Best Bass Strings

Discussion in 'The Squier Bass Place' started by Hugh, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
    squierbilly likes this.
  2. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
    Oops...forgot one
     
    squierbilly likes this.
  3. Jmv668

    Jmv668 Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Feb 21, 2017
    Chile
    La Bella are better for me.
     
    BobWithOneO and Hugh like this.
  4. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
    I have no doubt that I would like them as well. Couple of my favorite bass players used them.

    I have switched to short scale basses and the LaBella were going to be the next set of flats I was going to try. I was actually going to order them along with the Roto 77 short scale set but they were out of stock.

    Anyhow, a word to the wise to anyone thinking of trying the 77 set on a Musicmaster with the top load Bridge or Mustang PJ.

    Europe's idea of a short scale must be a 32in scale. My TI Jazz Flats, I wound up with about a half inch of the exposed flat winding on the post of the E string and a little less than a quarter inch on the A string. It was no big deal though because the TI's are so flexible. They sound great but I still had those last two sets to try, 77s and La Bella.

    The E was a royal pain to wrap the E on the post. Talk about a stiff string, man. Fortunately they're short scale set has a .090 E. Any thicker would have really been a chore.

    But I wound up with just silk only on all four tuning posts.

    0812180500a.jpg

    Got them installed and tuned up, plugged in and liked what I heard but the intonation was off. All four Strings fretted very sharp.

    I started adjusting intonation on the E and ran out of adjustment. The spring on the saddle bolt was totally compressed. Never ran into that issue before.

    Now I'm thinking that I just have a bad E string. So I go ahead and set the intonation on the other three strings and wind up having the silk on the A & G a bit past the break point of their saddles. So now I'm thinking that perhaps I don't have a bad E. I just don't have enough adjustment.

    The adjustment bolt springs are fairly long and stiff on the Mustang PJ Bridge, so after thinking for a few minutes what I could do, I got a crazy idea.

    Took the spring off of the E string bolt and rooted around in my parts box and found a shorter spring that came off of a strat trem assembly. That would give me more adjustment on the saddle to intonate but I was going to have the outer flat winding Way past the breakpoint of the saddle.

    I'm getting pretty frustrated by now but I got an idea. I took the E string off and cut the ball end off of a set of rounds I knew I would never use. I tried it and it slid down the string to the ball end when I fed it onto the string. I went ahead and added a second ball end and it appeared that would move the ball end of the string itself far enough from the bridge to give me some wiggle room on intonation. Wasn't quite enough so I had to add a third one. With two, I almost had the intonation spot on so I knew that a third one would do the trick.

    This is what it will end up looking like

    0807180219.jpg

    Adding the third ball end to lengthen the string further from the bridge, caused the ball end of the string to angle down and touch the body. Not a lot of pressure where it touched the body but that wasn't going to work because when I tuned the string up the pitch the ball end had no room to turn. I would have wound up with twisting which is a bad thing. That can cause intonation and turning issues itself.

    So I took a ballpoint pen apart and slid the ink tube under the ball end I was using as an extender, the one nearest the ball end of the string and that lifted the ball end of the string far enough off the body so it could turn as I tuned up.

    Got it intonated and good to go. The strings sound fantastic at that point so I go ahead and set the witness points. Check the intonation again and had to tweak three of the four a tad and intonation is spot-on.

    The sstrings have had a chance to settle for a week now and I check the relief and intonation again this morning and all is well. I expected to have to tweak the relief in the neck due to the higher tension of the 77s but it's still fine.

    I wasn't going to tolerate having that look of the E extended past the bridge like that but the strings sounds so sweet I'm going to let it ride. The bass is red and the ball end is red so I'll just find a red piece of thin cardboard to place under the ball end of the string to protect the finish. That will look a lot better than the piece in the photo above. Again, the ball end does not pdress against the body with much pressure at all. Don't have to lift up on the string to slide the cardboard under it. One other result of having to pull the saddles so far back is the tighter string angle and breakpoint at the saddles are keeping the or keeping the saddles from sliding around as is common with that style bridge. Cool

    Thursday night I played them for nearly two hours and finally heard the tone I had been chasing.

    So I'm going to let them ride.
     
  5. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

    Carol Kaye says Thomastik Jazz Flats.
     
    Hugh likes this.
  6. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
    Yep, they are sweet strings for sure. I've had them on two basses and dig them. The set I took off of my Mustang PJ is going on my second Mustang PJ want to find a deal on one.
     
