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What is your favorite all-around string, and why?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Dan_reeves, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    Since a lot of string threads tend to turn into folks sharing their favorites, I thought I would start a thread where that is the express purpose of the thread. That, and I know with COVID that some of you have mentioned you have tried some new stuff in your off time, and so perhaps your preferences have changed. Also, I realize this has been done before, but I haven't seen it recently so just thought I would start it again.

    For the most part, my favorite all-arounder has been Daddario nickel XLs. They are not necessarily the best at everything, but for me, they have been adequate for most things, are very consistent and tend to wear well. Given that, though, I am currently back with some flats and trying the GHS Precisions, the 95's. What about you, what is your favorite all arounder? If it is more than one, that's cool too - please, if you could, briefly share why. Thanks for indulging me on a slow day. :)
  2. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Over the years I have determined that there many great strings out there. However for me DR Hi Beams are my favourite strings. I think I just understand them well and can make them work in most situations.

    Runners up are Cobalt rounds and DR Pure Blues. My favourite flats are TI Jazz Flats or LaBella DTF’s, usually the FL set. I rarely play flats now because of set list choices.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    I've been using the Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky orange set (45-105 nickel round) for quite a long time now. I like rounds because to me flats are lifeless. I like nickels because the steels are too bright. I like the 45-105 set because thinner strings don't have enough low end on the lower strings, and thicker strings don't have enough high end on the higher strings when I slap (yes, I still slap). I like the Slinky set because IME they have a very balanced frequency response (no dips or bumps), I can find them anywhere I travel in the world, unlike most of the other brands they come in a somewhat sealed package, and they are affordable.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Flats- TI JF344.
    Rounds- D'Addario Slowwound.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    TI jazz rounds. After years of playing them exclusively, I can't play anything else.
    e-flat, fermata, BrentSimons and 6 others like this.
  6. thabassmon


    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    Rounds - D'Addario Nickel XL Rounds
    Flats - Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats.

    I have found that these strings are easy to play, stay in tune, last a long time and sound good. My #1 (6 string) has XLs, my #2 (5 string) has TIs. I am really loving my TIs so much, that I will restring my #1 with TIs and change my #2 to the XLs.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  7. Jakeman

    Jakeman Soundman's Nightmare Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    A couple of years ago I put TI Jazz Flats on my fretless Precision on a whim. Now all 11 basses have them installed. Top notch, although my wallet is still recovering.
  8. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Webstrings Detroit nickels, medium 5 strings. The price is right, the sound ain't bad. I like 'em.
    BrentSimons, xbud and Dan_reeves like this.
  9. Az4stringer

    Az4stringer Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2018
    Tucson, AZ
    TI Jazz Flats JF344. Been using TIs for over 20 years. A little expensive compared to other string brands but they last a long time and get better with age.
  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Unless and until GHS starts making their Progressives 2.0, which I played the original versions almost exclusively for decades for their tone, longevity, relative low price, and feel, right now my main gigging strings that sound great on some of my basses and will do in a pinch on the rest of them are the D'Addario 170XLBT strings, adding a .130 B string (tuned up to C). They also have good, if not great tone (a little bit scooped, especially compared to the Progressives), good, if not great longevity, great relatively low price, and above average feel, and as consistent as a string can be, in all ways: set-to-set; tonally across the board and up the board; and even tension.

    But as set forth above, there is no one string set that sounds great on all basses, and yes, each of my basses actually is strung with a different set. But the thread is about favorites, which I take to mean all else being equal.
    Dan_reeves and smogg like this.
  11. Two rounds I've tried recently that I quite like are SIT Power Wound Nickels and GHS Bassics. I think they both make for great all-around strings. IIRC both are a bit cheaper than the commonly available D'Addario XL Nickels and EB Slinkys, and I like the SIT and GHS strings better. SIT Power Wounds especially.

    I am also a big fan of DR's offerings, both their round core and hex core strings.
    xbud and Dan_reeves like this.
  12. It's a no brainer for me. D'addario light gauge chromes. They are sooooo smooth on my fingers and I can get a sharp bright tone or a more vintage tone out of them. Love them, won't play anything else.:D
  13. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    D’Addario Nickel Rounds. Last a long time, a little easier on the fingers and frets, plenty o’ zing.
    Dan_reeves, StevieMac and thabassmon like this.
  14. muggsy


    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    TI flats, easy. Four of my six basses have them, and the only reason I put rounds on the other two is for variety. Expensive, yes, but you only take the hit once. I've never had to replace a set.
    Mili, uwrossl, kodiakblair and 2 others like this.
  15. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    GHS Precision Flats. Because That's what was on the rack at E.U.Wurlitzer's that day, maybe 1978? I've tried a few others, but always back to the Precision Flats.

    Upright, I use D'Addario Helicore Orchestra Medium A,D,and G. The E didn't work with my Krivo pickup, so I use a Jargar medium there. If I get sick of these, I'll call Gollihur and take their suggestion on some pricier, but better strings
  16. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Guess I haven't been playing long enough (only 53 years) to have figured it out. :D
  17. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Flats: TI Jazz Flats and Ernie Ball Slinky Cobalt Flats. I am used to the feel of the TI's and like the midrange complexity. The EB's have a bit of brightness which I like on certain basses.

    Rounds: TI Jazz Rounds: Good tone, feel, and longevity.
  18. I'm also a D'Daddario XL user for rounds. I think I've used them all in 40+ years, and I keep coming back. They're bright enough when new, priced well to change often when bright is needed, and age into a nice, smooth, fat tone as the brightness fades.

    I like Chromes on my flats basses, but I honestly haven't tried many brands of flats. I usually drop a gauge when switching from XL's to Chromes, ex:// 45 XL -> 40 Chrome. I'd like to give Thomastik a go sometime.
  19. dralionux


    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Ernie Ball Cobalt Flatwound
  20. Rotosound Swing Bass RS66 Steel 45-105. A real chameleon that can be warm, grindy, or smooth. Great feel, tension and grip.

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