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Round Sunbeams for 30" Scale Fretless Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Hello. I'm the cheap skate who bought a small SX Jazz Bass "knock off ", & wanted to cut down a 34" scale set of Fatbeams rather than by new 30" Hibeams.

    Just occurred to me. I do want my fretless to sing, long sustain, like on a Marcus Miller ballad. I do remember that I bought Sunbeams, tried them out on my 6 string bass, passed on them gave them to a friend. The nickel plated Sunbeams had noticeably less tension than comparably gauge stainless steel Hi & Fat beams.

    The stainless steel DRs had more punch than the Sunbeams, but decayed faster. The Sunbeams did sustain longer, had that unmistakable round core DR sound I like. This might be what I need to get that miniature bass to sing (along with brass saddles).

    Question. Won't those nickel plated round wounds be a lot easier on my beautiful, thickly applied, highly polished, polyurethane coated fretless neck board? It looks beautiful & I don't want to tear it up. (Though my luthier advised me to sand off the polyurethane & add tung oil to the maple neck board, saying "tung oil should be hard enough, no epoxy needed".

    Anyone concur with my assessment of Sunbeams. Good choice?
  2. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    By the way, I just tuned & hooked up that tiny SX bass. Wow! Big deep sound for a little bass. Very impressive. Nicely set up out of the box
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    Sunbeams are warmer sounding, good tone balance and extremely smooth. If worried about marking the neck try DR black beauties which are coated Sunbeams. Won't mark the neck and looks cool.
  5. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    OK, but doesn't the coating wear off frequently, so I'll be buying more twice per year? Also, doesn't the coating warm up the sound even more, besides dampening the vibration (sustain)? I am shooting for that Marcus Miller bright singing fretless sustain. I do have, a good EQ unit, can shape the sound & am not striving to be a Marcus Miller clone, however
  6. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The coating only really comes off if you're a heavy handed pick player. The one time I tried them they burned my fingers from slides, so I wouldn't want them on a fretless.
  7. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Just called Jason @ Bass strings on line. He says NO DR string can fit a 30" bass! Even the 30"-31" scale Hibeams & Sunbeams are way to long......????

    The Black Beauties only come in 34" scale. I am tempted to cut them down anyway. Jason states adamantly it won't work. I still can't see why. The coating should prevent unraveling.
  8. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Jason knows what he's talking about.

    It's not as if he's telling you to buy something that he knows won't work so he can make a quick buck, he's telling you not to buy them cuz they won't work.

    But, the best way to learn is through experience and experimentation so what the hell.
  9. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    I just called DR & Steve told me that there should be no problem cutting down a Black Beauty, but the E string might be troublesome. He recommended going with the smallest gauge E as possible. I checked the holes inside the center of those SX tuners & they seem oversized in comparison to a standard Fender, seemingly made to accommodate long strings that are cut down. Huge hole! Could probably shove an untapered .120 string inside.

    Yeah, DR's C.S. states the plastic coating should prevent unraveling, & I think I might put a drop of JB Weld on the curried tip too.

    I inquired about the coating wearing off, because a friend once sent me a set of her used yellow & green neons. She replaces them every 3 months, & they were pretty damn worn. But her bass is fretted, I forgot-probably fret wear. Furthermore, I saw a FB picture of my friends Fender Mustang, which is scaled down. That Mustang was sporting a new set of red & green neons. She had to have cut them down!

    DR also assured me that the coating on the BB's doesn't kill the sustain, or muffle the sound.
  10. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
  11. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    As I told you on the phone. The DR "Short Scale" strings have a 34" winding length. If your instrument is less than 34" from Ball End to Tuning Post then most likely it will break.

    Some users have successfully installed DR NEON's on Mikro basses, but they use the lighter gauge .100 string and there is usually string overlap so the larger diameter winding part has less of an extreme bend to it. But you are not interested in the .100 string.
  12. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    On the contrary. I was considering .095 or 100. This bass came with small gauge strings & the E (95 or 100) is pretty darn strong, maybe a little overpowering relative to the other strings.

    I have one remaining Sunbeam .035. To get a since of how Sunbeams/Black Beauties sound (relative to these existing flatwounds) I will take the .040 G string off, put on that Sunbeam .035", & get a since of what's needed to get the right sounding G (a 40 or 45, probably a 40) then go with 60 80 100, maybe 95. We'll see.
  13. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Can't go with flats, hex cores, don't wanna chew up my neck board & recoat it with epoxy. I think the .100 Black Beauties seem right, I'll still give it a try.
  14. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Roswell, GA
  15. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Yep, I am a DR guy. I also have TI rounds, not enthralled with them. Never tried Fodera.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Well, there are always Labella Deep Talkin' Flats in 30". No fingerboard wear, and all the lovely advantages of flats.

    (Runs for cover....):bag:
  17. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Yesterday a friend came over & I played Quincy Jones "Smack water Jack" album for him. Carol Kay was the electric bassist. The theme from the Anderson Tapes & Vince Gauraldi's Cast Your Fate to the Wind display exquisite bass playing. The norm then was Fender bass & flat wounds. There's a lot to be said in favor of flats. Might by another SX fretless bass just to have both rounds & flats.