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PJ-Bassist

What Strings Are Doing it For You?

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21 minutes ago, Jonny Boots said:

As we play the same style of music & similar types of bass I really appreciate your input. I've seen you comment on these strings before & just wondered what your previous faves were? I'm currently favouring Rotosound Roto Bass & wondered how the 2 compare?

Now that`s a coincidence, my previous faves were Rotosound steel rounds. Tone-wise really not much in it at all, when completely new maybe the Rotos were a tad brighter, but as us long-term Roto users know that doesn`t hang around for long at all. Under the fingers the Warwicks are slightly coarser than the Rotos if that can be believed, took a couple of weeks for my fingertips on my fretting hand to get used to them. But it`s the life of them, I used to get 3, maybe 4 weeks out of a set of Rotos as I need the fresh twangy sound, whereas the Warwicks are lasting me about 2 months, and this has been through the summer with the hot weather and sweaty gigs that come with it. They`re really good for the punk/Oi type material, get a nice twangy grind from them, like I say not much different to Rotos really.

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On 30/09/2018 at 01:59, The59Sound said:

If you like Sunbeams, try Pure Blues.

My fave rounds right now are Roto RBs! 

 

How would you compare the Sunbeams to PureBlues, both in terms of sound and feel (coarseness and flexibility)?

I like Fat Beams a lot, but I'm finding SunBeams very nice on a couple of basses (PJ types). I keep hearing about the Pure Blues and I'm curious...

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For me, DR Fat Beams mostly, but also Sunbeams. However, over thepast year or two I've also developed a taste for the Labella White Nylon tapewounds. They're not 'thumpy' like most other tapewounds. They can be quite bright and do slap well, but what I like the most is how tight and focused they can sound on the low end, with strong low mids and very good definition. On a Jazz, in particular, they work very well.

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I have EB Cobalts on my P and they are VERY nice. Just got some NYXLs in post from the D'Addario giveaway so I'll be putting those on my ACG soon.

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4 hours ago, mcnach said:

 

How would you compare the Sunbeams to PureBlues, both in terms of sound and feel (coarseness and flexibility)?

I like Fat Beams a lot, but I'm finding SunBeams very nice on a couple of basses (PJ types). I keep hearing about the Pure Blues and I'm curious...

You're in luck sir, just went from Sunbeams to Pure Blues to Fat Beams all on the same bass!

All very similar in terms of flex and tension. Maybe the Pure Blues are a tiny bit more flexible?  

Sunbeams are smoothest then Pure Blues then Fat Beams.

Sunbeams seemed to keep their brightness the longest. Pure Blues were brighter than Sunbeams when first installed but seemed to lose that inital brightness quite quickly. Fat Beams were not that bright to me when first installed but took a long time to lose any of that 'fresh' sound. Even six weeks after installing them they still sound very good. 

The Fat Beams are the best steels I've played - they just punch and cut through a mix so well.

Sunbeams are my favourite nickels on the whole - they're brighter than Fat Beams (IMO/IME), super smooth and bring back some of the mids that Fat Beams don't have. I did like Pure Blues better though before they lost their brightness! 

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I’ve been using DR fat beams for a while now, purchased directly from the US still cheaper than buying them here.

I really like the sound and feel and they seem to last quite well 

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EB cobalt flatwounds. I originally fitted them on my Maruszczyk fretless and was taken with them that I put them on my Maruszczyk fretted too. Great tone, nice feel.

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For those looking for good quality, inexpensive strings keep an eye open for the Trace Elliot strings which appear on eBay from time to time.

The seller must have boxes of them which he delves into occasionally - I bought a set because it said "TE" on the label but they've turned out to be good strings with a nice feel and tension and last for ages. You can pick up a set for about £5 (just checked, none on eBay currently).

You heard it here first...

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1 hour ago, The59Sound said:

You're in luck sir, just went from Sunbeams to Pure Blues to Fat Beams all on the same bass!

