Best Bass Strings Review – Top Rated Models in 2018 with Buying Guide
If you are out to find the best bass strings money can get you, but you don’t have the time to read all the info that we have gathered for you, this paragraph should help you make up your mind. After going through a multitude of specialized reviews and after reading what previous users have had to say about the choices in this category, we have concluded that the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel is the product that you should bear in mind before you make a purchase. This model consists of four bass strings that have been crafted from the finest materials available. Moreover, each string is made from a high carbon steel hex core that has been nickel plated with steel. Because of this, the product provides a rich, balanced tone that many musicians love. If you can’t find the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel, check out the D’Addario EXL160 Nickel.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
Let’s be honest, finding good bass strings is a somewhat challenging task for those that are novices when it comes to playing the bass guitar. However, because we know this a little too well, we are here to help you out! Below, you can find a list of reliable units that are worthy of your consideration.
Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel (B000MFL7UU)
The reason for this has to do with the fact that these strings are made from a nickel plated steel piece that has been wrapped around a tin plated high carbon steel core. As a consequence, the user can enjoy a balanced tone that works well on all bass devices.
As a plus, the product has been packaged in a low humidity environment, so that its buyers can enjoy its high-quality. What is more, these strings are known for having a smooth feel and for being quite durable, even when used for an extended period of time. Moreover, previous buyers have noticed that these strings can supply the user with a versatile range of tones and sounds.
D’Addario EXL160 Nickel (B000EEHDM0)
According to the manufacturer, these cords have been made using modern technology and advanced machinery in a controlled environment. Because of this, the model is said to perform well in all circumstances.
The product has been continuously praised for its durability and sustainability, and it has received plenty of favorable feedback comments from its previous buyers. On top of that, technically speaking, this unit can fit basses that have a string scale that measures up to 36 1/4 inches. The model is particularly suitable for those players that are interested in a low tune.
Jim Dunlop DBHCN45105 Heavy Core (B00CN082V4)
This model was optimized for playing Drop D and D Standard and, as a result, it offers the users the possibility of using lower tunings. The product has been packaged using no less than three levels of moisture protection. Additionally, these strings have been sealed in order to ensure that they arrive undamaged to the buyers.
At the time that we carried out our research, this product had overall good reviews from users. The model has a comfortable, some might say standard character, and the strings can be effortlessly used for down tuning.
Fender 9050 Stainless Flatwound (B003ACL2CK)
The set is made from stainless steel, a feature that guarantees its durability while its flatwound construction is said to reduce the noise made by the player’s fingers. According to overall reviews, this product is consistent and long-lasting. Also, these strings have a smooth feel that many fancy.
As expected, this model produced by Fender stands out because of its reliability and high quality. Because of this, most of its users highly recommend it to other interested buyers.
GHS Strings M3045 (B0002D01UO)
In order to make this product worth your consideration, the manufacturer has built it in a climate controlled facility. Therefore, this model is said to lock out corrosion and to pass the test of time. What is more, the M3045 strings are durable, and they have a warm tone to them that is neither too bright nor too metallic sounding. Also, these strings are soft on one’s fingers and very comfortable to use while practicing or when playing at a gig.
Over the course of time, this product has managed to gain many repeat customers that appreciate its consistency and prolonged lifespan. As a result, they warmly recommend it to other bassists.
Rotosound RS66LF Swing (B002CVUNMA)
According to the current users of the model, these strings are perfect if you are planning on using them for playing rock music. However, if you are interested in a silky smooth bass sound, it might be a good idea to look for an alternative product.
Additionally, we consider that it is important to point out that previous users of the unit have said that these strings are not particularly easy on one’s fingers. Therefore, if you have delicate hands, you might want to reconsider your decision to buy them. All in all, the model can provide its users with a great, consistent sound that all rock enthusiasts are likely to enjoy.
D’Addario EXL220BT Nickel Wound (B00AQBT414)
Therefore, these cords are said to produce a bright tone. This is possible because the unit is made of nickel plated steel. Moreover, the model comes shipped in an environmentally friendly package that is resistant to corrosion.
