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Sunbeams vs. Nickel LoRiders for fretless

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by OldogNewTrick, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Sunbeams

    34 vote(s)
  2. Nickel LoRiders

    11 vote(s)
  3. skip those, move straight to TI Jazz flats

    8 vote(s)
  1. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    still looking for the "perfect" string for my fretless...

    bass: 34" 5 string walnut/maple/walnut body, NT maple neck, ebony fingerboard, Delano Xtender pickup

    tried so far: DAddario XL & Half Rounds, Elixir Nano - greatly prefer tapered B strings

    which string should I try next? Sunbeams or Nickel LoRiders? Is the B-string tapered ?

    thx all :cool:
  2. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    I voted for Sunbeams. If you prefer higher tension, you might want to consider D'addario chrome flats though. Still bright, and the ability to do totally noiseless unison octave/fifth slides up or down the fretboard without any noise at all is kinda' cool. The TI jazz flats on fretless were extremely boring sounding to me.
  3. jebmd

    jebmd Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Lothian, Maryland
    +1 for the Chrome flats. I love them for fretted and fretless.
  4. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    I like all three of the choices and would have to say it depends on the particular instrument and your personal tastes.

    Some strings just get along better with a particular bass. There's no real way to figure otu which one is the "right" string without trying them. This is one of the reasons I tend to hang on to old strings.

    Oh, and don't forget about tapewounds.
  5. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    huge Sunbeam fan here. All my fretlessessess have them.
  6. Lowest End

    Lowest End

    Mar 20, 2010
    I wandered through the wilderness of strings for my fretless until I discovered the Sunbeams... and haven't looked back.

    I've used the lo-riders on my fretted Warwick and found them to be a bit too clicky for the band I was playing with.
  7. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I am a believer that each bass has the perfect set of strings for it. But the Sunbeams always seem to sound great on fretless. I presently have a modded Corvette and they have all the tone, mwah and growl that I could want.
  8. SquierBender


    Oct 22, 2009
  9. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    interesting.... thanks for taking the time to respond.

    at this point the poll stands at
    4 - Sunbeams
    2 - NLoRiders
    1 - TI Jazz flats

    opinions expressed by posters
    5 - Sunbeams
    0 - NLoRiders
    0 - TI Jazz flats
    3 - D'Ad Chrome flats

    - do Sunbeams have a taperwound B-string ?
    - has anybody played both the Nickel LoRiders and the Sunbeams, what is their tonal difference ?
    - Is the tension of the hexcore LoRiders significantly higher than the roundcore Sunbeams ?

    The TI flats option was an afterthought, as I wanted to explore DR's next... there are umpteen threads where they receive lots of love for fretless, yet here 3 posters rave about the Chromes.... I am intrigued - any sound sample, player reference, maybe a youtube clip you can point me to ?

    More opinions please !

  10. hoopskidoodle


    May 1, 2010
    I'm new to bass, but I've been a Thomastik-Infeld guy for years.
  11. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Didn't try the LoRiders, but Sunbeams for me all the way!
    (to answer - they do not have taper on the B)

    TI flats did not do it for me on fretless - not enough mwah.

    Give Sunbeams a try, for couple of bucks you might find your favourites.
    If by any chance you don't like them on fretless, they are great for jazz bass as well.
  12. SteveD


    Feb 20, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    Interesting that there seems to substantial agreement here. I have an old fretted Jazz and a MIM fretless. Favorite strings for both are Sunbeams. I need the low tension on the old Jazz, helps the neck.

    Second fav on the fretless are the Chromes, might try those again now that I have used the 'beams for a while.
  13. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    After having tried several different sets of strings on my fretless, I finally settled on GHS Pressure Wounds, and it sounds outstanding.

    Chromes were pretty good on it, but they were a little too thumpy for what I wanted on that bass. I tried several different sets of rounds, but they were all too zingy and bright. The Pressure Wounds sit right in between, tonally.

    FWIW, the next ones I was going to try were Sunbeams, but once I put the Pressure Wounds on it, I stopped fiddling with it, smiled, and played the heck out of it.

    The bass in question is a fretless P-clone with a Duncan Quarter Pounder (SPB-3) in it.
  14. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Providence, RI
    THIS^^^^ I actually think that GHS Pressurewounds are just as zingy and give me just as much mwah on my SR5 fretless as Sunbeams did, but they are considerably kinder to my fingerboard.
  15. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    There's no tapered Bs on either the Sunbeams or the Lo-Riders. The only tapered DR strings are the Longnecks.
  16. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Partial to the DR coated strings for my fretless
  17. Nice timing! I scored a free set of SunBeams and have been thinking about putting them on the fretless. I'm going to do that based on the talk here.
  18. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I like Sunbeams on most of my fretless.
    They do not have a tapered B.

    On one of my fretless, I use Ken Smith Compressors (also great strings). The DO have a low B, but it's .125.

    The non-tapered .130 on the Sunbeams kills the .125 tapered Ken Smith.
    I'd love to find a tapered .130 nickel string to try with the KS's, but have not yet found one.
  19. I voted for Sunbeams, they are what I use now for fretless. I tried TI flats on my fretless and didn't care for them as much as I thought I would. I love TI flats but they didn't growl like I wanted. Sunbeams do, and they are more flexible than Lo-Riders which I also prefer for fretless.
  20. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    thank you for the useful advise.

    at this point the poll stands at
    8 - Sunbeams
    4 - NLoRiders
    3 - TI Jazz flats

    opinions expressed by posters
    9 - Sunbeams
    0 - NLoRiders
    1 - TI Jazz flats
    3 - D'Ad Chrome flats
    2 - GHS Pressure wounds
    1 - DR Coated

    GHS Pressurewounds - AFAIK they are only available as 4-string set, that that would rule them out....
    Nobody has any 1st hand experience with the the Nickel LoRiders ?

    How do you find the B string of the Sunbeams?
    Do you prefer 40-60-80-100-120 or 45-65-85-105-125 or should I use the 130 and why?

    Of the sets I've tried, the D'Addario ENR Nickel Half Round 45-65-80-100-130(T) had the best B-string note definition, intonation and clarity - outstanding. The other strings were pretty okay, but I didn't like the grabby feeling on my left hand and the were a pain to tune as the windings were grabby in the nut. But the B-string was the best I played on fretted and fretless, remarkable.

    The timber choices of my bass, with the NT neck make it very different from a Fender(ish) Bolt-on. Also the Delano Xtender pickup is much more in your face than your average soapbar. Plenty of mids with strong bass and extended treble. My Human Base Daily front, body and back.

    My current favourite fretless tone is Kai Eckhardt with McLaughlin and Gurtu on Live at the Royal Festival Hall.

    Your advise is appreciated - keep them coming.


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