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Ordered some EXP Reds

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

  1. I just ordered a set of D'addario EXP Reds for my P-bass. The info and opinions out there online are lacking and I got way to curious to leave them alone.
    Currently, I'm using EB Cobalts which worked out well for me although they have dulled and give me a "scooped" tone now.
    Out of the couple of strings I've tried, Rotosounds SS have the nicest initial tone to my ears. they died pretty quick though.
    Dunlops SS had a nice tone too but looking for something different.
    DR Lo-Riders SS felt great, lasted a good amount of time but was missing that mid-growl.
    DR Hi-beams were too loose for the way I play. their sound was ok.

    I'll share my toughts on the EXPs when they come in.
  2. Sub's. Always found these intriguing.
  3. Petethebassman


    Mar 7, 2008
    They're making these again, wow. I took a look at the info on D'Addario website, the strings are coated, which is probably a good idea for longer string life. I tried a set in the early 1980's, back then they were called XL Reds and had no coating, so the copper tarnished pretty fast and the tone died fast, too. But tonally they were unique, very different from standard rounds: when fresh they had this chimey, bell-like top end, very much like the tone you get from an acoustic guitar strung with bronze strings.
  4. onestring


    Aug 25, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    How fun, looking forward to a report on them. My first bass (a sonic blue Hondo P ~1981) came with copper strings on it.

    I remember them tarnishing pretty bad. Can't remember at all what they sounded like. Never saw copper strings anywhere after that again. Does anybody else make them these days?
  5. So the Strings were waiting in the mail for me when I got home from work, First thing I did was put them on! :hyper:

    Cell phone pics:

    The Ernie Ball Cobalts that were installed before-

    Installed D'Addario EXP REDS-

    Side by side of the Cobalts and REDS E string-

    My initial thoughts while noodling on the strings is that I like the tension. Its a hex-core string so it has a similar feel to the DR Lo-Riders.
    I can't tell/feel that the strings are coated at all. Hopefully they are! Its a good thing, I was expecting to feel the "grab" other coated strings might have.
    These feel very smooth. Or perhaps the Cobalts were too rough but these have a nice glide to them. much less audible finger noise than the Cobalts.

    Unfortunatley I won't be able to try them out on my full rig until Sunday, my little practice amp was fried by lightning :bawl:
    I'll be reporting back once I do try it with a proper amp and keep an update to how the strings are lasting :)
  6. I was able to give these strings a good try today with my amp.

    Verdict= Pure sex.

    These strings are very nice. the best way I can describe them is that they are more prominent in the upper-mids than the Cobalts I had on. I would go as far as saying that they are similar to Rotos in the throaty growl they can have but way less harsh and less finger noise. I wouldn't really saw they are acoustic in tone like the mfg states but gives the bass a piano-like tone.

    One thing I noticed that really surprised me was that rolling the Pbass's tone knob down didn't muffle the tone like it seemed to with the Cobalts but just cut the highs a bit to warm the tone (I assume like its supposed to?). rolling the tone knob didn't affect the nice mids though which was neat.

    I think I may have found my new strings of choice! If the EXP coating gives the strings a longer life, that'll be a plus!
    The strings are definitely worth a try!
  7. Nice. Those strings don't get a whole lot of love, so it's nice to see someone who likes them. I think they'd be cool to try, but I don't have a bass to put them on atm :p


    Nice bass. Didn't ever think pink and tort would work together.
  8. Thanks! Though the bass isn't pink :(

    The paint's official name is "Fiesta Red". Basically, its like a faded red- think red toy bucket left out in the sun too long.

    That and my cellphone doesn't do the color justice!
  9. That's Fiesta Red? Lol wow, okay, it comes off as bright hot pink on my end. Still nice, though :D

    StrangerDanger likes this.
  10. So I've had the strings a little over a month now, a little update is in order.

    The EXP coating is great! it does exactly what D'Addario said it would do. It has kept the strings sounding bright and very similar to the "fresh" initial tone. I have been using a pick to play all this time and the coating has stayed intact. I was afraid they would start shredding/fraying of like I had happen with a set of Elixirs I tried a long time ago.
    Thankfully, that also means the copper hasn't yet tarnished at all. I do wipe the stings down with a cloth regularly though. I rather not let grime build up on the coating, even though technically thats what its for!

