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Mixing and matching steel and nickel strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by thiocyclist, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. thiocyclist


    Sep 19, 2012
    Say you have a string that is too hot or too quiet... can you switch to a same gauge, same brand string with a different outer wrap like nickel-steel or stainless steel? Or Alloy 52, etc.? In my case I think my B string is loud enough but perhaps not "focused" enough and thinking of swapping nickel for steel.
  2. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    There are no rules really but most people will generally stick to one type for the entire bass. I can think of a few examples of some pros that mixed different types. Johnny Colt (former Black Crowes) used to use Rotosound rounds on the E and A and Rotosound flats on the D and G. T Bone Wolk (Hall and Oates) used a D'Addario round on the E and the rest were halfrounds. And finally, current Metallica bassist has one of the strangest signature sets of Dunlop strings where the E through G strings are stainless steel rounds (and the E, A, and D are tapered at that) and the B string is a full non tapered nickelplated round! Very unusual.
  3. C130AVN

    C130AVN Stringed Tubist

    Apr 19, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB
    Uneven fret wear would be a concern if you were to mix nickels and steels exclusively.
  4. thiocyclist


    Sep 19, 2012
    What about rounds and half rounds of the same wrap type?
  5. Feel free to experiment if you like. The DB folks mix strings all day long, even steel and gut. I've considered mixing rounds and flats.
  6. robin jack

    robin jack

    Mar 26, 2013
    Here I want to confirm something about my guitar's strings I have my new acoustic guitar but I have something wrong in this string some sort of noises came up which are really feel bad to hear. So do you have this string suitable for my guitar?

    waterproof scales
  7. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    on my own Jaguar bass, I like GHS progressives for the E and A. Rotosound nickel SB66 for the D and G.

    The progressives aren't quite as full of the warm overtones as the nickel SB66 are. Instead they are slightly colder, but tight and deeper sounding. Giving me the growl and grunt that I like in the E and A. Progressive are also slightly higher tension that other strings of the same gauge.

    The nickel SB66 as I said, have lots of overtones and added warmth. This sounds really nice in the higher strings. Helps to fatten them up and adds more character. Particularly the A.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Was it Flea or Robert Trujillo's signature set that uses nickel for the bottom 3 and stainless steel on the E?
  9. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    Trujillo - stainless rounds E through G (tapered E, A, and D) and nickelplated round non taper B (very strange set).

    Flea - nickelplated rounds A through G and nickelplated round round with stainless steel underwraps on the E.
  10. thiocyclist


    Sep 19, 2012
    Funny they go the opposite with it. Flea's set makes the most sense to me--less magnetism from the big mass of metal string, which will make it less prone to warble from the pickup's magnetic pull.
  11. Ian_Flash


    Jan 17, 2013
    Mix and match till you find what you like and don't listen to "The Rules". As long as your total tension doesn't exceed you bass's limits (which I doubt it will), you can customize as you like. Lots of guys I know do it and even TI makes a set of Acoustic Guitar strings that uses a flatwound G to balance the sound of the set!

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