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I've Made Some Sound Samples Of Strings (DR, Fender, Elrick, D'addario Chromes)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Mar 9, 2006.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I've made some sound samples of different string brands for anyone that's interested. Here are the brands:
    DR Hi-beams .040 .060 .080 .100
    Elrick strings .045 .065 .080 .100
    D'addario Chromes flatwounds- .045 .065 .080 .100
    Fender 9050 flatwounds- .045 .060 .080 .095

    All of the strings were tested new.
    I'm not sure if the Elricks are nickels or steels as they came with a bass I bought, but I'm pretty positive they're steels.

    The big surprise is that I didn't test a set of Fodera Diamonds, which are my favorite brand of strings. I thought I had a new set put aside when I made my last string order, but I guess I was wrong, and I didn't want to test strings that were already well broken-in.

    I also ran them through two different basses- one, a neck-through with Bart soapbars, and the other a bolt-on with Bart X-style Jazz pickups. I've had a good amount of experience with DR Hi-beams in the past, but the other types of strings were new to me.

    Fingerstyle samples for the neck-through with soapbars:
    DR Hi-beams
    Elricks
    D'addario Chromes
    Fender 9050s

    Chord samples for the neck-through with soapbars:
    DR Hi-beams
    Elricks
    D'addario Chromes
    Fender 9050s

    Slap samples for the neck-through with soapbars:
    DR Hi-beams
    Elricks
    D'addario Chromes
    Fender 9050s


    Fingerstyle samples for the bolt-on with Js:
    DR Hi-beams
    Elricks
    D'addario Chromes
    Fender 9050s

    Chord samples for the bolt-on with Js:
    DR Hi-beams
    Elricks
    D'addario Chromes
    Fender 9050s

    Slap samples for the bolt-on with Js:
    DR Hi-beams
    Elricks
    D'addario Chromes
    Fender 9050s

    Overall review:
    I liked the Elricks quite a bit- they were similar to Fodera Diamonds but the mids were really dominant. I'm not used to a .065 D string, and they don't offer a set lighter than Medium-Light. They were still quite quick-feeling. Very good strings overall- even and flexible.

    The DRs were all about a slap tone... they had a thinner sound with super-bright high mids. Very metallic-sounding. Super-fast strings- I could play quick string-crossing parts and they'd respond immediately. Not much in the way of a deep or mellow tone though.

    The D'addario Chromes flatwounds were a pleasant surprise- they had a great feel, smooth, deep mellow tone, and a pretty good slap tone. Very stiff at the string wrappings, yet quite flexible to pluck. Thumpy but still a bit defined. Still not as fast in response as roundwounds. Had a definite difference in tone compared to rounds on my bolt-on..I enjoyed them very much, and if I dedicate a bass to a thumpier tone, I'll use these.

    I know a lot of guys swear by the Fender 9050s, but I didn't like them for my style of playing at all. They offer a good mix between roundwound sound and flatwound feel, but I didn't much like the plastic-y texture of the strings. Very slow response- I really had to work to get the slap parts played. They did have a beautiful chordal tone though. I'll be selling this set as I don't see myself using them again.

    I hope this was a bit of help for you guys. I will likely add to this thread when I try different brands of strings. Please let me know if any of the links are wrong or down.
     
  2. FunkSlap89

    FunkSlap89

    Apr 26, 2005
    Albany, NY
    wow! Thanks a ton! this should become a sticky or something crazy like that.

    edit: oh, btw, if you click the link for "Genz Benz GBE400" in my sig, you can hear some samples i recorded using DR Fat Beams.

    ps, i was also surprized by D'addario strings. Maybe i'll try the Chromes next.
     
  3. Volk

    Volk

    Dec 18, 2005
    South Jersey
    Wow, awesome, I think I'll give the D'addario Chromes a try on my fretless next time I buy strings!
     
  4. C-5KO

    C-5KO

    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Fantastic job, Bryan!

    I love the Elrick neckthru chord sample. Wicked tone. When I tried his nickel strings out on my neckthru, I thought they sounded great. I've swapped them off that bass, and they're on my bolt-on now. It will be interesting to see how long they last. I do like the feel and the tone of them. Funny thing is, they were so bright I thought they were SS.

