Labella nylon tape wounds on ABG

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lpdeluxe, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    This is a repeat of a post in the bass section, where the question of using tapewound strings on acoustic bass guitars came up.

    Today the Labella 5-string nylon tape wounds arrived, and after listening to my Ibanez AB305LC with the original Elixir brass strings through my Ampeg B100R, I changed to the Labellas and listened again! Here's what I heard (with some embellishment):

    The Ibanez is 32" scale, which means that you have to wind some of the wrapped string past the silk around the post. The Labella package warns against doing this, but since I couldn't cut 2" out the middle, I went ahead in the interest of science. The brass strings on it were a hefty overall diameter, and the nylon wounds fit snugly in the nut slots. The bridge on the Ibanez is made like an Ovation bridge, with the strings fed through the back and held in place by the ballends. Other than a tight fit for the B string (which was equally tight on the brass one), stringing was uneventful. It tuned to pitch very quickly, but I noticed there wasn't much volume on the low B 5th fret harmonic. Since I hadn't tried it on the brass, I can't compare.

    Sound: the originals were clangy and noisy: the body amplified the finger noises (I use groundwounds on my solid bodies, and my technique -- or lack -- may be a factor) and I had to EQ all the highs out on the built-in Fishman pre, and boost the bass all the way, to get a sound that resembled a bass. It had a tendency to honk, which was most noticeable when the tone controls were flat. There was too much upper-mid content without the EQing mentioned above. Of course, this is why I decided to restring it, after all.

    In comparison, the Labellas are silent: even for someone used to the smoother groundwounds (GHS Brite Flats), they feel very slick. There's still a little honk, with the EQ flat, but it's easily adjusted out. The round tone is preserved without the drawbacks of the noisy windings on the strings. The B string speaks the way you want it: down there, but not clashing with the higher strings. The clang is no more. Although I adjusted the EQ, the settings weren't nearly as extreme with the Labellas. That may mean that these will be more versatile, if I feel the need in the future. The acoustic sound isn't much different from the brass strings: practically non-existent (but I knew I'd be amplifying this axe when I bought it).

    Other considerations: I can see where you might have to open up the nut slots if your ABG came with thinner gauge strings. For those of us raised on acoustic guitars, the shiny black strings look a little peculiar, but nothing I can't used to.

    I was able to get a sound I liked previously, but it's much easier now. I especially appreciate the lack of hf trash (the body of the guitar is a little smaller than a dreadnaught, and probably ideal for amplifying finger squeaks). I would love it if they made them for 32" scales...but I'll see how they work on this one.

    Speaking of which, if any problems develop, I'll be back.
  2. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    I am a big fan of the Labella nylon wraped strings. If you have a fretless you should put them on. Super Awesome sounding.