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What IS the nickel wound sound?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by KYJazzy, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. KYJazzy


    Nov 10, 2004
    Lexington, KY

    This has puzzled me forever. I need a clip or something. I've only played stainless steels and flats my whole bass career. Please enlighten me.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, it depends on the bass. My spector is modern, yet still warm, my jazz is big, ballsy and growly, my P basses are also pretty growly. They have a bit less snap that SS, and when they break in, they just sound so right.
  3. xparis001

    xparis001 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Providence, RI
    Senior Product Manager, Akai Professional
    They have a certain growl in the midrange you dont hear in stainless strings. less clacky and pingy than stainless, too.

    its funny, I used to think that there was some magic to ernie ball strings - they just sounded so much better to me than any strings I ever used at any price. I always thought they were stainless and magical, then i found out they were just nickel strings. I've been a convert ever since.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Steels tend to be more mid-scooped IME, whereas nickels help to retain that midrange.
  5. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    Stainless steel go clang, flats go thump, and nickels go bing.

    I prefer nickel plated steel, have for just around eternity if my math is right.
  6. I think nickles sound a lot like stainless with the high end rolled off a bit. They seem to bring out the midrange growl because of this.
  7. KYJazzy


    Nov 10, 2004
    Lexington, KY
    that was helpful, although I would still prefer an A/B clip or something between nickels and stainless steels. I mean in the end they're both roundwounds right? I want to ...understand what defines nickel strings. Can you hear a recording and say "oh yeah, those are nickels" ???
  8. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    I think nickel strings have a warmer sound. I've got stainless DR's on right now, but I prefer Bass Boomers or XL's. Nickel strings feel a lot better, too.
  9. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    There's a difference between nickel wound and nickel plated steel, I think a lot of people don't realize that. From what I've seen, most "nickel" strings on the market are actually nickel plated steel: DR, D'addario, GHS, etc.

    Nickel wrapped are a lot mellower than nickel plated, at least in my experience.
  10. I thought all nickels were plated. :meh: I must admit I never researched this subject.

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