Original Bass Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by frankencow150, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Ya know the strings that come with Fenders?What kind are those?I'm guessing their roundwound but what do I know about strings?
  2. RicMeister

    RicMeister Guest

    Nov 25, 2001
    I'm guessing that any new bass out of the factory is installed with roundwounds. What quality/namebrand, etc., depends on the bass manufacturer. As for what comes stock on a Fender, I'm sure it's some lame quality junk out of Mexico.
  3. The stock Fender strings are Super 7250ML, and are likely (though I am not sure) made in the USA. I personally don't like these strings, but there are worse out there, in my opinion.

    As for "lame quality", why are you assuming that anything coming from Mexico is automatically inferior? At least, that is how I interpreted this. There are many MIM Jazz owners on this board that would disagree, myself included.

    No facts provided to back that one up, so I guess its just an opinion stated as solid fact?

  4. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Hey this is Frankencow again.Hey FF what kind of strings are the supers?Are they roundwounds.Also are there any strings that are kind of in between roundwounds and flatwounds?I like the feel of flatwounds more,but I like the sound of roundwounds.Is there a happy medium?

    If there stock strings aren't roundwounds,then is there a string inbetween the stock ones and flatwounds?Thanks,bye.

    I think that the MIM jazz is either the same or better than the MIA.And you save about $450.
  5. The 7250ML are SS rounds, I believe.

    There are "compromise" strings, between a round and a flat, called "ground-" or "halfwound" strings. I don't have any experience with them. Perhaps someone else could elaborate.

  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Fender strings are OEM strings made probably by GHS or some other big string manufacturer.

    Most string brands are OEMs, there are only a handful string factories.
  7. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Ok let me rephrase that.Is there a medium between flatwounds and the SS rounds?I like the feel of flats more,and the sound of SS rounds more.

    ScoutMaster Willie likes this.
  8. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Fender 7250's are nickel roundwounds. I think they are standard on the MIM basses. The American Series come with 8250's now, I believe. These are nickel roundwounds with a round core and a taperwound E.

    Fender strings are made in the USA by Fender.

    There are a number of strings in between flatwound and stainless roundwound. There are half-rounds, as made by D'Addario and GHS (and others), which, as their name suggests, are about halfway in between. There are also compression wound strings, which are roundwounds that are slightly flattened. These are very close to roundwounds in feel and sound.
  9. RicMeister

    RicMeister Guest

    Nov 25, 2001
    Fretless Friday-- Yes, my statement about lame quality junk out of Mexico is my opinion, but not stated as fact. Just as those who like MIM Fender basses are stating their opinion. Any of the MIM Fender stuff, bass or guitar, that I've seen wasn't worth having, even at the price difference from MIA or MIJ. But........ that's just my opinion.:D

    However, you state in one of your other posts in this thread that Fender strings are made here in the U.S.A. And Flatwound says they are made BY FENDER. Do you know this as a FACT? Or is this your uninformed opinion? There are quite a number of name brands out there, but only a relative handfull of actual string makers. If Fender manufactures it's own strings, where is your proof?

    {Just read JMX's post about OEM strings and manufacturers. Thanks for the input, JMX.}
  10. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Actually, RicMeister, it appears you are correct, that Fender no longer makes their strings here in the good ol' USA. They did for decades, after acquiring the V.C. Squier company in the 60's, but apparently they have ceased. Thanks for your kind and gracious response :D .

    As far as there being only a few manufacturers, it depends on what you mean by "a few". Here are the ones I'm sure of in the USA:


    OK, you knew those, but did you know these?

    Ernie Ball
    Dean Markley (owns American Winding, who makes Dean Markley strings)
    Ken Smith

    I spoke to people at all these companies, and asked them if they owned and operated their own winding equipment.

    Mike Tobias told me that he has his strings custom wound, but he didn't say by whom.

    Mica Wickersham told me that Alembic does not make their strings, but they supply the wire, which is not used for other strings.

    Adamas told me they don't make their own strings.

    There are, of course, overseas manufacturers such as Rotosound, Pyramid, Thomastik-Infeld and others.

    There are probably a few in the US that I haven't mentioned, but my point is that there are more than just "3 or 4" actual manufacturers.

    Oh, and I'll check into the Fender thing.
  11. RicMeister

    RicMeister Guest

    Nov 25, 2001
    Fretless Friday-- My reply was meant to be as "kind and gracious" as your apparent accusation that I was trying to pass my opinion off as fact.

    Yes, I did know about LaBella, GHS, D'Addario being true string manufacturers. (My definition of "true" in this case meaning string makers from start-to-finish with their own name brand.) I also knew about DR, Pyramid Gold, Rotosound, and Thomastik-Infeld. I have also been told, but don't actually know this for a fact, that Gibson strings are not sub-contracted out. And I've heard the same thing about S.I.T.

    The biggest percentage of name brands out there are secretly and quietly made by one of the true manufacturers; I suspect that GHS and D'Addario get the bulk of that business. But, again, that's just my personal perception. It just recently came to my attention that all of the strings sold under the Elixir name brand are actually made by S.I.T.

