Bass VI - String Options

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JVG
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Bass VI - String Options

Post by JVG » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:44 pm

Fender (Bass) VI strings.

There have been a few questions recently about string choices for the Bass VI, so I wanted to share my internet research. I initially compiled a list a few years ago when I built my VI clone, but recently checked for updates.

Let me know if you have additions, or if i have anything wrong :)


SUMMARY OF OPTIONS (as of Feb 2021) [edit: grrr the table below lost its formatting when submitted]

Brand Customisable? Core style Wrap style Wrap materials Price
Fender No Hex Round or flat NPS or stainless $ - $$$
La Bella Yes Hex Round or flat NPS or stainless $$
D’Addario No Hex Round NPS $
Kalium No Hex Round NPS $ - $$
Tenorio No Round Round NPS $$$
Newtone Yes Hex or round. Round NPS or stainless $ - $$
Axion No Hex Round NPS $
Mangan No Hex Round NPS $
Stringjoy No Hex Round NPS $
Pyramid Yes Round Round or flat NPS or Cr-Ni $$
Dunlop No ? Round NPS $$
GHS No ? Round NPS ?


DETAILS
 
Most - if not all - original (1961-75) Bass VI instruments were factory-fitted with flatwound strings.

Fender product catalogues from the 1960s only list one option for VI strings: Fender “Mastersound Flatwound Strings” Set No. 700 (gauges 26-35-44-55-75-95). These are no longer produced.
 
Current options are listed below (in no particular brand order).
 

Fender
Set “250B6”: roundwound nickel-plated steel (hex core), gauges 24-34-44-56-72-84. These are Fender’s current ‘standard’ VI set, and many people find the low E to be too light and floppy. Price: US $16.

“Super 250’s Bass VI”: roundwound nickel-plated steel (hex core), gauges 24-34-44-65-80-100. Note the heavy low end. This set is elusive, and possibly out of production. Price US $15.

Set “5350”: roundwound stainless steel (hex core), gauges 25-35-45-55-75-95. These have long been discontinued, but a few shops still have stock. Price: variable.

“Mastersound #700”: flatwound pure nickel (round core), gauges 26-35-44-55-75-95. Fender factory-fitted these to the originals (1961-75). Have not been produced in a long time, but occasionally come up on Ebay or Reverb for collectors. Price: variable, usually very high.
 

D'addario
Set “EXL156”: roundwound nickel-plated steel (hex core), gauges 24-34-44-56-72-84. Has the same floppy low E issue as the current Fender set. Price: US $15.
 

La Bella
All sets are gauged 26-35-44-55-75-95, but custom-gauged sets can also be selected. La Bella enjoy a great reputation, and are probably the most popular brand with VI players. Price: US $39 round wound set, $50 flat wound set, $15-20 custom round wound set (yes - cheaper than a pre-made set!)

Set “767-6N”: roundwound nickel-plated steel (hex core).

Set “767-6S”: roundwound stainless steel (hex core).

Set “767-6F”: flatwound stainless steel.

Sets “767-6B” (black) and “767-6W” (white): nylon tape wound over metal core. (These have been discontinued, though a few shops still have old stock).

Individual strings (roundwound nickel plated or stainless steel) ranging in gauge from 22 to 120 (mostly in increments of 002) can be bought to make custom-gauged sets.
 

Kalium
At last check, they offer quite a number of "Bass VI" sets, ranging in gauge from 21-90 to 35-148, plus several options aimed at baritone use of the VI. All are roundwound "hybrid" nickel/steel (hex core).
There have been mixed reports about this company's customer service, and the website is fairly confusing. Price: US $11-30, depending on gauge.
 

Gabriel Tenorio String Company
“Bass VI” set: roundwound nickel-plated steel (round core), gauges 26-99 (individual gauges not specified on the website). These, along with Newtone and Pyramid, are the only round-core VI strings currently available. Pricey, but has loyal supporters such as Curtis Novak. Price: US $75.
 

Newtone Strings
Made-to-order roundwound sets, (available via the website’s “Custom String Configurator”), handmade in England. Choice of round-core or hex-core, and nickel-plated steel or stainless steel wrap. Gauges available from 16 to 120, in increments of 001. These are the most ‘customisable’ brand currently available. Price: around US $20, depending on gauges.
 

Axion Custom Works (sold via the Newtone Strings website)
“Fender VI” set: roundwound nickel-plated steel (hex core), gauges 24-34-44-56-80-100. Note the heavier than standard low E. Price: US $19.
 

Curt Mangan
Set number “12490”: roundwound nickel-plated steel (hex core), gauges 24-34-44-54-74-90. Mangan strings are well regarded, though many people would want a heavier low E string than this set offers. Price: US $17.
 

Stringjoy
“Bass 6 Medium” set: roundwound nickel-plated (hex core), gauges 24-32-42-54-72-90. Price: US $19.

“Bass 6 Heavy” set: roundwound nickel-plated (hex core), gauges 26-34-44-56-74-95. Price: US $19.

Until late 2020, Stringjoy also offered customised roundwound nickel-plated sets, with gauges from 18 to 90 available (mostly in increments of 002). Unsure if this will return.


Pyramid
Set VI2595F: Chrome-nickel flatwound (round core), gauges 25-35-45-55-75-95. Price: 80€

Set VI2595R: Nickel-plated steel roundwound (core not stated), gauges 25-35-45-55-75-95. Price: 57€

Also make custom-gauged sets, contact by email. Made in Germany.


