Rotosound sound, but longer life...suggetions

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by eViL cAkE, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. eViL cAkE

    eViL cAkE Guest

    Sep 6, 2001
    Just East of Dallas
    I really, really dig the Rotosound sound. However, they probably have one of the shortest tonal lifespans of any string on the market. Even Geddy Lee admits that he changes his every two hours when he's in the studio.

    Can anyone suggest to me a string manufacturer, whose strings recall the Rotosound sound, but are atleast passable, tone wise, for a couple of months or so? See, I've tried more modern strings like DR's, Labella's, and Dean Markley Blue Steels, and they've got the brightness and the punch, but none of them have the growl I'm looking for. You can "hear the windings" more on Rotosounds than with these other strings.

    Maybe some day I'll be rich and famous and beable to afford to restring my bass with a fresh set of Rotosounds on the daily basis, but for now I need something more practical.

    Help a brotha' out yo.

    Adios buds,

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The D'Addario Prisms tend to last quite a long time in my experience. They sound more pure than the Rotosound Swing Bass strings. A different tone. More bite than growl. You may want to try them:)
  3. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I'm going to try the DR Hi-Beams, they seem very nice.

    I got a defective set a while ago, but one or two strings worked, and those two strings sounded very nice.

    My Rotosounds have been on my bass for over a month, and sound anything but dead. :)

    I've heard they vary in quality, though. :)
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I find them very Rotosound-ish, and I think that Dean Markley strongly implies that that's what they're supposed to be like on their website.
    I tried them, and they last pretty well, certainly better than the last set of Roto 66's I had.
  5. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Thomastik-Infeld EB-344 Powerbass strings hands me if you want a set and if they don't blow you away I'll give you 100% of your money back!

    Dude's Thomastik-Infeld Forum
  6. I've never had any trouble with Rotos(my favourite string) - and I find them to be quite long lasting!

    I have used Warwick Red Label strings - 'cos I couldn't get a 5 string pack of rotos, and found them to be very Roto like in tone. You might want to try them.

    Also, I found Trace Elliot strings to be quite like rotosounds!
  7. sgraham


    Aug 30, 2000
    Tyler, TX
    Try Ken Smith Rock Masters. Dean Markley Super
    Rounds are Rotosound-ish, too - like Flat said.
    I don't see 'em as much since the Blue Steels came
    out, though.
  8. I just had some Rotosound `66s put on my P (along with a pearloid picguard )and they are great sounding!A bit rough on the hands but that will give me some nice callouses :D Hope they end up lasting longer than I am reading in some of these posts though!:confused:
  9. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I use D'Addario XL70 sets. I like the sound of new (clean) roundwound strings. I change my strings every couple of days to a week but I only go through about 4 or 5 sets a year. Here's how it works:

    I buy 4 or 5 sets at a time. When a set is dirty (dead) I replace them with a clean set and roll the dead set back up like they are when they are new.

    When I get the last clean set on the bass I take the dead sets and set them around the spindle (the part that turns back and forth) of a washing machine and run it through the Hot cycle. Make sure they rest at least half way down and the water level is set to full. No soap is needed but I find adding some Simple Green gets them extra zingy.

    When they are done I take them out and lay them in the Sun so they get completely dry as to prevent corrosion (You can use a hair dryer or even an oven at 200 for about 30 minutes if there is no Sun available).

    The adgitating water gets inside the windings and flushes the gunk out and then the spin cycle pulls all that dirty water out (just like clothing).

    The only things that may make this process difficult is:
    1. Your bass bridge is not slotted (quick release).
    2. You use taper or exposed core strings (the windings on the B & E may come loose). However, this is what I used to do when I used exposed cores: When they are new put a dab of solder right where the winding ends and the core begins so as to fuse them together (Note: DO NOT do this with the strings ON the bass).

    I've been using this string washing technique for about 15 years and it has never let me down (or damaged a string or washing machine). Strings actually start to sound cleaner then when they are new. I eventually replace the strings (after a year or more/I typicaly play 4 hours a night, 5-7 nights/week) when the frets start to wear down the strings (now THERES a switch) and/or the harmonics don't ring true anymore.

    Every Bassist I have showed this to, over the years, has practically offered to name one of their children after me, after trying it.
  10. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    I just put these on my Fender MIM Jazz. 45 thru 105 My question for anybody is do these strings take some getting used to. I don't really mean will my ear start to like them I mean will the sound become more "friendly" I guess at first I really thought crap, a set of strings I hate. They sounded "twangy" and ...ummm "excited" (see below for years of experience playing bass) Then today they were a little more pleasing. (maybe it is my brain) I also wonder how they might sound on my Fender MIA P? The set of flats that came off (what did Fender MIM use in 2000 on there frettless?) I liked a lot. I am new to frettless, 6 weeks, and new to bass and playing music, 5 years. The string gauge is the same. The neck could us a little adjustment. And maybe the action could be a little lower but I don't think those would effect the sound too much. As I said I dig the sound of the flats that came off. I think even the sound of the mmwwahh, a little. Anyway if I don't like the strings this week, I'll trade maybe? And anyway again, if anybody has any insight or experience with the Roto 77's, I love a bit of your typing time.
    Thanks, Danny

    Now that I did some searching before posting this I saw already some valuable info on these strings...
  11. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass dug out a 13 month thread! I'm impressed!
  12. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    So am I!!! But I can't believe I posted the (previously) last installment over a year ago already. :eek:
  13. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    Yup I did dig it up and out...and I hope people will read it. I played them some more this AM and still can't get into the sound. I may be taking them off sooner than I thought.
  14. got a 7year-old set of Roto 77's on my defretted Hohner acoustic bass- I've posted a couple of mp3's in this thread-

    I've found once played in (which can be anything from one gig to several months depending on how much you sweat) they don't change in tone much.

    the set I have is 35-95.

    I think there is a certain gauge which ties in with the particular setup to give the optimum tone on fretless.
  15. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Assuming that the original poster still cares (or is even still with us), I agree with Adrian. Prisms are a good alternative but they really don't totally nail the Roto tone. Nothing does, in fact. If you're sold on the Roto sound, suck it up and change 'em when they go dead. That's what I do and they stay on my Jaco J's.
  16. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    Hey The Mock Turtle Regulator, I listened to your song and liked it and the string sounds very much, thankyou!! it's in my ITunes now...
  17. thanks, just to clarify I have Roto Jazz 77's only on my Hohner ABG.
    I use Roto 66 steel rounds 45-105 on my electrics (as in "MTR").

    the life of Roto 66's can be lengthened a bit by using Fastfret or other string cleaners.
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