The product is suitable for those bassists that are searching for a harmonious sound. Additionally, you should know that the model’s users have said that the strings are exceptional when it comes to holding intonation and that they feel good when switching from one string to another. Also, the device has an even tone that most professional players look for. Lastly, this product offers great value for the money, and it is often regarded as a safe investment.
DR Strings FB5-45 Fat-Beams (B009P6E9ZW)
These strings have been handmade from high-quality stainless steel so that its users are provided with a top-notch sound and a smooth feel. The strings have a round core and a 38’ winding ball to taper.
Prior buyers of the product have mentioned that the model has an excellent overall tone and that it can maintain a bright sound over time even after prolonged use. Additionally, the strings are easy on one’s fingers. The product can be utilized when playing jazz, pop, blues, fusion and/or rock.
Apart from having an outstanding range, when installed, these strings are effortless to use, and they produce a great sound that you will certainly be happy with.
Elixir Strings Nickel Plated (B0002E1O68)
Also, in order to enhance the grip of the product, the manufacturer has coated these units with an ultra-thin Nanoweb coating that has been expressly redesigned to be used with bass guitar strips in order to ensure that they have a smooth and natural feel.
The model is worth your attention because this patented coating provides an enhanced grip that seasoned players think highly of. Moreover, the layer is known for actually extending the tone life of the strings. Lastly, this product has a long scale and a medium gauge that is quite versatile (045 .065 .085 .105).
DR Strings PB-45 Pure Blues (B009P6B3EM)
The product has been created to appeal to the modern bass player. To do so, the manufacturer has combined the last minute winding techniques with an alloy called quantum-nickel. Consequently, those that decide to purchase this product will be able to enjoy more top end clank and more power than that provided by traditional strings.
The players that have tested them have said that the strings are of good quality and that they produce an excellent sound. As a plus, differently from other units, this product has a modern tone that is both clear and punchy.
Last but not least, you might want to know that these strings have been handmade and that they have a scale length of 37 3/4″.
DR Strings NGB-45 Coated Nickel (B0044CSVRE)
According to the manufacturer, the unit is very durable and, therefore, it can pass the test of time with flying colors. Also, the properties of this string set are quite eye-catching as this product delivers more than enough sustainability, sturdiness, and tonality.
Differently from non-coated units, these strings have a smooth feel to them and, because of this, they are highly playable. Apart from looking exceptional, the strings sound good. Yet, current users of the product have said that, because of their design, these strings are better suited for rock bassists rather than blues players. So, give them a go!
DR Strings Sunbeam (B0002FO8E2)
The model is carefully handmade, and it consists of nickel-plated strings that have been wound on round cores. On top of that, because of the sensitive magnetic content of the strings, they are said to have an increased response to magnetic pickups.
Just like similar models produced by DR Strings, Sunbeam features the always recognizable flexibility and convenient feel (they are smooth to one’s fingertips) that many players simply love.
The product is appraised by previous buyers that appreciate the brightness of the tone and the ease of playing with it. The model has plenty of happy repeat buyers.
D’Addario NYXL45130 Nickel Wound (B019JD0S5K)
Also, the company has redone the nickel-plated steel wrap wire technique that it previously used so that the new unit has a better feel and more emphasized harmonics that the users can enjoy.
Besides, the steel core employed in the making of each string has been improved so that the tuning is more stable and the product is overall, more durable. This model can fit a scale bass that measures up to 36 1/4 inches. As expected the model is well liked by users and highly recommended to those interested in taking their playing abilities to the next level.
Jim Dunlop DBSBN40120 (B00JPCVEKE)
The model has a light tension that renders a superior response when playing and a silky feel that is synonymous with comfort. The product has an exceptionally long lifespan and that great string balance that all players look for in a unit of this type.
Because of its bright tone, the model is ideal for when playing metal (or rock in general), pop funk and slap. Still, you should know that a small number of the users of the product have claimed that the product is a bit difficult to intonate. Nonetheless, this might have something to do with the experience level of each player.
Yearly Guide & Report
Let’s be honest, when it comes to the task of figuring out what the best strings for bass guitar on the market are, most players are faced with a seemingly impossible decision.
