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Strings for Ibanez


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I'm sure that you could use any string set to put on it. You don't necessarily have to use Fender strings on Fender basses, so you can use whatever strings you want. As for suggestions, I'm using D'Addario EXL (methinks) strings (the biggest set)on my 5string, and Fender .45-.105's on my fretless 4. Yeah, those are rounds, too. Gives it a Jaco feel, and a nice sound.
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I've been stringing my Ibanez 5 string with Thomastik-Infeld PowerBass strings the last couple of years. For me these are some great strings. I've tried DR's, GHS, Ken Smith, Fender, Dean Markley's, D'Addario's over the years. All are good strings and have there good points and not so good points. I like the TI's for the smaller radius B string (.119) and the strings feel and response. YMMV though.

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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I did not have a string preference for my Ibanez, but I mentioned to the music store owner that my strings were going dead too fast, and that I liked very smooth strings, he pointed me to the "Elixir" brand. I am not a good enough bass player to know how they sound compared to other strings, but I think they sound fine.

 

They are coated and they are supposed to last 5 times longer than regular strings cause they won't absorb the skin oils, and they are really very smooth. I like them cause my hands are small (typical girl hands) and when I am having to slide all around to get to where I want to go, it's easier on my fingertips.

 

I've only had them for a month, but if they are still good in a year (that's 5 times for me), then I'll know they are great.

 

I am very very easy on strings. I play with a pick and have a bery gentle (yet Rockin') approach.

 

I think the 4 string set cost me about $40.

 

Hope that helped... Connie Z

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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I also play Ibanez (rather stridently), and swear by DR Highbeams. What kind of music/sound are you going for? That may inform others opinions some.

 

Just a thought...

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Rob T!

I've recently joined the light gauge string crowd. I use Fodera stainless steel sets which have a 120 low B string. I was really worried that it wouldn't "carry any weight" but the smaller diameter string actually speaks better with a much clearer/defined pitch. Chording is a dream with light guage strings. One's bass must have deep sounding pickups to some extent to sound bassy enough though. The Fodera strings are very stiff though and not rubbery at all.

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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I corresponded with Matt Garrison for awhile (at the time he was selling Fodera strings off his site and I bought a set of nickel ones). These are great strings! I bought them because they are compressed wounds (as are DRs and Smith Compressors among others). Compressed wounds of a given gauge actually have more mass because the pressure-winding process starts with a fatter winding and then mushes it down to an oval. This makes them slightly stiffer than the same size of roundwound, which is a feel I like : }

 

This makes a string with fantastic treble and practically roundwound-level upper mids that is still fairly smopoth to play and easy on frets and fretless boards. At the time Foderas were coming in both nickel-plated and stainless steel.

 

Check out the Alembic strings too if you can afford them. Same thing: extended freq response but smoother.

.
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Hi Greenboy,

 

I saw that Matt said that he was using a nickel set in his BP interview a year ago or so and hadn't seen anything but stainless listed (including on his site.) Have you had the chance to compare them with light stainless steel sets? Do you know where the nickels can be found? And finally... does Matt use stainless now, himself? How long did it take to receive them from N.Y.C.?

 

I think I've told you that I've met Matt and had a lesson with him.

He's a fantastic guy. Very helpful and obviously one of the greats for this century! Thanks, Jim T. (Any of you lowdowners who haven't heard Matt Garrison's CD yet, do yourselves a favor and order one from www.garrisonjazz.com!)

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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Jim T,

 

I have no idea what Matt plays now. Did you look on Fodera's site for the nickels? Maybe they dropped them. Been awhile but it seems like I had them within a week from NY.

 

In general stainless seem to be slightly more even in overtone distribution and clarity than nickel (just a bit though!), and maybe a smidgeon less output when played on rigs that don't have good upper response. It's been so long since I used stainless but it seems like it maintained this clarity for longer too.

 

I settled on ferric core Smith Compressors finally because I was able to get them cheaper and they were very similar. But i'm about ready to see what's cheapest now of all the good compressed wounds available today. Maybe DR this time (which so many seem to believe are roundwounds - well, they sure weren't when I tried them 3 years ago).

 

Yeah, Matt Garrison has music in him down to the core, and any guy like that who would correspond with me must have some redeeming qualities elsewhere as well ; }

.
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Greenboy,

Thanks for the info. The nickels seem to be history. If you'd care to privately email me to share Matt correspondence subject matter, feel free. I wish I lived near N.Y. these days so I could take a LOT more lessons!

 

To the original poster, in case you don't know... Ibanez uses D'Addario on the SR series. I had my local store call the factory. Hope that's helpful. Jim T.

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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Jim T,

 

Mostly it was about strings, his upcoming album, and what he was looking for in Epifani 12 cabs and how that was working out, as I had not yet got to hear them. Nothing earthshattering, really.

 

If you want to go toward nickel, Smith Compressors are nickel-iron alloy and have really worked out for me and my basses, and really seem to last without too much upper-mids and treble loss. After about 2 years on the same B string I am contemplating replacing it with a new one, and leaving the rest of the set as is until I become inclined to turn up my tweeter or something else equally rash ; }

.
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Hi GB,

Sorry, it took me awhile to get back to this thread...

Fair is fair, so I'll just relate what I corresponded with Matt about...

