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What's your Favorite Nickel Wound String?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bassworship1, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I've tried just about every string out there and have found a few sets to be better for me such as DR Pure Blues, Dunlop SB Nickels, and Fodera Strings. I wanted to see what other liked best and how long you normally get out of them before they die completely.
  2. GHS Round Core Boomers (nickel-plated steel) - 5 months so far, and no sign of wearing out anytime soon. I can usually go 6-8 months with NPS.
    GHS Pressurewounds (nickel-iron alloy) - The last two sets were both 12 mths old when I took them off, with still some life left.
    GHS Balanced Nickels (pure nickel) - At only 3 1/2 mths, they're still too new for any longevity assessment.
    sheltjo6, Arthur U. Poon and A-Ro like this.
  3. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I'll occasionally try other strings just to see what's out there but I keep going back to DR nickel Lo Riders for the warm low mids and highs that clear and smooth without being harsh, for the relatively stiff feel, and for the long life. I regularly leave them on for at least a year, but I like a warmer sound with less pronounced highs so they still sound great to me as they age and last a long time. If you like the zing of brand new strings, you probably won't get as much time out of them.

    That being said, I just put a set of GHS Pressurewounds on my Stingray as an experiment (influenced by @michael_t 's relentless plugging ;)). So far, no combination of bass and strings has satisfied me like my Stingray and nickel Lo Riders but, after using the Pressurewounds for about a week and a half, I'm really liking them. A lot. I'm not sure they're quite as stiff feeling as the Lo Riders, but so far they feel pretty good to me. And I also really like that the elliptical outer wraps reduce string noise and some of the initial zing of new roundwounds. They seem to be starting out sounding like a slightly aged nickel round and I'm looking forward to hearing how they change over time the next few months.

    I'm not in a band right now but have an audition with a group this Thursday, so I'll at least get an opportunity to hear how they sound in a band setting, even if it's only for an hour or so.

    If you like a less stiff feeling string, I loved the sound of DR Sunbeams and got long life out of them, too. I put them on a Warwick I had just gotten and they still sounded great when I sold the bass about a year and a half later. I thought their sound was pretty similar to nickel Lo Riders, which I think makes sense.
  4. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Sunny Beach
    On my Fenders I dig Fender 7150 rounds
    thanos k, Bassist30 and maplenecked like this.
  5. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    Fodera, I don't really see the need to change them. If I do, I'll change them, but I still like tone, so they stay.
    Arthur U. Poon and campbems like this.
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    For NPS roundwounds my favorites are:
    GHS Boomers
    EB Slinkys
    D'Addario XLs

    I've tried a set of Fodera Nickels, and they were awesome. Great tone and lifespan. I've always used hex core strings, so their round cores felt a little strange for my fretting fingers, but I think I could've gotten used to that.

    LaBella nickel plated roundwounds are also very good, IMO.

    My absolute favorite strings are GHS Pressurewounds, with have a nickel/iron outer wrap.
    maplenecked likes this.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I have tried them all. I always come back to the standard issue D'Addario XL.
  8. SIT Powerwound Nickels
    Fender 7250s
    GHS Pessurewounds
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  9. ScrewDevil

    ScrewDevil Guest

    Feb 18, 2018
    Tried D'addario's NYXL's. Wow! Believe the hype. They sound great, feel nice and stay in tune better than any other strings I've used.
    Valentino Barbuzza likes this.
  10. I have two favorites that I keep going back and forth with...

    -DR Nickel LoRiders
    -DR Pure Blues

    I'm two in a row with the Pure Blues - so they are my preference (at the moment).
    Valentino Barbuzza likes this.
  11. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I’m really liking Pure Blues myself and have used them on the last 5 basses I’ve had and all have sounded good.
  12. I use SIT semi flats on my five string and Ernie ball super slinkys on my 4 string.
    Both great strings.

  13. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I m really digging GHS Pressurewounds on my Jazz....I like standard Boomers and DR Lo-Riders as well.
    Arthur U. Poon and michael_t like this.
  14. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Anyone know the differences in Sunbeams and DR Pure Blues?
  15. Sunbeams = Nickel-plated Steel.
    Pure Blues = Nickel Alloy ("Quantum Nickel").

    To my ears, the Pure Blues are warmer, while the SBs have a high end that's a little more sparkly, though not harsh.
    campbems likes this.
  16. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Based on sheer numbers, it would have to be EB Hybrid/Regular Slinkys. However...
    1. Every new bass I buy (unless it has flats on it) gets a set of Slinkys as quick as I can get the others off. After that, I decide if that's how I want that bass to sound, or should I put something else on it. Most times, it's "something else", and that's usually flats/tapes. But, sometimes the Slinkys stay... nothing special about them, but they're inexpensive; readily available; they feel good (for rounds); and, for me, they're pretty long-lived. And they don't make me all itchy, like D'Addarios do...
    2. The only other nickel rounds I have on anything, are the Rickenbacker 95510 (40-95) Light Nickel Rounds. I really like those, and they've been on my 4003 since I bought it. Sadly, they were discontinued some years ago. I bought a bunch of them just before that happened; sadly, I'm on my last set. Their replacements will be Optima RB Flat wounds....:whistle:
  17. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Wow. I'd go the opposite. Sunbeams are pretty mellow for a roundwound. To me the Pure Blues are a pretty decent balance between the brightness of stainless and the feel of nickel. Sunbeams maybe sound a bit more full though.
  18. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    Standard GHS Boomers for me.

    For some reason D’Addario XLs and Ernie Ball Slinkies don’t feel the greatest on my fingers. I used to wonder if I had a minor nickel allergy...but Boomers feel fine to me. Its weird.
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  19. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

  20. Probably saying the same thing but I prefer Sunbeams over Pure Blues. To me the Sunbeams have a bit more presence or bite and sit better in the mix.
    michael_t likes this.
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