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Looking At Four Straps- Can Anyone Compare Them?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I have 5 or 6 of the Levys. Wont use anything else.
  2. I own the Levy's. I haven't really thought much about. It's comfortable and looks great.
  3. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    I'm a 6 foot tall right handed bass player with a torn (and yet to be repaired) right rotator cuff and bad lower back. I hang my basses at about waist level (vs armpit or crotch level) and frequently play heavy five string basses. I'm not overly animated on stage but I do walk around and move with the groove. The best overall strap I've found to date is the Levy 3-1/2" supple leather heavily padded strap. I find if I go with 4" and larger straps they start to dig into my neck and 2-1/2" and smaller straps dig into my collar bone, suede straps pull my shirt all out of whack, nylon straps slip all over the place and elastic type straps get hot and sweaty. It's mostly Levy smooth well padded medium width high quality leather straps that work best for me.
    son_of_mogh and 1954bassman like this.
  4. I have to agree on the Neotech Mega- I have owned it and the Mono Betty, the Betty is not bad, but here is the thing- it weighs more than you would think. The metal rivets and gear on it, adds quite a bit of weight.
  5. BD Jones

    BD Jones

    Jul 22, 2016
    Levy's. I own five of them (three for my basses, one for my Strat, and one for my Martin), all the same model as you listed (just in different colors). The only other one I've had experience with is the Neotech. While I didn't use it, we did buy one for our middle school jazz band. It didn't hold up and the kids complained about how uncomfortable it was. Put a Levy's on the bass and they loved it. They cost more, but they are worth it.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I use the Levy's MSS2-4. Have not tried the others but I'm happy with the Levy's. The only thing I don't like about it is I like a long strap, and the fold they put in it for shipping is noticeable. But it's so comfy that I suck it up, and that shouldn't be an issue for you if you use a short strap. Will it fit in a gigbag pocket? It should fit most of them, and it fits in mine, but it might be a little tight in some.
  7. Koog

    Koog Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Central Iowa USA

    I've not used Levy's 4 1/2 inch straps, but I have used Levy's 3 1/2 inch wide leather straps pretty much exclusively since about 2004. I like them very much, they really save the shoulder and back, in my experience. I have four of them, set at different lengths for different basses that get most of my attention for playing out sessions. They are a little thick for straplocks, but if you work on it and enlarge the end holes just a hair, locks can be installed successfully. I previously used Schaller locks for several years, but switched to Dunlop locks in early 2010 and much prefer them. They work well with the Levy's strap and I find them to be very secure and vibration free. I fold the Levy's straps in thirds but do not do a hard fold that would cause a crease and they seem to stay that way in the front pouch of a bag. I most commonly use Mono Vertigo bags, but have also used Reunion Blues and iGIG bags with no ill effects to the straps.

    I tried the Mono Betty, as my favorite luthier is a dealer for Mono, but did not like it. The surface material was rough and it did not feel good (to me) on my shoulder. I was also concerned about abrasion to the upper horn as a result of the rough material. The luthier gave me the strap, free of charge, and, after a couple of songs in a practice session, decided it was not for me. I returned it to him.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  8. andaloudog

    andaloudog Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2013
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Low-end disturbance in Washington, D.C.
    These look great. At this price you can go black and another brown. Thanks for the tip.
  9. Wolfhound32


    Sep 10, 2013
    WA State
    I've used two from your list: Levy's 4.5, and the Neotech Mega. My favorite of the bunch is easily the Neotech. For me, the Levy's is too wide, and the leather piping on the sides dig into my shoulder/neck-- and I'm a pretty big guy (6'2 @ 215), so before buying it I figured the wide strap was the way to go-- LOL! The smaller Levy's strap (2.5 I think) is more comfortable, but only for short times with heavy basses. Perfectly fine with lighter ones.

    The Neotech is great for basses that are neck heavy, as their grippy nature help keep the instrument where you put it (not perfect, but it helps-- Roger Sadowsky makes reference to this tip in one of his videos). These also really absorb & displace the weight of my heavier basses as well. Be careful when ordering these, as the sizes tend to run small. I use the "Mega Bass" size which is just right for me as I wear the bass a little higher than most. If you like your bass hanging much lower be sure to look for a longer size. While the padding is wide, it doesn't cut into my shoulder/neck like the Levy's does.

    Also while you're searching, be sure to check out Couch Straps which are made in Los Angeles. These are very well made, relatively inexpensive, and produced in the US (as is Neotech if I remember correctly). These straps are longer than average, but can be shortened up easily. They have a bunch of styles and are made to last. I have a "Racer X" for my G&L LB100 that I can wear for hours without a problem-- but this particular bass has a nice balance to it, so I don't need the grippy quality of the Neotech. Sometimes the Neotech tends to get hot underneath in warmer weather-- I've not experienced that with the Couch strap.

