Roto Sound Strings. WOW!

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Tobacco Worm, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    3,621
    Location:
    I jumped the reservation!
    OK, most know that since Dean Markley quit making their round core Vintage strings I've been trying out a lot of others to find a decent replacement for them. In a recent order to Strings and Beyond (a fantastic company and HIGHLY recommended) I bought three sets of Roto Sound 10's Nickel (yellows) and they came with a free strap. The strap is kinda a nice touch and is a good strap too. But yesterday, when changing out the strings on my cheapy Maestro SG that I already wore out, I installed a set of the Roto Sounds. And I almost wet my pants as a result...

    First thing I noticed was that the wound strings were as smooth as can be and little if no string whistle when sliding my fingers around. The plain strings had a silk-like texture that felt grand. But the improvement of the tone was astonishing! I mean they just bloomed and had such resonance and depth to them it was mind blowing. Wonderful rich tone and not a hint of buzz or tinny sounding noise that some strings produce if ya know what I mean. Just smooth all out great tone and as I said, the texture of the strings themselves felt like silk. I was highly impressed. And we know that ain't easy for me to be impressed most of the time being a grumpy old man.

    Further, this Maestro being at the moment, a single pickup with the sorta wimpy HB in the bridge, would get out of tune easily if played kinda hard with the prior strings. But I beat these Roto Sounds pretty dog gone hard yesterday and last night and they held their tune well. I mean exceptionally well in fact. And an additional nice feature is these strings are not dirty. EB's, Dunlops, DM's, and many others will leave dark black smudges all over my fingers and often no matter how often I clean them while on the instrument they will bleed this black carbon filth onto me. But these Roto Sounds are clean! Initial playing left a slight grey on me, but the second round of playing with no cleaning at all, left my hands clean and happy. And I like clean strings...

    So, in my final thoughts I'll leave you with this. Rich deep rounded tone combined with luxurious silky feel and no carbon filth and the ability to remain in tune even with aggressive bends, I am impressed. I've played American made strings in the past half century or more not out of national pride, but simply out of convenience. They were readily available to me. But those lads and lasses in Kent, UK build one fine set of strings. So in the future when I need more strings, I'll be buying these finely made British beauties made by our friends across the big puddle, and sold by the nice folks at Strings and Beyond in NC. And no, I'm not affiliated with either but I believe in giving credit where credit is due. I don't know about the rest of ya, but this old worm is happy he finally "discovered" Roto Sound strings. I just wish it hadn't taken so long to do so. :)
     
    shreddy bender and LeadFinger like this.
  2. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    15,308
    Likes Received:
    10,419
    Location:
    The SWAMP (central Florida)
    Interesting.........I may need to give those a go for Big Ruby. It came with Elixirs which I hear all sorts of folks "rave" about, but I am not overly impressed and the string "whistle" as you call it is drastic.

    It sounds like the impressions I had when going from some no name bass strings to the Fender Round Wounds....they are totally smooth no "whistle" and simply ....AWESOME. I can wail away and slide and jam on my bas for an hour or two and my finger tips are not torn to shreds I have decent pads built up on my finger tips but still the big ol bass strings would eat into them.

    I will give them a whirl Wade......and so whats this about wetting your pants????? Its not time for the "depends" is it???:hmm::io::eek:
     
  3. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    3,621
    Location:
    I jumped the reservation!
    [​IMG]

    "A figure of speech mate. Haven't gone to wetting me knickers just yet Savvy?"
     
    eS.G. likes this.
  4. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9,958
    Likes Received:
    3,774
    Location:
    California
    I used to love their Swing bass strings, the first roundwounds for bass - so I guess they also know how to make a good guitar string.
     
