Review: GHS Balanced Nickels 4M-NB These are new roundwound bass strings from ghs. They are a pure nickel final wrap on a round steel core. There are a lot of new innovations in these new strings. First is that each string has two wraps on the core wire rather than the usual one for the G; two for the D & A and three for the E. Second is that each string has the very same number of wraps. This is significant. From the package we learn “This yields a tone that is deep but focused, with an extremely even response, no matter where you are on the fretboard. The end result is a balance between tension, flexibility, tonality and playability.” The 4M-NB set is: 0.044 G @ 47.5lbs; 0.060 D @ 46.1lbs, 0.080 A @ 45.8lbs, and a 0.106 E @ 44.8 for a total set tension of 184.2lbs and an average string tension of 46.05lbs. Most strings are well within a pound of tension of each other with the E being 1 and a quarter pounds off the average which just so happens to be 0.05lbs from the D string. So, yes, very well balanced indeed! The proof is in the playing, and let me tell you straight away that the playing is good. The amount of finger pressure to intonate a note is so even from string-to-string on the same fret as to be imperceptible of any differences no matter how slight. String-to-string balance of tone and volume is as close to perfect as is humanly possible. As the package states the “tone that is deep but focused”, and so it is. Not just a little, but a lot. The low end is excellent in every respect. It took some time for the E to settle in, but once it did the fundamental really opened up and roared to life. The other strings were just fine from the get go. The set settled in at about 10 hours of playing time. The highs are plentiful and sweet and creamy like ice cream (but not sticky or melty). The high mids are rather unique in that they are mellow and smooth like a well-aged whiskey. And just like whiskey they are strong and powerful – an intoxicating force to be reckoned with. The low mids exhibit that classic ghs growl we all know and adore. The bottom end is deep; taut, and well-focused. The entire sound spectrum is broad and well amalgamated. There is nothing that overpowers or overshadows one nuance over another. In so many other roundwounds the total sound is wickedly awash in overtones so much so that the stringset is completely unfocused and whatever fundamentals there may be are drowned out. Not so with ghs Balanced Nickels. In fact they are a sonic lifesaver to pull your bass out of a sea roundwound mediocrity. I will be posting updates and this stringset ages. As always I will attempt to keep track of playing hours, but will inevitably go astray. I will also post a head-to-head comparison & contrast with D’Addario EXL170BT.