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Looking for a better B on a 34in scale, DR Question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by gt96g, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    I know this has probably been discussed, I searched but could not find a specific answer to my question. I have been using DR Hi beams for a while I like them a lot but I have never been happy with the Low b, I have been using a .125 low b but have seen a .130 set is available, I have been thinking of moving to that option to try and get a better B tone but also did some reading on the Steel lo riders, they are higher tension bass strings and while I am comfortable with the tension of the Hi beams I think I could stand to try a string that is a bit tighter but not something super ridged, so my question is for those of you who have tried the hi beams and lo riders, is the tension of the lo riders an extreme difference from the hi beams or could it be described as a subtle tick up. I am also finding the Hi beams to be a little thin sounding lately, nothing I can't eq out but the lo riders sound from what I have read to be a bit more robust tonally.

    So with my tension concerns would you recommend the lo riders or a .130 set of hi beams?
  2. Lo-riders feel considerably stiffer than Hi Beams. And they sound a lot different, probably in a way that you'd like.
  3. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    I would highly recommend Medium Lo Riders. They just a feel a bit stiffer than the high beams, but in a pleasant, punchy way. I actually feel like I can control them more than the hi beams and they feel smooth on the fingers. I have put Lo Riders on all my basses. They are especially good when you think that your strings (low B and/or others) feel a bit floppy. That's how I felt about my Music Man USA Sterlings. The Lo Riders solved that issue. Also great on passive basses. They last forever. I have never been able to break a Lo Rider despite valiant efforts. And, as the box says, Lo Riders love to funk!
  4. Lo Riders are very stiff compared to HiBeams. Try a set - you may or may not like the feel... its subjective.

    I use a custom set of Hi-Beams 45-65-80-100-130. See here: BassStringsOnline Custom Hi-Beams Selection

    The .130 "Custom" set was created by me :) - Thanks Jason!!!

    The 130's tension is pretty good. Technique has a lot to do with it as well (play near the bridge pickup, lighter tough) - and it sounds clear and tight.

    I've also tried a .130 Fat-Beam and for some reason, it felt and sounded a bit more "stout". I've seen people use Hi-Beams for the EADG, and a Fat Beam for the Low-B.

    The only way to know is try... it can get expensive trying strings - but worth it in the end.

    BassStringsOnline.com will work with you on single strings and custom sets.

    EDIT: Also, if you think Hi-Beams are starting to sound "thin", I'd try Fat Beams before Lo-Riders... very thick midrange.
  5. Thumpin5Strings


    Jul 25, 2012
    Elgin, IL
    I had used DR Hi-Beams too on 34-in on Ibanez SR495 and I agree that the low B doesn't have a deep tone compared to my previous GHS Boomers (more fat tone but less bright - not good for slap). I just recently replaced the stiff lo-rider on my Yamaha TRB 1005 (35-in) with DR Fat Beams (Marcus Miller Edition) and I'm fully satisfied with its deep/fat tone with good crisp mid-hi which is rare to find on steel strings with such balanced tone. I haven't tried putting the Fat Beams on my 34-in bass, but I guess it would sound good too. If you've tried listening on Marcus Miller's Bass solos, that's how the Fat Beamers sound as he uses it on his gig and not just endorse it. If you like that kind of tone then try the Fat Beams. My only warning is that - this string can be long for a 34-in, so, expect probably a half turn on the tuning peg eating-up the fat portion of the string. Also this has a low tension characteristics, good for bending and slap, but need to employ softer strokes on fingerstyle playing to avoid too much vibration to could buzz on the frets....
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I also use a custom set of DR's from Bass Strings Online.

    Sunbeams 40, 60, 80
    Nickel LoRiders 105 130

    They match up fine sonially, and I like the tightness of the 105 and 130

    So if you like HiBeams, try a custom set from Jason
  7. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    DR Nickel Lo Riders did the trick for me on my AM STD Jazz 5'er. Everything I tried with a round core wasn't getting it for me. Yes, the whole overall tension on all of the strings is stiffer compared to round cores but not to the point of being unplayable. Personally, I prefer somewhat of a tighter tension anyway...I just feel more "sure footed" so to say as opposed to something looser. I use both fingers and a pick when I play and the Lo Riders work very well for both styles.

    I use the .130 B on mine and it slams!
  8. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    If you play a .100 E string get a .135 B

    If you use a .105 for E get a .140 B

    A .130 B string sits well next to a .095.
  9. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    The tension difference between Lo Riders and Hi Beams isn't too great(the Hi Beams probably have slightly higher tension over the Lo Riders), but the core construction does make the Lo Riders quite a bit stiffer. I've found I like strings that are more flexible, sonically and thus I tend to prefer the Hi Beam B strings, the .130 is very nice as well and I haven't had any issues with it.

    knuckle_head's strings (from circlekstrings.com) work really well though.

    I've found I like the traditional tension selections he offers more as I like how flexible the strings are, they're still more balanced than other manufacturers sets, and I feel on most instruments the strings tend to sound more even.
  10. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    I've thought about trying something like this. I have a 4-string set of Sunbeams just broken in, and just put on Nickel Lo-Riders 5 string. So far I like the increased tension a LOT, especially on the low strings. Haven't gigged with them yet, but if the tension in the higher strings ends up being a bit much, I may mix the two sets, as they sound almost identical on my bass.
  11. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    . . . . just re-read this; if you up the .130 to a .140 you'd have a near-perfectly balanced set. I suspect there is equal tension on everything - the B string will be 8 pounds lighter in tension than your E. Consider going to a .135 with it.
  12. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    went to a .130 hi beam low B, tone is a lot more robust, still loose but sounds much better, I may try the lo riders down the road.

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