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Stainless or Nickel Roundwounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by grooveguru, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    I know this has probably been done to death but which type of strings generally last longer Stainless or Nickel.

    Thanks for the help!:)
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Neither. Rotosound stainless strings have a reputation for dying fast (well-deserved, IME), and Lo-Riders have a rep of lasting a long time. Ernie Ball Nickels seem to me to last a really long time, but a lot of folks are saying GHS Boomers die fast. I haven't used Boomers for a long time, but they lasted OK for me. Some here, however, have had them die really fast. Nickels in general are pretty long-lasting, and I've also done well with several brands of stainless, like the Dean Markley Fretmasters I have on my current "back-up" bass.

    You should get the strings that have the sound you like. Cost isn't always a deciding factor, either. I have some nickel Danelectros on my JP-90; they sound great, and are still going strong after more than two months.
  3. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    The reason I asked is that I've always been a Nickel guy but my Lakland came with Stainless in a gauge that was a little heavy for me so when I changed I went to a lighter gauge and went Nickel. The bass played a little easier due to lighter gauge but the nickel seems to be going dead pretty quick.

    What I was looking for was in general which type are known for lasting longer. Not which brands.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Yes. You've missed my point, apparently. What I'm saying is that both can last a long time, but some brands will have a longer life than others. If I just said "stainless", and you went out and bought a set of Roto 66's, you'd probably think I lied to you. If I said "nickel", and you went and bought some Boomers and had the experience of some who have posted here, i.e., they died quickly, you'd probably think I lied to you.

    There is no simple answer to your question, as far as I know.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    That is a really tough question to answer because you have to take statements like "dead" with a grain of salt on this board.

    One man's dead is another's broken in. The first few years I played, I HATED new strings, because they accentuated every fret clang and buzz of my bad technique. As I cleaned up my act, I started liking them.

    Plus strings tend to last longer on some basses than others. (This doesn't have anything to do with the string. It is just that certain tone circuits are more susceptible to subtle changes in the strings than others are) For example, I can leave strings on my G&L for quite a while. It has a +10db treble boost switch. Since the bass is ash with maple board, it tends to be bright anyway. So, I have started calling the treble boost the stringer extender. When the strings start to loose the brightness, I throw on the switch and get a few more weeks out of them.

    I had a Carvin LB75 that sounded GREAT with new strings, but like cheese as they started to age.

    So, if you like a really bright sound, you will probably like stainless. They tend to stay brighter longer. If you like a meaty mid, (that would be me) you will like nickels better, as they tead to keep that sound a little longer. But this is just my experience.

    So to make a short story long, you really need to experiment for yourself. There really isn't an easy answer.

  6. Although my technique isn't that good yet i also somehow like new strings because it makes me notice what i have to practice!
  7. Toneman


    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island
    are you guys talking about nickel plated or pure nickel?

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