    It often works that a sub-contracted brand will approach a string manufacturer with a selected "recipe" for a type of string. The actual string-maker will accept the work guaranteeing ONLY the quality of work, NOT that the sub-contractor's "recipe" will be successful. The people from the sub-contracted name are under very strict orders to keep the manufacturing source of the strings a deep, dark secret. But it's getting tougher to keep a secret these days.

    People who buy Ken Smith, Rickenbacker, Pedulla, or some such may think they're getting a string made in-house BY THAT "MAKER". But they're not. To summarize, only the following name brands are true in-house strings produced from start-to-finish that I'm aware of:

    D'Addario; GHS; DR; LaBella; Pyramid Gold; Rotosound; Thomastik-Infeld; S.I.T. And MAYBE Gibson.

    If anyone has additional knowledge about any of the brands mentioned here, please post it.

    My own personal favorites, FWIW, are: Pyramid Gold, Thomastik-Infeld, LaBella, and DR. D'Addario's strings for bass and acoustic guitar are good quality, but their electric guitar strings SUCK! I used to like Rotosound back in my early playing days, but their quality control has gone to hell in the past 10 years (Billy Sheehan won't even endorse 'em anymore) and I wouldn't play them even if they were free. And I know this is going to upset a lot of people, but I have never understood what it is about GHS strings that so many players go ga-ga over. In my opinion, GHS strings are the most overrated high profile brand on the market.

    But........ this is just my opinion.;)
  12. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    RicMeister - I think you have me confused with Fretless Friday, but, anyway, let me clarify a few things. My Fender string information was faulty, and based on an assumption (yes, I know what they say about assuming). The other info I have on string manufacturers is based on conversations I have had with the manufacturers themselves.

    A rep from Ken Smith told me that they own at least one factory dedicated solely to the manufacture of Ken Smith strings.

    Fodera strings are made at the Fodera shop in Brooklyn. Their website has pictures.

    I spoke on the phone to D'Aquisto (not the man himself) and they told me that they wind their own strings.

    Likewise, as I pointed out, Dean Markley owns a string-winding company, which makes their strings. As someone mentioned in a different thread, they may have subbed out some production in the past.

    Plenty of folks don't even claim to make their strings. Elixir freely admits that they do not make the actual strings. Same with Mike Tobias, Alembic, and Adamas, if you ask. Webstrings makes it clear that they purchase strings from a large manufacturer.

    So there you have it. While I was wrong on Fender, I stick by my list above, and believe that there may be some more "real" manufacturers out there as well, but I haven't tracked them down yet. Also, I'm now curious as to where Fender strings come from, and I'm going to see if I can find out.
  13. RicMeister

    RicMeister Guest

    Nov 25, 2001
    Thanks very much for the info, Flatwound. I'm always looking to increase my knowledge, and it never bothers me if someone comes along to correct me if I am truly in the wrong about something. I had not heard about Fodera, Ken Smith, and Dean Markley making their own strings. But are you sure those brands are TRUE "start-to-finish"? Or are they just partially constructed in-house? I'm not being contentious or smart-ass here; I really do want to know so I don't go sticking my foot in my mouth later on.

    By the way, have you been able to find out anything about Gibson strings? Not that it matters to me personally. I hate their strings and feel that they are some of the worst out there. I'm just curious to know whether they are "start-to-finish" in-house production by Gibson.
  14. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego

    Turns out they're made by Fender, but not in the USA. Sure enough, they're MIM. I, personally, like Fender strings fine, regardless of origin.

    I called Gibson customer support, and they told me that Gibson strings are made by Gibson on Gibson equipment in a Gibson plant in Elgin, IL.

    As far as companies making strings "start-to-finish", I'm not really sure what that means. I think most of them buy their wire somewhere, made to their specs, and wind strings from it. Is that start-to-finish, or would they need to mine the ore, smelt it, alloy the metals, and extrude the wire before using it ;) ? IOW, if you have string-winding equipment, I don't see that there would be a point in having someone apply underlay wraps for you, and then mounting the partially-finished string on your own equipment to apply the final wrap. Also, most roundwound G strings that I've disassembled only have a single wrap anyway. This paragraph, is, of course, IMO.

    So. Add two more manufacturers to my list - Gibson and Fender, though Fender is not strictly a U.S. manufacturer.
  15. RicMeister

    RicMeister Guest

    Nov 25, 2001
    Flatwound-- Thanks for the verification on Gibson strings.

    I guess what I mean by "start-to-finish"/"in-house" is what JMX refers to as "OEM". A company like GHS, or Gibson, or D'Addario, or whoever, that actually manufacturers and markets it's own strings under it's own patented name brand. Not like Pedulla, for instance, that contracts out with one of the manufacturers to make strings to sell under the "Pedulla" brand name.

    Personally, I refuse to buy ANY sub-contracted brand of strings, even if I KNOW that particular brand was made by a manufacturer I already use, UNLESS........... I am convinced they are the exact same construction and high quality already being sold under the original manufacturer's name.