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What Six String sets do people use?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Marty Forrer, Oct 30, 2000.

  1. Just curious as to what strings people are using on their sixes. I dont like too much top end, and find Slowounds pretty good for this. I would'nt mind finding a set with a tighter B string, though.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've also used the SlowWounds sets on 6-string bass - no problems with getting a tight B though. In my experience, this is more down to the bass than the strings though. I think John Turner mentioned somewhere else that he thinks it is due to the rigidity of the neck and I am fairly convinced it is down to the construction of the bass (the neck especially) and that the strings you use don't have much effect on this - unless you do something extreme with them. Like, using non-standard gauges or tunings will almost certainly make this problem worse! ;)
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I use Ken Smith Stainless .125 - .028, good balance of bright tone, long life and moderate price. I used to use some strings marketed under the Trace name but can't seem to find them in the states anymore.
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    The lught guage LaBellas Hard Rockin Steels on my Tune just rule. They wre on there when i got it, and they are STILL just as bright, and they are just perfect on the ebony board. No way im changing brands on this!

    Fodera and Modulus both make killer strings. The Modulus strings only come in nickel, but wow, total funk strings. And the Foderas last forever...even in stainless!
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    When I had a 6 I put some carvins on it and I felt they sounded decent but went dull too quickly. I think Ken Smiths would be a better choice.

    Will C.:cool:
  6. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    The same happened to me. I bought 3 sets of Carvin strings for my Cort Curbow, and I begun to feel that the B string is getting Dull and also the C string.
    I have em on my bass for about 3 weeks or a Month, im not pretty sure.
    What I've found is that this Nickel strings are way too flexible and this affects if you play hard, this translates into a little more fretbuzz due to the extra movement of the strings.

    I also use Fodera's and like somebody say , they last forever. In fact they last longer than any string set that I 've ever used. This applies for 4,5,6 string sets. I use Stainless Steel Fodera's.
  7. Interesting. A trend seems to be starting here. Stainless outlasting nickel? I live in New Zealand, and no-one imports Fodera or Ken Smith strings here. I've got some Dean Markleys ordered, CR2000's, would you believe the agents have never imported a 6 string set until I ordered them. I read a good review, but have to wait for them to know whether the review was on to it. I like Ernies, but they dont do a 6 string set. Has anyone tried the Warwick Black Label in a 6?
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    My experience has been completely different - the stainless steel strings I have tried have been very bright - too bright for me! But then they have gone off pretty quickly. Whereas the nickel SlowWounds I use are never too bright and last for months. I used to always have to change stainless steels within a month, but the D'Addario SlowWounds stay good for over 6 months.

    I can appreciate what you're saying about living outside the US - in England the shops don't import many different makes from the US and those they do are very expensive. I now get all my strings of the internet at about half the price I was paying. Ironically, now I can afford to buy more sets, I have found a set that lasts so long I don't need to!

    I get my sets from SheetMusicPlus who seem to be pretty good on shipping abroad and have a huge range. Some of the others I have looked at, don't ship outside the US or charge a lot for doing so.
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Nono, i didnt mean that stainless lasted longer, i just meant that those two brands have steels that last a very long time...for steels.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The Smiths last pretty good, but the Traces that I used to get lasted longer.
  11. I guess it's down to personal body chemistry. I was talking to a friend who loves DR's but kills them stone dead in ONE gig! Seems the ph factor of his sweat just destroys strings! Thanks for the lead Bruce. Price is not a problem for me as I work in a music shop and can get stuff at a great price (!), but as you say, outside of the US is difficult. I'll check that site to see if there are any brands that are available there, but not in NZ. BTW, where do ya live? I come from Richmond, Surrey, albeit a very long time ago. My stepson and two nephews are currently living in London, making heaps of money!
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I live in Brighton on the South Coast - I have driven through Richmond - mostly an area for the very wealthy now!