  5. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    3,621
    Location:
    I jumped the reservation!
    Yeah David these folks have been in the business for quite a while now. Another thing that impressed me was that every string's paper wrapper has the manufacture date stamped on it. Unlike others, there's no question as to how "fresh" the string is, you know for a fact how old it is. I like that. :thumb: I still can't get over how well they sound and feel. "Fantastic" comes to mind I guess. All I can say is, I'm sold. At $4.66 a set that's not an outlandish price by any means. Now I'll see how long they last. If I can get more than 30 hours out of 'em I'll be happy. Any more than that and then I'll be ecstatic! :)
     
  6. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    15,308
    Likes Received:
    10,419
    Location:
    The SWAMP (central Florida)
    That is a good price, local store charge 6.95 of DaDario and 4.95 for Martin Electrics (which aren't very good ) but are cheap when I am doing a flip. :-)

    Dang it Wade.......I am going to have to order some of these now......I blame you 100%.
     
  7. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9,958
    Likes Received:
    3,774
    Location:
    California
    At a reasonable price no less - not the cheapest, but still OK, and I really like the freshness dating idea, so you do know how old the string is, although as long as it ain't rusty I'll use 'em!
     
  8. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,799
    Likes Received:
    1,778
    Location:
    The beach.
    Thanks for the PSA. I have always been interested in Rotosounds but never run across the in a shop. May just go ahead an order some to try them out.
     
  9. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    3,621
    Location:
    I jumped the reservation!
    Yes indeed. eS.G. I'll take full blame for corrupting your strings. And gball, you and eS.G. just scoot on over to Guitar Strings and Beyond - Buy Guitar Strings Online and Save! and give them a try. They got sales going on a lot of the time and free shipping on orders over $35. Everytime I make an order it easily goes over $35 as I buy several strings, picks, and goodies at a time. That works out to like getting a set of strings for free with no shipping. :naughty:
     
  10. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    404
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I've been a huge fan of rotosounds! Pure nickel for me. Super consistent tone and intonation wise. Great bass strings too.
     
  11. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    15,308
    Likes Received:
    10,419
    Location:
    The SWAMP (central Florida)
    Well I will certainly give them a whirl next string change :-)
     
  12. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    3,621
    Location:
    I jumped the reservation!
    They still have their 4th of July special going on for another day or so. 10% off everything in stock. With that deal, and the no shipping, it was like I got two sets of strings for nuthin'. :D
     
    eS.G. likes this.
  13. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    15,308
    Likes Received:
    10,419
    Location:
    The SWAMP (central Florida)
    Wait ...strings......you mean you are supposed to change those?????? Oh wait on a guitar yes, yes not on a bass though......got it.
     
    shreddy bender likes this.
  14. gtone

    gtone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    846
    Likes Received:
    265
    Location:
    In a cage in Moose Parts, SK
    Most of the bassists around here, including my son, are using RotoSound bass strings. They sound great, but don't last very long, unfortunately. So while they're cheaper than DR's, D'Addario's and Ernie Balls, you gotta change 'em out more often, so it's a bit of a trade-off. They do sound very nice though, so I'll hand it to them for that...
     
  15. Bsm9981

    Bsm9981 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have a set of 11s pure nickel, on my SG. Really nice strings! This is the first set I've used and I really like them so far.
     
  16. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9,958
    Likes Received:
    3,774
    Location:
    California
    I've been using D'Addario roundwound bass strings for quite a number of years - but I recall ALWAYS using the Rotosound Swing bass strings for at least the fist decade of my career.

    I need to compare the two brands head-to-head; I don't recall the Rotosounds not lasting very long, they seemed in my memory to be as durable as the D'Addario's.

    Of course this was WAAAY back when guys used flatwound strings a lot...and boiled them to "freshen" them up. I never did that, at least.

    I always liked roundwounds for bass, and Rotosound and John Entwhistle invented them in 1966.

    "The first commercially available roundwound string was developed in 1963 by James How at Rotosound, a British guitar and bass string manufacturer. The basic idea of the roundwound string is that instead of the outer wrap being a flat metal ribbon material they would use a round steel or nickel wrapping that would greatly increase the treble tone of the string.

