Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

strings -- la bella hard rockin' steels.


Recommended Posts

here's the short story. i put la bella hard rockin' steel .045 .065 .085 .105 on my cirrus BXP today. they are teh r00lz. they're exactly what that bass needs. usually i'm a .045 .065 .080 .100 guy, but not this time.


here's all the back story that is important only to me, and which i'm posting because i'm self-indulgent.


when i heard that d'addario was discontinuing their slowound strings, i bought a set for posterity and eventually used them on my cirrus BXP. they sounded good, but there was something about the strings that didn't quite work with my instrument. i started considering the idea that maybe it really wants stainless steel strings to sound right.


then i was saving cash and curious about DR black beauties. they gave me over a year of service, and i was thankful for how long they lasted while sounding pretty respectable. eventually it was time for them to go, though, and that was about the time that larry hartke sent me a set of his strings. they were pretty decent, and they had an aggressive sound i enjoyed. they didn't last very long, though. and since i'm going to toledo for the über-gathering of bass gear tomorrow, i had to get the right strings to really make this bass sound great.


i decided it was time to try some stainless steel strings. i'm fortunate enough to live near low down sound, detroit's sole bass only store. it's a great place.


my bass and my preamp are both rather rich in the mids, so i really don't need a string to accentuate the mids like i had always looked for in the past. instead, i should be looking for a string with slightly shy mids, but the hi-fi nature of the cirrus made zingy highs not so much a priority.


from what i've been reading at talkbass and in the BP string shootout, i decided that la bella hard rockin' steels fit that profile. fortunately, so do the prosteels.


so i headed to LDS this afternoon. they happen to be a dealer for both d'addario and la bella. which is good, because i couldn't decide which appeared to be the best fit. so i bought a set of both. the HRS only come in .045 to .105, and i have always bought the XL170 set -- .045 .065 .080 .100. but i was feeling saucy, so i bought a set of prosteels in .045 to .105 to make the comparison more even. also, i have thought maybe the lighter .080 and .100 A and E strings have held me back a bit in detuning to Eb.


i put the HRS on first, and let me tell you: they nailed the tone i was looking for. they're aggressive, but somehow also even sounding on my bass. they just sound alive. they really work with the response of the VFL active pickups. i guess both my assessment of my bass and preamp sounds and BP's assessment of the string sounds were spot on, because i got exactly what i expected from a set of strings for, like, the first time in my life.


but i'm super pumped that my bass will shine among the sadowsky, celinder, MTD, and expensive custom basses tomorrow. and it's a great story if anyone will listen.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Labella strings are underrated.


Glad you found a nice pairing of string-type, gauge, and instrument.


That said, I cannot seem to get off my DR Highbeams addiction. Luckily I purchased a stockpile when Musician's Friend has a 30% off sale some time back. The only string to come close is the Zon stainless rounds I currently have on my Warwick Thumb.


By the way, what amplification have you been using lately? The Warwick/Crest or the Peavey Classic? Did you ever find a mate for your HT112?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i like DRs. they're really good strings. especially the highbeams. i really like loose feel of the round core. those strings are made for J basses. i used to use the sunbeams, though, to get a slightly warmer tone.


these days i've been gigging with the rack and rehearsing with the C400. my bandmates like the C400, but they don't like to help me carry it. and when i compared the two, there's a lot less difference than what you'd think. some tones are easier to get on the C400, and some from the warwick. but the general idea is pretty close.


i got to play the warwick through an IP today. i don't know what kind it was -- maybe a prototype. i can't love that preamp enough. the cirrus also represented well in a room with at least 10 sadowsky basses, a half dozen valentis, a half dozen MTDs, and a half dozen skjolds. there were still more beyond that, but those are the big dollar basses. i can't wait to record with it on sunday.


no mate for the HT. i guess i don't really need it yet.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im addicted to DR too. I've tried Hi-Beams, Lo-riders and Sunbeams. I now use Sunbeams as this suits my set-up. Listening to Jaco's Portrait of Tracy yesterday reminded me of the sound of stainless steels and I might try some more stainless in the future. Oh and BTW I love the feel of the DRs.



"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats, robb. Great joy in finding the right string match.


I'm very happy with the DR Sunbeams on my Nordstrand.


Was there a gathering of forumites from another forum perhaps that you attended recently?


The Warwick preamp is nice. I temporarily have one in my possession and I'm finding it lovely. It happens to be one that's been robbed.


This thread also reminds me that I don't have any strings in the house besides those on my basses. Time to buy some...









Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was there a gathering of forumites from another forum perhaps that you attended recently?


[harry potter]

"yes, there was gathering for people from the forum which must not be named," whispered robb.


essdubbs responded, "you mean talkba-"


"don't say it!" robb cut him off.

[/harry potter]


here is the gear list that people brought:


Sadowsky MV4

AccuGroove Tri112 & Tri 115

ThunderFunk 550B

Groove Tubes DITTO Box Tube DI/Mic Pre SOLD (to Tom )!

