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DR Black Beauties


dcr

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I know that some folks here (SteveC, Getz, others) have tried these strings. So far, what's the verdict? Are the holding up? And how's the coating? For some reason I thought they were anodized; but is it true that they're actually coated?

 

I'm interested in them because I heard a set being played, & liked the deep, warm-but-just-bright-enough kind of sound. I'm looking for something for my J, which I have to admit can get a little honky or brittle if the strings are too bright or thin-sounding. So I thought maybe a roundwound that would have the characteristic roundwound growl, but also have a nice deep voicing. From what I heard, these seemed to do that. Another option is the D'Addario Slowound.

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dcr,

 

Having seen them, I can describe them. They are coated, but unlike Elixers (older Elixers?), it's the individual wires that are coated before they are wound.

 

I'm looking for the same characteristics as dcr. I've had DR HiBeams, which came on the bass. They lasted well, but were a bit too zingy. I've got TI Powerbass on now, and they are about the same. I was contemplating going flat, but these might be a good choice. I'm looking forward to the player comments.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Add me to the curious list as well.

I have not usually liked coated strings, and I really don't like tapewounds.

But my fretless needs something new, and I have considered the DR BBs, among as well as several flats.

Anyone?

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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I tried them on an L2000 and took them right off. I didn't care for the feel or the tone. Just my opinion, of course, but they really did nothing for me.

One other thing that was odd with those strings: The coating acts as an insulator of sorts - so, if you ever have a bass where, if you take your hands off the strings and can here a slight buzz..well, guess what - these strings will prevent your hands from making eletrical contact with the strings.

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

I've had DR HiBeams, which came on the bass. They lasted well, but were a bit too zingy. I've got TI Powerbass on now, and they are about the same. I was contemplating going flat, but these might be a good choice.

Funny you should say that! I had basic D'Addarios on mine, & there was a bit too much "tin" to them, so I switched to TI Powerbass...a good string, but I thought they sounded pretty much like strings I'd just taken off! Later I slapped on a set of Fender flats I had lying around...dig. But a set of rounds that would do the trick would really be appreciated.
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I can't tell the difference between the new set of Black Beauties and High Beams.

 

However, the Black Beauties seem to age even better than the High Beams; I've had them on for at least 3 months and they are holding up. Still have a good, matured snap that I love High Beams for.

 

They are pricey.

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I like mine as well. I bought them strictly for the look. My jazz is all black and gold, so I wanted black strings. I have always liked DR, so I went with these.

 

I can't really tell any difference from my HighBeams - except for a slight difference in feel. Not better or worse, just different.

 

As for lasting longer, mine still sound new, but I only play it at home. I don't gig it frequently right now at all.

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

I've had DR HiBeams, which came on the bass. They lasted well, but were a bit too zingy.

A less zingy sounding conventional round from DR would be the Lo-Riders. Slightly less top, more bottom and a bit stiffer.

 

Originally posted by getz76:

I can't tell the difference between the new set of Black Beauties and High Beams.

 

However, the Black Beauties seem to age even better than the High Beams; I've had them on for at least 3 months and they are holding up.

I think the Black Beauties are basically coated Hi-Beams and the Bootzillas coated Lo-Riders.

 

I really like the Bootzillas - they've got the perfect blend of bottom, growl, wetness and brightness straight out of the box IMO. Mine still sound like new after 3 months (though they've not had many hours on them - probably only about 50 - I almost always practice on my double ball-end demanding fretless).

 

I'd recommend them if you want a round with a bit more oomph and less sparkle.

 

Alex

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Well, by now you know all the string families, and might be aware of the charts some companies provide on where various sets of theirs fall in the tonal spectrum...

 

That leaves pickup height adjustment, EQ, and hand technique. I'm amazed I can play these Labella Super Step (taper core SS) on my ebony-board fretless and get 'em to sound practically like tapewounds - or anywhere in between - just by how I'm playing,. with maybe a little help from judicious EQ (I subscribe to the "You can take it away if it's there to start with but it's very hard to add it if it doesn't exist" school).

