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If I like Elixers what will I like better?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Mrmatt1972, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Was a bassist in the 90s but am only back into bass playing since last Christmas so I don't really know what's new out there as far as strings go. I don't want to spend a fortune, but I'm open to suggestions as I'm placing an order soon.

    I play a variety of music: Americana, blues, rock, some funk (70s fingerstyle mostly). I am slowly rebuilding my slap technique. The Elixers do all of it reasonably well, and they last too. Is there anything better?
  2. I prefer Elixir:

  3. Alright. Any other suggestions.
  4. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    It is my understanding that Elixir strings are made by D'Addario, and Elixir puts on the coating. So you may have luck with some comparable D'Addario XLs for about half the price. Won't be coated, obviously, but perhaps sound in a similar ballpark.
    Mrmatt1972 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  5. I'm thinking I'll try a coated DR string, I like DR on guitar, but don't know which to try - I can't belive the number of choices there are these days
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    All DR coated strings are the same, the only difference is the color. That being said, Dragon Skins were always my favorite since there is no color to flake off.
  7. I liked DR's dragon skins, but their neon ones flaked on me. The unwound strings would lose pieces from their coating in the first week of use.
    That might not be the case with bass strings & would hope not considering what DR charges for coated bass strings :eek:
  8. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    Aurora also has coated strings. But I 2nd the DR Dragon Skins.
  9. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    My first response is "anything," since I don't much care for Elixirs.

    But to be of some actual help, let me ask, what is it that you like about the Elixirs?
  10. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    Not true. All the colored varieties are nickel plated steel rounds. The Dragonskins are stainless steel rounds. The Bootzillas are stainless steel rounds.
  11. Which coated DRs have a round core and a nickel wrap?
  12. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    All of the colored varieties are round core, nickel wrapped.
    Mrmatt1972 likes this.
  13. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Since you've mentioned rebuilding your slap technique, have you been using the Stainless Steel Elixirs or their more common Nickel Plated Steels? The SS version might suit you better especially when playing slap.
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Well to be fair, the color is not the coating. The color can (and will) flake off but the coating is still fine. It just looks like arse, but does not feel any different.
  15. I'm using nickle and don't think I'll like stainless. I remember them as being very bright and hard on frets. Slap is only ever going to be a small (but fun) part of my style. I seem to be leaning towards jam band music more than funk these days.
  16. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    I've also used Elixir NPS despite wanting to try the SS version. Too bad that the SS winding length isn't long enough for my bass. Many have said that since they are also coated, the Elixir SS are not overly bright. They categorized the sound like fresh (uncoated) nickels.

    I've also had my worries about SS string hard on frets. But my longest running bass, which I owned for more than 20 years, never once ever needed fret dressing or replacement, despite my fav strings back then was the Rotosound Swing 66 SS.
  17. I think the flaking colour would drive me nuts
  18. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Okay, I've been using Elixir FOREVER, because they last that long. I seriously can't find another string that I only change maybe once or twice a year, and I play a lot. Are there better sounding and feeling strings out there? Sure. Do those others pay for themselves ten-fold? Unless it's a flatwound, your answer is "NO"! :p

    Lastly, here are my suggestions:

    Elixir, obviously (original metal wrap, not the new stainless, and highest tension out of my faves)
    DR Lo-Rider (nice, powerful string, but not as loud or in-your-face as the SS)
    DR Pure Blues (nice and lively, good supple tension, with less hi-mids than Elixir, and more refined and polite than Lo-Riders, good lifespan for uncoated)
    SIT Power Wound (Nice balanced tone, and I got ridiculously low action on an old ESP with hardly any buzz, with really nice bending ease, but not as flexible as the Pure Blues)

    DR Lo-Rider (all-out roar and clarity)
    LaBella Stainless, not Stainless RX (regular Stainless used to be Hard Rockin' Steels, lower tension than the Lo-Riders, also nice roar but not as authoritative as DR)

    Btw, the stainless I like are very easy on your frets. Also, I personally think the LaBellas are very underrated. Elixir definitely has the highest tension of the entire bunch, but not too much that they turn me off. I think they're a phenomenal bargain, as I gig the hell out of them, and have recorded them with success as well. If you don't mind the increased mid-scoop versus, say, Ernie Ball Slinky (I just eq the mids back in) or higher tension, then I'd stick with them.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    kennethmichael and Mrmatt1972 like this.
  19. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot

    I wouldn't spend money on DR coated strings. They don't even come close to Elixir. Elixir pay for themselves like nothing else. I love when companies like Ibanez and Bacchus use Elixir as stock strings, so I don't have to change them when I get a new bass! (That change wouldn't happen for a loooooong time, either.)
    Mrmatt1972 likes this.