Rotosound 55 Solo Bass vs. Ken Smith Compression wound

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Revolver, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. My next set will be one of these two, however the only (audio) references I have are some demo videos of the Rotosounds from their own website and their youtube channel. I can't find any similar videos of the KS (although I did check out a demo video of the GHS Pressurewounds, which according to some people sound very similar if not exactly the same).

    If anyone has experience with both of these, I'd appreciate some input. Thanks in advance.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Two strings I'm very curious about. I've never tried either and I've tried nearly all of them. I think, I may be wrong, but I think the Ken Smiths are @SLaPiNFuNK from bassstringsonline's strings of choice. That says a lot for a man who has access to every bass string in existence.
  3. Good point! (about SlaPiNFuNK). Actually, Ken Smiths have been one of my brands of choice for a long time, so it's safe to assume I would like them. Rotos, I know and like as well. Yet, since this will be my very first (pressure/compression wound) set, I was trying to get an idea of the sound properties of both. Rotos are SS and a slightly lighter gauge (so in theory "brighter") vs. Ken Smith's nickel-iron and (non-typical) gauge, which is closer to what I typically use.
  4. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Ken Smith Compressors are also the same as GHS Pressurewounds - that's who makes them. The gauges may be slightly different for Ken's preference, but they are essentially the same string.
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    One difference to note is the winding length. Smiths are wound longer (38" I think) so they would be a better choice for longer scale basses, while Pressurewounds fit better on standard 4 strings where the E tuner is very close to the Fender.
  6. Actually, the GHS sets come in the exact same gauges, so yes, it might well be that these two (KS and GHS) are exactly identical (Some people in other threads, disagree, though)

    Ironically, I've never liked GHS boomers, yet really like the KS.
  7. Aha.. Thanks for the heads up!
  8. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    This is from the winding length chart at
    Electric Bass String Winding Lengths by Manufacturer from

    "GHS Bass String Winding Length:

    • Short Scale: 32" Ball to Taper (or Silk)
    • Medium Scale: 34" Ball to Taper (or Silk)
    • Long Scale: 36.5" Ball to Taper (or Silk)
    • Long Plus: 38" Ball to Taper (or Silk)
    Ken Smith Bass String Winding Length:

    • Long Scale = 38" Ball to Silk
    • Extra Long Scale = 40" Ball to Silk
    • For some B strings there is a "Medium Scale" option = 36.5" Ball to Silk"
    So...The Ken Smith "Long Scale" is the GHS "Long Scale Plus."
  9. It should be noted the GHS Pressurewounds have recently been standardized to 37.25"; they're no longer offered in 36.5" winding length.
  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Hmm. Didn't know that. Have you confirmed this with Jon Moody and advised Jason and crew @
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009