Nylon Tape Wound Ranking/Rating

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DrewD, Oct 25, 2021.

  1. DrewD

    DrewD Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    I have never used these strings but I'm considering them for a chambered solid body 5 string with mag pickup and individual piezo bridge saddles. It would be a big help and much appreciated (not to mention time and money saver) if someone with experience could rank some of the major brands from deep "thud" at one end of the spectrum to light and "brighter" at the other end.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  2. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    I've tried these sets, not necessarily all on the same bass, but I would say, roughly:

    Labella Black Nylon
    Labella Copper Nylon
    Labella White Nylon
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  3. Five String

    Five String Supporting Member

    I have nothing to add to this because I have only played two types of nylon tapewound strings but this is TB so I am going to comment anyway. D'Addario tapes are a great all around tapewound string and definitely toward the thud end but with a lot of character and complexity. Also, I don't know how bright the LaBellas are but I thought Fender tapes were quite bright, almost as bright as a non-tapewound string. My $.02.
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  4. DrewD

    DrewD Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    That is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. I realize that it is totally subjective, with a ton of variables involved, but nevertheless it is a useful general starting point.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  5. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    I’ll give a more general review…from my limited samplings.
    I’ve used Rotosound tapes (very stiff and clacky sound), and 3 varieties of Labella’s tapes.
    One of the good things about Labella’s tapes are that they’re available in 2 gauges.
    I prefer the lighter gauge, which, IIRC, is 50-105.
    The black ones have a nice urb sound on a fretless. (Smoother and less tension than rotos.)
    The White tapes are very bright, somewhat like a less grindy sounding roundwound.
    The Copper White tapes are a wonderful combination of warm thump, with a roundwoundish sounding “tang” to the treble.
    I have the copper sets on my fretted Rickenbacker Cheyenne, as well as my fretless Tune wb4f,
    which is a piezo-only bass. They sound fantastic on both basses.
  6. DrewD

    DrewD Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    The Copper Whites sound (verbally) very interesting and much like I'm looking for. Thanks.
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  7. DrewD

    DrewD Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    A question about the Copper Whites: do you find that they retain the tonal characteristic you described for a reasonable period of time?
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  8. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    Yes, probably more so than any strings I’ve used.
    I’ve had the set on my Rickenbacker for several years, they still sound like when I first put them on.
    They’re also about the smoothest string I’ve ever experienced. If you’ve played any of the German made nickle flatwounds like TI,Pyramid,Optima, these tapewounds are even smoother.
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  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Years ago, I posted my observations on the different domestic makes and models of tapewound strings; as above, I believe they are somewhere in the Tapewound Club thread.
  10. DrewD

    DrewD Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    Before I started this thread I did run a couple of searches but, of course, I could have used inaccurate keywords so I'll try again to locate your previous work.
  11. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    @DrewD, this might be the one:
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  12. DrewD

    DrewD Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    Thank you :)
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  13. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    @trothwell is apparently a genius. This is really accurate from what I have heard/played as well. I like the LaBella copper or white because they are on the bright side for tapes. That is a good listing.
  14. T-boneParish

    T-boneParish Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2016
    Austin // Charlotte
    In my experience with LaBella tapewounds, they feel very loose and floppy relative to most round and flat wound strings. They bring out a different style of playing. I like them a lot, but they provide a completely different experience. Very smooth, silky and soft.
  15. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
  16. BassFalcon


    Nov 18, 2020
    I’m a big fan of the LaBella copper tapes. I actually switched my 4, 6, and Fretless 5 from DR Pure Blues all to the Copper tapes. They have enough high end to make chords and Melodies sing, but the B strings still sounds strong. The tension is low. I would say they are a good entry point into tapes, they don’t descend into the depths of thump that the black nylon tapes do, they still retain quite a bit of the roundwound tone. As far as their longevity, my oldest set is 9 months old now and still sound and feel freshly broken-in.
  17. DrewD

    DrewD Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    Vancouver Island
    I have read this elsewhere and I'm kind of prepared for it. I play old school finger style and some chords so I'm not expecting it to be a huge issue.
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  18. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    I’ve found them to be flexible, and fairly low tension. (But not as floppy as TI flats).
    I wouldn’t describe them as “loose”. They definitely don’t require a heavy hand. I’ve gravitated towards a lighter touch for playing, and have set all my basses up that way, regardless of string type.
  19. Jeff Elkins

    Jeff Elkins Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Johnson City, TN
    Ditto all the data on the copper whites. I used them on my Rob Allen fretless (piezo) for a couple years and more recently on my Muckekroy 5 string. They DON’T trigger some of my pedals as well as flatwounds, but I love them for balance between thud and note clarity when I’m not bringing the pedal board. I also like the black labella tapes too, for more thud. Haven’t tried other brands, though!
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  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Dec 7, 2021

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