All very similar in terms of flex and tension. Maybe the Pure Blues are a tiny bit more flexible?  

Sunbeams are smoothest then Pure Blues then Fat Beams.

Sunbeams seemed to keep their brightness the longest. Pure Blues were brighter than Sunbeams when first installed but seemed to lose that inital brightness quite quickly. Fat Beams were not that bright to me when first installed but took a long time to lose any of that 'fresh' sound. Even six weeks after installing them they still sound very good. 

The Fat Beams are the best steels I've played - they just punch and cut through a mix so well.

Sunbeams are my favourite nickels on the whole - they're brighter than Fat Beams (IMO/IME), super smooth and bring back some of the mids that Fat Beams don't have. I did like Pure Blues better though before they lost their brightness! 

 

Thank you for that! Very lucky for me to have you tried all three! :)

I must give the Pure Blues a try since I never like any string when new and wait for the initial zing to go... they sound like they were made for me! ;)

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16 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

Now that`s a coincidence, my previous faves were Rotosound steel rounds. Tone-wise really not much in it at all, when completely new maybe the Rotos were a tad brighter, but as us long-term Roto users know that doesn`t hang around for long at all. Under the fingers the Warwicks are slightly coarser than the Rotos if that can be believed, took a couple of weeks for my fingertips on my fretting hand to get used to them. But it`s the life of them, I used to get 3, maybe 4 weeks out of a set of Rotos as I need the fresh twangy sound, whereas the Warwicks are lasting me about 2 months, and this has been through the summer with the hot weather and sweaty gigs that come with it. They`re really good for the punk/Oi type material, get a nice twangy grind from them, like I say not much different to Rotos really.

Cheers for that. Fully agree about how quick Rotos fade, I tend to get 1 gig & a few rehearsals out of a set. I will give these a try, although if they are coarser I better get ready for bloody finger tips.

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I love Elites Stadium Stainless Steel Rounds 40 - 100. I've used them for about 25 years and despite trying others, I always come back to them. I was recently told that they are exactly the same as Rotosound Swing bass, made in the same factory so tempted to give them a try to compare.

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13 hours ago, mcnach said:

However, over thepast year or two I've also developed a taste for the Labella White Nylon tapewounds. They're not 'thumpy' like most other tapewounds. They can be quite bright and do slap well, but what I like the most is how tight and focused they can sound on the low end, with strong low mids and very good definition. On a Jazz, in particular, they work very well.

Ha! Ironically, I've just purchased some white tapes in the .115 gauge. I have done a fair bit of research on these and found they should be similar to 40-100 rounds in tension.

How high do you usually set your action with these strings? Never used gauges this big before. 

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19 hours ago, The59Sound said:

Ha! Ironically, I've just purchased some white tapes in the .115 gauge. I have done a fair bit of research on these and found they should be similar to 40-100 rounds in tension.

How high do you usually set your action with these strings? Never used gauges this big before. 

 

That's the gauge I use, on two basses so fat (a Jazz and a Precision). Fortunately I did not need to widen the nut slots but on some basses you might have to. They feel reaaaaally soft. I like a mid-low action (I haven't measured it but that's my impression from playing other people's basses), and I do have to weak the truss rod a bit to avoid excessive fret buzz (when switching from DR Fat Beams 45-100), as they're really low tension. The extra flexibility feels a bit strange at first but I love it. The only thing is it encourages me to bend strings like crazy :D

 

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I did enjoy the D'Addario tapes I had for a couple of years, other than the B string. Then I had Sadowsky Black Label flats for several more years, then some Fender flatwounds that I didn't quite bond with.

