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Rotosound Bass Strings

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My experience of Rotosounds is that they are very good at making standard gauge (40-100) 34" scale 4-string sets, but anything else is completely hit and miss. I gave up using them when they consistently failed to be able to make a 36" low B or a 30" E that would produce a proper note that rang out like the other strings on my basses rather than a dull thud.

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Love Rotos. Have used many different brands over nearly 40 years, always come back to them. Love the tone, love the feel. Have recently been trying their cheaper 35-95 Roto Bass nickel set which are a wallet-friendly £14.99; you can find them even cheaper. Love them too, and I usually dislike nickels.

 

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Regular user of 66s until I discovered Warwick reds from a threadon here, similar sound but last 2-3 times longer and half the price. 

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Used Roto 66's from the late 80's to the late 90's when I started experimenting with other brands, both nickel & stainless.

Now Fender have stopped making stainless steel round's, I have to find some to replace them. Tried Elites in the past, trying some again (got some new old stock ones cheap). Tried Warwick Red's in the past too, good long lasting strings, but a bit rough. Very good price though. Tempted by Picato's if I can get some for the right price, or going back to Roto 66's. Dunno.

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Personally I'm not a fan so switched to D'Addarios and have used them for several years.

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Used RS66s in the 70s and 80s but the quality seemed to change in the 90s and they became very rough to the extent that I was having problems with blisters etc. Switched to Elites then but have tried RS66s again recently and they seem to be good again.

Status sell their own branded strings and these are good also- excellent prices especially for double ball end, but not very long lasting.

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I used them for my first 2-3 years of bass playing until I understood there were other string brands. 😁

They eat your hands, eat your frets and die quicker than any other string I've tried, usually after one gig.

Started using D'addarios and Elixir (when flush) and have never looked back!

 

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I hope not, I've just had a set of FM66 "FUNKMASTERS" delivered... is it stil fashionable to coat one's fingertips in Superglue?

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Apart from a brief dalliance with Fender Studio Bass strings I always used Rotosound strings on what was my one and only bass. 

Now, 35 years later, the frets are still absolutely fine. Only one man's experience of course.

She's no longer the only horse in the stable but still gets gigged.

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I mostly use D’addario roundwounds and half wounds but I was bought a set of Rotosound flats for Christmas a few years ago and they’ve been on my p bass every since, replacing the Thomastiks which I had three or four sets of. The tone is much deeper and once I got used to the feel they are completely natural. Still going strong after two years too. 

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My experience with the short scale Rotosounds was not good, they ring sharp initially before settling back to the note so completely messed my head/ear up, changed to LaBella and all good. Scott Whitley reported same issue on his website. I bought them because I wanted to buy British made and because so many players use them but was disappointed with them in reality. The Ibanez short scale strings fitted originally were okay.

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Hard on the fingers, eqt frets and die quickly but for those brief moments the Roto steels sound better than anything else out there for me.

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22 hours ago, WHUFC BASS said:

I'm currently using D'Addario strings on my basses (and when I can afford them, DR Hi-Beams) but was wondering what Rotosound strings are like now? I haven't used them in years (read decades). I went from using them, to Ernie Ball Slinkys, to Bass Centre Elites and then onto D'Addario and DRs. As we approach leaving the EU I'd like to support a British firm and am contemplating using Rotosounds. Anyone use them regularly? Are they as inconsistent as they were back in the 80s? Do they still eat frets as everyone kept on telling me back then?

Hi Beams for £20 delivered direct from Amazon. I've ordered multiple sets over the years and they are the real deal.

For DR/Ken Smith/Fodera/La Bella strings, I use Bass Specialties on eBay. The prices have gone up roughly £5 over the last four to five years but they're still cheaper than the UK. No import duty either since the seller knows what he's doing. 

Regarding Rotosound, I'm a fan. Their customer service is second to none. I had a dead string on arrival once and they sent me not only a replacement but a whole new set. I really like the Roto Bass nickels and think they age very well. They cut through a mix and have a really good mid punch to them. 

Edited by The59Sound
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1 hour ago, The59Sound said:

Hi Beams for £20 delivered direct from Amazon. I've ordered multiple sets over the years and they are the real deal.

For DR/Ken Smith/Fodera/La Bella strings, I use Bass Specialties on eBay. The prices have gone up roughly £5 over the last four to five years but they're still cheaper than the UK. No import duty either since the seller knows what he's doing.  

Regarding Rotosound, I'm a fan. Their customer service is second to none. I had a dead string on arrival once and they sent me not only a replacement but a whole new set. I really like the Roto Bass nickels and think they age very well. They cut through a mix and have a really good mid punch to them. 

Wow, that is cheap for Hi-Beams. Wish I'd known beforehand. Weill definitley be buying in the future. I've orderd a set of Rotosound Swing Bass 66 strings for the Spector. Will report back when I fit them.

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used Rotosound as standard when I started playing bass because that was what all shops stocked in the pre-internet age, and when you asked the staff to recommend something they (almost certainly a guitarist rather than a bass player) would say "you can't go wrong with these".  So I've always regarded their standard roundwounds as a safe, unadventurous choice - they'll do an OK job, and if I need strings in a hurry and that's the only choice, it'll be fine.

For years I mostly used their PSD strings, until they stopped making them - the brightest strings i could find, although they were: 1. more prone to breaking than other designs; and 2. not that widely available, never saw them in any small, local shops, and not helped because you had to get the set specifically made for your bass so even a larger shop might not have had the ones I was after.

Moved on to D'Addarios and never looked back - they just seem to have a bit of extra zing in the sound and retain their brightness for much longer

 

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15 hours ago, PJ-Bassist said:

^^ this

I've tried different Newtone strings and love the idea of supporting them, but I prefer the Rotos and they're much cheaper, so that was that.

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22 hours ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

I've found them consistent for years, one gig, dead. 

Yup. This.

I have very corrosive sweat, so generally use coated strings. Of the uncoated ones, Rotos die first...

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Used Roto RB40s for years, liked the priced and the fact that they were unsilked. Two sets per year per bass. Then got into flats, and I'm not going back. Roto flats too stiff and heavy, so that's it for me and Rotosound. However, IMHO, good rounds and a good company to deal with.

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I used them for a bit in the 1990s and thought they were ok. I've got a set which is a bout 20 years old on an old fretless and they still have just a bit of brightness left. They were certainly better than the short-lived Trace Elliot strings which died completely within a week,  and infinitely better than Elites, which I found to be my least favourite strings of all time. After trying out LaBella, Fender, Fodera and D'Addario in recent years I've settled on D'Addario nickels. As imported brands go, they're not too expensive, they last a long time, the B strings are firm, and they sound really good. It's all subjective though - I'm sure there are players out there who hate D'Addario and make Elites sound great.  

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22 hours ago, T-Bay said:

Regular user of 66s until I discovered Warwick reds from a threadon here, similar sound but last 2-3 times longer and half the price. 

Same for me.

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Does anyone remember Rotosound Spacer strings? roundwound and black coated? used them a lot in the early 90s but I don't remember what they were like, they looked cool

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My favourite Rotos of all time were Superwound 505s. Pressurewound, tapered ends. This was late 70's, they weren't around for long, very pricey at the time. But very nice!

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