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Beta Test & Review D’Addario NYXL Bass Strings

Sponsored NYXLBASS Beta test DAddario Bass strings Review

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#61 D'AddarioUK

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 09:11 AM

View Postjazzyvee, on 22 January 2016 - 04:24 PM, said:

I did a gig at the Jam house in Brum using these on my Alembic Series II bass on Tuesday night into the same rig as I noted above. The overall tone is much warmer generally and really well suited to some of the 70's and early 80's jazz funk tracks we were playing. However I didn't get the crispness on the attack that I really enjoy with playing the more recent tracks we play but then my normal strings are pro-steels so thats probably understandable. What I was really impressed with was the tonal balance across the strings.

My basses are well balanced tonally across the strings and having low pass filters there is no facility to boost anything under 350Hz from the bass directly so whatever bottom end is lurking there, and there is a lot of it, is unadulterated and down to strings and how they are played (IMHO). I also don't get the feeling that the B-string is from a different planet and the higher tension feeling on the B string really helps there. ( I don't actually know if these NYXL strings are higher tension but its how they feel to me). Anyway I was impressed with how these strings seemed to keep a much tighter connection between the B and other strings than i feel with the Pro-steels so whilst there is a warmer bottom end on these strings they all work together with good string to string tonal balance. We did a couple of jazz infused reggae numbers which really made the most of the warmer sound.

My next gig at the moment is on 13th Feb with Musical Youth so I plan to move the strings to my other Series I bass which has a much warmer bottom end anyway so it should be a match made in heaven.

Are you guys planning to make any Pro-Steel versions, I'd love to try those out too. The smooth finish is a big plus for me means you can use them straight away without having to compensate for finger drag that you get on new pro steels.

No plans to do steels, however our FlexSteel strings are stainless steel with a similar build to NYXL Bass.
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#62 bluejay

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 02:23 PM

OK, here is my take on the strings after playing them for three weeks as a non-gigging, Chrome-loving bassist. Off to fill in the online questionnaire. :)

Quote

Now, I must state upfront that in general, I am not a fan of roundwound strings. I currently have eight electric bass guitars, most of which have D’Addario Chromes, one has D’Addario tapewounds, and one has D’Addario half-rounds. When I accepted the challenge of testing a set of rounds, I decided to use them on my very first ‘student’ bass, which I bought new as a beginner, and played for a year or so before upgrading; it still had its original, pretty dead rounds from the factory. It’s a 4-string Ibanez clone made by Crafter, still in mint condition, with passive electronics and two J pickups. Would the new D’Addario set make that bass enjoyable to play?

As always, I carried out the test by playing first through a PJB Briefcase and then through a PJB Bass Buddy headphone amp with PJB headphones. All the EQ sliders on both amps, and all the knobs on the bass, were set to centred (‘0’) position. I played a few bars from two basslines, one with a pick and one fingerstyle.

Feel
While playing the NYXLs for the first time, it’s immediately evident that even someone like me can find them pleasant under the fingertips; I felt no need to use Fast Fret or similar products, my fingertips didn’t hurt even after a longish session on some driving, rock basslines, and they produce very little finger noise even when I deliberately ‘drag’ my hand while playing, or indeed when I slide along a string.

Compliance
Thanks to the set’s regular-light gauge and to the fact that I am accustomed to flatwounds, I don’t find the NYXLs particularly high-tension or fatiguing to the fingers. In fact, the truss rod needed tightening a little to raise the action, even after I had lifted the saddles.

Tuning
The NYXLs were easy to tune and – rather surprisingly for roundwounds – took a very short time to stabilise fully at a reasonably constant room temperature.

Sound
The NYXLs sound bright, crisp and clear, and I can detect no harshness at all in normal fretting, and very little finger noise. All that on a budget bass with cheap, passive electronics which tended to sound pretty muddy with the previous set of rounds.
With the bass set up to suit the new set of NYXLs, with action, saddles height, intonation and pickups height properly adjusted, the strings sound very well balanced to my ears.