Because we know this, we are here to make your life easier. Therefore, the following buying guide contains essential pieces of information that you can use while making your way through the countless models available.
Types of strings and how to take care of them
Just like when shopping for violin strings, one of the first things that you should do when scouring the net trying to purchase bass strings is deciding on what type of unit you want. There are four options that you can pick from.
First, there are strings made from nickel plated steel. These models are the most popular choice among bass players, and they are characterized by the fact that they offer a well-balanced tone and a great frequency response. Additionally, nickel plated steel models are perfect for playing a wide range of music genres (from country to rock).
Secondly, you can purchase strings that have been constructed from pure nickel. Differently from the first options, these models have a warmer sound, and they are less crisp (sound-wise). These strings allow their users to produce vintage sounds that remind one of the golden age of classic rock music (that is, of course, the 60’s).
Next, stainless steel units are often regarded as the brightest strings one could select as they produce a high-end response. Lastly, the flat-wound models have the warmest sound and, because of this, they are suitable for when you want to play blues or jazz.
Furthermore, according to many bass strings reviews, if you want to make sure that your new strings will last you a sustained period of time, it is recommendable that you follow a handful of practical suggestions.
For instance, before you start playing, it is advisable that you wash your hands so that no oil and debris is transferred to them. Then, similarly to when taking care of your acoustic guitar strings, you should make sure that, after each playing session, you wipe the strings of the unit with a microfiber cloth.
Additionally, if you have to change your strings but you are reluctant in investing in new cheap bass strings, seasoned players recommend that you actually boil the old strings for a brief period of time. If done correctly, this can help clean them of the accumulated dirt. Consequently, you will be able to use them for a bit more time. This technique can also be used when cleaning mandolin strings.
Gauge, winding and scale length
If you want to end up with the best bass guitar strings out there, it is important that you also consider the thickness and the type of gauge that a unit comes fitted with. As you probably know already, differently from the cheaper strings one uses on an acoustic-electric guitar, bass strings are more expensive, mainly because they have bigger gauges.
If you are just now starting to learn the basics of bass playing, it is advisable that you acquire a set of medium strings. These models usually have a standard gauge that ranges from 45 to 105 as you will be getting sufficient versatility of tone.
Yet, if you are a seasoned player that likes to experiment from time to time, go ahead and order a set of strings with a lighter gauge (40 to 100). For the thicker tones required when playing heavy rock, it is advisable that you opt for a gauge of around 50 to 110.
Winding-wise, all rock and funk players should set their eyes on round wound models, as these are the most suitable for these genres. What’s more, jazz and blues players that are looking for that vintage, mellow tone should invest in flat-wound strings.
Lastly and similarly to when shopping for cello strings, you should remember to verify the length of the scale of the model that you are using. If you do not know this technical detail, take a minute to measure the distance between the bridge saddles and the nut of your instrument.
Generally, there are three types of models: short units (that have a scale length of 32’ or less), medium devices (32’ to 34’), and long models (34’to 36’). If you do so, we are confident that you will be able to select the bass strings for sale out there.
Additional aspects that are worth taking into account
If you have no longer interested in using a beginner electric guitar and you are now set on trying to learn how to play bass, it is crucial that you understand the importance of the following features.
On the one hand, when purchasing strings, you should go online and do some research of your own. For example you could read what the previous buyers of a product have had to say about it. This aspect is crucial because many of the reviewers are seasoned players that can help you understand just how reliable the product is.
On the other hand, don’t forget that some reviews of guitar bass strings recommend that novice players do not try to install the strings themselves. Because the task of replacing strings involves a lot of precision and plenty of attention to detail, it is best that you request specialized help when first doing so. This way, you can avoid any unhappy incidents that result in the breaking of the strings. The same can be said about replacing ukulele strings.
Lastly, it is also recommended that you only purchase models sold by well-known manufacturers that are highly regarded by previous buyers. By comparison to other manufacturers, these sellers are more likely to provide you with quality items.
On top of that, most of them are known for offering outstanding customer care. Hence, if you happen to have any problems with your strings, they are more likely to step in and help you mend the issue in a short amount of time.