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Pure Nickel Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by wobble man, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. wobble man

    wobble man

    Feb 15, 2013
    I have been experimenting with different strings lately trying to nail down my tone, but haven't quite found it yet. I have played flats, rounds, grounds, stainless steel and nickel plated, but one thing I haven't tried yet is pure nickel.

    I am looking for a warm round sound and want round wounds, the flats just never suited my playing style. The strings which have come closest for me are the DR Sunbeams. I like them but perhaps there is something better.

    Are pure nickels warmer sounding than nickel-plated, and do they get more magnetic response? And what brands are available, the only pure nickel I know of is Fender.

    Any experience or advise regarding the tone of these strings? These strings will be going on a Squire VM Jaguar project which is soon to be fretless.
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Have you tried pressure wounds yet? They fit your description specifically the nickel iron alloy versions.

    Pure Nickel strings are warm yet still have a bright snappier quality to them.
    Pbassmanca and One Way like this.
  3. wobble man

    wobble man

    Feb 15, 2013
    I haven't tried pressure wounds, will look into these. Thanks for the suggestion.
  4. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Pyramid Strings of Germany have a huge choice of pure nickel rounds.
  5. mr sprocket

    mr sprocket

    Jul 31, 2006
    After a recommendation from Jason and other TBers I put pressuewounds on a bass I am trying to get more mids out of. I am liking the sound of the strings. I am able to dial in some classic bass sounds and get some good mid solo sounds.

    I have also played the Sunbeams as well. This set is a little more round/full sound. The highs might not be as bright. I do not notice a difference because I normally roll the high end off.
  6. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    +1. Pyramids might be what you're looking for.
  7. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Canada, eh!
    I have always found the Fender 7150s to be good pure nickel rounds.

    My favourite pure nickel strings are the D'Addario Half Rounds. Very versatiel and they feel great.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  8. TI Superalloys are pure nickel, and are a nice sounding string IMHO. Limited choice of gauges though, as with all TI products.
  9. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Super Alloy are not pure Nickel. I do not know the exact allow though but it is an "alloy" of something.
    Root 5 and Pbassmanca like this.
  10. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Kevin Teed and Iristone like this.
  11. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    The Rotosound are Nickel Plated Steel
    Pbassmanca and Iristone like this.
  12. "Infeld Superalloy bass strings are made of highest quality materials and deliver a full, well-rounded bass, throaty mids and solid treble without brittleness. Our Superalloy winding combined with a pure nickel layer ensures a warm vintage tone with modern definition. Plus, they are easier on your fretwork than stainless or all-steel strings."

    Maybe we're both right. :)
  13. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    True. Doesn't make it a pure nickel string though.

    Many strings have different layers. Many nickel plated strings have a stainless steel underwindings or even another material. Usually this "formula" is not easy to find public info.

    For what it's worth... Most all strings have a steel core. I have had some people call asking for pure Nickel strings with a Nickel core. Unfortunately nickel is too soft to be a core material. Also nickel is not magnetic so that opens another issue.

    (brag - I got a 1954 silver nickel as change the other day... Weeeeee)
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  14. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Regardless - Rotos highly recommended without reservation.
  15. bass whaler

    bass whaler

    Dec 27, 2012
    Nickel electroplated. Its a fine dipping. But likely it may not change anything to tone. I have seen old nickel plated strings that went black. So maybe things are changed now? finger oils go rancid and will find itself muting strings in short time unless you clean strings religiously. Fender strings are not my favorite string. I stopped buying them 20 years ago. I do not think the quality control is held very well in the production line. I always ended up with short lifespan on my Stratocasters. I switched to DRs then Blue steel, Then on the Bass I went through the same old headaches , I finally went to D'Addarios and as on my Strats and the rest is history. Over the last 20 years I had one set of D'Addarios go south on me, that was because some dumb ass parents let their kids up on the stage ( During our break) so they could look at our instruments, needless to say my guitar was bumped off its stand and crashed into the snare drum., mashing the strings, and tossing the new expensive snare drum off its stand. We needed Anger management. (Almost) LOL Bass Whaler
  16. wobble man

    wobble man

    Feb 15, 2013
    Thanks for the input all!
  17. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Dont mean to reincarnate an old thread but I was searching for info on magnetic properties of nickel vs steel, and must dispute your statement that nickel is not magnetic. Nickel is one of 4 metals that are magnetic. Although it seems that depending on the alloys, steel may be more magnetic that nickel.

  18. Before I switched to flats about 9 years ago I used the Fender pure nickel strings (7150), I found them to be the warmest sounding roundwounds.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  19. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    The biggest difference is that while nickel can be magnetic, it requires current to remain so - it is a lousy permanent magnet.

    That said - and to the op's question - a pure nickel string will be darker in tone given similar construction methods and processes. It will also be very expensive.
  20. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    How many nickels can you pickup with even a 'super magnet'?
    Try it.
    Likely, the "pure nickel" outer windings (on a steel core) over who-knows-what intermediate windings is for the weight-
    that is required for the string to oscillate at a particular frequency, given a particular gauge, length, and tension.
    Wouldn't work with nylon (fishing line) replacing the outer wraps.
    However, an overall lower magnetic response for a given gauge/weight string possibly sounds warmer/darker- not as intense.
    One day I'll try steel-core bronze wound acoustic strings on a bass 'just to see'.

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