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  • #16
    Re: Bass strings

    Yes, strings make a huge difference.

    But they also make a huge difference on guitars. I don’t believe that they make any more difference on bass.

    If people really explored strings and setup in depth, learned how to e.q. things well, and used outboard e.q. units more, I think there’d be much lower demand for aftermarket pickups. Not zero, but a lot less.
    Originally posted by LesStrat
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Originally posted by JOLLY
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Bass strings

      FWIW, I use LaBella Deep Talkin’ .052–.110” flats as my go-to set. Flats have always been what I’ve played on, since I started playing in the ‘80s as a kid. Only now am I starting to keep a few basses strung up with different varieties of rounds.

      Chromes are atypical sounding flats. They are pretty much designed for people who like the feel of flats, but not the tone of flats.

      I have D-Addario half rounds on one shorty that takes short scale strings, and one shorty that requires medium scale strings. I wanted half rounds on these basses, and there isn’t a whole lot out there in the short and medium scales. I wish the strings were fatter (I find .100s to feel overly thin under my fingers). But the feel and tone are fine to me. I wanted a bit more tooth under my fingers on these basses, but not to the level of roundwounds.

      One of my Mustangs has LaBella Beatle Bass medium scale rounds. I was coming from the disgustingly floppy/flimsy .040–.095” stock strings. I wanted something that was one notch heavier on the low strings, but two notches heavier on the high strings...plus being available in medium scale. These LaBellas fit the bill at .050–.100”. Very nice set of strings, but IIRC, they are only made in a 34” wound string length (i.e. they are too short for regular scale basses). They have a roundwound tone and feel, but not to the extreme.

      Another Mustang wears LaBella D-Tunas. These are .111” rounds designed for drop tuning on regular scale basses. But I use them in regular tuning on a shorty, in order to get thick rounds. They sound and feel incredible. All the cool stuff about rounds, but without the skinniness and lower tension that most roundwound sets have.

      Rotosound 66s are the classic industry standard rounds, just like LaBella Deep Talkin’s are the same in the flatwound realm.

      One of my builds will be getting balanced tension D’Addarios, which use a .120” E string. Can’t wait to try those.

      Rotosound 88s if you want fat, smooth strings with the closest you’ll get to an upright tone (one of my Ps wears these).
      Originally posted by LesStrat
      Yogi Berra was correct.
      Originally posted by JOLLY
      I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Bass strings

        Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
        I'm intrigued by the concept of the "half-rounds", and I'd also like to try some SIT's. What caused you to take them off so fast? This would be for my Tobias J.
        Just realized I'm not sure which strings you're asking why I took off so quickly. Here's brief summary of the ones I've tried so far. All are 45-100 or 45-105.

        SIT Power Wound nickel - All around awesome string. Great life, retains the brightness for a long time through considerable abuse. I've been through several sets of these over the years. Prior to trying the Foundations, if I had to stick with a single type of string, this would be it.

        SIT Silencers - Darker than the Power Wound but still very clear and present. They mellow a little quicker, but don't continue to darken over a long period. If a half/ground-wound was what I had to use, I'd be perfectly happy with these, but I overall prefer rounds.

        SIT Rock Brights nickel - It's been a long time since I used these, but I remember loving them. SIT's thing seems to be a clear, full tone. I need to try another set.

        SIT Foundations nickel - Put these back on my Warwick last night, and they're my overall favorite string. They have low tension, but not sloppy. As you can see, I really get along with most of SITs offerings, but these are a notch above.

        Dunlop Super Bright nickel - Similar to the Foundations, but lower tension. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews, but I like them. I could use these full time and be very happy with them, and they're pretty cheap.

        Ernie Ball Slinky - I've only tried these on my Yamaha PJ, but they sound great on that bass. Good all around tension, not tight, not loose. When I listen to any of the Tool songs with big clean bass parts, a big part of that sound is Ernie Ball strings.

        D'Addario Chromes - Lots of people really love these. I don't hate the sound, but flats feel absolutely disgusting to me. I could get used to the left hand feel, but plucking them is just gross.

        D'Addario Half-Rounds - These feel worse than the flats. They feel extremely abrasive on both hands, but they sound good.

        D'Addario NYXL - Another awesome string. They growl a little less than the Foundations, but I could be perfectly happy using them as well. Higher tension than the Super Brights or the Foundations, but still very comfortable.

        Rotosound Flats - I don't remember which ones, but I put a set on a buddy's fretless 5 string awhile back. We both believed the common misconception that you must use flats on a fretless, so that's what he bought. All I remember is thinking they felt gross and sticky.
        "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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        • #19
          Re: Bass strings

          Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
          . . . and my J desperately needs new strings.
          Originally posted by ItsaBass View Post
          FWIW, I use LaBella Deep Talkin’ .052–.110” flats as my go-to set.
          As I was just saying in a PM, I forgot that I just recently put those strings on the Toby. Maybe, a year ago, but hardly played. They're La Bella Gold Flats 45 - 105's. But the gold color, combined with the fact that the J sounds "flat" when compared to the Fender P, with QP's and DR Pure Blues, made me think the strings were old. I wonder if the Haz Lab-clone preamp is the weak point?

