Your favorite strings?


DR and GHS.

I use GHS for the studio as they are insanely punchy but DR lasts longer so on tour I use them.


The new ones are laBella short flatwound on a silvertone. Changed by a tech in 2012. The other one? 20 year old flat boomers.


I used to use a D'Addario EXL regular nickle roundwound gauge .040 - .060 -.075 - .095 set for many years for my main 28,6" scale Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Bass, but finally realized they were a bit too floppy for such a short scale length in E standard tuning and went to beginning to use a gauge .045 - .065 - .085 - .105 set, and for some reason in that same instance began using Ernie Ball strings.

Looking back a .045 - .060 - .080 -.100 set would probably have been more fitting, as a gauge .105 set starts to feel pretty stiff on such a short scaled instrument (obvious they still will have less tension than if used on a 34" scale bass, but still the short scale will make the thick strings feel stiffer at a certain point. Same reason guitars usually use strings with much lower tension than basses does. Something to do with gauge vs. scale length, rather than tension vs. scale length), so a gauge .045 to .100 set would be what I would use today if I still tuned in E standard tuning, likely would also be using coated Elixir stainless steel rounds in that case.

However currently I tune my Mikro Bass in F# standard tuning, as in F#1 to A2, 2 half steps above E standard tuning, that I use for sort of a progressive psychedelic stoner rock solo project, where bass is going to be the primary instrument, that I am working on at the moment, and for that I've gone back to using a short scale D'Addario EXL regular nickle roundwound gauge .040 - .060 -.075 - .095 set, though with the gauge .060 string swapped out with a separate gauge .055 string for much more balanced tension.

If the Elixir coated stainless steel strings came in those gauges I would no doubt be using them instead, and I also pondered on maybe trying out D'Addario NYXL strings, instead of the regular EXL ones, though that likely will remain just a thought.

Way back when I still played my regular 34" scale Aria Pro II Laser Electric Classic as my main, usually tuned in drop D, as in D-A-D-G, I used a D'Addario EXL regular nickle roundwound gauge .055 -.075 - .090 -.110 set.

So talk about a pretty radical change in preferences. :eek: :p
So I recently discovered that the riffs I have been working on for the songs to the bass/drums vocals solo project that I mentioned in the the above quoted post, which in the meantime has evolved into a bass/vocals and drums duo, worked better with my bass tuned an additional half step up, to G standard tuning, as in 2 half steps bellow standard A baritone tuning, and for that the .095 to .040 set had a bit too high tension, feeling a bit too stiff.

So I decided giving the D'Addario NYXL nickle roundwounds a try, which got a new high carbon steel alloy core, and with the nickle wound wrapped tighter together, as well as they have slightly lower tension than similar gauged XL nickle wound strings, making then more flexible and the tighter nickle wounds making them feel a bit smoother.

To get the desired tension I had to use guitar strings for the 3 upper strings though, which has slightly higher tension than the NYXL strings for bass at similar gauge, which I assume means a bit thicker core.

Anyway, so I ended up with a gauge .095 NYXL bass string, and gauge .070 - .053 - .038 NYXL guitar strings, the length of the guitar strings actually fitting perfectly to my Mikro Bass's just 28,6" scale length, threading the guitar string through the cut off ball ends of bass strings, for them to not fall through the bridge string holes.

That combination giving me almost perfectly balanced tension across all 4 strings, which is just about 30 lbs pr string when tuned to G standard (which is 1 to 2 lbs lower than the tension of the A and G string on a regular short scale 30" 4 string bass equipped with a gauge .100 to .045 D'Addario XL Nickle roundwound string set and tuned in regular E standard tuning), pretty much the same as the gauge .095 - .075 - .055 - .040 set tuned in F# standard, only the tension being even more equally balanced, including the .095 string, which otherwise had been about 2 lbs bellow the average tension of the other strings.

And as it turned out they also happens to be really balanced output and tone wise.

But the best thing is the considerably improvement of the tone these strings are responsible for!

Beside the D'Addario NYXL having slightly higher output than regular D'Addario XL Nickle strings, and feeling a bit smoother and really nice on the fingers, they have this really snappy edge and punch, though without being too brittle or harsh, but rather having an exquisite clarity, as well as what sounds like a distinct upper mids boost, which I absolutely love.

They actually got a bit of that stainless steel strings flavor, but without the fret eating part or the coarse feeling of playing on something reminiscent of a metal file.

Time will tell how I like them when they are a bit more broken in and lost that spanking new strings metallic zing, but I can tell already now that even without that fresh string zing I will like the basic tone they deliver a lot more than regular XL strings, and the set of single strings I use is only about 40% more expensive than the XL set I used before, and as the consensus of people who use these strings seems to be that they typically will last up to 3 times longer than regular XL Nickle roundwound strings before they go dull, I'd say it is money well spend.

The D'Addario NYXL nickle roundwound strings with a high carbon steel alloy core is no doubt by far my new favorite strings for bass.

Just "Wauh!", simply amazing strings!

Without question what I am going to use in the future for all my basses, and might even try them out for my electric guitar as well, even if I am actually really satisfied with the Elixir Nanoweb strings that is on my guitar currently (their bass strings not exactly my cup of tea though).
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For about as long back as I remember, it was D'Addario 50-105- going back 25 years or so.

Around 8 years ago my left hand got crushed in a tragic elevator accident- one of the things I've done in the past few years to compensate has been to switch to (much) thinner strings. I think I'm on Rotosound 40-90 right now- They're guitar strings.

It's funny being a creature of habit- and then changing things up...

PB Wilson

Since my strings seem to last for years and years, I've only got a few different sets to report on. My Yamaha (P-bass style) has had flats forever with the last set being Rotosound 45-100 that I got for cheap. They've been great. Before that I used D'Addario Chromes and they served me well.

I've got a set of LaBella Bass VI flats on the way for a 30" scale Bass VI I'm making from an old Tiesco Moserite-style body and a Danelectro neck. Looking forward to trying them out.


I put a set of Elixir Nanoweb Stainless Steel (45-105) strings on my Schecter Baron-H Vintage two months ago and they were just what the doctor ordered!


I waited too long to try flats on bass. I even like them on my mother tongue (6 string)... but i just took my d’addario nickels off and put on some chromes - my tribute SB-2 is a studio monster now.

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