Testing out strings is fun!

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Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (lumgimfong) » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:55 pm

Been testing out round wounds to see which I like best on my 4003. Here are my impressions. Tell me yours.

So far I have tried:
Stock Ric strings - Bright and articulate, balanced lows/mids/highs. Fun factor is high, as in, it makes me want to keep grabbing it throughout the day to play it and hear the tones.
Daddario Pro Steels - Bright and articulate but mid scooped to the point of sounding "empty". Hard to put my finger on it. Like an ingredient is missing. Like a smily face EQ. Nothing wrong with that. But if you like more mids and warmth it lacks that.
Daddario Nickel wounds - Sounds just like the Prosteels to me but "duller". I guess cuz nickel is not as sparkly highs as steel.

It is interesting to note that the above strings all sound in the same ballpark - soundwise. The ones below sound in a different class - soundwise.

Rotosound SM66 - Bright and articulate with a very filled out and broad sounding mid and bass. Has its own voice compared to the above three. A very big, massive sound compared to the others so far. Even tone throughout all strings and registers. The most "powerful" sounding string compared to the others. One thing I don't like about them is the red wrap on them which sheds when removing them from the bass as the wrap passes thru the tailpiece holes. But that is a minor thing.

DR Fatbeams - As bright and articulate as the rest, but also has its own voice. "Rubbery" mids and lows. I don't know how to describe it. But it has a very dark and mysterious tone. Unexpected, but delightful sounds. More spicy and complex than the others. Like Indian food - lotsa different spices all together make for a complex flavor. The fun factor is high and it is the only one besides the Rics that made me come back throughout the day to pick it up just to have fun hearing the sound.

So, I am oddly surprised that I am finding myself liking the Fatbeams the best. But I cannot deny that they are the most fun to play.
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (jps) » Sat Sep 25, 2021 5:04 pm

Have you ever tried TI Jazz Rounds?

Here is a fresh set on my old March '73 4001 with stock pickups, played finger style.

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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (bassduke49) » Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:39 pm

Jeff, check your email! :D
Author: "The Rickenbacker Electric Bass - 50 Years As Rock's Bottom"
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (Dirk) » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:44 am

You might want to check out DR High Beams?
I would guess you might put them in the first group.

Thanks for the comparisons.
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (lumgimfong) » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:19 pm

@jps: Wow! Incredible and tasteful playing!! Tone is huge yet articulate thru the mix. I hear everyone raving about the TI's. They are expensive but worth it if they last a long time. Can they go 6 months without losing their presence and clarity?


@Dirk: Yes, I was thinking of trying the HiBeams at some time. Will have to report back if I do.
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (jps) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:53 am

lumgimfong wrote:I hear everyone raving about the TI's. They are expensive but worth it if they last a long time. Can they go 6 months without losing their presence and clarity?

A lot of that will depend on your playing style and technique, along with your body chemistry as to how it deals with nickel strings. I find them to last years, although with time they will mellow out, some.
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (jps) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:06 am

Here is another recording with TI Jazz Rounds, only this time it's the FG July '73 4001; same setup, same gig. I was comparing the two different bridges (cast aluminum vs. the next gen version as found starting in late Spring of '73.

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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (jps) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:18 am

Here is the setup for the gig (Orion Studios in Baltimore) What's not seen here is the Avalon U5 used to run the post effects (tech21 VTBass, EB VJr., Voodoo Lab Tremolo) signal to the recording console. My amp and the EV RE20 was for FOH sound.

Jeff-MG 4001-800_4498.jpg




And, here are some of the audience from that show.

RRF-Friends-1200_4767.jpg
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (teeder) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:27 am

jps wrote:
lumgimfong wrote:I hear everyone raving about the TI's. They are expensive but worth it if they last a long time. Can they go 6 months without losing their presence and clarity?

A lot of that will depend on your playing style and technique, along with your body chemistry as to how it deals with nickel strings. I find them to last years, although with time they will mellow out, some.


A put a fresh set of TI JR's on my '69 about a month ago and though they sound great, I actually prefer the TI Flats on this bass. Then again, I'm starting to lean toward flats for all my basses! I get plenty of bite and clarity using a pick.
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (jps) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:09 am

I have JRs on one Rick and JFs on the other. Best of both worlds. :D
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:49 pm

I second the TI Jazz Rounds. The quality is there in spades. They are low tension and it took some time to get used to that. They last forever!
"It don't make sense if you can't make peace." Willie Dixon
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (Benjamin) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:10 pm

Try DR Lo-Riders. I liken them to a more even/professional sounding set of RS66LD Rotos.
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (cjj) » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:06 am

Benjamin wrote:Try DR Lo-Riders. I liken them to a more even/professional sounding set of RS66LD Rotos.

That's a very interesting bit of info. I've been a fan of Rotosound for decades, now I'm gonna have to give DR Lo-Riders a try!
8) 8) 8)
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (jps) » Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:34 am

Kiddwad57 wrote:I second the TI Jazz Rounds. The quality is there in spades. They are low tension and it took some time to get used to that. They last forever!

Having used them for a long time, now, they feel perfectly natural, to me. "Standard" gauge/tension bass strings feel like bridge cables, now, plus, they are kind of rough feeling given how smooth the JRs feel.
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Re: Testing out strings is fun!

Postby (henry5) » Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:42 pm

I always end up going back to Rotos. I like both the sound and feel best. Strangely, I don’t really like smooth-feeling strings and, partly because I play so lightly, I like an aggressive-sounding string.

One issue with the others is the cost. In the UK a set of Roto Swing Bass can be had for about £18.99. DRs are at least twice that and TI rounds are £55!

I actually really like these too:

https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/rotosound-r ... lsrc=aw.ds

They’re really low tension, lower than the TI flats, they sound great and they’re really cheap.
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