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Nylon wounds: La Bella vs. Fender

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by The Sound of the Police, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. I know the subject of nylon wound strings has been discussed before, but a search, as well as supplementary interenet research, did not yield an answer to my specific questions.
    I've heard many people rave about the La Bellas, and I have heard a few very good comments concerning the Fenders as well. My question is: Is there a noticable discrepancy between the two companies? Are the La Bellas truly superior?
    I'm hesitant to spend $40 on a set of La Bellas if the $20 Fenders are of a comparable sound.

    Also, do any other companies make a nylon wound string? These are the only two I have heard of. If so, how do they compare to the previously mentioned two?

    And finally, what is the difference in sound and construction between the Fender Nylon Tapewound 9120's and Nylon Filament Roundwound 7120's?

    Thank you very much for your replies.

    Kenan O'Brien
  2. In my opinion, yes, there's a pretty big difference. I have a Cort fretless that I was about ready to throw away because of the lifeless tone. I had Fender 9120s on it, but had tried Rotosound 88s (another nylon tapewound string) as well as some roundwounds. Then I put a set of used La Bellas on, and the bass came to life. The strings were a year old when I put them on, 3 months ago. Now it has a nice tone, and I love the feel of the La Bellas. The Fender 9120s seemed floppy to me, and the tone was a bit thin. The Rotos felt too rubbery, and the tone was rubbery as well. The La Bellas are just right for me. They feel right, and have plenty of thump (I like that dark sound), but I still get good growl and "mwah." (All my basses at the moment are fretless.)

    About the price, check out the Carvin website. They sell them much cheaper than $40.

    The nylon tapewounds that I've tried were La Bellas, Fenders, and Rotos, in order of my preference. I think there are other companies making them, though.

    About the Fenders: the 9120s are nylon tapewound--fairly smooth, but not as smooth as the La Bellas or Rotos. You can feel the windings a bit. The 7120s, as I recall (I had some for a short time, broke one and tossed the whole set) are black nylon, but not tapewound--they are roundwound, just like "regular" strings, except they are black nylon. They are easier on the fingers, and probably on the fingerboard too, than steel roundwounds, but they are definitely not smooth like tapewounds. Since I had them such a short time, I don't recall much about the tone.
  3. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I've been using the LaBellas for about three years now, and I love them. I now have them on two fretlesses, but used them on a fretted for a long time as well. These are without doubt my favorite strings now, so I have no desire to try the Fenders. I bought them for about $16 or so from Carvin.
  4. Thanks for the replies.
    I went to the Carvin website to find the La Bellas. The only strings I saw by La Bella were acoustic strings with a black nylon tape covering, or so the description said. The La Bella website makes no mention of the production of such a string.
    Does Carvin no longer sell the electric version and it's just not listed?


  5. Hi Ya's.

    Have a look at GHS tapewounds, best ones that I found when I was using tapes on my fretless. They were impeccibally manufactured. The fenders were incredibly cheap, and were very uneven feeling.

    The GHS are just damn near perfect.

  6. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA

    Those are the ones you are looking for. I don't know why they list them as acoustic strings. I called the website when I first saw them and asked them if they would work on electric. They are nylon-wrapped roundwounds, and they are great.
  7. BlindSide


    Oct 11, 2002
    Wausau, WI
    I use the Labella Black Nylon Tapewounds all the time. In fact I doubt I’ll ever switch over to anything else. I get them from Carvin’s site too.

    Yes, they are “electric” bass strings. They are roundwound strings with a black nylon tape wound around them .Very bright, durable and smooth strings. Smooth sound, but also bright. I like the bottom end I get on my five string, but I am still able to pop and have a very bright sound with them. Excellent strings! Cheap too!.
  8. It's odd that they should label them acoustic strings, but I'll take your word for it. I'll definatly try the La Bellas now. My only holdback was paying over $40 for them, but at Carvin's prices, I'm sold!
    Thanks for the replies.


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