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Time to go exploring

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Mharris, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Mharris


    Sep 25, 2007
    Missoula Montana
    So for the 8 some years I've been playing bass, I've been using D'Addario strings, always the XL's; I sometimes change gauges for no apparent reason but I've found that I'm very fond of the 165's (.45 .65 .85 .105). I've tried a few other brands in my day but to my dismay, without much luck. It's been so many years I can't really remember the kinds I tried although I do remember giving the Blue Steels a shot...

    I remember I really liked the tone but the steel ate the meat right off the bone of my fingers. I've got a skin condition that for some reason finds the underside of my hands a good place to call home. In other words, my skin is sensitive. Anyway, after the initial newness wore off, I found the Blue Steels to be very flat and dead. I remember this happening only a day or two of pretty intense playing. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed and since then I've been very hesitant to purchase anything outside of what I'm comfortable with.

    Now keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with the strings I've been using, I like them very much. However, I can't help but feel that after all these years that it's time to try something new. Who knows, maybe there is something I may like even more out there. I'm still very unlikely to buy any steel strings because they wear on my hands to much (unless Blue Steel's are somehow different in that respect??).

    So to the point: Does anyone have any recommendations for nickel (roundwound) strings? Maybe somewhat similar to the D'Addarios? It's worth noting here that I've got active electronics on my bass, and all through my signal I've got plenty of room for EQ flexibility. I was thinking about the GHS Boomers or perhaps the Rotosound RS66LD Long Scale Swing 66 strings (assuming they are nickel... I couldn't really find any info with a short search).

    I play a little of everything although I do minimal slap/pop.

    Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. For a nickel string, I really like the DR SunBeams. I can't say how they compare to the D'Addario strings because I haven't tried that brand in a very long time.
  3. Mharris


    Sep 25, 2007
    Missoula Montana
    Any particular reason you use DR Sunbeams?
  4. I started using DR SunBeams a few years ago when I got tired of the ultra-bright sound of stainless steel strings. Someone recommended DRs as a long lasting string. I found that they did have the darker sound that I was looking for (not dead sounding, just more warm and bassy than "zingy") but seemed to maintain that sound for a very long time before I felt like they needed changing. Obviously, for players that prefer a really bright sound, nickel strings like the SunBeams are not the way to go. YMMV. Due to limited selection at my local music stores I have actually been using the DR "Long Neck Tapered Stainless Steel" strings for a while, but I definitely want to go back to the SunBeams on my next set. I just need to find a good place to order them online. Oh, one more thing -- the SunBeams (and the stainless Hi-Beams) use a round core which gives a different, more flexible, feel on the fingers compared to the stiffer hex-core strings. (Most bass strings are hex-core, if I'm not mistaken.) It's hard to describe the difference clearly, and it's all highly subjective, but I did notice it, and like it, when I first tried the SunBeams. Here's the DR site if you feel like reading their ad copy... :meh:
  5. mr sprocket

    mr sprocket

    Jul 31, 2006
    I add a recommendation for Sunbeams. I have used D'Addario and Ernie Ball nickel strings before. I like the warmth of nickel strings, seems you can get a wide range of sounds. The round core and nickel are almost like playing butter.
  6. Mharris


    Sep 25, 2007
    Missoula Montana
    Sounds appealing. Now hopefully they've got them available at at least one of the music stores around here...:meh:
  7. Lucas G

    Lucas G

    Jan 14, 2007
    masury, OH
    sensitive hands? try elixirs! they are smooth as can be. last forever, too. and they come in your 45-105 gauge. definitely give them a shot!

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