Post Number: 15
|Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:35 am: |
Hi Everyone. Got a question about using stainless steel strings. I've got a series 1 and am using Elites Player strings 30,50,70,90.I like the tone of the strings when they are new, but I've heard that the steel strings are so much better. I've also heard though that they eat the frets very quickly, which I don't want to happen. Tone is obviously the most important factor. Any help and advice would be appreciated.
Post Number: 2108
|Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 1:05 am: |
for what it's worth. I heard that the "eating frets" thing is depending from:
- your touch
- the degree of "rounding" of the strings
Leland Sklar plays his Dingwalls with roundwounds and mandoline frets. The guy has an extremely light touch.
Same thing with John Entwistle tough I think he never used mondoline frets.
On one of my basses I play mandoline frets and D'Addario halfwounds. The wounding of the strings is "flat".
As far as my info is correct all Alembic strings have about the same feature tough they are not "flat" the wouding is more "flattened" keeping the curve.
Some people in this club -I think Rami gave a rapport on this- are some strings indeed very hard on frets: the famous Rotosounds roundwounds seem to be freteaters!
I dunno is this is material-related: steel or stainless steel.
Just my 2 cts
Post Number: 364
|Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 10:54 am: |
I use Status Graphite roundwound roundcore on all of my basses - that'll be my Dragon's Wing, Status Stealth Headless (I have to cut the end of the strings off and secure them with bolts but the system works well), Status Buzzard and my 4001.
I've not had any problem with fretwear and the tone stays VERY bright for a very long time - in fact they are the best-lasting string I have played in recent years.
Oh yeah - and they don't cost the earth either!
I hope this helps!
Post Number: 484
|Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 11:43 am: |
at the moment I play the classic Rotosounds and they sound really great and stay alive. I used the DR High Beams which are also great with a big steely twang but if they are new they are way too twangy.
Last time I tried the Optima Gold. These are the previously named Maxima Gold, which John played for some years. The old Maximas were great, I have a set still on Johns bass. The new Optimas were horrible. Almost dead sound at a huge prive of nearly USD 50.
Post Number: 39
|Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 5:02 pm: |
I'm with Roger on the Status strings. I certainly recommend them for the above stated reasons. I'm glad I found them.
The problem I am having with them currently is not enough tension for my new short scale bass. James brought the issue up to Mica after he strung it up, and like Mica says, he doesn't do that often. I too want 30-90. James put Alembic 40-100's on and he said it sounded like a bass again. I currently have a set of Rotosound Funk Masters on way to see if they have better tension. I also have a set of T-I Med. Jazz Round's on the way just in case. The T-I's are a hair lighter gauge then Alembic 40-100, but I still want to try the Alembic strings too. The gang there has been great in trying to accommodate my picky string tastes, but I suppose I should be doing the string testing and not wasting too much of their time. Of course, they want to ship a bass with the proper neck tension and strings.
Anyway, I like Status. Fast shipping from the UK to the US.
(Message edited by lidon2001 on October 10, 2005)
Post Number: 1092
|Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 11:11 am: |
Sorry to hear about the Optima's. I bought three sets for my Alembic, but haven't tried 'em yet. I figured that even if they were sheisse, they'd look great for photo ops as my bass is dripping in gold, LOL! I figured if they were good enough for John, and they didn't prematurely wear-out my frets, that they were worth a shot. And yes, they were $50 a shot on EBAY! They're not, to my knowledge, available Stateside any longer.
Oops, my bad.
Anybody out there in Alembicland wanna buy unused Optima 45's in GOOOOOOOOOLD, LOL!
FWIW, my luthier won't string anything with S/S strings unless the instrument is originally equipped, or refretted, with S/S fret wire. He says the ridiculous fret wear is not worth the slightly brighter-for-longer tone. Just change 'em more often was his response when I asked (i.e., nickel roundwounds on everything, even on jazz boxes, and he's an accomplished gifted jazzer!)
