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Tapered vs. exposed core

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by OriginalCrash, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. I've read some on here about tapered and exposed core strings (though not near as much as the usual rounds and flats), and they're often talked about together. For those to whom the distinction might matter, though, I was wondering if we could, in one place, distinguish what are tapered strings and what are exposed cores. Rotosound's Piano String Design strings are exposed core. DR's Longnecks are tapered, I believe. Anyone else want to add?


    P.S. This wasn't intended to be a thread actually talking about the sonic differences between the two, but feel free to share your experiences... Though I wouldn't be surprised if there were more differences just from manufacturer to manufacturer than between the two string types.

    P.P.S. Here's what we've got so far...

    DR Longnecks [hex]
    La Bella Hard Rockin' Steels (E and B only)
    La Bella Slappers (all but G)
    Dean Markley SR2000's
    Ken Smith Taperwounds
    Sadowsky (B only)
    Dingwall (all but G)
    Pedulla (all but G)

    Exposed core:
    Rotosound Piano String Design [hex]
    Superwounds [hex?]
    La Bella Super Steps
    GHS Contact Core Super Steels (all but G)
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I'm not a fan of exposed core. I have a hard time getting them intonated, though I do use a Peterson Stroboflip, so unless it's perfect it bugs me now.
  3. twangchief

    twangchief Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    Altoona, PA
    Good idea! I would also think it would be great for TBers to indicate which strings of the tapered sets are actually tapered. Also, which brands have a taper long enough for string thru bridges.
  4. Anyone else? I did some searching... It seems La Bella Hard Rockin' Steels have tapered E and B strings. The La Bella Slappers are all tapered except for the G. The La Bella Super Steps and Dean Markley SR2000's are exposed core strings, according to what I found on here (but on DM's website, it said the SR2000's are tapered... can anyone confirm this?). Anyone else have any info/opinions to add?

  5. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    The SR2000's are tapered.
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I use and recommend Ken Smith Taperwounds. I've never had any trouble intonating them. I believe the taper is long enough to go through the body, but all my basses have tailpieces.

    I used exposed core superwounds for several years as I found I broke them less frequently than the rotos I used forever, but the Smiths smoke both IMO..they seem to last longer and break less often than the rotos or the superwounds.
  7. I've added a list to my original post that I'll keep updating as more is added...

  8. rsautrey

    rsautrey Inactive

    Jul 27, 2000
    Dean Markley SR2000 are taperwound. There is a thin winding over the core at the bridge on the E, A, and D strings. Superwound strings are no longer made. Rotosound (James Howe Industries) made both Rotosound and Superwound strings.
  9. So, counting the manufacturer, we've got, regarding the SR2000's...

    Tapered: 3
    Exposed core: 0

    For now, I'm going with the manufacturer...

  10. Wonder


    Dec 18, 2005
    I concur, KS tapered cores are Excellent...although I seem to have a tough time finding them so I usually opt for DR Fat Beams or Black Beauties. ;)
  11. Okay, now I'm even wondering about the Super Steps... Tapered or exposed? This looks like they're tapered, but it is just a picture of the box...

  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Ken Smith Tapercores are excellent (tapered BEAD; no reason to taper the G). I don't think they're designed for thru-body, but I've never noticed any advantage to thru-body stringing so this is a non-factor for me.

    I think Fender tapered strings are designed to work thru-body, but I don't think Fender offers a set with tapered A and D strings.
  13. Well, I thought I'd bump this thread again and offer my review of the Rotosound Piano String Designs (finally!). In short, I love 'em! I was worried about the installation, and while it was a pretty involved process and did strip my fingers bone dry by the end, it's in no way what I would call really difficult. As for the sound, they're bright but not overly clacky (as I was worried they might be on my maple Jazz). And they have great growl (which is exactly what I want out of my bass). The only problem I had was when detuning on the E string. Because they're exposed core, they sit lower on the bridge saddles. While I was able to dial out almost all the fret buzz with a decent (I think... first time trying) self-setup, I still got some when I would drop down to D (which we do on only two or three songs... and one of them is covered up with some pretty hefty breakup, so it's not too big a deal). Anyway, my first experience with exposed core strings has thus far been a good one (and an intense one... we played seven sets in four days).

  14. Freddy-G.

    Freddy-G. take your protein pills & put your helmet on Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    Duluth, Georgia
    OriginalCrash, I have a set of strings you can add to your list. My F Bass is strung with GHS Contact Core strings. These appear to be similar in design to the LaBella Super Steps, so I assume these are exposed core strings.

    I tend to keep the same type of string on a bass out of convenience (unless I want a radical change), since the setup time is greatly increased by switching from an exposed core string to a non-tapered string.
  15. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    DeanMarkley SR2000 ARE Taperwound.
    My favourite strings, with Sadowsky (only B tapered) and D'Addario Prosteels.

  16. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    My mistake. I remembered the SR2000's Will Lees to be virtually nothing over the bridge, so my memory told me they were exposed core. As you can see, they are not, but they are all tapered down to what looks to be the first winding. They aren't what I would call "tapered" in the true sense like some other strings, but essentially, they are what they are.

  17. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Yes, they are indeed some kinda hybrid...

  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Exposed cores sound good but hurt my hand when I palm mute. Tapers are usually better about that.
  19. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    List additions:
    Dingwall strings are tapered except for the G

    Pedulla strings are tapered except fort the G
  20. Questions... Since my experience with them so far is with the Rotosounds (which are adustable... so you can determine how far the exposed core extends past the bridge saddle), what's your experience with those that aren't adjustable? Are the exposed cores/tapered windings just set to a length that's pretty standard for most bridges, usually giving good results, or is it just hit and miss? The Rotosounds would work well for thru-body or thru-bridge... I'm guessing the non-adjustable choices wouldn't... more of an either/or thing. The only complaint I have with the Rotosounds is that the wound part of the string, between the exposed core and colored wrap, is 36 inches. So even if I didn't extend the core past the bridge saddle at all (and it's not like it extends very far), the string is too long for my 34" scale Jazz... The actual wound part of the E string wraps around the tuning post. Other than the fact that it just doesn't look right, I haven't noticed any adverse effect on sound, but it does annoy me. Unfortunately, Rotosound only makes the PSD's in one scale length. Does anyone know if I would have this same problem with some other other exposed core/tapered strings?

  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 15, 2021

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