 

I had read in some magazine interviews that he wanted to tour less with other leader's bands and do seminars and tour with a group of his own. My wife and I have experience booking nationally touring folk and singer songwriter acts so I sent him a bunch of contacts and venue listings and offered to be a go between for him and his manager wlith several Pacific NW colleges and community colleges, etc.

 

Matt's since gone on to tour with Herbie Hancock and Pharoah Sanders among others, so he's either decided that that exposure would be necessary to get his name and presence out there or else it was just too tempting to perform with other greats of historical importance.

 

Thanks for the string info. I'm into my very first ever set of stainless lights and like them so far after years of nickel.

 

By the way, I believe Matt G. is now using Aguilar amps as he felt that the sponsorship relationship was on a more equal/give and take level with them.

 

During my lesson and the rest of the day I heard him play through his Epiphani rig and it sounded fantastic! I can't remember now but I think it was the triple 10 or 12. (I was blinded by awe :eek:

 

Thanks again! Jim T.

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jim T,

 

I'm getting some Fodera stainless steel compressed wounds (last time I got the nickel-coated ones - those appear to still be available at Just Strings ). I was going to get them from Matt but right now he only has the sets with high C; I want low B. I'm getting 40-60-60-100-120 this time around.

 

I also considered getting Alembic CX-3 compressed wounds but they are 45-65-85-105-128 and now that I can play without battering I want strings with more flexibility and easy sustain in the upper overtones.

 

DR Low Riders were also under consideration, but it looks like DR are no longer compressed-wounds, I think because of legal reasons. I could't verify that {why is it so many tech support people either don't know their lines or answer a question other than the one that ws asked? ; }

 

My Carvin LB75F is all excited to work with something else again!

.
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GB:...This makes them slightly stiffer than the same size of roundwound, which is a feel I like : }

I think you might like the Dave Wyre's GB... I've been playing the teflon medium gauge strings for about two days, and they sound great. :freak: ), I can only imagine a standard tuning feel. Very even string to string response... The E&A strings have brass balls and pretty thick threads at the other end, while the D has less thread, and the G has none. The D & G strings have chrome balls... I think the thread design makes alot of sense really... They sound almost like DR lowbeams but "thicker"... Just my opinion though...

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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greenboy, I use Alembic CX-3's on my six-string. I've using Dean Markley Blue Steels on my Kubicki since day one and tried the SR2000's on my six but ended up going back to the Alembics. Currently to my knowledge the only six-string sets that Markley makes are the SR2000's.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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Wally,

 

Those Alembics are great strings aren't they. A lot of people don't even realize they are NOT round wounds because of their sustain and tonality. And I like the fact compressed wounds don't build up gunk as easily as round wounds in between the windings.

.
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Jason,

 

I'm glad you dig the Dave Wyres. I figured I'd mention them because I've heard from a couple players who seem to know their strings that they are the best of their type. But I ordered Foderas again this time in stainless steel. I want compressed wounds on my fretless; the best of them seem to fool most people into thinking they are roundwounds with their tonality. The tension of a given gauge at a given tuning for true compressed wounds are typically higher than round wounds since they achieve that diameter having a larger wrap wire that is then compressed into an oval to get to the final diameter.

 

All the time I see people referring to the flexibility of a string as tension, but actually tension has to do with a given mass on a given scale and tuning. What makes some strings seem more "tense" is the fact that the combination of core wire to wrap wire ratio can be changed, the use of round instead of hex core wire, the alloys used vary in density, etc - all contributing to varying the flexibility. I'm coming to prefer strings that are not so flexible because for lower strings it makes them less floppy, and it also allows one to use smaller gauges with a lower setup.

.
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A few days ago I was talking on the phone with a guy who actually makes strings and has been in the industry at various big concerns for 20-some years. It was interesting to compare notes on the evolution of ground wounds and compressed wounds.

 

Basically, ground wounds use windings that are of softer material to make the grinding easy, and that impacts their balance of frequencies - and their life on fretted basses too since the frets gouge them easier. Ground wounds were the first generation of strings that were neither roundwounds or flatwounds.

 

Burnished strings: there are several methods of design that get lumped into the compressed wound category. Some are merely "burnished" round wounds - the burnishing process smooths the surface feel and makes them a little kinder to fingerboards on fretlesses - and on fingers. But like the ground wounds, softer alloys must be used for the wrap wire also, and that means less zing.

 

The next method also uses softer alloy with nickel plating as wrap, but the compression actually takes place on after it has been applied to the core. As I understood it, the process resembles burnishing, only more pressure is applied. This method also provides the player with a little more zing. But it can't be done with stainless steel (which has the most extended response) because the core wire would take too much stress during the compressing.

 

The third method is to use wind wire that has already been compressed to an oval shape. This can be done with hard stainless steel. Then the wire is wound around the core. It helps to have better winding machines to do this accurately so that the oval shape doesn't get "flipped", and the operator needs to be more skilled to make sure it is getting fed on correctly. This costs more to manufacture, but it's also the best way to get exceptional extended response and still have a smooth feel.

 

We talked for around an hour on his dime (whatever the alloy) and it was great to have suspicions about the industry confirmed, and to learn more about the balance between meeting customer demands and cost effectiveness. Though many people are making or buying winding machines (they can still call them "hand-wound" because it does usually require an operator), very few actual companies make the core and winding wires, and the brunt of the personal label strings out there are still made in just a few factories, with only the choice of materials and packaging supplied by the company/individual that markets them.

.
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