on coated strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by natas, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. natas


    Mar 14, 2013
    i've been changing sets too frequently (acidic fingers) so i might try coated strings. any suggestions? looking for the clearest sounding and bright sets of coated strings out there..price consideration is secondary
  2. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    I like cleartone, no complaints.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Elixir Steels or DR Dragon Skins. The Elixirs are slippery smooth and a bit brighter, and Dragon Skins are less tension and deeper/fuller sounding.
  4. natas


    Mar 14, 2013
    how about string life between the two? (dragon skins and elixir) we are talking about elixir nickel plated steels right?
  5. natas


    Mar 14, 2013
    more inputs will be appreciated
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

  7. I've used both Elixirs- Nickels and the new steels. I have to purchase the steels in the U.S. as blot available in Canada:eyebrow:

    My take: LOVE them! I sweat a lot and have acidic hands
    (although less so since I quit smoking). Strings last a long time. I love that the ' top end zing' is dampened when fresh. These are my favourite strings and have been for a while.

  8. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    I love the tone of Elixir Nickels and I'm usually the type that goes for deeper toned Stainless strings . Elixir nickels have a very sweet, almost saturated quality in the highs that is really nice. They do lack a bit of focus because of this, however.

    They are also the smoothest feeling roundwound available.

    They last longer than anything else I have tried or read about. I'm talking several months and they still sound pretty fresh.

    My only problem with Elixirs is a gripe I have with a lot of standard string sets: The E strings are notably less tension than the rest of the set. It has caused me some setup issues on a couple of basses. However, you can order individual strings and make your own custom sets with better balance.

    Some of my most favorite strings are stainless steel----But I really did not like Elixir's stainless at all. I tried them on two different basses with very different pickups----there's something that comes through in the high mids that just isn't very nice. Even ignoring that, they just don't have any of the special qualities possible with stainless steel. They still feel quite smooth, however. I dunno, you might have better luck on one of your basses. I didn't like them. I was even warned about them via PM, yet I bought a set anyway :spit: In my opinion, Elixir should R&D a new Stainless String. The coating is great, but the materials for the string need to change.

    DR Dragon Skins sound quite good when new. Something notable about their coating is that it kills off a lot of the overtones that you would normally get from a string. You can still play harmonics. But the overall tone is more "dry" and they have a unique "grind" when you dig in. It's a good unique!. Dragon Skins didn't last significantly longer than regular strings, for me. I've used a couple of sets. They last about 3 months for me. whereas normal, uncoated strings last me about 2 months. when Dragon Skins die, they sound like rubber.

    I think the problem with DR's coating, is that they coat the wrap wire before wrapping it onto the core. So you still have gaps between windings where dirt/oils/etc can stick. Elixirs strings are fully constructed before they are coated. So there are no gaps. It's also probably part of the reason that they feel so smooth.
    DR also has a very long winding length. It's 38" before the string tapers for winding on a tuner post. On my Fender bass with a top load only bridge, that's way too long and caused problems with the coating. I was afraid to fully wrap the string. On my Ibanez SRT, top load only, the string just barely has enough room for the main part of the string to hang straight, off the tuner post. I don't have any string through basses right now. I imagine those would be great for DR strings/Dragon Skins.

    RotoSound Nexus Bass coated strings are interesting. First of all, they look really cool. Rich/glossy Black coating and each string has a different colored silk on it. They sound great when fresh. Nice mid-range punch that you expect from Rotosound, but more fundamental than uncoated strings.

    But they age about as quickly as a normal string. When they die, they sound like rubber.
  9. D'addario exp coated always worked for me. But I too like Elixir the best.
  10. 😎😎😎😎
  11. natas


    Mar 14, 2013
    i hope elixir offers the ss set in gauge .040
  12. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    I just put a set of cleartones on my G&L SB-1. They had come on my Gamma fretless, but I wanted flats on the fretless. My first thought was that they were ridiculously bright, but I had read on here that they settle down after a week or two. Last night I used them at rehearsal after two weeks of break in and they sounded absolutely fantastic. I have never been happier with my tone than the SB-1 with cleartones! Super aggressive when I wanted, but mellow enough for our reggae tune when played near the neck. Just awesome. If their lifespan is decent, I'm sold on these for the foreseeable future.
  13. natas


    Mar 14, 2013
    could you please let me know then if they have long life span?
  14. jamersonburton


    Jul 22, 2011
    Elixir steel nanoweb sound like they did when i bought them a week ago!
  15. natas


    Mar 14, 2013
    wow..might try d'addario coated.anyone who can attest to their longevity?
  16. I wonder if that grounding issue applies to active basses. My passive guitar is quieter when I touch the strings. But my active MusicMan bass seems silent and unaffected either way. I vaguely remember reading somewhere (I think possibly from EMG) that this is an advantage of active systems. And it also means you don't get a shock when you touch the strings and put your lips on a microphone.

    Another question... How do coated strings handle being boiled for cleaning? I definitely find boiling resuscitates dead plain strings. Don't know if a coating survives it though.
  17. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    I used my cleartones for about 6 months using them approx 2-3 every wed and between 30 min to 3 hrs daily. All I did was wipe them down every couple of days with warm water...
    I just read an article that stated Cleartone and D'Adario were the only Co. to have a true coating that does not wear, and does the job the coating is meant to do.
  18. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Ok I put on a set of Daddario EXP XLs two days ago. I ordered a custom set of singles: .105 .85 .60 .45 to give me a pretty much 'balanced' set, based on Daddario's published numbers. As always do when changing string brands and/or types; I checked and adjusted intonation.

    Initial impressions:

    Coating feels similar to Elixirs. Which is to say, very smooth, slightly slick, and doesn't give me problems moving around when my hands get a bit sweaty. (on regular strings, when my hands get sweaty, my fingers actually grip the string more. making it more difficult to move around the fretboard or do anything, really.)

    The coating also feels similar to elixirs in that it feels subtly 'hard'. I wouldn't be surprise if the EXP and Elixirs coatings are based on the same basic formula, but elixirs are coated after the string is wind and with EXP, the wrap wire is coated before winding. However, that is complete speculation.

    As far as sound/tone: They sound like slightly less warm XLs. Not to be confused with "brighter". and not to be confused with 'more scooped' (I think XLs sound a little scooped compared some other strings, but not as scooped as DR) They just sound like slightly colderXLs. At least when two days old.

    Now for the unfortunate problem, which is a large one:

    The tone from string to string is not consistent. The D and G strings sound fine. The A string is slightly muffled and the E string is notably muffled. For the E, it sounds as if I turned my toned knob down 1/4 or 1/3. (note: my tone knob is the type that is effective through it's entire turning range.)

    I've used Elixirs a lot, but have not very recently used their nickel plated strings. However, I can't recall having this issue with Elixirs----since I started using the nanowebs. I may buy a set soon, to do a more timely comparison.

    I did recently used Elixir's Stainless Steel Strings. They did not have issues with string to string tonal qualities. I've had a couple of sets of DR Dragon Skins and they also did not have string to string tonal issues. I had one set of Rotosound Nexus coated strings. They too did not have string to string tonal issues.

    Maybe I got a bad set of EXP strings? I dunno. They otherwise seem like a good set. Feel great. Look great. String up great. etc. I've only had them for two days, so I of course cannot comment on the longevity. I'm probably going to keep these on for a few more days, to see if the string tone balances itself out with use. If it does, I will keep these on until they sound dead and report back. If it does not balance out, I will probably take them off.
  19. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer
    IMO DR makes the best strings, including their coated strings. Their coated strings last and feel good under the fingers.