          Found the thread. It was in mid 2018. Funny how one's opinion can change when they have something else to compare too. I'll have to see if I can EQ these back into life.

          https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...ome-La-Bella-s
          Last edited by ArtieToo; 03-01-2020, 03:52 PM.

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          • #20
            Re: Bass strings

            Try the boiling trick I mentioned. It’ll get any residual funk off of them. However, lots of flats players dig the funk buildup.
            "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Bass strings

              That's the thing . . . there is no funk on them. I've hardly messed with it since putting the La Bella's on there. It was the weird gold tint, (in bad lighting), that I mistook for ageing. The strings are like new.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Bass strings

                No way those strings have dulled their tone at that age, just sitting there.

                They're different than the .052–.110" Deep Talkin' flats I mentioned. Tonally, they lean more toward the direction of rounds (like D'Addario Chromes also do). But they're still flats, and they sound like it.

                Your J probably sounds lifeless next to your P because: 1) standard J pickups are weak compared to standard P pickups, 2) your P has a 1/4 Lb. pickup, and 3) your P has rounds on it. Duller sounding strings on a bass with an inherently weaker pickup design, compared to more aggressive sounding strings, on a bass with a souped up version of a pickup design that is already inherently beefy. Both basses are set up to be tonal opposites of each other.
                Originally posted by LesStrat
                Yogi Berra was correct.
                Originally posted by JOLLY
                I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Bass strings

                  Originally posted by ItsaBass View Post
                  Your J probably sounds lifeless next to your P because: 1) standard J pickups are weak compared to standard P pickups, 2) your P has a 1/4 Lb. pickup, and 3) your P has rounds on it. Duller sounding strings on a bass with an inherently weaker pickup design, compared to more aggressive sounding strings, on a bass with a souped up version of a pickup design that is already inherently beefy. Both basses are set up to be tonal opposites of each other.
                  Yup. Exactly what I was going to say. Add to that, an inexpensive Korean Toby, with a somewhat dubious preamp, compared to a genuine Fender P-Bass with, (as you said), QP's and round wounds. Hopefully, the Apollo's will bring some life back, and I'll also try the QP you're sending.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Bass strings

                    Just put a set of Ernie Ball Cobalt Slinkies on my Warwick. My initial impression is they're great. Similar tension to the Foundations and NYXL, very pleasant feeling to play. They're very present in the upper mids, which means lots of J bass character with no harsh frequencies. Went with Hybrid Slinky (45-105), since that's what I normally use, but next time, I'm going to try something with lighter D & G strings.

                    My Yamaha PJ has regular Hybrid Slinkies on it, and I think they feel a little rougher. They're also a little more zingy, but they're on a fretted bass with entirely different woods and pickups, so it's tough to compare the tone.
                    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Bass strings

                      My new bass came with a fresh set of DR Fat Beams installed. After all the horrors I've heard about SS strings being very hard on the fingers, I love these. The Fat Beams are the same as the Hi Beams (SS wrap on round SS core), except the winding method is different. They're described as "compression wound," and the result is (according to DR) more mids and a bit more tension.

                      A stainless string-loving bass friend of mine said that SS strings are a huge part of the more modern bass tone, so I'm gonna try them on my Warwick fretless next time around. There are stainless versions of my favorites (Dunlop Super Bright, SIT Foundations), so I can't wait to try those, too.
                      "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Bass strings

                        I ended up strongly preferring round core, round wind, but stainless steel wind. Currently using DR Hi-Beams.

                        I have them on multiple basses, I think as a bass player you get used to your strings, the tension and how the sound changes with playing variations, it is almost an instrument in itself, like playing through the same trusty preamp.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Bass strings

                          Have you ever tried the Fat Beams? Hi Beams are next on my list.
                          "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Bass strings

                            Originally posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
                            Have you ever tried the Fat Beams? Hi Beams are next on my list.
                            Not yet. I believe I actually own a set, but time is da flyin'.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Bass strings

                              Put a really heavy set on my Pbass, D'Addario Balanced Tension XL 50-120. It's tougher to bend, but the action is buzz free down to practically laying on the frets. There's almost no perceptible difference in the force to fret the strings, so that with the sub-2mm (E at the 12th) action makes it almost effortless to play. If I was gonna go play in a jazz setting, with a lot of fast playing, and little bending or two-hand stuff, I think it would be a great setup.
                              "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Bass strings

                                I recently ordered a custom set from thats basically just a Stainless regular slinky set with a 110 on the E as i play in dropped D a lot. I really like the sound of stainless strings on bass. Its a swamp ash with burl maple top and a maple neck and fingerboard. Might seem weird to add more brightness with stainless strings but it has a really good zing on while playing i really enjoy. I think the next set im gonna try is the Billy Sheehan custom set from Rotosound next. 110 80 65 43 that way i dont need to custom order the lower string, and i dont think i will mind the lighter G
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