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The perfect string?

Discussion in 'Sadowsky Basses' started by Jerry Ziarko, May 9, 2010.

  1. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Whenever I have acquired a new bass, I've always started the search for the "perfect" brand/type of stringsfor that particular instrument. While it is truly a subjective thing, I've always found one string to excel. What sounds good on one bass often is a very bad choice for another.

    When I purchased my MV5 here on TB, the first thing I did was change the strings from what had been on there to a set of High Beams. (my perfect choice for my M5-24) Great tone and familiar feel what more could I ask for, or so I thought. For kicks, a friend let me take an old set of LaBella flats to try. Since it's been many years since I've played flats, I was amazed how good they felt, and more amazed on how good they sounded on that bass. Normally, as I said, I find one match to be the best, but my MV5 seems to be perfect with each.

    I remembered that when I bought the bass, it had a "used" set of Sadowsky Blue Labels on it. I dug them out and did the alcohol bath for a day to remove some of the old gunk, etc. From the fist note after re-stringing the bass, I was floored. The perfect match may have been there from the start. The fullness of the mids just kills with this combination. I had a gig last night, and I honestly don't know if the bass could have sounded better.
    My conclusion in all this is, first off, I have a wonderful sounding instrument, that takes on a whole other personality depending on the type of string. Secondly, the ash/maple/Blue Label combo is a killer. And lastly, for my MV5, I think I've found the perfect string. (then again, I NEED to try Sadowsky flats....:D)
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Excellent. It's always nice to find that perfect match!


    There are a number of brands that I like in general: Sadowsky, DR, Rotosound, Labella, Ken Smith, Elixir. But when it comes to finding my favorite for a particular bass, they vary even within the same brand. For instance most fans of Sadowsky strings realize there are significant differences in feel and/or tone between nickel and steel, black label and blue label. On my alder/maple Sadowsky P5 I tend to like the richer mids of the blue labels, but I have to get used to the difference in feel: the blue labels are looser/less stiff than most brands, including the black labels. I still have the bad habit of digging in more at the gig, so that's when the difference in feel becomes most apparent.
  3. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    It's funny you would mention that. In most cases I like strings with high tension, and I did notice the Blue Label SS were looser than I'm accustomed to. With that said, I did stay aware that I needed to lighten up the right had a tad. (IMO a good thing!) When I felt I was digging in too hard, I reminded myself to back off. Of course that only lasted a few tunes.:D The result was kind of surprising as well. When I maintained a nice medium even attack, the notes seemed to be fuller, especially past the 7th fret on the G string.
  4. marchone


    Nov 30, 2009
    It's always been that way for me. Even in full band rehearsals vs solo practice. I've always assumed it was normal.
  5. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    While on this subject, does anyone know what the default strings are that Metro's are shipped with at the moment? (I'm assuming they're Blue Label Stainless Steel 40-60-80-100, is this right?)
  6. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    Blue Label 45-105.

  7. I enjoyed the blues that came on my RV5. I ordered the equivalent set of blacks from the Sadowsky website just as an experiment and I think I'm going to make another big order because the blacks are great. They are more tense, and from what I've experienced provide a tighter, more even B string.
  8. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
  9. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    My two Sadowskys are always strung with Blue Label nickels and Sadowsky flats. Usually flats for the PJ and rounds for the J4.
  10. JansenW


    Nov 14, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    I switched my Vintage RevPJ5 to Sadowsky flats and now won't switch to anything else.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with your comments on tone. The problem for me is that the band I gig with most plays harder rock (Van Halen to Metallica) so digging in makes sense. My other bands play classic rock/blues/r&b, where it's easier (for me) to lay back.

    Once my next Sadowsky arrives, a solution would be to keep blue labels on one for r&b, and stiff strings on the other for rock. But I placed the order in February so I won't get it for months yet.
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I think it is normal for most of us, whether from adrenaline or intensity or whatever. I don't mean to say that it's wrong to dig in. Plenty of great players do... there was Jamerson, of course, and I just read (in BP?) that Mike Watt sets his basses with high action for greater dynamic range: the string won't bottom out when he digs in.

    That said, playing with a lighter touch is less likely to cause physical problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome. That's the only reason I said it was a bad habit.
  13. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Believe it or not, I read an article recently that said Jamerson, contrary to popular belief, used an extremely light touch with his right hand. It was how he was able to keep his attack so bouncy while only playing with one finger.
  14. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Something I should mention in this thread re. Sadowsky strings - I ordered a 5 pack from the Sadowsky store late on sunday night, and I received them via FedEx first thing this morning.
    Considering I'm based in the UK, a waiting time of just over 2 working days is amazingly fast - much faster in fact than any UK online string store I've used in the past! - and compared to UK prices the 5 pack, including shipping costs, still cost about half of what it would have cost me here. This is not only great customer service, but it's excellent value for money too. I'm really impressed - we're really not used to this kind of CS over here, especially when it comes to online orders.
  15. jmeyers44


    Sep 20, 2008
    Would anyone on here use a 45-100 guage Sadowsky string if he offered it?
  16. Not if there are strings attached.

    I figure if I need to buy strings, I might as well buy from a guy I know and love.

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