Post Number: 17
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 1:55 am: |
Thanks for all the help on these strings.I think I'll give the stainless strings a miss for the time being. Kevin's post on what his Luthier says seems wise. If I want more treble, then I just turn it up on the amp. Even with a 15", I can get so much treble that it is sharp enough to shave yourself with. Tone is the most important aspect to me, so if anyone can recommend a sweet sounding string in the 30-90 range then I'd be most interested to hear about them. The Elites nickel sets that I use are very good but I'm sure there must be something sweeter out there that I haven't tried yet
Thanks again to all who helped.
Post Number: 365
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 5:23 am: |
Just to add to Kevin's post about what his luthier says, and of course, this is just my opinion.
I've used roundwound strings on my 4001 which I've had from new since 1981. It's showing minimal fretwear and it gets a lot of playing time!
I think Paul TBO's view is the most objective one - it depends on your touch and just how abrasive the strings themselves are.
You could always try a set of roundwound stainless steel strings and see how you get on, rather than giving them a miss for the time being. One set won't damage the frets, not in my experience anyway.
Just my two pen'orth!
Post Number: 1095
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 5:58 am: |
That's a fair statement given the extremely light gauge strings we're talking about. Assuming he can find 'em in S/S in those gauges, it probably wouldn't hurt to try, but I wouldn't make it a regular habit if fret longevity is valued.
Post Number: 1096
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 6:04 am: |
FWIW, what about those "coated" strings a la Elixir? They come at a premium, are not quite as brite as uncoated strings, but hold their tone a little longer.
Personally, I'd find a set that I can live with in roundwound nickel and stock-up during a Sam's *ss or Garbage Center blowout. If not, Beaver over at Bass Central offers decent string bulk purchases. With the strength of the Pound Sterling relative to Dead Presidents, the S&H to the Bonny Shores might be worth it.
Post Number: 633
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 6:37 am: |
Generally speaking, on a short scale you tend to need heavier strings to get the same (subjective) tension as on a long scale. If you check the TI website, you see that the medium scale set has a heavier E string than the long scale set.
Post Number: 530
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 7:28 am: |
I have always used Rotosounds (Swing Bass) until very recently switching to a set of Dean Markley Blue Steels and don't need a fret job yet, and I tend to beat on it...
Post Number: 246
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 8:18 am: |
I have used roundwounds on my Essence since new which is 13 years now and still no fret job. I don't have a light touch and can always replace the frets when that time comes. I say go for the tone that you are looking for and enjoy your instrument. I think if any of the bass masters were worried about fretware I don't think they would be the pioneers that they were. Repeat after me, "Pick up my bass and play the crap out of it!" I also have a Series I that I had Alembic refurb for me and while I take care of my instruments they receive no special treatment. These are instruments that are made to be played to the max so try playing it and if you need a fret job in 10 years, get one. Just my thoughts!
Post Number: 259
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 11:23 am: |
I agree with you on that. Play the bass like it'/s meant to be played. It's not like you are gonna need a refret every other year is it?
Unless you have a grip like a G-clamp and doing tone and a half string bends that is.
I put Rotosound pressurewounds on my MM Sterling but although they sound good and keep their bright tone longer, they feel like sandpaper so I'd imagine they would exacerbate fret wear. However I play it so little since I got my alembic :-) that It;s not something I worry about.
Good bass strings here in the UK are pretty expensive so experimentation is not a cheap pastime.
Post Number: 490
|Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 11:36 am: |
as for the Optimas maybe it was a "bad" set I had.
Donīt know. But I claimed this with the manufacturer and I am waiting for an answer.
I still have the original Maxima Golds on Johns Ovation bass and they are great.
The gold surface of the Optimas had been completely worn off after approx. 24 hours of playing. Also the underside, where the strings have contact to the frets were completely worn away to the core.....
Post Number: 1102
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 5:32 am: |
Hmmmm. I really only bought them because I knew they'd look good on my bass. The JAE connection was also an impetus to buy them. He was so anal about his equipment you just knew that what he used had to be good ("Thunderfingers Approved"!). I originally bought one set, but then I went back to the guy I bought 'em off of on EBAy and cleaned-out his stock...just in-case they were good. They're hard to come by here, so I made an impulse buy and took a gamble. I assumed the plating wouldn't hold-up during extended playing...this was never a consideration for John as he had his axes restrung daily...and we all know expense was of little consequence for the OX, LOL!