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String advice for acoustic bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by chiron_griffin, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. chiron_griffin


    Apr 19, 2012
    Just picked up my first acoustic bass this week, it's a Washburn AB10, and I love everything about it except the old rotting nickel strings on it. I'm not sure what I should string this baby up with now. I've got Chromes on my VM Jazz, and I love them, but I've read that Washburns don't take too kindly to all that tension. After doing some research I'm leaning towards tapewounds. I've also read that Labellas can be very girthy and require nut widening, and I'd like to avoid that. I'm not opposed to nickel if the tone is right. The tone I'm after dark and on the mellow side.
  2. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
  3. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    Sounds like youre on the right track
    One sound i enjoyed that fits that were the Tru-bass tapewounds
    On a shortscale abg
  4. D'Addario Tapewounds are standard-gauge. I'm looking at a set of D'Addario Half-Rounds for my Ibanez AEB5E.
  5. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    Status Graphite are nice tapewounds
  6. chiron_griffin


    Apr 19, 2012
    On tapewounds I was torn between the Rotos and the D'Addarios. Like I said, I love my Chromes, so I'm naturally inclined to lean towards D'Addarios. I've read a lot of good about the Tru Bass, but the tension is a tad bit more than the D'Addarios. Not sure why I put nickel earlier, when the current strings are definitely phosphor bronze.
  7. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I absolutely love chromes on my ABG, totally different character than flats on an electric bass. It's not a dark sound though, it's actually a very full range sound with a strong attack. If you want thick and dark, go for tapewounds.
  8. I see you have a "Cheap Ibanez ABG." Is that the AEB5E? I have one, and I'm avidly searching for a new set of strings.
  9. RxFunk


    Dec 2, 2012
    I used to have the same bass, and I had D'addario XL nickel wounds on it, it sounded pretty nice.
  10. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Yep that's the one. I love the Chromes on it to death, but I would actually prefer something with a bit less midrange emphasis, possibly Roto 77s or the new Fender Flats. All of these strings are very high tension but IME the increased overtones and larger mass of the string make the bass much louder than a slinkier set of flats do. I can keep up with 2 acoustic guitars and a harp easily(in a reasonably quiet room). I had a dead set of Roto 66s and some Ernie Ball bronze strings on it for a while, and they sounded nice but I really prefer the absence of finger noise on an ABG.
  11. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    I liked Tapes on my Godin A4. LaBellas, Fender, D'addario or GHS.

    Whatever you do, don't get bronze. I liked low tension flats too.
  12. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    All I use on all my basses(4) one of which is a Michael Kelly Club Custom 5 are LAbella Tape wounds, Best price Carvin.com
  13. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    D'Addario tapewounds, 50-105. Very low tension strings.
  14. chiron_griffin


    Apr 19, 2012
    I'm still torn on this decision, which is terrible because I'm really hating these nasty old bronze strings. I've been playing the Washburn almost exclusively since I got it, and I really like the idea of tapes. Though every time I pick up my VM Jazz I'm reminded of how much I love Chromes. I have yet to find any tapewounds in my local music shops, but I could snag a set of Chromes today. ugh, decisions decisions.
  15. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    Try something new - go for the tapes. love the woody tone I get from my Guild with tapes.
  16. heynorm


    Oct 21, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    My wife loves the LaBella black nylons on my Ibanez acoustic bass.
  17. dcarwin


    Feb 11, 2013
    I like TI flats on mine. Low tension, less fret noise.
  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I've been using GHS 3060 Tape Wounds on my Tacoma Thunderchief. With a bit of EQ they sound very upright-ish (and I play the upright bass). Relatively inexpensive, too, but last a long, long time.

    I have a new set of Thomastik Acousticores for sale if you're interested. I wasn't crazy about them, but lots of players love 'em.
  19. chiron_griffin


    Apr 19, 2012
    I like the idea of the Thomastik Acousticores, but I'm not crazy about bronze, and have lusted after their flats, but being as big a noob as I am, I haven't been able to bring myself to justify their price tag. I almost went for tapes on my Jazz but decided on flats. I'm leaning toward the D'addario tapes mostly because I don't want to widen the nut as I've heard is required of Labella and GHS. So those of you that have used them, did you have to widen the nut or were you fine leaving it be?

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