    I'll update later on in the coming months for the sake of keeping some record of these great strings. Their really isn't much info on them online, if someone wants to try something different then these strings are definitely worth a shot!
  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    My EXP reds are being delivered today, the same day as my new fretless. (Defretted epoxied rosewood 70's Japanese Jaco copy). I came across these while looking into coated strings and the reds seemed interesting. Apparently meant for regular basses but with an acousticy kind of tone. I'll post later with the results.
  12. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    I used the original version of the reds in college jazz band. Great "acoustic-y" string. I'm considering them again for specific applications.
  13. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    image. I put them on a fretted bass and I love them. They're a lot like sunbeams. Very warm for rounds with a pleasant subtle bite fingerstyle, which is my only style. I slapped a little bit it they sound great. That's when they sound most acoustic. The feel is great. Stiff like loriders and little fingernoise. I got the 50-105 set.
    They look good too with the koa and what used to be gold hardware.
  14. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY

    Attached Files:

  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned SUSPENDED

    I've got a set of Reds that I've tried on several different basses, but my favorite is my homemade fretless with a T40 pickup shifted a bit closer to the neck than a P pickup. The string do offer just a hint of acoustic tone, it's very hard to explain, but they sound and feel great. When I tried the on my J bass, playing with just the bridge pickup, and no-load tone wide open, I got a whole lot of acoustic bass guitar character... Scooped, but still full sounding. It reminded me of a piezo pickup.

    Plus they look cool, and when does that not count for something?
  16. Nice shots 3234718!

    Ok, 3 month mark has been hit, time for a small "longevity" update.
    The EXP coating really seems to work well, the strings haven't tarnished and haven't gone completely dull! And the use of a pick hasn't frayed the coating like I had happen a long time ago wit Elixirs.
    Very cool strings.

    I've had to completely re-tweak many of my eq settings on my small pedalboard though, but its worth it I believe. I do feel I have a broader range of tone now that my bass's tone knob isn't just a "blanket-on-the-speakers"!
  17. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I dig the coated EXP Reds too! Definitely waaay longer life than the 'Reds' from the 90's. I've used them mainly on acoustic bass guitars - but I may have to try 'em on a P-Bass myself!
  18. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    My beef is that they don't do a 60 for a D string, so I can't get my preferred set of 45-60-80-105. I contacted them, and it is not even on a back burner.
  19. So this past week I ordered a set of D'Addario Half Rounds, just to try something different (these Reds won't die!).

    I promptly switched the Reds back on. While the Half Rounds feel nice and have a nice tone, they are waay too "mellow" for me. I could definitely notice the way the Reds have held up over the past months, they still sound fresh!

    I might go for the 50-105 set next.
  20. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    A while back I responded to a post about what strings I had used through the years. In my description I listed the D'Adderio XL Reds. I commented that XL Reds had been discontinued and should have been. They died in hours after being played.

    The next day I received a private message from Don with D'Adderio telling me that "Reds" were back in an EXP coated version. He offered to send me a set to try and I accepted with my address.

    The strings arrived in a few days and I installed them on my P-bass, MIM body / VM Jazz neck with a Seymour-Duncan Antiquity II PUP.

    When I first played the new EXP version of the Reds, I can say with certainty that I did not like them. I couldn't get my tone set to suit me. The problem is hard to describe, but it seemed the high end had too much midrange. I was playing through a 2x15 cabinet with no tweeter. I messed around with the strings for a while & sort of gave up and put the bass in the case.

    Today, I got the bass out again and had an entirely different amp / speaker rig set up with an Ampeg 410HLF cabinet. I found out these strings really need a cab with a tweeter. The high end still has the hint of midrange, but it's more mellow. The strings also seem to have a scooped midrange that's much more noticeable with the tweeter equipped cab.

    I have to admit that I like the strings a lot more now that I've found out they seem to require a tweeter to hear all their nuances. If they last like EXP's I've used in the past, I'll probably buy another set. I think they would work well with a Jazz & that's where I would try them next.

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