Pro-Steels to Hi-Beams

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by keatz, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    Hi guys, Ive read in the forums that the hi beams are a lower tension string. I'm happy with the tension on my current pro steels set, is it recommended to add on .05 per string when making the switch? Just in the process of trying some new strings and at $75au i don't want to be left floppy ;)
  2. I cannot confirm about the .05 for each string but since most manufacturers have this increment in their gauges it seems reasonable.
    But I can confirm that Hi beams will feel more flexible due to their round core compared to the Prosteels which are hex core.
    Don't confuse tension with flexibility.
  3. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    I think I might be doing just that, great advise thanks.
    Just had a look and the medium prosteels are (135-105-85-70-50) which are actually thicker than the hi beams (125-105-85-65-45). Looks like I'll be keeping the same guage. I must like a light d and g string because I currently like the feel of (125-95-70-50-35) for drop c (C-G-C-F-a#)
  4. Just my 2 cents and after playing bass for only 6 months it might sound bold or even cocky but I really recommend using lighter strings and adjusting your plucking technique. The nuances that come through with this are what imo a bass should sound. Of course if you're only playing metal/hard rock against 2 guitars... it's a different story...
  5. I did exactly that when I tried the DR Sunbeams (round core, 45-65-85-105) and the Nickel Lo-Riders (hex core, 40-60-80-100) back-to-back a while ago, and found both of them to be quite manageable in terms of overall playing feel.

    The 40-100 Sunbeams would have been a little too flexible, while the 45-105 Lo-Riders would have been a bit too stiff for my taste.
  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Pro Steels and Hi Beams are two completely different animals, IME. They feel different under the fingers - the outer wraps are different gauges with the Pro Steels being a bit rougher on the fingers. For lack of a better term, they bounce differently. Even accounting for the gauge difference, you should expect to feel a difference in how they play.
  7. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    Thanks guys, yeah I know to expect them to feel different, my main reason for the question was not wanting to get frett buzz and having to raise the action because I like the height of my strings ATM. Main reason for wanting to try hi beams is for a bit more natural low mid definition. Currently boosting them through eq and just sounds a little unnatural and pushed. Anyway enough rambling thanks for all the sense uve knocked into me. I guess compromise is the key and not to expect unrealistic things.
    knumbskull likes this.
  8. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    I've been playing for 14 years but only very recently starting experimenting with strings. Just always bought daddarios nickels because they were the only ones always locally available. Got steels last purchase and definitely prefer ss. Ive always just EQ'd may way to my favorite sound so now just after a bit more natural growl and I'm set.
  9. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I can't comment on tension 'cause i used the two string types in wildly different tunings/gauges, but i will say that having gone from one to the other, Hi Beams should work well for what you describe above.

    Prosteels were fine for the in-your-face zing, but Hi Beams give brightness alongside nice rich mids. YMMV of course :)
  10. As mentioned earlier, my experience is with the Sunbeams (NPS version of the Hi-Beams, round core) and the Nickel Lo-Riders (hex core).

    I liked the SBs for their full-bodied warmth at the bottom, but I actually preferred the LRs for their low-mid punch and definition.

    If you're going to try the Hi-Beams, you also might want to try the SS Lo-Riders for comparison. Just a suggestion...
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    I haven't played Pro Steels, but I have used DR Hi Beams on my basses for years. I love them. I have 45 - 125 on my 5 string and 30 - 125 on my 6 string. I'm not a big "part of my sound" guy with amps and stuff, but I think the Hi Beams are a part of my sound. That and the Bartiloni electronics on both my basses.

    It is tough to experiment with strings on bass - especially if you play a 6 and a 5! It's not like guitar players who can get a few full sets for the price of 1 string for us.
  12. I wanna try Fat Beams! Sorry if that confuses things even more. :laugh: And I really do have sympathy for how much you've got to pay for music gear in Oz!!! :cool:
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  13. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    Funny you mention fat beams because after all my string research and youtubing I actually liked the sound of fat beams the most, but they don't come in the guages I need. Next choice was dunlop super brights. They arent abailable in my guages either, So hi-beams were the closest thing. I am having a think about lo-riders though.