    Very few bassists at first used roundwound strings, John Entwistle was probably the first and most famous user of the Rotosound roundwound. But gradually over time the roundwound would become the dominate string type in the bass marketplace."

    Flatwounds vs. Roundwounds - FenderBassPlayer.com

    "THE JOHN ENTWISTLE CONNECTION
    “It was in 1966 and I was looking for that Danelectro sound again. I tried everybody’s strings but the E and the A’s just didn’t work. It was the same with Rotosound but there was something about them that was almost there but not quite. To solve the problem I got in touch with James How and told him his D and G strings were great but the E and A didn’t vibrate properly. He told me to take my bass along to Rotosound and have some strings made until they got it right.
    After a couple of hours, we realised that the problem wasn’t in the wire winding, but in the core of the string. You could see that the strings vibrated in a big circle and that was wrong; the core needed to be thicker. We also made the overall gauges a bit heavier and they sent me away with 12 sets to use.
    A couple of days later they called and asked if I objected to them putting my name to the strings and selling them commercially. I told them I didn’t mind as long as they kept me supplied with free strings! But then we had to do the same with medium and short scale strings because I had loads of different basses by then. Those strings, the RS66 sets, were the first that vibrated properly.”

    HISTORY | ROTOSOUND

    I'm sure Enstwhistle was my influence in choosing roundwound strings - plus you can always roll off the treble, but can't add it if it isn't there.
     
    KoA likes this.
  17. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,929
    Likes Received:
    1,752
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    I'm glad you like the UKs stringy offerings! I have to say, our opinions differ on this matter. I didn't have a good experience with Rotosounds at all and was glad to take them off. I found them rough under my fingers and very stretchy - it took ages for them to settle and required regular retuning, quite unlike the Gibson and Fender strings I've tried. Tis a shame because they're good value, readily available and British made. I tried 3 different sets to no avail. I think your skin may be thicker than mine after all the years of playing!

    Tone was fine, just "user-friendliness" was my gripe. I plan on trying their bass strings the next time my bass needs a change but that'll be a while yet.
     
  18. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    3,621
    Location:
    I jumped the reservation!
    Anita, I am truly sorry that they weren't your cup of tea. But I suppose that's why there are so many makes of instruments and their accessories eh? Always something for everyone. Hope that their bass strings work well for you though. I'll keep my fingers crossed. :fingersx: I'd keep my eyes crossed too, but then I'd run into things as I went walking about!:laugh2:

    And yes, my fingertips are like iron after decades of abusing guitars in my meager effort to make some form of music. Oddly enough, the Dunlop Nickel strings I put on the new cheapie Maestro failed to ever settle and stretched a bunch. But after just a few hours of having the Roto Sound yellows in place they were as tight as a drum as if welded in place despite some huge bends that I often do. And the tone.... delicious! :)

    In fact, I was so thrilled with these British built strings that I even stood to attention and shouted out "God save the Queen!" while playing some seriously over-driven metal mania! My cats ran for the hills screaming "Oh great now he thinks he's Sir Wade of Texas! The old man's lost it! Run girls! He's gone over the edge this time!". Indeed, I think that the folks in Kent do build a wonderful string if I may say so... And I believe I just did!:laugh2: I'm so full of whimsy these days since I quit smoking I have no notion of ever acting right again. (not that I ever acted right in the first place :naughty: ) Breathing is wonderful don't you know.....

    Well, with that in mind I'm off to strangle my guitar with its lovely British strings in place and will play something in the key of "Nuge", perhaps Snakeskin Cowboys or Great White Buffalo.... a couple of quiet and refined little ditties yes? :laugh2:
     
    shreddy bender and eS.G. like this.
  19. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    15,308
    Likes Received:
    10,419
    Location:
    The SWAMP (central Florida)
    Bass strings need changed ??:dunno:
     
  20. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,885
    Likes Received:
    1,630
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Strings and Beyond are great to deal with. They always throw some freebies in with the order. Picks and etc.
     
    Bsm9981 and Tobacco Worm like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice