1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

String recommendation needed - pickers only

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by brock29609, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    Coming out of a long bass retirement and I need a string recommendation.

    Not interested in any recommendations based on finger style. Pickers' comments only, please.

    This is for a P-bass with vintage voiced pickups. I want focused grrrrowllll that will cut through. A sinister sound that will scare small children. Don't have any sustain preferences. Nothing twangy. Woody sound is OK, as long as that wood has thorns. Snarl!

    I use a Fender medium pick, Genz-Benz head with 2 cabs (10 & 15 w/ tweeter).

    Not interested in changing instruments or pickups. I'll consider any string type.
  2. Three company's come to mind here is my pros and cons list:

    Rotosound (66): Pros, aggressive, growlly, cuts through mix. Cons overly bright not a lot of low end IMO

    LaBella (nickle): Pros, good full tone, lighter gauges get that growl. Cons not the longest life span IMO

    Circle K: Pros, versatile, long life, any gauge you are going to ever need, tone balances well string to string. Cons theirs only one place to get them, maybe not the growliest, idk it's hard to write a con list for my favorite strings.
  3. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    D'addario Pro-Steels, LaBella Stainless, Sadowski Black label steels. I can't get nickel to growl. Only thump and sizzle with large helping of mid scoops. ymmv.
  4. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    Am I right that steel is harder on fret than nickel?
  5. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Given same shape, yes. However, many SS roundwounds have been engineered to be easier on the fingers shape-wise, and presumably that makes them easier on the frets, too.

    I hear that Ernie Ball's Cobalts do what you want but mine are still sitting in a website cart :)
  6. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Roto Swing 66s and Labella Steels and the most snarling and aggressive strings that I've tried, 66s have more of a metallic grinding sound while the Labellas have more of a dark growl with a bit of grind on top. GHS B52s(steel wrapped with iron and nickel) have a really aggressive, metallic midrange character too but they aren't made anymore.

    These strings all have some twang though, until they die at least. The most aggressive sounding flats I've tried are Chromes, Fenders, and Sadowskys which won't have a twang but will develop into a mellow, un-sinister sound over time.
  7. bjelkeman

    bjelkeman Bass player wannabe Supporting Member

    May 9, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Earnie Ball Cobalts, not harsh on frets and has the sound to cut through the mix. They are by far my favourite.
  8. Low tension is the only way I have found (something like .090-.085 for E-string)
    Correct me if I'm wrong but "Shake Hands With Beef" has a growlly sounding bass line.
  9. fabubass


    Jan 13, 2006
    Chromes 100's sound great with a pick