 

Really though, how something sits in the mix can really change one's perception of whether they need to change anything. A lot of times it's not anything on the bass that needs the adjusting - it's US ; }

 

On the other, uh, hand, I did enjoy buying a crapload of different types of strings and really learning them at one time. But now I'm much more interested in getting balanced tension sets, which practically no company but TI (and Smith for a couple types) even have a clue about - almost always everybody else has their A and D strings are usually about 10 pounds tighter than the E and G, and the B is usually 5 pounds lighter than E and G.

 

SIT has been balancing Extended Range sets in one of their types: Rock Brights. Those are what Conklin sells for premium dinaros. But I'm waiting for SIT to do the same for their Silencers, which I really like. So I won't have to put together sets with singles, or settle for prepackage "every .020" gradations.

.
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  • 7 months later...

Got my Black Beauties and installed them Monday night.

 

I like 'em. They sound great on my Toby and add some growl that I haven't noticed for awhile. They are bright, which is OK by me. Perhaps the old 2x15 rig helps to keep the brightness under control.

 

The 105 E string works better for me than the 110 that I replaced (La Bella Deep Talkin' Bass, stainless, Medium 44-110... kept them because they still have life).

- Matt W.
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Originally posted by Matt W:

The 105 E string works better for me than the 110 that I replaced (La Bella Deep Talkin' Bass, stainless, Medium 44-110... kept them because they still have life).

And with all the searching I used to go through, I thought no-one else used those LaBellas. Great strings, but the sonic balance is a little uneven despite the feel being so even from string to string. Still enjoying those Bootzillas - think they've just reached their first birthday!

 

Alex

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I've had DR Red devils on my main 5'er

for about 3 months, Still sound good - have that

new but worn in a bit sound, & I haven't did my

regular "wipe down before playing with rubbing alcohol" thing I would normally do with reg. strings, & although some of the coating has flaked off of the A string near where I occasionally use a pick fairly aggressively on a few songs, they still sound pretty good. I'm thinking about ordering a peacock

blue set ....

 

:wave:

I'm Todbass62 on MySpace
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Originally posted by Davo-London:

What did BP magazine conclude in their assessment of strings in the Dec 04 issue. Did anyone get this?

Davo, does this help?

 

http://www.bassplayer.com/story.asp?sectioncode=21&storycode=4037

 

Geoff

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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Well, I've been searching for a really deep powerful tone with some snap to it for a while. It seems like most roundwound strings are way too zingy for me. So for a while I switched to the labella jamerson sets. I adapted to the high tension, but after a few months I decided I wanted to try rounds again. Right now I'm using dr hi beams and i love em, but they are still pretty zingy. Right now I'm considering the la bella deep talkin' rounds, dr lo rider, or bootzillas. Has anybody that has used these strings give me an updated testimonial? Also can anybody give me a comparison between the strings?

Man it was funny, I read dcr's initial description about the tone he wants from his strings and my heart just jumped up as i had my "THAT"S WHAT I WANT TOO :eek::love: !!!" moment.

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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I've got Fender flats--50s--on my Fender J & they're the best sounding strings I've ever had on it. Tension, but not too much. Extremely responsive, & sound totally different depending on how the pickups are balanced. I recently tried them in 45s, but not the same.

 

Meanwhile, plain vanilla D'Addarios on my Yamaha make a deep, low growl. It really depends on the instrument.

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I have used all of the coated DRs including the Bootsy strings and they all sound the same to me. I liked the tone of them, but the didn't last long enought to justify the dough spent. I'm having really good luck with Elixer nanowebs. I am on my second pack since January and I no longer boil strings. By the time they get too loose feeling and beat to use anymore, they still sound fairly bright.
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both my 4 (45-105) and 5 (45-125) are currently strung with Fatbeams and they sound great. They are still as bright as the other DR's that I've used, but I find that I have a little more control over the "zing" that is available (I can drop the tone on my J, for example, and there is still some "sparkle" to the string). I've got a set of Bootzillas standing by for my 4 and I'm still comtemplating a set of the Black Beauties.
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Originally posted by empiremark:

both my 4 (45-105) and 5 (45-125) are currently strung with Fatbeams and they sound great. They are still as bright as the other DR's that I've used, but I find that I have a little more control over the "zing" that is available (I can drop the tone on my J, for example, and there is still some "sparkle" to the string). I've got a set of Bootzillas standing by for my 4 and I'm still comtemplating a set of the Black Beauties.