    I am constantly amazed at how much cheaper things like strings, tuners etc. are on the internet now - I think it's going to make it very tough for music shops to make a living in future. I would still never buy an instrument though, no matter how cheap!
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I like the Labella's but the set I installed had a tapered B which caused some setup headaches on my Alembic Epic 6. Great strings, though.
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i've used dean markley sr2000's on my 7 and 8 strings for a few years now - they are nicely bright while still having a deep low end and pronounced midrange, which i like (help to cut through 2 guitar/synths) and they last me about 40 hours of playing time, before they get too dull for me.

    they also intonate very well, better than the other sets that i have used (d'addarrio prisms, labella, ken smith, and dr). i used to use the trace strings, they had a good 6 string set and then i would add the 7th string, and i thought they were pretty good, although not as bright and tonal as the dean markleys.

  15. I just buy four or five string sets when they are on sale. and then buy the "C" and "F" strings six at a time from my local music store. Dean Markley sr2000's or D'Addario xl's work for me. The small strings are only a dollar or two each so you can save money and get the guages that you will use.
  16. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    On my Modulus 6 string fretless, I've got Elites flats, which sound amazing and have lasted over a year thus far - I'm thinking of changing them soon, but only out of guilt at having the same strings on the for that long! :oops:) I've got Elites on all my basses, and am well happy - over the years I've tried various things, and really like the D'addario nickles that I was using when I was at college, but for the last 7 years, save for one set of Trace strings when I ran out on tour (euch, gross strings), and a set of D'addario prisms just as an experiment (nice strings but too expensive and the E wasn't long enough for the Modulus), I've had Elites on everthing...


  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Not trying to be confrontational or anything - just to point out how subjective this all is - but I really hate the Elites Stainless Steel strings.

    They feel very abrasive under my fingers and sound too bright and scratchy, whereas the D'Addarios sound and feel exactly how I want strings to. I must admit that I've never tried flats on anything, as I like the harmonics you get with roundwounds.

    I'm too polite (alright cowardly!) to say this to people in the Bass Centre in Wapping, as they always say "we've put on a new set of Elites as well", when I buy a new bass or take one in for something. I can't wait to get home with the bass and take them off and replace them with Nickel Slowounds. I know they mean well and are trying to give a better service, so I feel that it would be mean to complain about this.

    The last time I was in there and talking to the guy who does setups (is it Chris, I'm awful with names!)he asked what strings I had on my Tobias and he mentioned how nice they felt. I sort of felt like a traitor!

    I did use Elites for quite a while, as D'Addarios were so expensive (£46 for a 6-string set)in comparison, but now I can get them from the internet,I don't think I'll ever go back to them - as I said, I was changing every month; but this might be the difference between flats and roundwound, nickel and stainless steel.

    We have so many choices nowadays and I suppose it's down to finding what suits you in terms of sound and feel.

    PS - if anyone in the UK,wants a new 5-string set of Elites Stadium stainless steel strings, I could send them to you, as I keep getting given them!
  18. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hehe, I used to use the Elite stainless, and liked that abrasive industrial feel, especially when 'rocking out' :oops:)

    The Nickels are a lot slicker, more like the D'addarios, and the flats are rather obviously flat (though they are 'more' flat that a lot of flats that have a rough texture... if that makes sense...)

    Odd that you mention harmonics - I get the best harmonics on any of my basses on the 6 with the flats - much better than on my four string fretless with nickel rounds...

  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This is the standard argument that you get for using roundwounds to get that "Jaco" sound. I can imagine that the natural harmonics would be unaffected, but that artificial harmonics are easier on roundwounds than flats. This has been my experience in trying different basses - the higher artifical harmonics like the "Birdland" intro don't jump out on flats, like they do with rounds.

    I also do a bit of slapping in the main group I play with and feel that the sound is crisper on roundwounds and that this is to do with the different harmonic content of the strings - harmonic signature? Difficult to describe, but I just feel that you hear more harmonic and less fundamental.
  20. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I can do a great version of the Birdland into on my flat-equipped 6! :oops:) I honestly get much clearer artificial harmonics on the flats than with rounds (and I use artificial harmonics all the time...) I think the strange thing with flats is that because they respond differently, it takes a while to adjust to the technique required...

    But I'll go with you on the slapping - I do slap flats and it's cool, but it's not the 'slap sound' that people are looking for...



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