String differences

Educate me on strings, please! My cheapy P-bass (Bluerock- something to do with Tanglewood, I believe) came with what are probably 20 year old strings on it and I’m saving up for a 5 string kit that I know will have the cheapest strings known to man.

I know a little bit about the instruments and how to set them up, but I know absolutely nothing about strings.

My influences are Godsmack, Shinedown and similar.


So i can’t help much, but i want to throw in on this with you if you don’t mind- as even with as much as i practice i know very little about strings.


Lucky for you bass strings are the easiest to find the right one for you.

Well that’s not true! :joy:

Fortunately the widely available Fender and Ernie Ball round wounds are great start. Your string tase will change overtime so start with cheaper and good overall string then narrow it down as you upgrade.


Biggest difference between BRANDS is how smoothly they are polished, how much corrosion is on them out of the package, and how likely they are to break at the ball end when tuning up for the first time. As long as your cheapo strings can meet those three requirements they’ll be ok for the time being

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Oh I don’t agree with this.
Strings shape your tone a lot.
The feel under your fingers makes a big difference to many too.
But tone is king with strings.
Maybe not as much in a mix but how you hear it yourself, to me, is paramount. You gotta like what you hear.

These two are great for hearing differences in roundwounds. Based on your musical references, I omitted flatwound videos.


I guess you need to try different ones.
My approach until now was to find a comfortable gauge of round wounds from a selected brand.
Another important parameter is their tension.
I now know that I’m not too fond of heavy gauge. I like those strings to be lighter in touch and bendy.

My next step will be to compare brands (but keeping my favourite gauge).

The other important aspect is the price and availability of certain brands/gauges where you live.

So far most of the strings I tried are D’Addario. I can’t complain and I like color-coded ball ends.

Actually, the only strings I didn’t like in the past were Ernie Balls for electric guitar. Based on that experience I never tried any EB bass strings.

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Ernie Ball and D’Addario strings are OK. I’m not gaga about either of ‘em, but I like D’As better.

There are tons of string tone comparison videos worth watching. Some feature blind tests, so you aren’t prejudiced by knowing which strings are being played in any given demo.

Other videos also speak to how various strings feel.

Personally, I’ve tried several string brands and gauges. Some have proved…interesting, others impressive, and yet others a hard nope. It takes time and cash to determine what will work best under your fingers.


Thanks for posting a video of strings made with different gauges and materials. This is why I specifically capitalized BRANDS as I knew someone wouldn’t read what I posted.

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Bass strings is the most discussed and debated topic more than just about every bass related topics out there.

I’m very fortunate because I’m so gullible and believe every word said on their ads so I bought it and tried it I finally narrowed them down to a handful that I like on different basses.

I think @John_E said it perfectly it’s not so much about how it sounds in the mix but how you hear it. You can learn to love what you hear I. The mix and choose your strings that way but if you like crisp clean bright sound of a brand X round wound but bought a flat wound of brand Z you’d never get the right inspiration

Some strings are great for specific task and tone like DR Lo-Rider are stiffer and really great for tapping and slapping it offers bright and deliciously crisp tone, the same brand also known for the color coated strings which offer pretty dull thumpy tone for house or edm style of music.


String feel is another hot topic, when it comes to feel and somewhat tone too, your string needs to go through the break in period. D’addario hybrid sounds great but feels like crap for the first few months then when enough of your finger grease coated the strings, they feel great.


I read what you posted.
You shouldn’t assume otherwise.

The videos have nothing to do with your post. They were for the OP.

My comments regarding your post were for you.
Hope that clears it up for you.


True. I come from decades of playing acoustic guitar, so I’m hip to different strings’ break-in periods and tonal changes over time.

D’Addarios are big with acoustic guys ‘cause they’re cheap and predictable. But, man, there are bushels of different small shop and esoteric acoustic guitar strings makers. Been through them all, with a couple coming out on top, at least for my taste.

As for bass, I put on a set of NYXL 45-105 on my Mayones and they’re alright. They don’t knock me out, for sure, but I figured I’d try them before I put on TI Jazz Rounds.

I LOVE the TI Jazz Flats on my Cutlass, so I’m looking forward to trying out the Jazz Rounds. TIs are winners in my book.

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I loved Ernie Ball Super Slinky’s the second I put them on the old Yamaha :laughing:
Bought it second hand & barely touched, probably had the original strings on, EB’s made a huge difference :slightly_smiling_face:

Just don’t bother with Ibanez strings

Nickel coating was gone after literally just a week, wondered why my fingers were a funny green after playing :joy:


I would probably start with roundwounds and go for Rotosound swing bass 66. Those are the standard on which most other strings came later to match. You like Robbie Merrill if you’re a Godsmack fan and he’s a Geddy Lee fan so you can bet he’s played Rotosound. Some other strings that would be great for starters are Dunlop, DR, GHS, Dean Markley, Ernie Ball, Diaddario, LaBella. If you’re in Europe galli, doogal, Rotosound, Sandberg, Mayones are all good brands over there. You’ll find what you want after some experimentation but any of those brands won’t let you down.

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Ouch, what are you a Hulk? On one hand I hope that my strings age faster but then again even if I play 8 hours a day everyday it would still take a lot of time to break in my strings with my regular playing rotation with that many basses I have, lol.

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I may have been playing close to 8 hours a day tbf… Was during lockdown, nothin better to do :rofl:
But still, for a big name in guitars n all that, I expected better :laughing:

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So the one thing i know for sure is i dislike the metallic sound of new strings. I guess people call this brightness? I bought some dr high beams. And i hate them. So much that they’ve only been played about 2 hours in a couple months. I guess i prefer the darker, warmer tones of well broken-in strings. And i don’t like flatwounds, so i am effectively cornered on this.

I know i won’t buy stainless again. So nickel it is, apparently.


I sense a business opportunity… I have a cabinet filled with used (well broken-in) strings :grin:


Hee, hee… :grin: