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Lo-Riders or Fat Beams...?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Slater, Jul 26, 2001.


  1. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    After I swore I would never use stainless strings again :oops:, I have decided to try some DR stainless strings :). I have narrowed my choices down to Lo-Riders or Fat Beams. These strings seem very similar to me :confused: (without ever playing them). Is there anyone out there that has used both Lo-Riders and Fat Beams who could describe their differences (sound, feel)?

    Thanks in advance for any replies...
     
  2. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Have a seat, this will be long. This is the kind of thread I lurk for!

    I have played both strings you asked about, and given them ample evaluation periods. I have tested out several types of DR stainless strings in the past, and my most honest opinion is that everything I tried was really nice. You would think I was the chairman or something because I can't find enough good things to say about DR's, especially my favorite one (more on that below). The only drawback is the price, they aren't cheap. :( I keep hoping they will issue some new, higher priced line so I can get my favorites for less. :D

    I did not care for the Fat Beams, but they are a good string. Some users on the forum love them, to each his own. Try a search, I know I have seen threads on them. I have tried several stainless DR's, but the Lo Riders are my favorite by far. I only play stainless, so I can't compare to DR's nickels. For example, the Lo Riders are available in nickel should you still want to look into that. Lo Riders are as close to my perfect string as possible. They have replaced Roto 66's on all but a couple of my basses, I can't find anything else I like as much. For that reason, you'll find I have more to say about the LR's than the FB's.

    Ok, on to the strings!

    Lo Riders

    1) A little higher in tension than any string I've tried, but not excessive. This is possibly my favorite things about these strings. I think the tension is PERFECT, I wish more rounds felt this way. It facilitates a great string to string balance, and makes for precise, agressive runs. This of course depends on your playing style(s), but I couldn't be happier with the tension. You'll find B strings are well served in this respect too, tighter is always better. When you first put them on, they feel stiff for the first few minutes. Give them the obligatory stretch, and tune to pitch as needed. They will loosen ever so slightly and become perfect for bends and vibrato, perfect tension IMO.
    2) DEEP lows, sweet lower midrange, articulate and balanced highs. Some people find stainless too harsh and lacking warmth, but I think they should try these strings. Nickel sounds dead to me, so take that into consideration with my evaluation.
    3) Sound awesome with fingers or pick, and fits my personal preference for how slap & pop should sound. I like deep lows across the board, and these deliver the goods.
    4) Last as long as any good stainless would, keep them clean and they might last longer
    5) Great overall characteristics, aside from the price, I would rate them as my perfect string.

    Fat Beams

    1) These strings seemed very similar to High Beams for me, but with less sparkling highs and more focus in the midrange. Overall, if there were no such things as Lo Riders, I would prefer the Fat Beams to the High Beams though.
    2) These make for a great funk string, you can hear it in the sound. They have nice midrange characterstics for both boost and cuts across desired frequencies. I can't sustain a killer slap groove to save my life, but I experimented with compression and varied midrange settings nonetheless. They sound really good, and I think any slapper would be pleased with them.
    3) Tension is very much like any other rounds, the Lo Riders are the only black sheep in that area.
    4) I like these strings, they are great all around stainless roundwounds. I'm afraid I was missing the deep low end and tension of the Lo Riders, otherwise, there might be a place in my heart for the Fat Beams. Suffice it to say that if DR ever stops making Lo Riders, I'll be up the creek. :eek:

    At any rate, I hope you find these words helpful and not too opressive. I know it's a very long post, but this is one product where I've had absolutely no reservations recommending them to others. There are probably a multitude of strings out there I might like just as much, but when it comes to strings, stainless Lo Riders all but killed my desire to experiment.

    One last thing I love about DR strings is that the end wraps are all metal. I think this makes for a classy look no matter what bass they're on. It's an aesthetic detail, but I never liked the red wrappings on my Rotos. I prefer the metal wrappings, they keep an attractive headstock looking sharp.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I would agree with everything seamus says, even though I like the Marcus/Fats better as you can see in my review of them in the Talkbass "Reviews".

    But the, unlike seamus, I slap and pop/double pop every chance I get to sneak them in the funk-heavy sets I have to play. Plus, funk keeps me in the neighborhood of the A and D strings a lot, so the fact that they have gobs of mids works for me.

    Either way, I don't think you can go wrong, only "more right." It just depends on your music.
     
  4. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Sup RB,

    Yeah, I remember you telling me more about the FB's in a thread some time ago. Thanks for the encouraging words re: DR's, I agree that you can't go wrong giving them a spin.

    I can see where you would really like the Fat Beams, they're a really nice string. Even though their play characteristics are much like High Beams to me, the Fatties fit my sound preferences. It's worth noting that I ended up keeping them on my bass much longer than I intended when I first strung them up.
     
  5. Cat

    Cat

    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    if i really like the sound oh GHS bass boomers, especially for slapping, which string of those 3 would you reccomend? i love the boomers except that they go flat so fast :(
     
  6. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    I never tried GHS bass strings, but I use them for g@#$@r and they rock.

    Seems a lot of peeps in TB use GHS though, so I think you'll probably get some good feedback on this. That's the thing with stainless, they can be so lively out of the box that their usable lifespan seems shorter. One thing I like about the Lo Riders is they mellow well. That is, they are not overly bright, so their sound is consistent for a longer time.