PJB Bass Buddy headphone amp
With the NYXLs through the Bass Buddy, playing fingerstyle results in a warm, pleasant sound which is less bright than playing fingerstyle through the Briefcase.
Playing with a pick obviously sounds far brighter and has greater attack than fingerstyle.

PJB Briefcase
All parameters being equal, fingerstyle on the Briefcase sounds brighter than on the Bass Buddy. As for the picked sound, the increased attack is still audible, but the difference is less noticeable on the Briefcase than onthe Bass Buddy.

I will keep playing the NYXLs in the next few months to see for how long they maintain all their excellent chracteristics.

Verdict after three weeks of having the NYXLs on the bass: I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how agreeable I found them to be, what with, y’know, them being roundwounds and me being a flatwound sort of bassist! Although these strings haven’t replaced the Chromes in my affections, they are definitely the rounds I will buy if I decide that a certain bass or a certain project needs a wider choice of tones than that offered by flats. In the meantime, they are staying on my now-rejuvenated first-ever bass.


#63 lee4

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 07:16 PM

Even more feedback:recorded,these strings sound great,with definition and clarity along with the warmth I require.
Through my main rig(Markbass LMII into a 2X12 Zoot cab)at a rehearsal it was the same result.
I have now decided to use my Status Groove as my main bass again,as with these strings it sounds as I have always wanted it to.
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#64 gelfin

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:24 PM

Let me begin with the fact that I have used Rotosound RS66 swing bass 45-105 pretty much exclusively for the last fifteen years.
Never been tempted to try anything else. Main bass being a Ric 4001. I also have a variety of other basses all strung with Roto’s.

Band is a three piece playing rock, pop covers from the sixties to date.

When I first saw this offer I was just about to replace a warped neck on one of my P basses.
So I thought it would be ideal to ask for a beta set to put on that and be able to compare the strings with two P basses.

Gear used is a Gallien Kreuger Fusion 550 head, an RBH 2x10 and a Neo 2x12.
Also using Smoothhound wireless system.

New neck fitted at home Daddario strings fitted and bass set up.

Strings feel smooth and comfortable and even acoustically I noticed quite a big full sound.
Popped bass in gig bag ready to go to practise room next day.

Go to practise room, take out bass and plug in. It surprised me but it was still in tune, a good sign.
Amp set flat, moderate level and bypassed all effects.

Back to P with Roto’s for a short play then back to the NYXL’s. Quite an eye opener (or ear opener).
Very full powerful sound, with amazing depth. Sleek and smooth feeling to play compared to the Roto’s.
Not that I consider it an issue with them. Continued noodling for a while and sort of forgot that I was
comparing strings just really getting into the tonal range I could produce with them.
Not the zing and attack that I get with the Roto’s, having said that the Roto’s do lose it quite soon
after being new. Note: the Roto’s on the other P were new at this time too.

Guitarist turns up and notices that I have the repaired P. We start to have a bit of a jam and then he says
“what have you done to it? It sounds amazing”.

Would I buy and use these? Yes I would, and be more than happy with them.
Will I put them on my Ric, changing from my main sound of many years.
Well sort of. In realty I think I will need to buy another Ric so I can have the best of both.

A big thank you to Daddario for giving us all this opportunity and giving this stuck in a rut a push to expand his sound.

As a foot note a week later they are still in tune and no noticeable change in tone. Bass left on wall hanger for this interval.

:drinks:

#65 Kev

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 11:17 PM

View PostKev, on 20 January 2016 - 11:02 PM, said:

Well, I received my strings a few days ago, thank you very much!

For those interested, the 5 string set is 130 100 80 65 45. I have used D'addarios on and off for around 7 years and I am a big fan of their Flex Steel, Pro Steel and Nickel sets, depending on the bass.

I tried these out on my Alpher Mako bass, replacing a Newtone Steel round core set 127 100 80 67 47, so a Nickel hex core makes for quite a different string , despite the gauges being very similar.

Upon stringing up and tuning, first thing I noticed was the much higher tension feel than the Newtone strings. Whilst round cores are more flexible in general, I was still surprised at how much stiffer they were.

I was quite amazed at how well these strings stayed in tune immediately after tuning to pitch for the first time. I can't remember ever tuning up new strings and not having to adjust the next time I picked the bass up.