Carver PM900 power amp I could bring)

crest pro 7200

MXR M-188 Auto Q

Demeter Outboard EQ pedal

Demeter Compulator

Am. J Deluxe 5

Am. '62 RI P

Zon Legacy Elite 5

Skjold Pro Deluxe 5 - (Maple/Ash - Pao/Maple)

Sadowsky 24-Fret 5 - (Maple/Ash - Ebony/Maple)

MTD 535 - (solid, Maple/Ash - Ebony/Maple) (request)

Zon Sonus 5 - (Redwood/Ash - Composite)

American Deluxe P 5 - (Alder - Maple/Maple)

Zon Sonus Custom 5 - (Maple/Ash - Composite) (maybe)

(up to two possible surprise basses)

Mod'd Hartke Pro 2200 - (request)

Daion Power Mk. XX-B

Yamaha BB3000s

Skjold 6


Ernie Ball Vol Pedal

Sadowsky MV5 NYC

Sadowsky RV5 Metro

LDS 210 UL

LDS 212 UL

passive Marcus Miller with Aeros

HMR Elite Custon Series Jazz 5

Cirrus 5

cirrus BXP sample

Epifani 310UL

Epifani 212UL

Thunderfunk 550A

Sadowsky Metro MS5

Rob Allen fretless 5

Sadowsky MS4

Geddy Lee w/Sadowsky pickups

Ampeg 4x8

MIA Fender Jazz Deluxe 5

Reverend 5L

Lakland 5-76 (maybe- I hope!)

Hartke 2.5XL

Valenti Black Vintage J4

Valenti Black Vintage P4

Valenti Black Vintage J5 (thanks Fretless5erfan)

Valenti CAR Vintage J4

Valenti Blueburst Standard J4

Sadowsky Trans-Blue Vintage J4

Lakland Trans-White 4-94

Epifani T212


Frankie the Fender wannabe

4-string Yancey

Lakland 55-02D

warwick quadruplet


the gear that tom owns is better linked to here. you really can't fathom that one person owns all this gear until you see it with your own eyes. it's literally a museum of coveted amps and cabinets, as well as about a dozen really nice basses. i mean, he owns more gear value than many people's houses.


also, pete skjold flew up from dallas, and nino valenti drove in from new york. nino makes really nice fender-style basses and is a very good player. pete builds outstanding custom basses and can flat out smoke. there were maybe a couple guys there that were better players. both super nice guys.


it was fun.


It happens to be one that's been robbed.


nice. ;)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

[Eeyore]512 images of people playing basses.... couldn't have been too much fun. Oh well. [/Eeyore]


Glad your found your strings, robb. I may try those on the Toby next time I renew my subscription to that other bass publication. I tried Deep Talkin' Bass last time and they were fine, just didn't get me committed for life they way the Fenders have on my G&L. The Toby has been through a number of different brands without finding the one. I'll probably grab some Sunbeams from the DR rep at the upcoming Tulsa Guitar Show as well.



- Matt W.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite a gathering.


Looks like it's almost competitive with the BBB Fest. Almost...


While we may not be able to compete in terms of gear with Tom "The Gear Accumulator" Bowlus , we do run a classy show here each summer. ;-}







Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

here's a picture of me showing off a valenti with nordstrand dual coils. my eyes are squinty due to chance, but you can see me in my 197 pound glory:




but i guess the more notable aspect of that photo is the two preamp racks with, in order from top to bottom...


above the rack

millenia TD-1 recording channel

bergantino LD-1 line driver


top rack

kern IP-777

read purity

alembic F-1X

alembic SF-2

hughes & kettner fortress


bottom rack

fender TBP-1

epifani quest II

tube works blue tube

presonus eureka channel strip and pre

peavey TMP-1 tube mic pre



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking lean and mean robb!


LaBella make great strings - I used the Deep Talkin' Rounds for a good few years. I'm quite curious about the nickel strings I'll be having on my forthcoming custom, as I've always used s/s but couldn't get them in the gauges I wanted. Based on clips I've heard it seems nickels are fuller in the mids and more muted on top, which will probably suit this dead string lover.


Is that a cab I haven't seen before? A Bergantino 15"+2x6"+horn by the look of it. And that looks like an ISP Technologies 15"+2x8" next to it. So much gear, so little time...


On a cab tangent, I'm now thinking a DR250 plus Titan 39 might be overkill (like as loud and deep as an 8x10" plus 2x15") - now pondering an OmniTop12 (1x12" horn loaded cab) plus one or two 1x15" compact subs for gigs, again bi-amping when the subs are used.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

so you're still on BFM cabs? that rig sounds like insanity (in a good way). but i'm glad i don't really want real fundamental. i'd probably be happy with a single DR250. a pair would be more than enough for me!


i'm at 14 stone, and my goal is 13 stone. i'm almost there! i have weighed as much as 20 stone (280 pounds) at one point in my adult life.


you did see a bergantno IP with what appears to be a 15 and 2 sixes. that is what i referred to as, "i think it might be a prototype." i assume the jam session was through that and the IP 212 beneath it. i only spent some time with my quadruplet through the proto IP. it was LOUD. and it was too loud in the room to get a good idea of how it's different from others.


but i did get to spend some time with a bergantino NV215. the amp sources were a trace elliot V8, a traynor YBA-200, and a sadowsky SA 200. sweet. i really wished i had pulled out tom's C400 to put on top. that is a dream rig.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a fun gathering robb.

I like both La Bella's and DR's. For LB's I like the Super Steps, what a great sound; and in DR's it's Marcus Miller Fat Beams at the moment. Both have sounded great on my Jazz V.

Visit my band's new web site.









Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...