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Marcoelwray

Stainless steel Vs nickel strings

Stainless Steel or Nickel  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. What material do you use?

    • Stainless steel
      15
    • Nickel
      18


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Hello ee,

I'd like to make a poll to know what is the most used. If you only use nylon strings I'm sorry, I just made two picks: SS or Ni. 

Doesn't matter if you use flats or rounds, just the material count here.

Thanks!

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Stainless steel as I need driven/twang for my currently band and having tried rounds/flats and nickel/steel have found that steel rounds work best.

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I always found that the skin on my fingertips reacted with the nickel on strings, causing dead & flaky skin as well as making the fingers a bit more sensitive, and not able to play for too long before needing a good break from playing.

This changed after swapping over to stainless steel strings, no more skin reactions, can play for longer as my fingertips hardened up, and with the added bonus of the strings still sounding bright, and lasting for around 6 months.

 

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I changed from steel to nickle after I found that my fingertips were getting sore and tender after a while.

Nickle strings don't seem to affect me.

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Posted (edited)

Probably the most common "music wire" is ASTM A228. This is the name of the core. It is cold drawn, has around 1 % of carbon (C) and around 0.5 % of manganese (Mn). The rest is iron (Fe). This is used in pianos as well as in violins and everything in between.

The winding may be bronze, nylon, steel... The steel widing can be nickel coated, hence the name nickel. Remember, that most stainless steels have some nickel in them, as it helps the steel to fight against corrosion.

There are many different material compositions of the winding. These additives (like cobalt or nickel) may also affect the electrical properties of the string. Here I mean, that the co-operation with the magnets of the pickups can be tuned somewhat to produce so called "hotter" output. Difference may be subtle.

If the string has a "man-made" coating (like Elixir or similar), it only affects the feel and fights against dirt. It has no effect on string's electrical (or rather: magnetic) properties.

Edited by itu
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Been using D'addario EXL165 nickels for a few years now but have just bought myself a set of Prosteels to try for a change

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I'm almost afraid to say this but I'm all over the place as far as string choice is concerned. In fact, I don't have any two basses with the same strings on at all. My Yamaha BB424 has Fender steel flats. The 1025 has steel rounds. My fretless, nickel flats. On my Jazz, I had always used Roto swing bass 66 steel rounds (the orange packs). But my tastes are changing and i'm no longer enjoying the clank against the frets. I've now put D'addario balanced tension nickel rounds on and liking the slightly warmer sound.

So is there space for 'all of the above'?!

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I prefer the warmer sound of nickel, and if I use rounds they will be nickel. However, I mostly play flats or half rounds which are mostly steel, so I vote for both?!?

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I voted nickel. However, as I now use EB cobalts on my basses, this is only true if cobalts didn't exist.

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Nickel NYXL's on my current Jazz bass, but I used to use various types of steel strings on my Musicman. I think the bass dictates what string type I use. These days I'm also conscious of wear and tear on the fret wire, and nickel are supposed to be more forgiving.

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Posted (edited)

Stainless Steel over Nickel - You can always tone down the harmonics/brightness, but you can't add it. 

Edited by 40hz
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Dunlop Super bright Nickels 45-105 for me.  Tried pretty much everything in a similar price range over the years and these (for me) have the right tension (not tight), sound great and last a good while.. 

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I bought a set of DR Low Rider steels by mistake - I usually use nickel, just put the wrong ones into my shopping basket online!  I have to say the difference is quite noticeable, I much prefer the nickels and will be going straight back to them.  The steels were verging on harsh at the beginning although have mellowed somewhat.  Overall the sound of the nickels is much more pleasing to my ears right throughout the life of the string.

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