The new era of Blue Steels

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bruiser Stone, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    It is my understanding that Dean Markley has outsourced its winding to Apex, a different company with mixed results.

    Just because we all need another strings post, why then am I loving them on my P bass? I bought several sets of them along with other new/used sets from a fellow TB’er, and they put up just enough resistance for my plucking hand and are just easy enough for the fretting appendage for me to become very enamored with them. A tad more polite than fresh Rotos with a little more bottom end. Was the ‘old’ formula that much better? These are pretty darn good rounds.

    Food for discussion I suppose.
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Apex was started by Dean Markley employees in the original winding plant when Dean Markley closed it down. They went through several winding companies so it makes sense for them to go to Apex if they have done that.
     
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  3. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I’ve heard some negative reflections, and the ones I have are no silks, but I like ‘em. Just curious if the old ones were that much more.
     
  4. Apex was started up by a few of the people who used to work for Dean Markley. But this is the first time I've heard of current Dean Markley brand being outsourced to Apex. Where did you get the info?
     
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  5. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I did a search under Blue Steels here and found Apex mentioned. One of my favorite late bassists, Mars Cowling, was a Blue Steels user. As I understand it, DM outsourced winding to Apex, or at least to somewhere different a few years ago, and it seems to be a consensus that QC had suffered. It hasn’t on the set I just installed, but maybe I’m mistaken regarding the facts.
     
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  6. I know Apex make Cryos strings which is very Blue Steelish. I wonder if that is the link? I do know BrentSimons has tried Apex Cryos.
     
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  7. Used a ton of the Dean Markley Blue Steels in the days of regular gigging... they are in my top 2 all - time favorites.

    Where can we source the new Apex Blues?
     
  8. I was originally a Rotos guy... but then I fell in love with the original Blue Steels.
    So I was pretty bummed when I heard they were no more. Than I heard ( on Talkbass) that Apex had reintroduced them. Haven't had a set of the new ones yet, but I hope they're at least close to the old ones.
     
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    More choices = better because more musicians can find their favorite.
    Too deep in the thread to not have a pic of a really nice figured bass. What’s up?
     
  10. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    This is great news...I used them 20 years ago or more, and switched to SR2000's which became my favorite string for 20 years until they too became ridiculously inconsistent. Here's hoping Apex will or has fixed that.
     
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Googling the address of the old Dean Markley plant shows that it is now a plastic injection manufacturing company so I guess Apex didn't re-open the Dean Markley American Windings plant after all.
     
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  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

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  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    I used Blue Steel for a long time, until i no longer got them on a 2 for 1 deal.
     
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  14. cornfarmer

    cornfarmer jam econo Supporting Member

    May 14, 2002
    Interesting....I remember liking Blue Steels a lot during my first few years of playing/learning. Will have to try out these Apex's once I run through my bulk stock.
     
  15. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I’ve been busy and unable to chime in. Just to clarify: I bought unused sets from a fellow TB’er who had a stash of them, so they’re not brand new. They still say Dean Markley, but they don’t have blue silks (did they in fact have blue silks in the past?)

    I don’t want to spread any bad information and start an unfounded rumor. Were the silk-less Blues manufactured before or after Apex?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  16. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I’m back home and thought a couple of pics could clear things up. No mention of Apex on the package, but it does reference a Cryo-Tech process. Again, no silks.

    E3456763-436A-4459-A3B2-0B81948E5274.jpeg B3BE7B2B-FCE7-4B1A-84A3-D1E5D5B17659.jpeg
     
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  17. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I’d be curious where you heard this, as I was told elsewhere. From what I understand, Apex is a small shop (a handful of ppl at most) that wouldn’t have the manpower to take on a Private Label like DM. But maybe?
     
  18. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I really hope I haven’t diverted anyone into a dead end. I was just curious because I really like what I’ve purchased, but thought perhaps the Blue Steels I have are not what they used to be. Perhaps Apex has nothing to do with the latest incarnation. Here’s a few of the threads that informed my post:

    Dean Markley Blue Steel 2676 unavailable

    Amazon Dean Markley Blue Steel, do these look genuine?

    what happpened to Dean Markley bass strings. Blue Steel?

    SOLD - Original NOS Dean Markley Blue Steel LOWERED PRICE 2nd time (seller mentions it’s an old set before they changed the way they make them)

    Dean Markley SR2000 QC issues?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  19. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    None of those threads say anything about Apex making strings for DM after they were sold. I don't think Apex is involved with DM, save for being founded by the shop manager of American Winding (the name of the string factory DM owned at one time).

    And no, the Blue Steels made now are similar, but probably not exactly like they were. DM's been sold twice (I think; at least once) and who knows how accurate the specs were kept.

    I would wager the Apex Cryo's are closer to the orig DM Blue Steel than what's being made at present.
     
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  20. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I appreciate the correction. I’m assuming the loss of silks came after DM was sold, but if I like them, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I may try to grab a set of the Apex Cryo in the near future to compare.
     
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