DR Strings Bass Black Beauties

TL;DR: Anybody every used Black Beauties? What did you think?

I am about to get (another) second hand bass and the guy told me that he thinks the strings are due to be replaced. This is going to be the only 5 string in my collection (for a while at least) and I don’t plan to play on it very often until I am a good 4 string player (focus on learning one thing at a time!). However, I want it to be in playable condition, and this is an opportunity to learn how to change strings.

I have done some research, and I think I want to try out the DR Strings Bass Black Beauties BKB5-40. (Amazon link)

Before I do, I was wondering if anyone has used Black Beauties before? I know that like with everything else that has to do with playing bass (and probably music in general), there is a huge component of the sound you want and just personal preference.

I am looking for something with a bit more of a rock/punk sound, however I have also noticed that I tend to not enjoy the really high end sounds I get when I am going through the course and I find myself constantly trying to compensate to get rid of this. And while I know there is a lot of technique I need to learn to alleviate this, I don’t want to get strings that are going to make it worse! But I also don’t want to try and cover up poor technique with alternative gear choices.

Since this will be a not-often played bass for quite some time, I feel like having coated strings will help keep them in good shape, and due to lack of consistent playing, I think the coating won’t wear off much at all.

I am still a little uncertain on gauge size, because I know that a lot of modern rock (which I listen to, but am not sure how much I would play) uses heavy gauge strings and keeps them fairly loose, I don’t think that is what my goal is right now. I sort of want to try a lighter gauge because I am still having fretting issues (I think it is a combination of poor placement and finger strength) and even though I just said that I don’t want to cover up poor technique with alternate gear choices, I was thinking that eliminating one hurdle might make it easier for me to focus on getting my placement correct and I assume finger strength will naturally increase with time.

Black Beauties have a coating that makes the strings last longer by protecting them from corrosion, but does not give up as much of the high end as other coated strings (supposedly). So that meets two of the criteria I am looking for (longevity and tone…I think) so the only thing I am really still uncertain of is gauge.

Plus…they look hella cool.

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Probably the main reason why the seller thinks the strings are due to be replaced is because they lost the “crispiness” they used to have (i.e., lots of higher frequencies gone) and they likely don’t have as much sustain as they used to have either. If so, this might already be closer to the sound you are seeking, so perhaps you don’t need to replace the strings after all!?!

As for longevity: I can’t imagine not playing on a bass for even a month or two would start to show corrosion or other serious degrading of the strings (provided you wipe them down every time you play etc). My brother recently showed me his bass that he hadn’t played on for several months, and he pulled it out an old gigbag that was lying in a “damp” rehearsal room, and there the strings had visible corrosion stains on them. But, before the “storing”, this bass (and these strings) had also seen A LOT of action.

Anyway, if you don’t intend to play the 5-string, why buy it?? :grin:

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It’s part of a “lot” of stuff if you will. I am mostly interested in a like new Orange Crush 50, a hard case, a soft case, and an acoustic bass. The rest of the stuff is just stuff that i wont mind having, but I wasn’t looking for (the 5 string, a small Ibanez practice amp, and a 2 bass stand).

Plus, I’m not paying cash; but trading for something I already have and don’t use, so that makes it a little better.

Finally, I figured I would want to try a 5string eventually so I might was well jump on a good deal now.

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