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Rotosound RS66...alternatives?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dave120, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I've been using these strings for a lot of years now and I like them a lot. The only problem is I find they seem to lose their "zing" rather quickly. They seem a little too bright when brand new, and after being worn in a bit they get to a good spot, but it seems to not last very long before becoming rather dead. I don't mind it too much since among bass strings they're on the cheap side, so replacing them a little more often isn't a big deal.

    I remember I tried some type of DR strings a couple years ago that seemed similar to the RS66's. I don't remember if they were nickel or stainless, as it might have been during the time I was using the nickel RS66s before going back to the SS ones. I also don't recall if they actually lasted longer or not, just that they sounded good.

    I think I might just have to suck it up and try out some different ones trying to find something better. Or just stick with what I've been using, and maybe try using string cleaners and things to lengthen the life a little bit!
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I haven't found ANY strings to compare with the Roto's, during that brief time they actually zing. But, Rickenbacker has their own strings, which, although they don't have the same measure of zinginess, they are nice, and last a good long time. I've tried several different sets of DR's, and hated them all. Ernie Ball Slinky's are pretty good, too, really bright and snappy, as well as being less $$ than the Roto's.
  3. bigcatJC


    Jul 9, 2004
    D'addario Pro Steels :hyper:

    I was a loyal Rotosound user for years, but got frustrated with quality issues - one dead string in a pack, whole sets losing their "zing" quicker than they should, etc. So I did a round-up of all the steel roundwounds I could find. After trying a couple of other brands, I lucked into the Pro Steels. They sound almost as bright as Rotos, seem to last longer (to my ears, anyway), and are dirt cheap ($13.50 and under) if you know where to find them on the internet. I love 'em - and for so cheap, you can't go wrong at least trying a set.
    PeaveyDude likes this.
  4. Hamrhed


    Dec 26, 2007
    DR strings are nice: they have many different kinds, and Ive never been unhappy w/ any of them. I particularly like the Hi-Beams and Fat-beams...

    However, if you really want a string that sounds great and retains that zing for longer than normal, then I recommend that you seriously consider trying a coated string. If you do, then you will be interested in the following test i did recently...

    I wanted to try some coated strings, so I bought a set of DR Bootzillas and also a set of D'Addario EXP 160's. I installed both sets on my Fenders, and I must say that the EXP's sound better and have held up better than the Boots. They are also cheaper in cost- which is always nice. I am currently going w/ D'Addario EXPs for what its worth :)

    Coated strings are more expensive, but they last longer than regular strings, imo...
  5. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    I don't know where you buy strings, but I've always seen Rotosound Swing Bass strings at the same price as Ernie Balls.

    I think Rotosounds should come with a warning label on the pack - "Product is not designed for sustained longevity of use." Becuase they aren't. They don't die quickly because of a design flaw, they die quicky because they're meant to "peak" quickly tonally. It seems almost twice a month a new thread on Talkbass opens up about Rotosounds not lasting long. It's like news that Palestine and Israel went to war.

    If Rotosound wanted their SS roundwounds to last long, they could make them so, but then they'd probably sound different, which no faithful Rotosound user wants. I've owned quite a few packs, and never had a dead string. Not to call anybody out, but I'm thinking that has more to do with user error than anything. There are wrong ways to handle a bass string when you're putting them on your bass.
  6. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    ernie ball stainless steels are my favorite. they have an aggressive top end that is not overly bright and seem to last longer than other brands. my second favorite strings are pro steels. they are just as good but have a little rougher feel.
  7. IMO,string life depends on care/maintenance,to a point.Like the amount of acidity in your sweat,and,other factors.So kids/grasshoppers,WIPE DOWN YOUR STRINGS!You'd be surprised at how much you save after 12 months of playing on properly cared for strings as opposed to just thrashing away on them.Go ahead....See?Now you've saved enuff cash to buy that pedal you've been G.A.S.(ing) for.
  8. bigcatJC


    Jul 9, 2004
    OK, I'll bite - not to start a flame war, just to clarify.

    I know Rotos peak and die quickly; I used them for years. That's why I said they lost their zing quicker than they should.

    And I know how to string a bass. But just in case I didn't, I had dead strings a couple of times when I took my basses into my local music shop for a yearly tweaking/checkup/setup. And I trust their tech/setup guy, since he has over 30 years in the biz.

    Once again, no flaming intended. But I know what I'm doing and I had dead strings and extra-short life sets. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person to post about Rotos and quality control issues.
  9. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    If you want a similar type of string, I can recommend SS Lo-Riders.

    If you want 'that' sound, nothing I've tried will get you there. There is a grunt and clank to Rotos I don't hear exactly the same way in any other string.
    trothwell likes this.
  10. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    I haven't tried them yet but I'm guessing Rotosound Nexus might be a good idea? They are coated so should last longer, and are supposed to sound like steel.

    Also wiping normal Rotosounds with a degreasing cloth really helped mine last longer, so could be worth trying.

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