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Rotosound 66 brightness gone too soon. Is it just me? Is it a Rotosound thing?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Rickter, Aug 8, 2016.


  1. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    So, I'll admit it. I love that new string zing on a fresh set of roundwounds. I frequently use the tone knob on my Precision V to back off of the zing most of the times playing, but I'm a firm believer in the theory of "better to have and not need, than to need and not have".

    That said, I recently put some Rotosound 66s on my P5 (first string change on a brand new bass) and after roughly a week of 2 hour nightly practices, 3 sets at my church, and a week afterward with a more relaxed practice schedule, they have already completely lost that brightness. They are not quite to that super dull sound, but the "snap" seems to be gone and they feel like the life is already leaving them.

    Is this a common thing for Rotosounds in particular? I don't recall having this same problem in the past with Ernie Ball, DR, D'Addario or SIT strings. Is this just my imagination?

    Could anyone recommend strings that they feel retain that new string zing better? I'll probably go back to stainless DRs or D'Addario ProSteels, but wanted to research with the TB community before dropping my dimes.
     
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It's common with those strings and entirely dependent on your particular skin chemistry. The most similar sounding steels, in my experience, are Labellas. Their M40 or M45 set formerly known as hard rockin steels. They may or may not last longer but the brightness you're talking about is short lived on any strings.
     
    jallenbass, Rickter and iiipopes like this.
  3. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks Gorn. Good to know that I'm setting myself up with an unrealistic expectation. Will have to adjust accordingly.
     
    Gorn likes this.
  4. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I am the same way. My hand perspiration reacts with the nickel in the stainless steel. I was never able to get more than a weekend gig plus rehearsals out of a set of Rotosounds, or even any nickel-plated rounds, and if the gig was a Fri-Sat two night gig, I always had to change the E string for Sat night.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
    Rickter likes this.
  5. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Good to know that I'm not the only one. It's a bit disheartening to have to drop that kind of money for a set of strings for them to only last that long.

    I'm not a fan of coated strings typically, but I may need to look into them.
     
    Devnor likes this.
  6. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    If you don't have to have the absolute brightest attack on a string, I have had the best luck with LaBella White Tapes, which are stainless rounds covered in the clear nylon wrap. They are the brightest tape wound string set in the market, and they have very little truncation of the top end from the nylon wrap. Unlike plain roundwound stainless strings, which I used to change about every two weeks, or sooner depending on the gig schedule as I said above, I have had the same set of white tapes on my bass for almost a year now, and they just keep gigging, and gigging, and....
     
    Rickter likes this.
  7. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Interesting suggestion! I'll look into those.
     
    Klonk likes this.
  8. Hi there,
    I usually get about two weeks of twang out of my Rotos but I'm not gigging. That's home practice. But I don't mind the sound or feel as they wear in.
    I've found that DR Fatbeams and DR Lo-Riders sound close to the Rotosound sound? But that might just be my ears?
    Here is a youtube comparison...

    Hope this helps,
    Brent
     
    Rickter likes this.
  9. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    Gigging and/or regular, real practice sessions, are tough on strings. If you want new string sound, all the time: be prepared to buy a lot of strings or try some coated strings, such as Elixirs.

    That said, wiping your strings down after EVERY session, can help more than you might think. Especially if you get some DeOxit wipes or some alchohol wipes.

    Rotos actually have a pretty long life of usable, wonderful midrange and low mid range. But that magic, high mid chime and grind, is a short stay : \
     
    Rickter likes this.
  10. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks for the info Toptube. I do wipe my entire bass down after every use, however, I don't use any string specific treatments. May need to look into those more seriously. Started looking into some coated strings yesterday, plan to continue my research today. I really have liked the RotoSound R66s, I was just surprised at how quickly the "new" seemed to fade.
     
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Many of the guys who made the Roto sound famous put on a fresh set each gig.
    DR FatBeams are my next best to Roto66 strings.
     
    swood_de and Rickter like this.
  12. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I can verify this is true for Steve Harris at least.
     
    BrentSimons likes this.
  13. Geddy Lee too!
    Brent
     
    Rickter likes this.
  14. Real 57 Precision

    Real 57 Precision

    Nov 3, 2015
    Congrats on owning a P-Bass V Rickter. A wonderful instrument.

    Try a set of Ken Smith Rock Masters to see what you think. Tension - low- feels about the
    same, the strings have a feel slightly smoother to me. Great highs- that do last longer than
    Rotos. I used them for years on my 4 string basses. I have not tried on the P-V yet.
     
    Rickter likes this.
  15. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    THank you and Thanks for the suggestion!! I'll check them out!
     
  16. If you like the feel (rough) and the tone of Rotos, I'd suggest Marcus Miller brand Dunlop strings. I had a great run with them about a year ago and replaced them too soon to try the regular Dunlop Super Brights which I found a little anemic sounding compared to the Marcus Millers.
     
  17. Rickter

    Rickter

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    How are the MM Dunlops by comparison to the MM DR's? I tried the MM DR's and honestly wasn't that impressed. However, in all fairness, that was on my inexpensive Yamaha, which might have affected the tone to a great extent.
     
  18. Rickter, I'm not sure I can fully describe the differences fairly. You may want to check for threads on TB for these comparisons. I love both strings. For sure, the Dunlops are rougher to the touch and (likely) a bit stiffer. I believe there is more meat in the mids compared to the Fat Beams. Anyone else with better insight? Please chime in.
     
    Rickter likes this.
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 23, 2021

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