View Full Version : Nylon Bass Strings??

10-28-2009, 04:58 PM
I'm trying to get my acoustic bass guitar to sound more like an upright bass. I have frets, so that limitation is there. I think what I need are the proper strings.
Does any one make nylon or other synthetic strings for an acoustic bass guitar? I want to get rid of the brassy string noise, I guess flat wound strings would be another alternative, but I got it in my head that nylon would do the trick.

10-30-2009, 02:00 PM
OK, don't everyone respond as once!:D

I decided to gives these Rotosound (http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Rotosound-RS88LD-Trubass-Bass-Strings?sku=102810) a try and see how they work.

10-30-2009, 02:55 PM
I don't play bass but I use Elixir Nanowebs and they are mighty slick. I like that because I hate string squeak (shudder). I found these on the Elixir web site.

14502 4-String Acoustic Light/Long Scale .045 .065 .080 .100

They might not sound like what you want but they may play easier for sliding around and that might let you sound more like an upright. Also, these strings last a long time so for bass they may eventually sound more upright like because of the lack of brightness.

10-30-2009, 02:58 PM
Try tapewounds. How they'll last will depend on the condition of your frets.

And if you're playing through anything electronic, flange the heck out of it.


11-01-2009, 04:26 PM
I use LaBella black nylon tapewounds on my acoustic basses (a Fender Kingman and a fretless Godin A-4). They are very well made and offer a bright, clear sound without the squeaky finger noises that peizo pickups amplify so well. I have tried several black nylon tapewound sets made by several other manufacturers (including Fender and Rotosound) and the LaBella's are much better in terms of sound and quaility. Carvin has the best online price for these strings because they come stock on their acoustic basses.

- Steve

11-02-2009, 11:53 AM
The closest I've ever been able to attain is with my Sansamp Para Driver DI pre amp and an Acoustic Image Coda amp.

11-04-2009, 04:11 PM
Well, the stings I ordered came in today. Here is my initial evaluation:

I bought Rotosound RS88LD strings, $29.99USD from Musician's Friend:


I put them on a Takamine EG512CGAMQ Acoustic Bass Guitar.

My initial impression of the sound is that it is pretty good. Definitely more upright bass sounding than the brassy stock strings that I replaced. The volume is less when played unplugged, but I think that is to be expected. Plugged in they sound great. I did notice a little of the squeaking Steve mentioned above, but the on-board EQ on the bass was able to eliminate the majority of it with a little adjustment to the settings.

I think the quality control at Rotosound is not quite up to snuff. The A string had some slight imperfections in the nylon tape that I noticed once I had the strings under tension. A few small separations between the wraps and a spot that feels rough compared to the otherwise very smooth surface. It is pretty high on the fret board, where my left hand is not likely to go very often, but still I predict this where the string will wear out first.

The E string @ 115 just barely fit through the bridge of the guitar. In fact, the winding around the end, near the eyelet that keeps the string from pulling through the bridge, was much thicker in diameter and would not fit. So, I had to unwrap and remove some of the fibers and, with a touch of Vaseline for good measure, it finally went through and seated properly. Similar issues occurred at the top end of the fret board. The nut grooves were too narrow to accommodate the large diameter string, so a few passes with a small round file were needed.

Overall, my initial grade would be "B-". They seem good enough. I'll use them, but I now wish I had been a little more patient and not ordered these prior to Steve's LaBella recommendation. I think I will try those next time as opposed to purchasing the Rotosound again.

I'll use this bass in a song/video soon and update this thread so you can hear how they sound.

11-04-2009, 05:53 PM
I tried those Rotosound tapewounds and I didn't like them at all. The LaBella tapewounds are the way to go. The sound and overall quality is much better. I even like them on my regular electric basses.

- Steve