Tone differences between Dunlop Nickels and D'addario XL nickels?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DLM, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    It's time for new strings that don't break the budget.

    I'd welcome a compare 'n contrast between these two strings on tone.

    I tend to play about 50/50 fingerstyle and slap.

    Thanks so much!
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    D'Addario's are bright and snappy.
    Dunlops are very muted and dull sounding.
  3. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    D'addario XL strings are nickel plated steel.
    They're going to be brighter than pure nickel.

    "D'Addario XL Nickel Wound Electric Bass strings are world-renowned as "The Player's Choice" amongst bass players of all genres and styles. All XL strings are precision wound on our exclusive digitally-controlled machines, ensuring each string has excellent intonation, clear fundamentals, and unparalleled consistency. Each string is wound with a nickelplated steel wrap wire known for distinctive bright tone with excellent magnetic output delivering a universally appealing and versatile tone for all playing styles."

  4. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Either are available on the cheap. I like Dunlop the best of these two choices. Daddarios are too nasally IMHO.
  5. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    That's just not true. Not at all. If Dunlop's sound that way to you, your amp settings are probably at fault.

    I played Dunlop for a long time. They are great sounding strings. They have a better low mid presence than D'Addario. I would describe them as classic sounding, but they are still quite sizzly. They also lasted a long time for me and still sounded good when they finally died. I can't say that about many brands of strings.
  6. Have you ever tried Carvin strings? They're made by LaBella and only like $15 a sets.
    I played them for years. When it comes to strings I've always been willing to pay a little more for better quality.
    Your strings effect your tone in a big way.
  7. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I used Dunlop nickels for a short time on my Spector Euro and I didn't find them terribly bright myself. Didn't care for them after the first few hours. For the price they're not bad but I'd take the XL's over them at the same price.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    lol! That's funny.
  9. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    +1. I purchased several sets of Dunlop Nickels when they were BOGO and my impression is they are extremely broken in sounding when new compared to D'Addario EXL Nickel. The D'Addario Nickel are some of the brightest out of the box nickels out there. Some folks say they die quick but I never had that experience.
  10. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    Thanks for all the input. Sounds like the tone opinions run the spectrum so it looks like I'll need to try them myself to gauge the brightness vs. the D'addarios.
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Which is better depends on the bass. My P loves XLs and my Js love dunlops. I also dont think dunlops are "dull". Just as bright as any other nickel set. You guys might have got a bum set. They have more mids and less true bottom than the XLs, and are a bit more flexible. The XLs have more of a shiny top and the dunlops are more of a broad natural brightness.
  12. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses

    Yeah I agree try them and see. If everyone here who says they didn't like them got a bum set, well that's a fair amount of bum sets. But thankfully they're pretty cheap so not much risk there. I just didn't like them after a few hours of use.