D’Addario Flex Steels Bass Guitar Strings

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D’Addario take string manufacturing to exceptionally high levels, computer-controlling the smallest details for incredible consistency across a full range of sets that include flat-wounds, round-wounds and half-rounds. Yet for almost every bass guitarist there’s a fundamental choice between steel or nickel strings – the former offering more of a brute attack for rock or heavy low-end sounds, or the latter offering a smoother feeling under the fingers and a brighter tone – which for some make be manna from heaven but for others is a clickety-clack step too far in terms of a brighter bass sounds.

For many years my personal preference was for stainless steel round wounds, but as my playing changed so did my needs, hence I have favoured nickel plated strings for several years now, with their malleable feel under the fingers and smoother surface adding to the comfort factor. However D’Addario, being the forward thinking company that they are, have come up with Flex Steels that combine the best of both of steel and nickel but with the added bonus of a more flexible core to the string – which is noticeable even before you put them on your bass as the strings immediately feel looser in your hands.

More importantly once strung to the instrument this looser tension can be felt particularly well on the lower portions of the neck, which if anything is the business end of the bass; as any pro knows “there’s no money above the fifth fret!” The Flex Steels deliver on many fronts, which aside from being kinder on the fingers, means they kick out a fantastic mix of wide, rich lower mid tones characteristic of stainless steel stings, with an added clarity and articulation similar to that of nickel wounds.

Utilising a ‘hex core’, i.e. a hexagonal as opposed to cylindrical wire core, with ‘fine grain, high temper, high carbon steel wire’ on the outside these technologically advanced strings are perfect for the whole spectrum of desired tones from old-school thumb muting, nimble Jacoesque jazz or full-bodied Marcus Miller style slap, Flex Steels are another winning combination from D’Addario.

– Mike Flynn

For more info www.daddario.com