low tension nickels in .45-.100 gauge roundup

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Adam Wright, May 29, 2017.


  1. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Arlington,Tx
    Mike Lull Artist
    yes, I'm sure theres 10,000 threads on this but let start anew. Looking for the low/lowest tension nickel strings that come specifically in the .45-.100 gauge. Not .105 Gotta be .100 so that leaves a few popular strings out right off the bat. I currently use D'Addario EXL170 because they're cheap and widely available but I want to see what everyone else is using.
     
  2. Assuming by "tension" you actually mean "stiffness/flexibility", I would vote for the GHS Round Core Boomers 45-65-80-100.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  3. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Arlington,Tx
    Mike Lull Artist
    indeed, this is what I mean. Thanks!
     
  4. GK Growl

    GK Growl Inactive

    Dec 31, 2011
    Why are you so hung up on numbers? A 105 Dunlop Super Bright nickel is much more flexible than a 100 gauge (insert just about any other brand here).
     
  5. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Arlington,Tx
    Mike Lull Artist
    to narrow down the field. I've tried all the popular .105 brands. Dunlops are ok. I hate the feel of Sunbeams.
     
  6. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    DFW
    That narrowed it significantly. A good transition from D'addario XLs are the Dunlop Superbrights. But since those are only OK and accessibility seems important, give a set of GHS Round Core Boomers a try.
     
  7. maurilio

    maurilio Guest

    May 25, 2003
    Dunlop super bright 45-105 are actually a ~43-100 (get a caliper and measure them)... nominal (packaging) gauge doesn't tell the whole story :)
     
  8. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Arlington,Tx
    Mike Lull Artist
    I'm giving 'em another shot since everyone keeps suggesting them. The GHS roundcores are too pricey for me.
     
  9. GK Growl

    GK Growl Inactive

    Dec 31, 2011
    I think this can be said for a lot of brands.
     
  10. Pier_

    Pier_

    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    I opened a topic about this issue some time ago: Real Gauge of Bass Strings - real gauge vs advertised gauge

    it depends on what you actually mean for "low tension". let me explain:

    I can tell you that GHS Boomers (hex core) are one of the stiffest string sets ever, with a big and stiff core.
    Ernie Ball are the lowest tension hex core I've ever tried, they are flexible and easy to play.
    D'Addario sit in the middle, they are not stiff as GHS, but not flexible as Ernie Ball.

    Dunlop Super Bright are (for me) the worst strings ever tried... I've had three sets, because a lot of players loved them and I wanted to understand why. I find them too flexible, the advertised gauge is clearly different from the actual gauge, and they have a core so thin that they rattle on the frets too easilly.
    I love to keep my action low, but with these strings I couldn't eve keep it at the edge of comfort, because they still buzzed all over...
    hoever, they are stiffer than Hi Beams/Sunbeams, and due to the differences with the core structure, DRs tend to buzz and rattle less! probably the round core makes them vibrate in a way that is not "too much", still maintaining flexibility.

    IMHO, if you are looking for a 45-100 set that has less tension than D'Addario, but more than Sunbeams, go with Ernie Balls, pink set.
    here's my topic about them :D they were a real "re-discovery" for me, and since then they are still my strings of choice for nickel.
    Ernie Ball Super Slinky - what a fortunate discovery
     
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  11. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    this may seem like a silly question, but are dunlop super brights really super bright?
     
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    They are more like Super Clear. They are not muddy or murky sounding like other strings, and have a nice crunch in the midrange. The top end is very open and airy with no clank.

    Dunlop SuperBrights are easily the best strings I've ever used, as I don't like stiff strings and their sound is perfect.
     
    Buzz E, maurilio, pcake and 1 other person like this.
  13. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i like lots of rich bottom, but i also like strings that are far from stiff. i think i'll try them on one of my longer scale basses :)
     
    Buzz E likes this.
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    I think everybody should at least try them, as they are very different from your basic every day nickels. Not everyone will like them, but Bass Strings Online sells them so cheap that they are worth a shot!
     
    Buzz E, pcake and maurilio like this.
  15. martinc

    martinc In Memoriam

    Adam: Why "nickel" strings? Pure nickel? Nickel plated? In any event, nickel is also used to make steel including stainless steel. It is also used in chromium, monel, cobalt, bronze and silver....all used to make strings.

    The upshot is that no matter what strings you use, there is a considerable amount of nickel in your strings already. Other than feel and appearance, I can't see what difference a nickel plated steel string would really make.

    String design probably has more to do with the final sound. Pure nickel strings from the 50's were regarded as being mellow but the low tension and regular Stainless Steel La Bella's are the most mellow strings I have ever used. GHS Stainless Steel Precision Flats have the same mellow qualities.
    In the end though, strings are like pizza. Everyone has a different idea about what toppings they prefer.
     
  16. When people generally talk about "nickel" strings, it's usually "nickel-plated-steel" they mean. Not nickel that's hidden in other metals.

    Based on my experience, there IS a definite difference between "stainless steel" and "nickel-plated-steel" in terms of tonal characteristics, not just feel and appearance. In fact, this is the first time I heard anyone claim there is no difference between SS and NPS.
     
  17. martinc

    martinc In Memoriam

    Michael: I was simply saying that if plain Stainless Steel can sound even mellower than nickel wrapped strings....then why limit the choice to "nickel" strings? What "difference" are you referring to? Nickel is supposed to mellow things out. I think any major "difference" can be attributed to the string design rather than a thin coating of nickel on a nickel-steel string wrap and core.
    Nickel is close to my heart. I lived in Sudbury, Ontario for almost 30 years.;)
     
  18. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Al Kraft likes this.
  19. Trying to put into concrete terms the difference between SS and NPS is almost like trying to describe the difference between pepperoni and salami on a pizza. ;):D
     
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  20. Pier_

    Pier_

    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    No, because the electric bass plays because of the magnetic field of the pickups, and a "thin coating" of magnetic metal has a major influence on the signal sent throughout the pickup.

    If you pick Rotosound 66 in both Steel and Nickel, you can clearly hear the difference between the same string with a different "coat".
     

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