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NancyJohnson

DR Jonas Hellborg Signature strings

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I've been using D'Addario strings for just ages (even on my 12-string), but with a new bass arriving (for the record a Geddy Lee signature Jazz) I decided to go the whole hog and not only replace the strings, but also try a different manufacturer, so with eBay booted up and my mouse hovering over the [i]Buy It Now [/i]button, I purchased a set of the Hellborg Signature series from DR Strings of Emerson, New Jersey. $29.00.

For those that don't know, conventional string making involves taking a length of hexagonal profiled wire for the core of the string, which is then wrapped in circular wire (generally of stainless steel or nickel) a sufficient amount of times to build up the string to the desired gauge, or width, of string. What differs with the Jonas Hellborg series is that DR have taken a circular-profiled core then wrapped each string with a single wrap of nickel wire. I'm not one to buy into the DR bullsh*t about what this offers the player, I guess like most of the people reading this, I just want the string to sound nice, feel comfortable under the fingers and last more than one rehearsal.

So I've had a new set of D'Addarios on my Geddy for less than 48 hours, it sounds peachy, but for the benefit of this review dear reader, the D'Add's are off and the DRs are on. First thing I notice is that the machine head end of the E & A strings doesn't reach the machines; there is a long piece or core wire exposed. This reminded me (kind of in reverse) of those old Superwound strings where the core was exposed so it went over the bridge. Looks weird. The D & G are more conventional.

Tune up.

The first thing you notice is how thick the wrap is on the E & A strings and how weird it is visually. There's a photo on this review showing the Hellborg against a conventional roundwound string. As predominantly a pick player, I have a little YYZ moment with my fingers to see how they feel. First impressions, nothing like the strings that have just come off for sure, just different. Left hand noise is very evident as you slide up and down the neck, clearly as the ridges on the strings are quite deep...it instantly feels not unlike running your finger up and down a zip. OK maybe that was a poor analogy.

OK sound. Acoustically, a very rich piano like tone. Plugging in and the strings are very even across the whole range. Without changing my amp settings the clank and attack of the D'Addarios has long gone to be replaced by a phattish tone which reminds me of a set of half-rounds. Full, but a little muddy. The Geddy only really springs back into life when you start tapping, pulling and generally attacking the string with your right hand. After about ten minutes (and a quick retune), you begin to realise that the strings are very comfortable (albeit not as nice as the D'Add's), easy under the fingers and not at all like the running of your fingers over a cheese grater that you thought you would experience. If you're after a super bright tone you'll need to tweak your treble up on your amp.

So worth the $30? For me, I'd say yes. I'd been wanting to try some of these for some time, so it's answered a question or two. Would I buy again? In all likelihood, probably not. They're a bit of a novelty and I've been using D'Add's for long enough to know what my comfort zone is. I think what you have here is a new approach to string manufacturing and while that in itself is to be championed, they're not wholly what I thought they would be.

Best
P

Edited by NancyJohnson

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agreed, I wouldn't be able to write so much on one set of strings :) Thanks man :rolleyes:

Edited by josh3184

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Despite the comment in the final paragraph as to whether I'd buy them again, some three years on, I did invest in a second set, but this time for Thunderbird.

The wrap/windings now go the entire length of the E & A strings (which caused a small issue as the E-string machine head post on the TB was barely wide enough to take the string), but otherwise, all good. They sound very nice.

P

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[quote name='BigBeefChief' timestamp='1237844737' post='443160']
Chuck Norris makes strings now?
[/quote]

:lol:

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