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Low Riders not what I expected

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ejaggers, May 11, 2010.

  1. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    Long story short, I modded an Affinity P, that actually sound really good before the mods. I put 51 RI electronics and a Fralin Pup. For the maiden voyage, I put DR low riders (45-105) on, but was surprised at how bright they were. I bought them from a guy that put them on his bass, and quickly decided they weren’t for him. I don’t think it’s the mods, because they still sound kind of twangy without an amp.

    Question: Is there a break in period for these?

    I also bought some fenders off ebay that I put on a Tbird that I just got, and it came alive. The strings that were on there probably have never been changed since I got it off a kid. I would swop the two, but the DR’s were cut for the P by the luthier that does my setups, and I doubt if the DR’s will fit the T.

    I will probably end up with flats on the P, and the DR’s would probably sound better on my J..
  2. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Are they stainless or nickel Lo-Riders? I have stainless Lo-Riders on my G&L L-1500, which are bright but also have nice low end. I'm not crazy about the stiffness, but like the tone. I'm sure they'll mellow out over time, like all other stainless rounds I've used. So play yours for awhile and see how it goes. In the meantime, get friendly with that tone knob! ;) I read somewhere that the name "Lo-Riders" actually refers to the stiffness that allows lower action, and not to a bass-heavy tone. Maybe the name created improper expectations.

    Not surprised you like the Fender strings. The 8250 Super Bass are probably my favorite rounds overall.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I'm guessing the OP is referring to Lo-Rider stainless steels... :meh:

    I've tried both varieties: the nickels as well as the steels. The nickels were OK, but sounded just a bit dull to my ears. I like the additional bit of zing of the steel Lo-Riders, though they still don't sound way over the top, even when brand new - as is the case with Rotosound steels, Hi-Beams, Hard Rockin' Steels, and others.

    Nice crisp, modern SS tone with depth, fullness and some warmth. Me like! :hyper:

  4. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    Nedmundo and MysticMichael, thanks for responding.

    They are nickel, and thanks for the definition of Lo-Riders because it was exactly as you said about the expectation. I don't have anything against bright strings, but I want my J to be bright, and my P to be thunder. I'm not sure what I'm looking for in my Tbird because it's my newest toy. But with the fender strings, it sounds good like it is. Seems to me the action is awlful high though, but I’m new to non fender basses, and I'm still learning.
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Not everyone hears things the same way. Not everyone is looking for the same sound... :meh:

    To answer your original question, yes there's a break-in period for Lo-Riders - as there is for virtually any string. If you give them some time, they will mellow, and the bright, crisp edge will fade away.

    But if you're looking for a subdued tone with big, phat, swamp-bottom lows and low mids, a set of good medium-gauge to heavy-gauge flats is just the ticket. You're on the right track...

  6. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    ALL strings have a 'break in' period, even flats. Judging a string by it's sound when you first put them on will not give you an accurate assessment of the string's tonal character.
  7. Give them a couple of weeks and they'll mellow out. I use nickel Lo-Riders and they sound pretty bright for a couple of weeks. But after that, they sound great!
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Not only that, but a set of strings that doesn't work for one bass might sound great on another, given the myriad of potential differences: active/passive, ash/alder, fretted/fretless, series/parallel/singlecoil, etc etc etc.
  9. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    Okay, I took off the DR's last night, and put on LaBella Flats. And now I'm in "Hog Heaven". I would love to get rid of these lo-riders because A) I don't like them on a P, althought I might try them on my J. And B) they are rough on the fingers, and I'm strictly finger style.
  10. RFord04


    Apr 8, 2009
    Flint, Michigan
    Try them on your Jazz bass. I think you'll enjoy them much more on a j than on a p. I sure do.
  11. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    YMMV, I would change to a fresh set every time if I could afford it, after that "break in" period. That is when they sound best IMO. Nothing like a fresh set of Hi Beams. :)
  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    If you think that Lo-Riders have a rough texture, I guarantee you'd be dissatisfied with practically any other roundwound string on the market. DRs are about as smooth as they come.

    Better stick with flats... :meh:

  13. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Anyone using DR strings on their P? Seems like more love on this forum for DR on Jazz basses! I'm torn about whether to load nickel (or stainless) DR's on my P.
  14. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    If you're in Hog Heaven with LaBella Flats then you realistically should NOT try any other Nickle or Stainless strings. Sounds like your a dead roundwound or flats guy.

    Actually, if you like that vibe you might offer to give people here with the same bass as you something for their broken in roundwounds when they replace them.
  15. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    MysticMichael, I have Fender rounds on my Tbird, Rotos on my J, I love the Fenders and Rotos, so I have nothing against rounds in general. But the lo-rider's are rough to me, and very low tension. I have Labelle on my P, and GHS brite flats on my Coronado II. I Might try the DR's on my J, maybe, because the rotos are very very old. Also I noticed the the DR G would kind of dead, compared to the rest of the strings. Maybe I got a bad set. But the low tension is reason enough for me not to try them again.

    I can't make out what you're telling me.
  16. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    As a long time Lo Rider user, I can tell you they do not have a "break in period" like the Hi Beams do. This is one of the good things about Lo Riders, they sound like they're supposed to sound fresh out of the box. When the top end fades away they're dead. And that should take about 6 months.

    But it sounds like you have much bigger problems than the strings. Like expecting a J to be brighter than a P - that's just wrong. It doesn't work that way unless you kill the high end on the P. And DR strings are not at all rough on the fingers, they are probably the easiest on your fingers and frets of any string made.
  17. I had medium gauge, stainless steel Lo-Riders on my Squier as well. Kept them there for about a year and a half, and although the wear was so gradual that I was never able to realize it, they eventually began to sound thumpy like flats. I couldn't slap with them either, as they'd give off a flats-like "twap twap" sound.

    I actually have soundclips of them in that state, if you're interested.
  18. bspot


    Sep 9, 2008
    Charlotte NC
    I'll take those DR's off your hands...
  19. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Again, not to quibble about this, but if you find that Rotosounds (I'm guessing you have the stainless steel Swing Bass?) have an acceptable texture, but the DRs are too rough, I would suggest that this perception is mostly in your mind. I've played Rotosounds, and they are without a doubt one of the roughest strings in existence, while the DRs - all DR strings IME - are among the smoothest, thanks mostly to the compression winding technique they use.

    With regard to tension, Lo-Riders - both stainless steels and nickels - are wound on a hexagonal core, making them significantly stiffer than most any string wound on a round core. I personally find the set of steel Lo-Rider medium-lights that I use sufficiently stiff to allow me to play my instrument with extremely low action, and a neck that is almost completely ruler-flat, without danger of fretting out. If you find that a hex-core roundwound string such as DR Lo-Riders is still way too floppy & sloppy for your taste, then maybe you really are a flatwounds kind of guy at heart - since flats generally have quite a bit more tension than rounds, gauge for gauge... :meh:

  20. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    I wouldn't use SS low Riders on a P. They are "bright" and "very" stiff. I tried them on a few of my basses 3-4 years ago. I didn't mind the brightness because they have a nice bottom but the stiffness was too much. I switched to Marcus Miller SS.

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