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Is rotosound the only rotosound?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by fetfet, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    since i've started playing bass, i'va always been entranced by the sounds of geddy lee, john entwistle, chris squire, JPJ, and many other players that use Rotosounds exclusively. I resolve that i'm going to get a set every time i go into the store. But i always end up buying some other string instead, and never feel satisfied. I'm almost certain that the tone i want will be brought about by these strings, but i always convince my self that there's more than one way to get Rotosound tone.

    But is there? I've heard people say yes, and no, to this, and would like some answers.

    Please give your opinions below.

    Thank you.
  2. FenderP

    FenderP Supporting Member

    May 7, 2005
    Rotos tend to be a love 'em or hate 'em thing for people. I love 'em. So many factors go into whether a string is right for you ...
  3. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I only use those rotos in the blue packaging, or DR hi beams. thats it.
  4. I tried ProSteels, but back to Rotos now!
  5. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Only Rotos sound like Rotos.

    Thats why different companies sell different types of strings.
  6. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Rotos sound like Rotos. They can be very unique. I'm using the 66LCs on my Jazz, and have never found anything else that gives that same tone.

    Note that I do not use them on my Schecter 5 anymore...just didn't like Rotos on that bass.

  7. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Gonna get a set for a P-bass, along with some original pure nickels for a T-bird. Wish me luck!
  8. peakdesign


    Aug 25, 2008
    No way anyone can be sure if anything sounds the same, there are too many different strings out there, but the 66 Rotosounds are very specific. It's a bit like very fresh Nickels only much heavier, and they keep the fresh piano string timbre longer. The crossing of swords with the frets, that heavy iron clang, is part of the charm. Nickels seem lightweight and tacky in comparison. There's a faint resemblance to the A or E string in very fresh Thomastiks, but Thomastiks quickly change and reach a very different plateau, like supple dragon tail, while 66 Rotos are like articulated armor ;-)
  9. alexgeddy

    alexgeddy Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2007
    I read somewhere awhile back that Geddy stopped using roto's cause of too many bad strings.... then went back to endorsing em... whathe really uses is any bodies guess...for me personally, I just tried roto 66, and they didin;t work for me and i used them for years back in the 80's (maybe not the 66) but i was a long term roto user...for me now Dr lo riders seem to work just as well as the roto's... they are a hi tension stainless string that lasts a long time .....long as u wash the funk off ur hands !! well guess u can leave some on!!

    Hope this helps!

  10. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Just buy a lousy set and finally hear for yourself!

    Nothing sounds like them, but you know that already...
  11. One Drop, you are a sage!
  12. Rotosounds™ are the ONLY Rotosounds for me. I've tried other Rotosounds, but they just don't give me that Rotosound™ sound I'm looking for. So remember, when it's time to buy Rotosounds, buy Rotosound™ brand Rotosounds. Because nothing sounds like Rotosounds, quite like Rotosounds™!

    disclaimer: i haven't used rotos in years... and I have no reason to quote their brand name.
  13. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    "Rotosound" is a trademark of James Howe Industries, the people who MAKE Rotosounds. However, not all Rotosounds are the RS-66 set of stainless steel roundwound strings that Entwhistle created, used, and endorsed for ages. They also make nickle rounds, various flats, and nylon tape-wound strings. The specific alloy and the coarsness of the steel they use for RS-66 has a deserved reputation for chewiong up frets. Not all stainless steel strings do this, but RS-66 do more than some other SS sets.

    They also have a deserved reputation for loosing that characteristic sound very quickly. Squire, Entwhistle, and Anthony Jackson were notorious for frequent string changes. In ancient Guitar Player Magazine interviews (there were no bass specific mags in those days) both Entwhistle and Squire said they changed strings every day to keep the sound they wanted. Jackson has been reported (his own interviews and an Al DiMeola interview) that he was changing strings every TAKE in studio sessions.

    But if they sound the way you want them to, that's the cost of doing business. There are other stainless rounds I like for myself, but I wouldn't try to convince anyone they sound like RS-66Ls.

  14. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Rotosounds truly are very good sounding strings, and rank highly among your choices.
    I used the steel RS66LD set for 30 years, and while they sound terrific new, the "twang" that, say, Entwistle is known for fades quickly as they break in. But Entwistle was known for using brand new strings for every gig.
    Recently I switched to the Rotosound nickel set (RS66LDN). These sound great, but are not as twangy-trebly as the steels are... BUT the initial sound remains true longer -- so you can adjust your EQ and get a more consistent sound over a longer period of time. Nickel is also much easier of your bass's frets. The nickel set is not as readily available in stores (in fact, I've NEVER found them on the rack), but you can order them from juststrings.com.
  15. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    My local store stocks the nickels. :) Great people and great selection.
  16. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I know about Rotosound's other strings, but i figured that if i said Rotosounds, people would gather from my OP that i meant RS66LD. I've used nickel strings for a while, and i ccan't find a suitable tone for them. They're usually too middly for me, and i have a thunderbird for that.

    On an off note, has anyone used the new Nexus series from Rotosound? It looks interesting. I might order them, but until then, i'm getting a set of rotosound 66, and boiling and cleaning them whenever needed.
  17. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    If you're talking about the twangy, ss rounds Roto sound, you should really check out Elites.

    They sound just as good to my ear, and unlike Rotos they last for a long time.

    Just my $0.02
  18. Stampy


    Jun 30, 2008
    Rotosounds Swing Bass 66's 45-105 Done!!!
  19. Can't find any info on them. What's different about them?
  20. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    They're coated. Look on their website catalog for more info.

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