But currently I'm about 6 weeks into a new set of TI Jazz flatwounds and getting what I want out of those.  They have the mid presence I liked from the Sadowskys, but clearer on the low strings and a hell of a lot less stiff feeling.  They also have about the best sounding flatwound B I've used so far.  They needed some setup tweaks and I've conciously lightened up my right hand, but they're starting to settle in now and I like what they do.  I've joined a new band and got a new amp head at the same time, so I'm going through one of those stages of re-working my sound and approach that goes with that.

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On 05/10/2018 at 18:01, mcnach said:

 

That's the gauge I use, on two basses so fat (a Jazz and a Precision). Fortunately I did not need to widen the nut slots but on some basses you might have to. They feel reaaaaally soft. I like a mid-low action (I haven't measured it but that's my impression from playing other people's basses), and I do have to weak the truss rod a bit to avoid excessive fret buzz (when switching from DR Fat Beams 45-100), as they're really low tension. The extra flexibility feels a bit strange at first but I love it. The only thing is it encourages me to bend strings like crazy :D

 

Thank you for that. I'm a big fan of Chromes and love their fresh sound but always wished they were more flexible - I'm hoping these are the answer! 

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2 hours ago, The59Sound said:

Thank you for that. I'm a big fan of Chromes and love their fresh sound but always wished they were more flexible - I'm hoping these are the answer! 

 

They're a lot more flexible, you'll see. Let us know what you think!

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I'm finding the current D'addario EXL220BT strings too low tension and fancied a change so I've ordered myself a set of Fender 7250ML strings. Going to see for myself if the rumours are true that it is D'addario that make them. Worth a punt at £12.80 for a set delivered from Amazon when it's £18ish for a set of EXL165s

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I've been curious as to how close they are. I can't imagine that they'd be a million miles away to keep the costs down but then again Fender will be buying them by the truck load to fit to their basses as well as selling them separately 

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I think I've settled with EB Cobalts now.  They don't sound amazing immediately out the bag,  but have a really nice tone.  They do keep well though , so tone is fairly consistent from new to say 5-6 months playing.  

I love the sound of Rotosounds round wounds when they are new, but they seem to lose their edge after a few sweaty hours playing. 

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I always thought I was a Chromes man, but it occurred to me today that the two basses I play the most have TI Jazz flats on.

Weird, I always used to think they were a bit too rubbery for precise playing. But there’s a set on the ACG (and I forgot I’d put them on!) and a set on the fretless. 

Just goes to show...

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After spending fortunes trying pretty much every flatwound out there I FINALLY settled on the bass centre elites.  Current set are 6mths in and sound better everyday

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My first set of Newtone roundwounds (steelies, round core) went on my Zoot passive last night.  Bloody fantastic!  Had been using D'Addario nickels recently and forgotten how much I like the extra zing of steels.  Very flexible (went for the 42-96 gauge), feel good under the fingers too - bit of 'feedback' but I've still got the skin there after an hour or so of playing last night.  Early stages but I think I'll be getting more for my other basses. 

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I"m currently all La Bella, best strings I've ever played:

760FL on my 71 Precision
760FS on my upcoming Lakland 44-64 (had La Bella send strings direct to Lakland for me)
760F-MUS on my Mustang 
Gold White Nylons on my Lakland 55-01
RX Nickels on my Lakland 44-94 & ACG 6er

Si

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1 hour ago, Bass Culture said:

My first set of Newtone roundwounds (steelies, round core) went on my Zoot passive last night.  Bloody fantastic!  Had been using D'Addario nickels recently and forgotten how much I like the extra zing of steels.  Very flexible (went for the 42-96 gauge), feel good under the fingers too - bit of 'feedback' but I've still got the skin there after an hour or so of playing last night.  Early stages but I think I'll be getting more for my other basses. 

I've been ordering custom sets of Newtones for my Dingwall for the last year or so and totally agree, excellent strings and British made to boot. Last well too!

La Bella low tension flats on my Lakland 55-94 for some greasy old school thump....

D'addario half rounds on my spectorcore fretless 5 string - these seem to work particularly well with piezo pickups for some reason.

 

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