I'm thinking of stringing my 4 string J bass to BEAD using Fatbeams. I usually prefer a 130 or 135 for the B. Do you find the 125 tight enough?

 

Geoff

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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The 125 is a bit on the floppy side for me as well. I do plan to restring with the 130 when I get to it (since my 5 isn't my main instrument at the moment, I've been experimenting with different gauges).
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DR Sunbeams on my Nordstrand 5 -- nickel roundwounds. I like them a lot. My first experience w/ DRs. Right now, I see no need to go elsewhere for this bass.

 

My guess is that the Sunbeams are probably slightly mellower than the Hi-Beams. HOWEVER, my caveat is that I've never played Hi-Beams (or at least not knowingly).

 

I use Ken Smith Rock Masters on my 4-string Carvin LB70. These are zingier. Fun w/ bite. Seem to age well.

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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  • 8 months later...
Bumping this up for some newer feedback. I've been contemplating putting a set on my Jack Casady. How are things going with the Black Beauties after a period of prolonged use? I'm concerned in one sense in that I've heard that when some of the coated strings die, they REALLY die. Other than that, does anyone have additional feedback on these?

Obligatory Social Media Link

"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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I had a set on my Stingray 5 when I bought it. I had Chad throw them on when I bought it and he did a quick setup on it to adjust the action to my liking. They sounded (and looked) awesome for about 3 weeks. When they died, they DIED. They did not last for serveral months like the Elixer or DR Bootzilla strings. I can also say that it wasn't just because I played that bass more for those 3 weeks. I have had Bootzillas or Elixers last 2 months on my Lull M5 and that bass sees more action than my other basses combined usually. No matter what I'm gigging with, I almost always use my M5 when I'm practicing at home. So.. food for thought I guess. I'm going to buy a few more sets of the Black Beauties because I do rather fancy the way they look on the black Stingray, but I am doing it assuming that they will not last an extra long time (like Extra gum!).

 

Another note: my experience with the Bootzillas and Elixers is that they last a long time die very slowly. I can always get "just one more gig" out of them when needed. When those Black Beauties died I had to change them, they sounded like butt.

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Originally posted by Nicklab:

Bumping this up for some newer feedback. I've been contemplating putting a set on my Jack Casady.

Dang, you really want to pump up the volume on that bass, don't you?!?! :eek::D

 

Bump had them on a black StingRay5. Maybe he should also comment on loudness as well as length of life... ;)

 

Peace.

--Dub $$

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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I never tried coated strings, but someone asked about the DR Fat Beams. Out of the package, they are IMO, the finest sounding set of strings out there. Full, fat, and well-defined (I play a fiver). However, a couple months down the road (I gig nearly every weekend) they lost their edge, and no amount of EQ could save 'em. Paid over $40 for a 5-string set from a popular online source, and I thought that was a bit steep for how long they lasted. If money is no object, I'd stock up on those Fat Beams, the sound is worth it. However, I think I found a more economical alternative, and they last longer. Try a set of D'Addario Pro Steels. Word of advice, if you have a 35 scale with a string-through body, order the extra long set.
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I'm very interested in the DR Black Beauties from what folks are saying about them on this topic.

 

I currently use nanowebs. DR's don't seem to be available in Cape Town so I'd have to order a set via the internet.

 

I'd be grateful if someone could suggest a few good value websites for me to start. They'll probably end up being quite pricey, especially with shipping added, so any savings I could make would help.

 

Best to contact me direct in the interests of avoiding spam.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I have had a set of the Red Devils (same strings as the Black Beauties in a different color) on my Warwick for almost a year. Since I've almost exclusively played my P bass since I bought it shortly after getting those strings, they are still okay. One thing that I have noticed is that the red coating is flaking off near where I pluck the strings. Great tone match up for that bass though, so I'll be getting another set when they give up.
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