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Sunbeams vs. Silencers (oh no, not another vs thread!)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Dincrest, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Here's the story.

    I play a 1997 Warwick Corvette standard (bubinga) 4-string active. The best strings I've played on them, to my hands and ears, are SIT Silencers 45-100. They feel buttery smooth, do not ravage my fingers or frets, and the feel & tension are light enough for nimble riffing but have enough tension that it's not loose or floppy. In addition, the Silencers add warmth, fatness, and smoothness to my bass's tone.

    But me and my infinite fetish to try all kinds of strings wound up trying Ken Smith Compressors and I hated them. They were rough, coarse, stiff, and the tone was too twangy and nasal.

    Cut to now. I had to lose those Compressors and the strings I got from the music store were DR Nickel Lo-Riders. Certainly not my ideal like the SIT Silencers are in terms of feel and all that, but the Lo-Riders are really starting to grow on me. My first impression was "these strings are good, but not the holy grail everyone hypes them up to be" but they are growing on me enough that I'm contemplating trying a set of DR Sunbeams on my semi-annual pro setup this summer. And here I thought I was ready to stick with the winner (Silencers) but DR brings the stringpokemon "gotta try 'em all" fetish back.

    So who here has had experience with both the Sunbeams and the Silencers? How would you compare them in terms of feel (smoothness) and tension? Are they fret and finger ravagers or are they buttery smooth? Are the Sunbeams traditional roundwound or are they compression wound?

    I know the standard answer is probably going to be "try them under your fingers for yourself" but I still like to collect opinions before plunging into things. Part of me wants to stick with the winner, but part of me also likes to try things even though change can bring about failed experiments.
  2. I haven't tried Silencers, but I love the Sunbeams - they're smooth, bright and warm, and definately not nasal - I hate bright and nasal...and yes, they're compression-wound..
  3. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Thanks. Sounds as if I'd like them. As I said, the Lo-Riders are really starting to grow on me and really feel like a quality string that will last a hellishly long time. I tend to prefer compression/pressure or groundwound strings because they don't chew up my fingers or my frets. (The Ken Smith Compressors were quite rough on my fingers; moreso than even some stainless steel roundwounds I've tried.)

    I'm one of those guys who changes strings rather infrequently, and even at the 6 month mark, I still liked the "dead" tone of the Silencers; started out warm and fat and only got warmer and fatter. And I have heard it said that even when DR's are a few months old, they still sound good.

    And at bassguitarstrings.us, they're only a couple bucks more than the Silencers.
  4. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    The sunbeams and silencers are my newest strings!! I have a brice douglas 5 string that I just installed Bart's and a set of silencers. Great mwah sound and feels fairly smooth. Really like the tone. Only had them for 2 weeks but they keep sounding better as i play them. I had sunbeams on my Carvin lb75 and presently have a MTD Grendel 5. Put on the Sunbeams on yesterday and found them warm and punchy and especially even across the strings. They react positively no matter what I do to the controls. Happy with both of them and bought both strings specifically for the bass that it was going on. :hyper:
  5. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Gintaras- that's how I felt about the Silencers. Ever after 6 months when they were "dead" they still sounded great with loads of fatness and warmth. They were fat and warm to begin with, like a cozy woolly blankie, but as they aged became like that cozy woolly blankie that you've had since childhood.

    I should really quit my string shenanigans and stick with the winner. I love Silencers.

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