  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

    Obviously what Carol Kaye likes may or may not help everyone else, especially since she uses a pick and bases her string preference on how they sound when picked.

    Edit: Posted at the same time as your last post, Hugh. Cool that you've tried them and verify they're decent strings. I'm not a bass player, but have a bass. I've never changed its strings, but they're bright sounding rounds.
     
    Hugh likes this.
  8. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
    No biggie Jim. Rounds have their place as well and certainly more players use rounds than not.

    I just like the feel of flats and the lack of finger noise. I could negate the finger noise by developing better technique of course.

    But I slide a lot and for the stuff I play flats or just a better choice for me.

    Rock on
     
  9. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

    That's exactly the way I feel about flats for guitar. They feel better and don't squeak all the time. I've settled on half-flat for the Strat and Tele. They retain most of the round brightness, but feel like flats and don't squeak. Also, the hope is for less fret wear.
     
    Hugh likes this.
  10. TheKurdtz

    TheKurdtz Squier-holic

    Age:
    22
    Sep 13, 2017
    Holland
    i use warwick red labels, cheap & effective!
     
    Hugh likes this.
  11. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
    Never heard of them but found a cool shootout video between them and the Roto 66 set

     
  12. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
  13. LzeroKI

    LzeroKI Squier-Meister

    283
    Jan 13, 2014
    North Carolina
    Just to muddy the water further, I'm going to say GHS Boomers. I know they have a reputation as a "cheap" option for strings, but once I put a set on my P bass and one of my jazz basses, I loved them. Previous to that I used D'addrios (nothing wrong with them), but something about the tone of the Boomers "clicked" with me, and they've been my go to since.
     
    Hugh likes this.
  14. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    53
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    Roto 66. Put them on once, set it, forget it. I have some sets over 30 years old.
     
    Hal Nico, RoyalWe and Hugh like this.
  15. Jmv668

    Jmv668 Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Feb 21, 2017
    Chile
    My Hofner and P bass use labellas flat only, love the tone.
    For rounds labella Rx sounds awesome on my jazz bass.
    Labella people is awesome, one day one string broken (my fault) , emailed them and they send me a new one internaltionally for free.
     
    Hugh and RoyalWe like this.
  16. optofonik

    optofonik Squier-holic

    • La Bella Danelectro Longhorn Flats 042 .056 .065 .083 for the Dano LH
    • Rotosound Long Scale Swing 66 .45 .65. .80 .105 for the Dano '63
    • D'Addario ENR71 Nickel Half Round .45 .65. .80 .100 for the Jack Casady Epi
    • D'Addario EXL170TP Nickel Wound .45 .65. .80 .100 for the Ibanez SR750 and Thunderbird Classic IV
    • GHS Boomers roundwound .45 .65 .88 .105 .130 for the Ibanez SR905
    Horses for courses.

    This is a cool comparison of various winds...



    I dig those nylons.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
    Hugh likes this.
  17. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    I like the D’Addario Chromes and nylon tapes, though I haven’t tried LaBellas yet.
     
    Gunny and Hugh like this.
  18. Hugh

    Hugh Squier-Nut

    908
    Dec 15, 2009
    USA
    @Jmv668

    Horses for courses indeed.

    You really do have to try different sets for a particular bass.

    Gets expensive. You can try to 10 sets of 6 string Electric strings for about 50 bucks or so.

    Try ten sets of bass strings, and you've spent enough to get a fairly nice used bass.

    Fortunately you can sell used sets of bass strings though. Especially flats. Guys sell them quite often on TalkBass.

    But it sure is nice when you find the set that works.

    Btw, if anyone Googles "donate strings", there are several organizations that will accept used strings, both guitar and bass. Many of these groups send them to third world countries.

    Here's an example.
    http://www.secondstringsproject.org/partners/
     
    optofonik likes this.
  19. brash47

    brash47 Squier Talker

    Age:
    53
    35
    Feb 18, 2018
    US
    Dean Markley Blue Steel Rounds or Ernie Ball Cobalts Rounds.

    I've come to love both....but been using the Blue Steels since the 80s.
     
    Hugh likes this.
  20. gearobsessed

    gearobsessed Squier-holic

    Aug 21, 2013
    new zealand
    I'm a 66 swing set guy.
    I was using elixirs until I was a little skint on coin one day and picked up the rotos, and was pleasantly surprised at the bright tone and pop they had over the elixirs, and cost less!
     
    Hugh likes this.