    Much like strings, I've found some straps work better with specific basses-- just depends on your needs. Thankfully there are a ton of excellent options available these days ;)

    Best of luck!
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  10. HiEnd Basses

    HiEnd Basses

    Mar 4, 2016
    I've used Levy Leathers for years exclusively! Good straps; nice little company in Canada!
  11. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    I own and use 3 of the 4 straps you've listed. All but the Gruv Gear so I can't speak to that one. I'd like to try one.

    Mono Betty is the best folder by far. It's a good strap all around. Really I like all 3 of them. I havent bonded with the Neotech as much. The wide Levy has been my main gigging strap.

    Another great strap is the Levy's MSS-90 (first strap in first pic). I have Moody en route so we'll see if I like it better.

    As Levy's go, I like the MSS-90 because it's carving leather vs garmet leather of the MSS-4. But the width of the 4 is awesome.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  12. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I have been using Levy's for the longest time but I have switched to Neotech on all of my three basses because it is the most comfortable one for me anyway...
  13. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I have a 3.5" Neo Tech and like it a lot. Only downside is that it's smooth on the inside and can slide if you don't like that.
    I tried a 4.5" strap and hated it. It dug into my neck. I supposed if one has broad shoulders it could be the ticket.
    I usually use a 3.5" strap and it seems perfect to me. For neck heavy basses, leather with suede on the inside is good.
  14. I have a heavy padded but soft levy's, I this its 3 inches or so. I love it. I got the 4.5 inch one a few years back thinking it would be better, but the padding was too stiff and it was no comfortable. It dug into my neck as others have said.
  15. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    I have a gruv gear. Used it for about 6 months and found it to be much too uncomfortable. Despite what appears to be sufficient padding it just didn't do the job, this was even with a relatively light bass.

    I've been using a 4" "bass" souldier strap and it's been surprisingly comfortable.
  16. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    If you're of average height & weight, any of your (Bryan's) choices are good. I used to use Pro Comfort Strapps. I still think they're great, but the "Long" is a bit too short for me and the problem with the "Extra Long" is that the sweet spot doesn't sit at the right spot on my shoulder.

    A year or two I started transitioning to the Mono Betty Long straps. I think they're excellent straps. Well made and very comfortable. The only thing I don't like is the stark white "MONO" lettering on the strap. But what I do is go over the white lettering with a black permanent marker. Looks MUCH better now, IMO.

    I bought a nice Levy's padded leather a couple years ago and had to return it because it wasn't long enough for me. If that's not a problem for you, you'd like them. But I think they're overpriced.

    I just ordered a black padded leather one from Walker & Williams. Haven't rec'd. it yet, but they look real nice and get great reviews. Nice sale prices right now as well. Here's the one I ordered, but check out their Premium series for some great ideas. And they sell an extender if you need extra length.
    Walker & Williams C-20 Black Leather Gothic Padded Strap – Walker & Williams
  17. I have a couple of the Levy's. High quality, but the padding isn't great and they're extremely stiff, even after a decade of regular use. I've found that due to said stiffness and the sheer width, the "front" inevitably lifts away from the body rather than making full contact and spreading out the weight, so most of the pressure winds up being placed right on the acromion (the bony peak of the shoulder) at the far edge of the strap, which makes them, well, a bit pointless. They've been almost completely replaced by neo straps at this point.
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    My acromion processes (thank you art school anatomy classes) are quite prominent.

    It's interesting how many have tried both a Levy's and one of the neos and have vastly differing opinions on them. I'll probably try a Neotech first and a Levy's second if it doesn't work out (maybe the 3.5" as my shoulders are average).
  19. Slpbass81


    Dec 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Endorsing: GHS Strings
    Go for the Levy's. I used the nanotech and a couple others and they are garbage in comparison to the Levy's strap when it comes to quality and comfort. I'm going to pick up another at that Amazon price.
  20. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    I bought the Levy 4.5 a couple of months ago and it's a fine strap but, like someone else said, it is prone to digging into the neck. Your neck, not the bass neck. Haha. I'm hioing that it will soften up but there is a lot of padding on the edges and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I've used the 3.5's for years. Less padding or so worn out, Im not sure. I think I prefer them. And putting strap locks on the 4.5 hasn't happened yet. Way too thick. Fortunately, the holes fit so tight on the Dunlop posts that its not an issue. I dont like the neoprene or heavily padded straps as they stretch or padding wears out and bass changes position. I'm of the Billy Sheehan school of lock that thing into one place for as close to forever as you can get.

    I dont like folding my straps either andbthe 4.5 Levy is a beast to put away. I keep meaning to put my 3.5 back on and see if it's heaven.
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