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Old 02-08-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
MaggaraMarine
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Bass strings

Hi!

Today the D string of my Tokai Thunderbird bass snapped so I need new strings. I have never changed strings on bass because I bought my bass pretty recently. So I need some string suggestions. Which strings are good, which should I avoid? Which gauge should I buy? I play in standard tuning, my scale length is 34 inch.

The brands we have at the nearest music stores are D'Addario, Dunlop, DR, Warwick, Ernie Ball, Fender, Hartke and Marshall.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
FatalGear41
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The standard gauge for a 4-string bass is .45 to .105. I have never been fond of Fender strings. I think the best strings for the money are GHS Boomers. They tend to be less expensive than most. DR makes fine strings, but they are a bit pricey. Do you prefer nickel-plated or stainless steel? The string by which all others are judged is Rotosound. Frankly, until you settle on certain characteristics that you absolutely must have, almost any string will do just fine.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
The standard gauge for a 4-string bass is .45 to .105. I have never been fond of Fender strings. I think the best strings for the money are GHS Boomers. They tend to be less expensive than most. DR makes fine strings, but they are a bit pricey. Do you prefer nickel-plated or stainless steel? The string by which all others are judged is Rotosound. Frankly, until you settle on certain characteristics that you absolutely must have, almost any string will do just fine.

What's the difference between stainless steel and nickel plated-steel strings (sound/feel wise)? I don't really know which strings I have used. I'm pretty sure the strings on my bass are some crappy factory strings because I have heard that bass strings don't usually snap and my D string just snapped and I didn't even play it hard, I've had my bass for about six months.

Oh yeah, there's also Rotosounds in one music store. They seem to cost about the same as other bass strings I have seen (25). They are stainless steel strings. So maybe I'll just buy them?
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Originally Posted by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c

Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 02-08-2013 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
Ziphoblat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
What's the difference between stainless steel and nickel plated-steel strings (sound/feel wise)? I don't really know which strings I have used. I'm pretty sure the strings on my bass are some crappy factory strings because I have heard that bass strings don't usually snap and my D string just snapped and I didn't even play it hard, I've had my bass for about six months.

Oh yeah, there's also Rotosounds in one music store. They seem to cost about the same as other bass strings I have seen (25). They are stainless steel strings. So maybe I'll just buy them?


Nickel-plated strings tend to feel a little nicer and more natural against the fingers. They're not quite as zingy as pure steel strings when they're completely fresh but there isn't much difference.

Rotosounds are (in my opinion) the best out there... I love the durability, sound and feel. Definitely worth a go... the only way you'll really know which are best for you is by trying them all out.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #5
ihartfood
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I have DR black beauties on both my basses now, they feel great, sound a little darker but still like normal strings and the coating is nice to the fingers.
I recommend those but they run around $30 here.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
Alucard817
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I use Rotosound jazz strings. Damn nice, but a bit pricey at just over 30 bucks USD.
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I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:35 AM   #7
FatalGear41
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Nickel plated strings are just a bit mellower sounding. They're also easier on your fingers and your frets. Rotosound are best known for stainless steel strings. Try them. You'll probably love them.
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FatalGear41 knows the ways of the obscure. I hear it's just not with Gibsons. Beware, Halloween approaches...


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DAMNIT FATALGEAR YOU RUINED MUH FLOW!
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:32 AM   #8
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
Nickel plated strings are just a bit mellower sounding. They're also easier on your fingers and your frets. Rotosound are best known for stainless steel strings. Try them. You'll probably love them.

OK, I think I'll buy the Rotosounds then. Thanks everybody.
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Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:47 AM   #9
MaggaraMarine
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I bought the Rotosounds. Yeah, these sound funky and feel much better than the old strings.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Digitech RP355
MXR Micro Chorus
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Hartke HyDrive 210c
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:51 PM   #10
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surprised there wasn't any love for DR hi-beams in here, they have a bucketload of attack.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:11 PM   #11
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A word of caution here. I see a lot of people recommending Ernie Ball strings. And in my experience, these lose their tone within a month; usually less. I use D'Addario Medium Gauge strings and they sound great. They might not be a big name in Rock, but they sound amazing and keep sounding that way for around 3 months, and you could probably get by with them for a year.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:06 PM   #12
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Most people seem to miss a very important point.
If your bass is set up well make sure by using a an imperial measurement Micrometre which measures in thousands of an inch for example a 45 G string is 45 thousands of an inch that you get an identical gague.
Using different gauges of strings will alter your intonation as lighter gauge will not pull the neck in as far. Whereas heavier gauge will do the opposite.


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Old 02-14-2013, 07:13 PM   #13
FatalGear41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassFreak98
A word of caution here. I see a lot of people recommending Ernie Ball strings. And in my experience, these lose their tone within a month; usually less.


Has anyone tried those EB Cobalt strings? I've heard good things about the guitar string version, but no one around here carries the Cobalt bass strings.
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FatalGear41 knows the ways of the obscure. I hear it's just not with Gibsons. Beware, Halloween approaches...


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DAMNIT FATALGEAR YOU RUINED MUH FLOW!
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:31 AM   #14
Alucard817
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
I bought the Rotosounds. Yeah, these sound funky and feel much better than the old strings.

Did you get the steel or nickel strings? Round or flat?
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In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:32 AM   #15
Gessu
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I recommend DR's, very clean sound especially DR Hi Beams. I'm loving em
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:08 PM   #16
willop
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I got a set of rotosound swing bass replacing d'addarios and it's night and day different. 5 string set locally was $25

I have fender flats on my ibanez (also $25) and I like them a lot, great to play, but the sound isnt' (of course) the same as the rotosounds.

What others have said about the ernie ball strings was what the guy at the store told me as well.
I was going to get hibeams but they were sold out.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #17
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Hey, guys, what strings are good for metal? With bright and definite tone, and which last for long (don't really care about lows or feel). I see you recommend DR Hi Beams, but they are a bit pricey for me. Tried D'Addario Pro Steels and they are awful. Maybe Ernie Ball?
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:13 PM   #18
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D'Addario 0.45 Nickel are very good strings! I use them on my bass!!!
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:38 PM   #19
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if you want bright, go for rotosound swing 66's.
rather excellent imo. i've had varying lengths of time before they deaden though, so i don't have definitive time frame for you. i think warwick and elixer (almost certainly others as well) do coated strings which apparently last longer but i wouldn't know.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #20
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First up, since when does Harke and Marshall make strings?

Out of those I find D'Addario to be cheap and reliable, as well as come in many variaties (Steel, Nickel, Flat etc)

I haven't heard much about those others, I like rotos, but I also have D'Addario half rounds on one of my basses which are great.

Ive also heard good things about DR.
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