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Old 03-04-2013, 03:16 AM   #1
CoreysMonster
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New Strings, bass stupid

so I need to get new strings for my bass guitar for recording. I have no idea what to get, though. What brand are the type bass players usually get? I honestly have no idea and have no idea where to start.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:15 AM   #2
dark Mass
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I like DR Fat-Beams they cost a bit more than the other string brands.Though they beat all other roundwound strings on the market.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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You probably need to give us an idea of what sort of music you play or what sound you are aiming for, possibly which bass you are fitting them to. Different strings can have a very different sound.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:34 AM   #4
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First question: fretted or fretless? That makes a difference, since you'd want flatwound strings for a fretless and roundwound for fretted. Other than that, it's a matter of finding a gauge and brand you're comfortable with. I recommend Ernie Ball strings, I swear by them and they've never given me problems.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:44 AM   #5
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Ernie Balls, Blue Steels, Elixirs, are all good strings, it also helps to know what tuning you will be playing in.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:10 AM   #6
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You want D'addario EXLs.

But really, you have to try a few brands. It takes some time but it's the only way to find your personal preference.

Start by just using the brand you use on guitar, the feel and brightness will be similar to the guitar counterpart in my experience.

Most popular brands for bass are Rotosound, D'addario, DR (expensive) and Ernie Ball.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:37 AM   #7
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Go Rotosound or go home.

No, but really I think the only way to know what brand works for you (assuming you're wanting conventional gauge steel roundwounds) is to try them all out. Try a different brand each time you need a new set and you'll find your preferences. Some brands to start with off of the top of my head would be Rotosound, DR, D'addario, Ernie Ball, Warwick, GHS & Elixir.

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Originally Posted by travislausch
First question: fretted or fretless? That makes a difference, since you'd want flatwound strings for a fretless and roundwound for fretted.


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Old 03-04-2013, 11:27 AM   #8
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a few weeks back i would have said rotosound swing 66 and nothing else. last week when i got new strings i went for d'addario nickel wound. they feel better on my fingers and i think i prefer the tone. not sure yet
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
Go Rotosound or go home.



I guess I must be the only person who doesn't like rotosounds. I had 66's on my Peavey and it was like playing coiled sandpaper

As for my favourites, I am a huge fan of DR-strings, especially the extra-life coated. If you look around they cost as little as 18-20eur (ebay has shitloads).
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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Well; let's take a look at a few basic questions here. First, how many strings are on your bass? If you're playing a five-string or a six-gun, that will make a difference in recommending string gauges. As for the strings themselves, most people go for roundwounds. Flatwounds are the original, and if you are doing a lot of pre-1970 cover tunes (or if you just like the sound of the bass from those days), then flatwounds would be a good choice. Otherwise, you're going to go with roundwounds.

Now, if you want roundwounds, there are three choices: Stainless Steel, Nickel-Plated, and Coated. The Stainless Steel strings generally sound a little brighter. Routosound 66s are the legendary roundwound Stainless string, and they're very good. Nickel-Plated strings feel a bit easier on your fingertips and have a slightly mellower sound, though for many people the difference in tone is minimal. Coated strings are strings that are coated with some form of polymer or plastic. Elixir is the big name in coated strings, though Cleartone are also popular. DR coats some of its strings in colors, like Black Beauties and whatever they call their reds, blues and yellows. Coated strings are supposed to last longer by protecting the string from dirt and oils from your hands. Whether they last any longer is a matter of debate.

If you are playing a four-string bass, then .45 to .105 is the standard gauge. You can find some lighter ones and some heavier ones, but you are better off sticking with the standard gauge. That is probably what your bass is set up for. For a five-string, .45-.130 is pretty much the standard gauge, though there is more variation in the thickness of the low "B" string in five-string sets.

For nickel-plated strings, I recommend GHS Boomers. Great strings, easy to find and priced a bit cheaper than their competitors. DR makes great strings, but they tend to be on the pricey side. Cleartone and Elixir are also on the pricey side, and Cleartone are sometimes hard to find. Not too many bass players around here seem big on Ernie Ball strings, though they have some new lines that are worth looking at - particularly the Cobalt. I am no fan of D'Addario strings, but a lot of people are and you can usually find them in any music store.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:52 AM   #11
CoreysMonster
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Sorry for taking so much time to get back to this, and thanks for the answers!

I'm playing a 4-string standard scale bass, tuning is a semitone about E Standard, so F Bb Eb Ab, and since I don't really use the high Ab, I was thinking of possibly bumping up all the strings to have it tuned like the lower 4 strings of a 5-string, so Bb F Bb Eb. I've asked this question here before, I believe, if something like that is possible or smart, but if not, I'll just fake the low Bb with synths and stuff.

Style is metal/hard rockish stuff, a mix between Devin Townsend/Tool/Alice in Chains.

So from that, roundwounds it is. Would standard guage 45-105 tuned half a step up pose any kind of problems on a normal-sized bass?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:38 AM   #12
Spaz91
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Any reason for the half step up? I'd recommend a very light set for that, maybe the Mark King signature set?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:53 AM   #13
CoreysMonster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaz91
Any reason for the half step up? I'd recommend a very light set for that, maybe the Mark King signature set?

Yes. 8-string brootz.

Would these Ernie Ball EB2834 Super Slinky strings break the bass or anything by tuning up a half step, is basically the question.

EDIT: They don't have the Mark King signature set anywhere near here.

Last edited by CoreysMonster : 03-13-2013 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreysMonster
Yes. 8-string brootz.

Would these Ernie Ball EB2834 Super Slinky strings break the bass or anything by tuning up a half step, is basically the question.

EDIT: They don't have the Mark King signature set anywhere near here.

Hmm, I don't think half step up would add that much tension so that it could damage your bass... However, I'd recommend you to get a set of 0.40 / 0.95 if you can, and possibly 0.35 / 0.90 just to be sure. Still, it would be nice if more experienced bassist would give their advice regarding bass damaging with thick strings...
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #15
Ziphoblat
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You should be fine with 40-100 gauge Rotosound strings (the medium sets). I use those in standard but they can easily tune up a bit with no problems. Andy Rourke from The Smiths used to use the same strings tuned to F# standard.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:14 AM   #16
CoreysMonster
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I went ahead and got the Ernie Ball strings I posted, it they don't work or whatever at least it won't be 50 bucks down the drain, and if they do, then I'll know what gauges to get next time. Thanks guys!
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