    I've never tried out the chrome strings before. I'm wondering what their "lifespan" is.

    Tonewise, I think the Elricks are pretty close to Fatbeams. Your opinion?

    oh ps: your neckthru Hi-beam samples for fingerstyle is linked to the neckthru sample for slap.
     
  5. stretch80

    stretch80

    Jan 31, 2005
    Cool, thanks for the recording work!

    I've used Chromes on my fretless El Capitan 5, and they sound wonderful. Current set has been on there a year. I tried some on my Stingray 5, but I lost too much growl, so they didn't stay on there. They've got a nice clear ring, (on the acoustic) not just a thump, and the B string is great.
     
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Thanks for the tipoff Kori- I fixed the link.

    IIRC, FatBeams are pretty close to the Elricks in that they're a thicker tone while still bright. It's been a while since I used a pair of FatBeams though, and the one thing that I remember about them most is that they died REALLY quickly.

    No idea on the lifespan of the Chromes; I never use flats, so they were an experiment. I imagine they'd get "flatter" in a fairly short amount of time, but I'm not sure.
     
  7. ibz

    ibz

    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    What were the basses that these strings were tested on exactly? Elricks?

    Thanks for putting that togeather, very interesting to hear the difference. Each had it's unique tone, but I liked the Fenders the least.
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Yes, both were Elricks (they're all I own besides a Bongo that's kept at a different house). Specifically, an Elrick singlecut neck-through with Bart soaps, mahogany body, macassar ebony board, and an Elrick Gold Standard bolt-on with an ash body, Bart Js, and bubinga board.
     
  9. Limo

    Limo

    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    I liked the DR's best on the neck thru and the Elrick strings best on the bolt-on in the fingerstyle parts. I liked the mellow sound of the flats for the chords on the neck thru and the DR's for the bolt-on cause the flats were a bit dead probably because of the low output on the J's. I really didn't like any of the strings on the slap for the neck-thru because personally IMO soaps are not very suitable for slap and I thought the Elrick's sounded best on the slap bolt-on bit. Overall I liked the mellowsound of the flats (not much difference in sound between the two brands IMO) but definately not suitable for slap (although you made them sound very good) The DR seems to be the most versatile strings cause they are brighter than the Elricks and IME it's easier to boost the bass than boost the treble IYKWIM. The Elricks came out best on this test IMO but you set it all flat and if you don't like to eq a lot than these strings are very good.

    Thanks Bryan for this:)
     
  10. Good write up and sound samples.
    I found the High Beams to be too tinny for the standard fender J bass and sounded like your sample, however they are strikingly awesome sounding on the Soapbars. Good choice of strings in my opinion there.
    Thank you for your opinion of the 9050's. I have thought about trying them but thought they would not be my cup of tea either. I do like Chromes as far as flats and ease of playing go but prefer rounds for sound. I presently use GHS Boomer's for an "all around" sound. They are FAT but lively enough for me and with the J-Retro I can dial in the sounds I want for the stuff I do (mostly classic rock and older country)
     
  11. Baa

    Baa Happy hobbyplayer

    Jan 10, 2006
    stockholm, sweden
    Great (and greatlyappreciated) work. Your effort is way above and beyond...
    Now i can keep buying my D'addarios without wondering if i'm right in doing so.
     
  12. I have DR FatBeams on one bass and Chromes on another, both bass' are Hamer USA Crusie's.
    The Chromes just sit smack dead in the pocket on my home recordings! They work on hard rock to melow music and most in between music styles, need less EQ and compression and to me work very well.
    I've been using the DRs for about 4 years and they do really nice slap work and "grind" bass sounds. Need more EQ and compression as comparied to the Chromes.
    Since I don't slap much I'm going to stick with Chromes. I've avoided flat woulds, but now see why so many recording have been done with them. I wouldn't be suppriese if the pros we read about all the time don't throw on flats when they record because they just plain work better. If you think they are to "boomy" live you just EQ a little bass out and it should get rid of the boomyness.
     
  13. simpy1

    simpy1

    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    I thought the DRs sounded best on the soapbar neck-through, however I really like the sound of those Fenders too! Thought the chromes sounded a bit dull for slap but really nice for chords, on both basses.