OK, over my bass playing "career" I have been plagued by funny sounding E and A strings. You know, they just sound weird, kinda twangy-chorusy, and don't seem to have as much fundamental as they should . More expensive strings don't seem to have this problem as much. I think I've found the answer: lateral torque. I read a post here fairly recently by someone who had a weird-sounding string, and when he turned the ball-end of the string to line it up with the others (he apparently has a thing about aligned ball-ends), the weird sound went away . This hit me like a ton of bricks. I dug out a set of SIT Rock Brights I had tried and taken off because both the E and A strings had the aforementioned sound. I strung them very carefully onto my Washburn el-cheapo bass and they sounded pretty good except for the A. I loosened the A completely, pulled the ball-end out of the bridge, wiggled the string to make sure it had no twist whatsoever, and brought it back to pitch. Voila! These strings sound fantastic now, consistent, punchy, and with nice, clear sound on the open strings . I'm surprised I never thought of this before. I have probably twisted a lot of strings by hand-wrapping them around the machine post rather than using a string winder. No wonder I've had troubles. I'm going to try some more cheap nickels and see how this theory works out. If everyone else in the world has already figured this out, well, just ignore me and realize I'm a little slow .