    It's like they say though, better to love and have lost than never to have loved at all!
     
  7. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Thanks for the informative replies seamus and rickbass1 :). I think I'm going for the Lo-Riders. I prefer higher tension strings. After I put them on, I'm going to be tempted to play Low Rider by War every time I pick up my bass :D .
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    That must be a virtue of some DR's. When I played mostly straight ahead rock, I'd be replacing Hi Beams as soon as they sounded like they couldn't cut glass any longer, when the steely "zing" was played out.

    But with these Marcus, I'm only on my second set after 6 months!!! :eek: I'm certainly not complaining, nor is my wallet. They just seem to get warmer and fatter as they get more finger time on them! But I found with the first set I had, when they go, they go quickly.
     
  9. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Cool man, I hope you like them. If you like a tighter string, these will definitely fit the bill. Watch for that initial stiffness I talked about, it only lasts for the first few minutes if that. As soon as you give them a couple stretches and start playing, it's gone. They stay in tune very well too once they settle in.

    I think you'll be pleased, the highs don't have that harsh high end associated with some stainless strings. The low end emphasis really balances the high end nicely. I'm hoping you'll have a pleasant reintroduction to stainless strings.

    Please let us know what you think when you get a chance to spend some time with them, even if there's something you don't like. In all honesty though, rickbass and I both agree that DR does not make any bad strings, just different. :)
     
  10. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I finally put some (stainless) Lo-Riders on my 5-string (Fender Am Dlx Jazz). (I ordered from Juststrings.com, and they were on backorder for a while.)

    So far, these are my favorite strings new-out-of-the-package. The B-string is tight and punchy (the best B I've tried so far). The lower notes have some zing and some growl, and the higher notes tend to smooth out and don't become harsh. As for feel, they're nice and tight, and they're fairly smooth (less tacky than other stainless strings that I've tried). If these strings live up to their long lasting reputation, I think I've found my strings :D .
     
  11. i like lo-riders better but that's just me. :)
     
  12. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Awesome, I'm really glad you like them. Your impressions match my sentiments exactly, everything I could want in a stainless. I think you'll find they hold up well too. :)
     
  13. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Does the 5 strings Lo-Rider sets come with a standard B or a tapered B?
     
  14. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    I believe they are standard. I never really looked, but I don't recall seeing any taper near the ball end.
     
  15. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Definitely Standard :) .
     
  16. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Just wanted to add to this thread that I agree with whats been said about DR Lo Rider strings. I used to have Rotosound Swing 66s on my MIA p bass and I didnt like how thumpy and dead they became after a few playing sessions. I wanted a growly trebly sound on my precision and so I decided to try stainless strings for the first time in a long time. Im a convert now! :cool: I havent had the Lo Riders on for long so I cant comment on string life but they are exactly what I was looking for sound and feel wise. Nice tension (not too high), biting high end and great sustain... just what I was looking for. I havent been this excited about new strings in a long time. :)
     
  17. PhilMan99

    PhilMan99

    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I eventually switched back to flats (TI Jazz Flats), but for rounds, the Fat-Beams are the best I tried (including Elixir). Good overall "fat" sound. The lo-riders sounded really cheezy to me - like the outer wrap didn't adhere well to the hex-core.

    I believe lo-riders are DESIGNED to not have much in the way of mid-EQ. Just lows & highs, like slappers prefer.
     
  18. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Im liking the Lo Riders. I bought them on a whim and Ive been really pleased so far but they are the first DR string Ive tried. Maybe next Ill try Fat Beams. I guess maybe I didnt notice the lack of mids because Im playing through an SVT which is a mid heavy amp.
     
  19. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I would say if you bass is brite to begin with go with the low rider to get more of a deeper tone for your B and E strings. I would say for DR's the high and fat beams and low riders all have good highs and decent mids, the biggest difference is going to be the lows. I play a Spector and it's a bright bass so I use Low Riders, I play a Rick and use highbeams on that since it's a low and growly bass to begin with. Not to say High and fat beams don't have a good low tone they do. Think of it this way Highbeams are the brightest strings, Fats are the midrange, Low riders are a bit deeper in tone. All are very close to each other in my opinion, but the slightest difference in tone and tension in combination with your bass and compounds it's made from will have a big difference in your overall tone. You also have the Sunbeams by DR, they are nickel with a steal round core, so in thoery the nickel is softer sounding but the round steel core still gives it brightness, the low riders are steel with a hexcore, the steel gives it brightness but the hex core gives it depth and a deeper tone. In a nut shell DR's are very flexable and it all depends on what sounds good in combination with your equipment. I like them all depending on what bass I am playing, you may have to spend a couple of bucks and try a few types out.
     
  20. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    It all depends on the bass, I think DR has done an excellent job creating all different kinds of compounds and combinations in the string designs to maximize the tone from just about every bass on the market if your a steel roundround player like myself, or even a nickel guy since they have low riders and sun beams in nickel. Low riders may sound bad on one of my basses but is the only thing I like on another, strings have a ton to do with tone on bass's in my opinion and with DR's you can fine tune it a bit more than other brands.