Strings for an L-2500

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Strings for an L-2500

Postby PluckyThump » Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:02 pm

I'm looking for some string suggestions from other 2500 players. I have been playing my Tribby L-2500 for about 10 months now, and I've yet to find the perfect set of strings for it. Maybe I'm asking too much, but I want a string set that is versatile (bright or mellow on demand, depending on the tone settings), isn't hard on the fingers, and has a tight B-string with good intonation up to the 12th fret with no overtones or warbly-ness, and long enough to fit through-body. Here is what I've tried so far, with a mini-review of each:

Stock D'Addario XL: These were fine except the tone was a bit dull and lacking in bottom. They were on the bass for 2 years while it sat in the shop so that could explain the dullness. The B intonation was very good, as it is with all D'Adds, so I might give them another chance.

DR nickel Lo-Riders: The best so far. Sound great out of the box with no need to wait for them to break in. A lot of mid-range emphasis but not lacking in bottom or top. B-string is good but not great, went dead while the E-G were still okay.

Ken Smith Burners: E-G sound great, especially series / both pickups, but the B (non-tapered) sounded terrible, much too warbly. Made my tuner go crazy! Even worse, the ball ends are over-sized so I had to push them into the ferrules with a screwdriver, then pull them out when I took them off. Total PITA.

GHS Boomers: E-G sound great but again a crappy warbly B, not as bad as the Smiths though. The silk just barely clears the nut.

D'Addario Half-Rounds: Had a classic rock gig coming and wanted more of an old-school tone, figured these would do it. Strange sticky feel when new but at first I loved these, great intonation, excellent B-string, nice warm tone and could still get sizzle in treble boost mode. But once they got broken in, which was about half-way through the gig, they went all dull and rubbery-sounding and feeling, except the G which was still bright. These strings are an odd duck.

SIT Power Wounds: This is the extra-long set made specifically for the L-2500. I didn't know the B-string was tapered or I wouldn't have bought them. I have never played a tapered B that I liked and this is no exception. It's not bad, sounds okay up to the 10th fret, after that it's overtone city. I will leave these on for a now as they're not broken in yet and they might change for the better.

I'm thinking of trying TI Superalloys or D'Addario Chromes. Anyone else try these? Did you like them? Tell us about any other strings you've tried. I'm a string whore, I love to try different ones but I'm getting discouraged by all the bad B strings.
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Re: Strings for an L-2500

Postby Ken Baker » Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:47 pm

PluckyThump wrote:I'm thinking of trying TI Superalloys or D'Addario Chromes. Anyone else try these? Did you like them? Tell us about any other strings you've tried. I'm a string whore, I love to try different ones but I'm getting discouraged by all the bad B strings.


I've got Superalloys on mine now - second set, in fact. They do what I like and would probably fill the bill for you based on what you're after.

However, I am top loaded. I can get away with that because I've nailed down my bridge. You could thru-body E thru G and top load the B and be okay. It might also be a matter of just trimming back the B string silk about 1/8" and thru-body it as well. That's what I did with a set of Powerbass strings I tried and it worked well. YMMV.

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Re: Strings for an L-2500

Postby PluckyThump » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:31 pm

Ken Baker wrote: I can get away with that because I've nailed down my bridge.
Ken...


Ken, where did you get those threaded aluminum spacers from? I checked Home Depot and they don't have them.
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1981 L-1000
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Re: Strings for an L-2500

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:36 pm

PluckyThump wrote:Ken, where did you get those threaded aluminum spacers from? I checked Home Depot and they don't have them.


Good ol' Ace Hardware.

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Update

Postby PluckyThump » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:46 pm

Hey all, I've tried a couple more sets of strings since my OP and thought I would update.

SIT Power Wounds: These aren't bad, just kind of dull, kind of "meh", no character.

After taking the SITs off I did Ken's bridge mod and screwed it down so that I could top-load. This opens up a whole new world of strings since the bass will now take standard long-scale. I have tried these two sets since making this mod:

D'Addario Chromes: E to G sound really good but sad to say another crappy B string. The Chromes .132 B is the only guage available. It is stiff, thuddy, cable-like. Its output is considerably weaker than the other strings. I had to jack up the pickup poles to get the volume to match, and that brought out un-pleasant overtones. Disappointing. I've come to the conclusion that I only like Chromes in light guage because the heavier guages are too stiff. D'Addario really needs to consider making a .125 or .120 B string.

Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats: Nice! I haven't been this happy with a new set of strings for a long time. They have a warm grunt and a sweet top with exceptional sustain and bloom for flats. The B string is deep but not too boomy and sounds good right up the neck. Based on others' reviews I was worried they might be too floppy for me, but I quite like the lower tension. They don't feel floppy at all, just softer. I had to release the truss rod almost a half-turn to get the relief where it needed to be but after that these strings play real nice. Gigged the bass with these last weekend and I was very satisfied. I won't be taking these off any time soon.
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Re: Strings for an L-2500

Postby joyboy52 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:21 pm

Looks like you answered all your own questions and found your solution. I applaud your dedication-wow! My 2 cents-For round wound I've tried them all and always come back to D'Addarios-extra long as I load thru body. Of course, I make a point to buy ones a little younger than 2 years.Heh. Never tried the Chromes for 5 string, but I haven't found any other flats for my 4 stringers that I liked better-the rest all sound dull and/or inconsistent to me or feel flubby or too tight . Guess it's all subjective, no? Thanks for all the research and for sharing your results. Time for me to try some of the others again. joyboy52
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Re: Strings for an L-2500

Postby BluesBassPlayer » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:30 pm

Every month I have another perfect set for my L-2500. Currently I favor DR SunBeams. D'Addario half rounds & Chromes. SIT Silencers. I just ordered a set of DR flats for my four string. If they excite me, maybe I'll go for a 5 string set. I tried TI flats and had trouble with the B string. Already mentioned.

If I had only one set, a desert island set, DR SunBeams.

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