These strings are LOUD and very punchy. A good bit louder than the Newtons. Lots of low end and low mids rumble, quite a signature tone of these strings as eqing never really dialled this 'tone' out. Not boomy, but thick. Highs are very 'polite' with not too much zing for fresh strings. I haven't tried the Nickel D'addarios for a while but off memory they are a less zingy, and much less zingy than pro steels/flex steels. Finger noise is low and the higher tension meant low fret noise too. Its interesting to read some comments about the strings sounding 'open'; I actually found the sound quite focussed. They sound equally good with fingers and with a plectrum, they don't seem particularly suited to slap.

Strings smooth and comfortable to play, good balanced sound across all strings with pleasant harmonic content. Use of these has been limited to amplified home use through a Markbass combo and headphone use through an iOS setup.

Obviously have to see how they break in, and I understand longevity is a big part of the pitch here, but initial thoughts:

Pros
Loud and punchy
Nice sound straight out the pack
Smooth and balanced

Cons
Higher tension than similar gauge strings (which could be a Pro for others)
Very much have a tone signature that some may not like
Wont be bright enough for some

For me, the tension is a bit of a killer as I like a more flexible string, so I do not think I will be investing in these beyond this beta set. However, lets see how they break in.

I understand that these strings are going to be around the £30 mark, which if true will put them above flex steels as the top price of the D'addario RW range. If they make a lighter set when released I could revisit, but not as they are.

This probably comes across more negative than perhaps is fair or even intended, but I think more than anything they were perhaps just not quite what I was expecting or hoping for.

Well, Ill post a quick update on this.

After getting over the initial differences between these strings and strings I am used to, I actually really like them. The strings are very powerful, loud and punchy, and the comparative lack of string noise is very welcome. They are comfy and seem to sound that bit better each time I pick the bass up.

I want to thank D'addario again for letting me be a part of the Beta testing. Someone said something about an online Questionnaire?
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#66 wateroftyne

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:22 PM

The D'addario gang turned up at the North East Bass Bash this weekend, and I was very kindly offered a set of these to try. Cheers, folks!

I'll string up my Oly Maruszczyk Jake tomorrow. I usually use the Nickel XLs on my rounds bass - it'll be interesting to see how they compare.

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#67 DanEly

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 05:34 PM

Once I have landed tomorrow I'll post a sound comparison to the new flex steels, NYXL's and maybe the XL's if I've got any floating around. Sorry it's taken so long!
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#68 jazzyvee

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 08:19 PM

I had a rehearsal session with Musical Youth today today and had previously transferred the NYXL strings to my Series I 5 string alembic as it has a much warmer sound due to the pickups being closer to the end of the neck. So I was hoping that they would sound much more at home in for reggae.
I was right they seem more suited to that sound that what I'd used them on before. The bottom end is much richer warmer and has a great punch on the E and A strings but less punchy on the B string even though the bottom end is more pronounced. We rattled off a few Bob Marley songs, some sugar minot, Pablo Gadd and others and I was more than happy with the sound of these strings.

Regardless of the music I'm playing I am not happy unless I can hear absolute clarity from all the notes whether it is a heavy dub reggae sound or a smooth clean crisp tone like Stanley Clarke uses. I like to hear all the notes being played not a woolly indistinct bass sound which is why I tend to use brighter strings and get rid of them when they lose that clean definition. I'm really pleased that these are doing that in the reggae context. Time will tell how well these strings keep their current tone. I have a theatre gig on Saturday for our album launch so that will be the real test of their tone.
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Posted 08 February 2016 - 03:03 PM

Hokay, it's been a bit of a while so I'm a little late to the feedback party, but January was gigless, and I wanted to give these strings a proper run out before reporting back.

They replaced a set of EXLs, and immediately the feel is different - the winding is noticeably finer, and acoustically there's less finger noise, and if you're susceptible to rough strings, you'll find them easier under the finger.

No silks, which is great - I've always found silk/cotton wrapping to be a problem looking to happen, depending on the design of your bridge.

