Kalium Strings - Stainless Steel vs Nickel Hybrid (With A/B Clips)

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by KhzDonut, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. KhzDonut

    KhzDonut Luthier, Gamer, Heretic

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    Finally got around to putting a set of the new Kalium Strings SS strings on my bass to see how they sounded.

    I had a new set of the nickel's, so I did some A/B testing and made a video out of it.



    There's a mini review in the video, but in summary:

    - They're not super bright like some brands of stainless
    - They actually seem to be a little warmer/punchier than the nickel hybrids
    - The nickel hybrids have a bit deeper lows and slightly more ultra-highs
    - The stainless seem to have a more pronounced upper midrange, so they get a good finger style punch, and a good pick attack, and a very even tone for distortion (at least I thought so)
    - They're slightly rougher than the nickels, which is generally the case with stainless strings, but the difference wasn't as much as some other brands.
    - They're slightly stiffer feeling than the nickels, but I think they're still more supple than most brands (which is of course one of selling points of Kaliums)


    Overall I'm pretty happy with them. We'll see how they sound when they're old; if the more midrange-heavy sound lends itself to a duller tone when they're old, or if they retain their punch a bit better. Only time will tell! :D
     
  2. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    What I hear in these particular takes with this particular instrument/gear is:
    Nickel Hybrids having slightly better tonal resolution in low register
    Stainless sounding slightly more defined and less spanky in the upper-mids

    Other than that, I find them having fairly similar audible response, which is of course being a listener, where the player might experience other things of value to his/her playing.
     
  3. asleepinthestarsmusic

    asleepinthestarsmusic SS.org Regular

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    Thank you for the effort on this. It was actually very helpful for me.

    I agree with vansinn's opinion.

    I actually prefer the stainless for my playing style.
     
  4. Systolic

    Systolic Active Member

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    This is great! Thanks.
     
  5. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula A series of interconnected fortune cookies.

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    Really well done! I'm actually quite surprised at how subtle the difference was. I honestly preferred the nickels most of the time, but the steels really shone with distortion and a pick, sitting really well in the mix.
     
  6. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin'

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    Hey dude, thanks for producing this video.

    I just recently got a Dingwall and I've got it in a dropped tuning, so I started ordering strings from Kalium. I picked up a set of hybrids and I was surprised that, in comparison to the stock strings from the manufacturer, they were a lot more mellow. They still sound full and balanced, but I am used to new strings sounding a bit brighter at first and then smoothing out.

    After hearing your comments at 4:43, I fully agree about that resonant frequency on the hybrid strings. I actually like the way it sounds in most cases, except for on my lowest string. I've got a .158 tuned to low G at 37" but that resonance really stands out against such a low note.

    I was thinking of getting the next set in SS, but after watching this video I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with the hybrids and simply replace the lowest string with SS. It seems a little crazy, but it might just work for what I want.
     
  7. Ruins

    Ruins SS.org Regular

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    thanks for producing this video, really well made and covers everything that i would like to see and hear.
    it is clear to me that my next set from them is going to be the Nickel hybrids as my bass is somewhat dark on the bass side and they might just get that extra little clarity that i am looking for
     
  8. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the vid!

    Now that you've had them for more than a month, how do the strings age in comparison?
     
  9. Sepultorture

    Sepultorture Murder Machine

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    i'm leaning more towards the SS tonality, but the Hybrids are by no means a distant second. only thing is i don't want to get the SS strings and have them wear the ....e out of my fretwire and probably eat my fingers too

    so for now i'm gunna get the balanced tension set with the .158 for the low A. should sound exceptionally brutal for the slammage
     
  10. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia SS.org Regular

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    Hybryds vs SS for Fretless?
     
  11. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin'

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    I don't think they have a flat-wound option, so either (from Kalium) is going to chew your fingerboard over time.
     
  12. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia SS.org Regular

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    I'm aware of that, I already use D'addario SS strings on it, I'm just curious what you guys think is more appropriate from the Kallium option considering I play a 1 tone downtuned 5 string.
     

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