By Bruce Calin
As a bassist of many years, I've had the privilege to see the advancements throughout the history of bass. One name that has stood the test of time, is LaBella strings. I was given the opportunity to review two types of strings from LaBella, the new RX series, as well as a set of 760T White Nylon Flats.
First, I spent time with a set of LaBella RX Nickel-Plated Steel strings, 105-45, on a Fender Jazz Bass. The RX strings have an even, smooth tone from string to string. The Nickel-Plated Steel provides a perfect combination of crisp sound with a certain warmth found in Nickel strings. Even after hours of playing, the RX strings, maintain a very smooth, bright tone. At times, strings can tend to sound dead after a short amount of time. This is most likely due to the sweat and oils from your hands getting on the strings. An easy solution to this problem is to either wash your hands before you play or use hand sanitizer, which decreases the amount of oils on your hands and will help your strings last a bit longer. What do you do if your not a fan of repeated hand cleansing? Use flats!
LaBella offers a wonderful selection of Flatwound strings for everyone. I had the opportunity to also review a set of LaBella 760T White Nylon Flatwounds. Using a 1977 Fender Precision Bass, these were my personal favorite. As a long-time upright player, using a nylon string reminds me of the gut-strings I used in the past, which were a much larger gauge than electric strings. The 760T gauges are 115-60 and felt extremely smooth to the touch, with a great flexible feel. Very comfortable to someone familiar with gut strings and flatwounds. Covered in a slightly transparent, white nylon wrap, the 760T strings are truly the best of both worlds. While the nylon wrap provides the smoothness of flats, the string has a certain crispness in sound, similar to halfwounds, you could say.
Whether your searching for stainless, nickel, flatwounds or nylon tapered strings, be sure to visit LaBella to see what they have for you.