The tension feels similar to the D'Addarios I've had before i.e. pretty high, which is something I like, but of course YMMV. They seem well balanced as a set, no issues with string to string variance.

They're a 'big' sounding string - a bit of a vague generic description, I know, but for me that's a good word for them: they upped the output of the bass, and are warmly punchy and meaty, but without being harsh in the mids. Highs are good for nickel - obviously not as zingy as steels, but they've a good range of tone. I play 80% pick, 15% fingers and 5% slap, and they sounded very good with pick and fingers, possibly not so much for slap.

Tuning stablility, which was mentioned in the blurb, is very good - I put them on, got them up to pitch, gave them a quick stretch (which I always do - don't we all?) and retuned, and they've stayed there for three weeks or so, through hours of home playing and a hot, thrashy (but not Thrash :D ) gig.

They don't sound to have dropped off in tone very much, either, although I'll be monitoring this longer term and report back.

They feel like a premium string, so I'd expect them to be priced a little above the normal EXLs, and if they're ballpark with the usual suspects (though not in with the coated ones) they should sell well.

A big thanks to the good folk at D'Addario for letting me play with their new babies: it's been a lot of fun.
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#70 jazzyvee

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 07:40 PM

Ok took them on a theatre gig last night with Musical Youth.
Bass Used: Alembic Series I Europa 5 String Bass.
Strings Normally Used: D’addario Pro Steels 45 – 130
Bass Rig: Peavey TX810 bass cab 1 x Alembic F1-x valve pre-amp, QSC PLX 2402 Stereo Power amplifier.

Everything went superbly well with the strings, the sound was great on stage and from feedback I got from the engineer and some musicians and producers I know in the audience the clarity was excellent all the way down the B-string the notes were as clear as any other string. ( I never have problems with the low B string anyway). The warmer bias of these strings worked well for reggae and gave me the lovely warmth I like and enough crispness to give me note clarity without taking the emphasis off the bottom end.

Interestingly on this bass I had to adjust the truss rods slightly to give me clearance on the B string but that was only 0.25mm additional neck relief and about 1/2 mm higher at the bridge.
I think I will keep these strings on this bass as they seem more suited to is sound and I use this bass more often for warmer sounding music. Now it's a matter of seeing how long they keep the tone that I like.

Thanks D'addario for the opportunity to try the strings and please feel free to send me any other strings you want beta testing in the future especially any stainless steel or coated strings.
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Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:45 PM

Damn, I've been telling my local D'Addario man that I'm available for beta-testing for the last couple of years. I come back to Basschat after a bit of a break and see this. I'm off to try and find something smaller than me to kick.

#72 Cameronj279

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 12:09 AM

I missed out on these when this thread was originally started (limited 5 string sets) but received a pm out the blue last week saying they have a set with my name on. Just home after a few days recording. Will get them put on the ACG for the next rehearsal/gig :)

Looking forward to trying them out. Some great feedback so far.
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#73 Billy Apple

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 01:34 AM

I'm having these put on my Spector Forte 5 as we speak. Well not as we speak, but near enough!
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Posted 17 March 2016 - 11:26 PM

I finally got round to putting these on the ACG today and used them at todays rehearsal. First impressions are very good. They definitely sound different to what I'm used to (Elixirs) but I like it! The tension feels considerably lighter as well but with no real loss of low end. It's the first set of Nickels I have used in about 3 years as well (I think it is at least).

Depending on how long they stay sounding fresh for, I could see myself buying these in future. Will report back once I've given them some more use.
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#75 D'AddarioUK

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 09:43 AM

I've had a set on my Jazz V for 3 months now and they're still going strong!
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#76 Matt P

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 12:20 PM

View PostD'AddarioUK, on 18 March 2016 - 09:43 AM, said:

I've had a set on my Jazz V for 3 months now and they're still going strong!

this will be the set that I tried at the bass bash, really liked them.

if there are any more 5 string sets available then I'd love to try them out on my precision V

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#77 Billy Apple

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 06:22 PM

I had my pack put on my new Spector 5'er when Martin at The Gallery set it up last week.

In a nut shell..

Pro's
Nice feel with a medium tension and even balance across the strings

Cons
The tone is OK, but lacks character. There is an absence of bite. I've got Flex Steels on my NS2 and they bring the bass alive in a way that the NYXL's don't.
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Posted 20 March 2016 - 03:42 PM

Oops

Edited by Chienmortbb, 20 March 2016 - 03:44 PM.


#79 Chienmortbb

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 03:43 PM

£36 a set on Strings Direct. Pass especially when they are $26

#80 Kev

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 08:09 PM

View PostChienmortbb, on 20 March 2016 - 03:43 PM, said:

£36 a set on Strings Direct. Pass especially when they are $26

:(

I have to say, I will not be purchasing a set at that price point. They are clearly quality strings, but they are not worth coated string money. I'd much sooner have the Flex Steels, which are about £22 a set on Amazon right now. They have more character, nice tension and tons of zing. I am not sure exactly what market they are trying to tap into with these?
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#81 LayDownThaFunk

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 01:11 PM

How can you compare nickles and steels? Apples and oranges.

These are good strings but I wouldn't say they're twice as good over standard XLs... so not worth twice the price. I order all my strings from the US now and never get stung for customs. £25 a set anyone?

http://www.ebay.co.u...f0AAOSwoudW5zZ0

#82 Kev

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 08:01 PM

View PostLayDownThaFunk, on 21 March 2016 - 01:11 PM, said:

How can you compare nickles and steels? Apples and oranges.

These are good strings but I wouldn't say they're twice as good over standard XLs... so not worth twice the price. I order all my strings from the US now and never get stung for customs. £25 a set anyone?

http://www.ebay.co.u...f0AAOSwoudW5zZ0

I compared the two as they are a similar build :)
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#83 Hector

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:39 AM

I bought the NYXL set recently to try them. Thought they were a great string, but am too much of a creature of habit to break away from the strings I've been using for the last few years. They sounded lovely, but some of the changes in tone and feel didn't suit my subjective preference.

If anyone's looking to try a set a bit cheaper than list: http://basschat.co.u...rio-nyxl-45130/ (They've had a few hours of playtime, not even gigged).

#84 Mudpup

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:13 PM

I am usually a stainless guy with the occasional foray into nickel territory. Usually i will kill a set of nickels in a couple of gigs, rarely getting more than a month out of them as i like a bit of zing and usually play pretty sweaty gigs. My usual routine is 3 gigs and then a quick dunk in meths for a couple of hours - that normally gets another 2/3 gigs out of whatever strings i have. My current fave strings are dunlop Super Bright SS or EB Cobalt rounds when i am feeling a bit minted.

These NYXL strings are now nearly 2 months in with 6 gigs under their belt and they still sound great - thats unheard of with me and especially nickels!!!!!

They sounded great from the start on my Stingray - i thought they were pretty zingy (contrary to what others have said on here) and had a really nice fat sounding mid/low mid and its hardly diminished at all over 2 months. Nice smooth feel and noticeably slippier feeling than SS strings.

Really impressed so far but not sure i would pay £35+ for them - thats 2 packs of Super Brights - £22/25 maybe but no more.

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#85 D'AddarioUK

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 08:59 AM

View PostMudpup, on 28 March 2016 - 04:13 PM, said:

I am usually a stainless guy with the occasional foray into nickel territory. Usually i will kill a set of nickels in a couple of gigs, rarely getting more than a month out of them as i like a bit of zing and usually play pretty sweaty gigs. My usual routine is 3 gigs and then a quick dunk in meths for a couple of hours - that normally gets another 2/3 gigs out of whatever strings i have. My current fave strings are dunlop Super Bright SS or EB Cobalt rounds when i am feeling a bit minted.

These NYXL strings are now nearly 2 months in with 6 gigs under their belt and they still sound great - thats unheard of with me and especially nickels!!!!!

They sounded great from the start on my Stingray - i thought they were pretty zingy (contrary to what others have said on here) and had a really nice fat sounding mid/low mid and its hardly diminished at all over 2 months. Nice smooth feel and noticeably slippier feeling than SS strings.

Really impressed so far but not sure i would pay £35+ for them - thats 2 packs of Super Brights - £22/25 maybe but no more.

I'm glad to hear you're getting on well with them, as well as the sound, feel and sustain they are designed to last significantly longer than other un-coated strings. As for the price, many sites have them listed for about the £30 mark, when you take into account the extra longevity you should be spending no more on strings in the long term, plus they sound amazing!
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#86 Mudpup

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 01:14 PM

Agreed, they are very good imho......

stuff.....
Fender Nate Mendel Precision, Musicman Stingray 2eq 1997, Sandberg PM4 Custom,
Gallien Krueger GT700RB, Ashdown ABM600 Evo iv and a couple of Barefaced Big Baby 2 cabs



Feedback thread here http://basschat.co.u...__fromsearch__1



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http://www.lemonrock.com/yellowhouse1

http://www.facebook....s/221831483416/


#87 Cameronj279

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 05:53 PM

I've now had a bit longer with the strings and as much as I love how they sound and feel, the longevity isn't as good as the elixirs. Which is probably one of the -if not the- most important thing I go for when buying strings.

I could see myself using NYXL's if I was a bit less skint though. Glad to have been able to try them :)
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#88 gary mac

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 06:23 AM

I wasn't part of this test group but having just fitted a set of NYXL's to my gigging bass, wanted to report that so far I am very impressed.
To date have only played the one gig, so can't comment on longevity but the sound was very pleasing to my ears. They provided the growling tone that I like, with a lovely even tone and volume across the strings. Good level of zing but not overly so.
Importantly as well, they proved comfortable to play and at the end of a two hour gig my fingers were feeling just fine.

Over the years I've most played steels and due to a bit of an allergy, which resulted in very sore finger tips, have stayed away from nickels. Happy to say, that I didn't suffer that reaction with these.

So far then, very happy to recommend them.

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 09:46 PM

I've just roadtested the new d'addario NYXL roundwound bass strings kindly given to me by WaterontheTyne (as the 45-100 gauge didn't suit him)
The packaging was intriguingly James Bond-esque!
I've been playing on roundwound DR neons on a tokai thunderbird for about two years now but always had a backup 90's Squier Jazz bass with La Bella flats as a go to bass when I'd overdone things on the blistered finger front.
I was keen to restring the Squier and try out a half gig with the new D'addarios NYXL vs the thunderbird DR neons which I did last weekend at my bands small pub gig in sunny Crook.
Rookie error being that I had not played a lot the weeks previous due to being away camping but even with that in mind comfort wise I suffered very minor finger discomfort blister wise which I had envisaged . Usually the flat wounds had been my go to "ayaz me fingaz!" Strings if I was being a softy.
No cheese grater fingers with these new strings!
Tone wise (not that I'm technically blessed with much knowledge on that subject) on stage I thought I was nicely audible, a little more than usual mid-wise, though still our sound man had his usual whinge that I could do with more top end :-p , very likely a problem I'm causing with the settings on the ampeg pf500 which I'm still messing around with, than the strings - I shall work on that.
So to summarise - originally i envisaged putting my flat wounds back on the squier after a bit, however I found i really like these strings. They packed as much of a punch as the Tokai with the DR NEONS on and I didn't feel the need to overplay and hammer the strings (or turn up the backline :-/ ) which I used to with the flats.
I'm truly converted back 100% to the world of round wounds.
I had originally envisaged putting my flat wounds back on the squier after a bit, however I really like these strings.
I'm truly converted back to the world of round wounds.
I really like the gauge which is something I'd never considered before - I used to end up asking what everyone else uses rather than experimenting with different strings.
If I had to mark them out of ten I'd say it's around a 8.5/9 as I'm fairly indecisive . It has even got me using a bass I've rarely played in recent years so win win !
If I can talk my other half into getting his digital desk out I'll hopefully record a demo of NXYL vs DR Neon.
**NYXL convert!!!**

#90 zero9

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 11:20 AM

Andy was at the Midlands Bash yesterday and kindly gave me as set of 45-105 NYXL's. I've swapped these with my current stainless steel round wounds. Wow, the NYXL's are so much better! Highly recommended.
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