Innovation Rockabilly vs Silver Slaps

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jdh3000, Feb 3, 2022.

  1. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    Pardon me, I know I'm asking a lot of questions...please excuse all my research, but I'm really trying to find out as much as possible before buying a set.

    I've searched for a comparison between Innovation Rockabilly and Silver(or Golden) slaps, yet haven't found much in way of a comparison between these.

    In fact I can't find as much on thr RAB as I can the SS.

    The only things I can make out is that the RAB are a medium tension, while the SS are light.

    I've read the RAB are pretty loud, I'm sure due to a higher tension.

    I've read SS are easy on the fingers and easy to slap.

    Would either be good for Rockabilly, Bluegrass, and old country?

    I appreciate all the help Ican get.
     
  2. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    The Rock-a-Billys are certainly good for Rockabilly, Bluegrass, and old country. I've never had the Silver Slaps.

    Full disclosure: There is a lightly-used set of RABs for sale in the classifieds here... by me.
     
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  3. Volume is not directly related to tension.
    Your particular bass may have more volume with low tension strings, and it also depends on the string construction, etc...

    Another difference is that RAB's outer surface is perfectly flat, while silver/golden slaps and super silvers use a fine round synthetic wire.
    That makes for more flexibility as well.
    But can produce noise when sliding the fingers over them.
     
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  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I use the medium gauge Super Silvers and they sound nice and loud on my plywood no-name bass. Snappier and brighter than real gut. I use that bass for blues, honky-tonk country, bluegrass.
     
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  5. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Hmmm, my pre-GHS SilverSlaps E and A appear to be either flat wound, or flat-topped, or somehow flat covered, with some kind of clear, apparently very fine nylon winding. You can clearly see the foil winding underneath this outer winding. These strings don't appear to be round-wound like for example, a round wound metal string might be.

    I have never had or seen the SilverSlaps D and G, so cannot describe them, and I've only seen and played Super Silver strings once for a very short time on a friend's DB... They seemed stiffer and were thicker gauge, and while I liked their tone, they seemed extremely similar in sound to the SiilverSlaps on my DB. I have not to my knowledge seen or played Rockabillys.

    While I only "play at" RaB, I do play lots of bluegrass and other roots genre. While I cannot compare SilverSlaps with Rockabillys for these genre, I really like, and get good comments and reports from other musicians regarding, the SilverSlaps/Dirty Gut mix I'm using.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2022
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  6. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    I saw one video on YouTube expressing that the rockabilly strings were even tone/volume across the strings, especially not losing any tone on the E like many do. They also said they had good sustain.

    I suppose that it's like Francois Blais pointed out above, that much depends on the instrument.
    Ultimately it's just going to take getting them on there to know.

    I'm just trying to get a general idea of others' impression of these strings.
     
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  7. I have tried both and much prefer the Rockabilly set. The tension is closer to light than medium and the tone is volumous and warm. And yeah they slap great too. Here's a clip of how they sound acoustically. Pizz and slapped:


    https://youtube.com/shorts/vPRcr1eNQ8I?feature=share
     
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  8. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    The best I can put it is that the Rockabilly Blacks and the Silver Slaps are fairly close tonally (they use most of the same material), but as Francois pointed out, the main difference lies in the final nylon covering.

    The Rockabilly Black uses a black nylon material that we flatten in-house, and then polish smooth. The Silver Slaps (Golden Slaps, Super Silvers and Psycho Slaps) all use a clear round nylon that is then sanded down smooth. Same final process for both, except more material is removed from the latter. And, because the clear vinyl is originally round, there is a bit more flexibility in those strings.

    What that means for the tone (understanding that all instruments are different and have their inherent character) is the strings using the clear nylon tape are a bit more "alive" in the pizz, whereas the flat nylon tends to dull the attack. Easiest analogy I can give is like comparing a J and P Bass; one has a more forward, throaty attack and the other has a big fundamental punch.

    That said, the Silver Slaps are still smooth to the touch. I'm currently using a Super Silver/Silver Slaps hybrid set (I like the more stout E/A strings) on my Corvann Baby Bass and there's no texture to the strings.
     
  9. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Thank you for stepping in on this discussion Jon! Your insider and experience based wisdom is greatly appreciated!
     
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  10. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    Can the Rockabilly be bowed at all?
     
  11. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    All the Innovation Strings can be bowed. The better question is, will you like the sound?

    I find that the nylon strings all seem to choke the body of the instrument, making it sound more like you're bowing a cello. The full resonance of the instrument just isn't there. It's much more apparent in the clear nylon strings (due to the aforementioned construction explanation), but the Rockabilly Blacks and Ultra Blacks are much better. Still not as full and resonant as a traditional chrome wound string, but much closer.
     
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  12. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I really only bow for practice and for very occasional effects on stage, but in my experience with a bow on my pre-GHS SilverSlaps E and A strings, generous rosin is required, and even with that it's still hard to start the string. I use Pop's though, so it is very possible that a stickier rosin might work better.
     
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  13. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Probably, with good bow hair and a goodly amount of the right rosin. I found them to be the worst arco strings I've ever had. Great pizz, though!
     
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  14. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    Very informative...thanks!
     
  15. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas

    Thank you!
     
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  16. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas
    So you are using the E/A in Super Silver?
     
  17. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    That is correct.
     
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  18. jdh3000

    jdh3000

    May 16, 2016
    Arkansas

    This is a very indepth information... I really appreciate it.

    I'm really torn between the two...

    They sound very close, but it sounds like, if I'm not mistaken, that the silver slaps would be easiest on the fingers.

    Every bass being different taken into acount, I don't know which would project better acoustically. Of course I will be playing both acoustic and amplified.

    Is there any give and take between the two other than what you've already stated? I know you've already given a great deal of info.

    I'm leaning towards the silvers because of the ease on the fingers, but I wonder if I'll be missing any of the punch of the rockabilly strings.

    Thank you!
     
  19. I’ve used both sets. I prefer the rockabilly. The slaps have a slightly softer feel in tension but not much, and also a slightly softer tone. I felt like when I dug in on the slaps they crapped out rather than got louder. The rockabillys have a lot more upper mids, and a bit of growl but mellower than steels.There’s something about the rockabillys that make them very easy to play both pizzicato and slap. Both sets are incredibly difficult to bow, but the rockabillys are slightly better. Yes it’s possible but the tone is crappy and it’s hard to change bow direction without squeaking. The result was I never practiced with the bow which made the problem worse. Both sets have a lot more sustain and brightness than plain guts or weedwhackers.
     
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  20. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    I had the Rockabillys on my ply for years. My wheelhouse is pretty much identical to yours. Had no complaints before I tried to learn arco. My instructor was able to bow them much better than me, but observed that they were challenging.

    As I've said in the past, I loved the feel/sound/volume I got from the Rockabillys. I remember taking my bass to camps, tho, and having other players hate it - as I hated theirs. So much is personal.

    Now that I have guts on the ply, I couldn't imagine going back to the Rockabillys. The Rockabillys have a more "plasticky" feel and slap compared to guts. The pleasure of really digging into the gut D and G is incredible. And guts bow very nicely.

    I have not tried Innovation's various products, but - and being brutally honest here - I wonder how much of a difference any of their strings would make given what I understand of your ability/intentions/preferences/etc. I doubt you could go wrong w/ ANY of their sets. So my recommendation would be to just buy Andy's used set and see how you like them. Plus - IMO the black strings look really neat! ;)

    If you had identical basses set up identically side by side with the various Innovation strings on them, you would probably be able to detect SOME differences in feel/tone/volume. But I'd wager the difference would be awfully slight. At least for a non-pro.
     
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