

    Chrome ECB815


    DM2679A ML Blue Steel Bass 5-STG 45-128 Blue Steel 046 -128

    NWB5S Bas 5-str Soft 045-130

    E60M5 EP NPS bas 5 str set 045-127

    Ernie Ball
    Ernie Ball EB2821 5-string Power Slinky 050, 070, 085, 105, 135
    Ernie Ball EB2824 5-string Super Slinky 040, 060, 075, 095, 125.
    Ernie Ball EB2836 5-STRING SLINKY BASS. 045, 065, 080, 100, 130

    No label apparently...
    GHS 5LCC Contact Core 5-str Light 40-125
    GHS 5LDBB Super Steels Double Ball 40-126
    GHS 5MDYB Bass Boomers 5-str Medium 45-130
    GHS 5MLSTB Super Steels 5-str Medium Light 44-121

    Nothing fancy, really... not what I've been looking for (with your help, among other's).
    So... from these ones, what would you rate as the best buy? :)
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Really? Me too! :D And I really, really like them, but DR Hi-Beams are even better to me. Unfortunately I can't find them where I live and it's expensive to order them through www.juststrings.com (I did it once and that's why I fell in love with those strings). Anyway, I'm happy with the Hard Rockin' Steels.
  11. Do you get a good sound doing this? Why don't you buy a headphone amp instead.

    Have you tried adjusting the pickups for this string?

    stable (stall) is bridge in English

    Of the strings you have listed I think the best choice would be EBS because I heard from a metal bassist that he thinks they are better than DR. However, EBS strings are usually the most expensive and maybe a little over the top for your needs.
  12. onoffknapp


    Jan 4, 2006
    omg... I just realised that I CAN plug in my headphones in my amp...
    Eh, well, I keep my amp + one bad bass at my parents house (I just moved two years ago for school), bringing my good bass with me, thinking that I shouldn't disturb my neighbours. I never thought about plugging headphones into the amp - what an idiot I am :crying:

    The sound really isn't that good from the computer - not horrible, though... pretty ok. But darn it... how am I supposed to carry that stupid amp all the way home... ah, well :D
    Thanks for opening my eyes, I don't know how I could've missed that possibility for all this time...

    Didn't know you could. Don't know how to.
    But the thing is, the string sounds good when the strings are fresh, but then gradually get worse and worse - while the rest of the strings stay relatively sharp. Is that what you're talking about, as well?

    Well, since I have a gift certificate, it's practically for free :) I have to spend it on something. Question is: Do I buy two sets of a cheaper brand, or one set of a really good brand?
    And I'm really in the mood for trying out something special - I'm feeling a bit wild and crazy! :hyper:
  13. rustyburrito55


    Dec 27, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Try to find a Stainless Steel B string. It might keep the tone a little brighter for longer. I know Flea does this (he uses a 4 string though).

    Nice strings, and they got almost every gauge (spelling?) and type - what kind of sound you after? do you slap a lot?

    (if you slap a lot then get the SM66 100-40's, very good for that...)

    oh yeah - :LINK:
  15. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I'll be flamed for suggesting this, but you may care to go to rotosound.com, and go to their area for bass strings.

    If you scroll up and down, you can hear samples of all their strings.

    Note: Pros will rightly tell you that you also have to factor-in your bass construction, wood, pickups, bridge, technique, etc., but still, I found the rotosound.com site useful.
  16. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Quite useful, thanks for the tip man. That site helped me to decide to purchase those Solo Bass 55s. I wish more sites had sound samples.

  17. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    If i were you.... I would talk to your store owner, ask about the possibility of getting a different type of string in. Because in all honesty, none of those strings really seemed to jump out at me as something I would use. When I buy strings, alot of times you I just go for Trial and error. Luckily I think I found what I liked on my Modulus and still have to decide what my jazz needs. Every bass is unique, and many times one bass calls for brand X while the next bass calls for brand Y to get the tones you want.

    Honestly, since as you said you are a hobbiest, it really isn't THAT important, however there are also hobbiest playing Fodera's, alembics and other high end basses. I would definatly replace your strings. I don't like ernie balls at all- they die very fast. The elixir coating is very... hard to get used to. If you didn't really like the warwicks the 1st time around, chances are they still aren't for you. And again, i don't really like D'andrio's they seem to die fast IMO (many people will dis-agree with me here, so deal with it). I personally have decided that the TI power bass sounds really great on my Modulus. And I have to still re-string my Jazz with the TI Jazz strings.

    Some things to consider before you go and buy.
    1. Do you want nickel or Steel. Steel's are said to last longer, and some people have told me that they are a little harder on your frets. I prefer the nickel "feel." But again- thats me.

    2. Do you want a round wound or flat wound or half round? I've never used Half rounds, so I can't really speak for them, but the idea seems stupid to me, you either want round or flat (imo). I prefer the roundwound feel, that's what I've learned on, and that's what i feel comfortable on. If you want to feel a flat wound string compared to a roundwound, go and ask the sales clerk to let you try a fretless bass at the store. Chances are the strings on the fretless will be flat wound.

    3. Lastly, do you want a tapercored B string. Alot of guys really like the taper cored strings. I have a pair of 6 string Ken Smiths with a taper cored B. I have yet to install them, so I don't really know how the Taper effects anything (Christmas present, and my Brice sorta needs to be restrung been about 8 months, + the ken smiths were cheap).

    Like I said, talk to the clerk. See if they can get either DR or TI strings in. I personally prefer those two brands over just about all the brands you listed. For DR I'd reconmend either the Lo-Riders or the Sunbeams. And the TI (corvette = a jazz correct? I don't really look at warwicks) power or jazz strings.

    (Just so you know, I could be dead wrong, as this is all just my opinion).
  18. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    DR stianless steel lo riders
  19. onoffknapp


    Jan 4, 2006
    Thanks for you opinion (everybody in general but ebladeboi in particular)!
    However, I'm leaving this town in a week, and I was thinking of buying the strings tomorrow. No time to ask for anything.

    It is a shame, it really is, but I'll be able to buy new strings at a later time in my life - no worries. And as you said, since it is just a hobby it doesn't matter that much.

    I'll try out the flat-/roundwounds in the store and decide on the spot. I have some ideas already.
    Thanks for all the input, everyone! I'll be back in two years when it's time to change strings again, haha