Dunlop
“Bass VI Light” set: round wound nickel, gauges 26-36-46-60-80-95. Not easy to find, perhaps only made in small batches. Price: US $30


GHS
“Fender VI Bass” set: round wound nickel-plated steel, gauges 25-35-45-55-75-95. Have not been able to find these for sale recently - they may be a discontinued line or one-off batch. Price: N/A


SGB-Parts
“Electric Bass Strings” set: nickel round wound (hex core), gauges 24-34-44-56-80-105. Could be attractive to those looking for a heavier low E. Price: £15

_
Last edited by JVG on Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by smjenkins » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:49 am

Thanks for doing all this research and sharing the info. Bookmarked!

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by GAZINGUK » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:23 am

For those in Europe don't forget about the Bass VI Nickel Roundwound Strings .024 -.105 - 30" Scale from SGB Parts in the UK priced £14.99:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bass-VI-Nick ... SwebdfGt53

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by JVG » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:23 pm

GAZINGUK wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:23 am
For those in Europe don't forget about the Bass VI Nickel Roundwound Strings .024 -.105 - 30" Scale from SGB Parts in the UK priced £14.99:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bass-VI-Nick ... SwebdfGt53
Great - thanks for the addition. I will update the original post.

Do you have any more info on these? I couldn't find anything apart from the eBay ad.

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by GAZINGUK » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:14 pm

JVG wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:23 pm
GAZINGUK wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:23 am
For those in Europe don't forget about the Bass VI Nickel Roundwound Strings .024 -.105 - 30" Scale from SGB Parts in the UK priced £14.99:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bass-VI-Nick ... SwebdfGt53
Great - thanks for the addition. I will update the original post.

Do you have any more info on these? I couldn't find anything apart from the eBay ad.
I haven't tried them, but the price is attractive. I would prefer to stick to a 0.95 on the low E or maybe 0.100 at the most, as my Bass VI is a vintage one and the neck is a bit skinny for a bigger guage. I could be wrong, but I've just stuck with the .95! Here's their website:

https://www.sgb-parts.com/product-page/ ... ngs-25-105

The product info states:

Nickel Roundwound Custom Bass VI Strings .24 .34 .044 .56 .080 .105

Suitable for 30" scale Bass VI

Hex steel core with nickel plating

Easy on the frets and smooth on the fingers for a full-bodied sound

Does fit stock bridge saddles and may need adjustments for Hardtail bridges
Last edited by GAZINGUK on Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by N0_Camping4U » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:48 pm

I wish I could get heavier flats than any of these offered. I have the La Bella flats, but still wish I could get thicker flats. I wonder why there are some roundwound sets that are thicker, but not flatwounds. Anyone else ever feel like this? Is there such a thing as custom stringers? :blush:
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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by JVG » Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:48 am

N0_Camping4U wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:48 pm
I wish I could get heavier flats than any of these offered. I have the La Bella flats, but still wish I could get thicker flats. I wonder why there are some roundwound sets that are thicker, but not flatwounds. Anyone else ever feel like this? Is there such a thing as custom stringers? :blush:

Pyramid will make a custom set of flats, so try them. I don’t know what their upper limit on gauge is, but worth trying.
I’ve actually got them making a custom set for me at the moment (with a 98 on the lowE) :)

Email your enquiry to Max at PYRAMID@JUNGER.DE
He usually responds within a day or so.

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by eggwheat » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:46 am

Nice job..useful to see all the options. I have something like 10 packs of NOS Fender 5350 that I bought up. I also have a NOS set of Rotosound Jet Bass for the VI. I think they may be from the 80's(not researched) so I don't plan to use them..more of a collectors item

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by GAZINGUK » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:49 am

eggwheat wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:46 am
Nice job..useful to see all the options. I have something like 10 packs of NOS Fender 5350 that I bought up. I also have a NOS set of Rotosound Jet Bass for the VI. I think they may be from the 80's(not researched) so I don't plan to use them..more of a collectors item
I was just going to say, will Rotosound develop a set again. :D Great minds and all that... I did the same thing with the Fender strings. A few years ago a seller sold off six packs for £20.00, so I bought them. I don't think they are necessarily the best option these days, but handy to have. Going to try some sets from the links above.

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by N0_Camping4U » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:34 am

JVG wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:48 am
N0_Camping4U wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:48 pm
I wish I could get heavier flats than any of these offered. I have the La Bella flats, but still wish I could get thicker flats. I wonder why there are some roundwound sets that are thicker, but not flatwounds. Anyone else ever feel like this? Is there such a thing as custom stringers? :blush:

Pyramid will make a custom set of flats, so try them. I don’t know what their upper limit on gauge is, but worth trying.
I’ve actually got them making a custom set for me at the moment (with a 98 on the lowE) :)

Email your enquiry to Max at PYRAMID@JUNGER.DE
He usually responds within a day or so.

Is that a flatwound set you created or round? I may email them and ask how big they can make a set within reason. Is Pyramid located in deutschland? I'll have to email them. Thank you.

I love how your Bass VI is the original model, I have always wanted to hear the difference between both the models.
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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by JVG » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:35 am

N0_Camping4U wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:34 am
Is that a flatwound set you created or round? I may email them and ask how big they can make a set within reason. Is Pyramid located in deutschland? I'll have to email them. Thank you.

I love how your Bass VI is the original model, I have always wanted to hear the difference between both the models.
Cheers for that :) Imust admit the reason for replicating the Mk1 style VI, rather than the more common Mk2 style, was purely aesthetic and superficial! The Novak pickups were pricey but sound amazing, so no regrets!

Yes, the strings i have on order from Pyramid are flatwound. Initially they suggested i get their standard set, but when i explained my pickiness about gauges they were very accommodating. I’ll let you know when they turn up - hopefully soon.

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by GAZINGUK » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:10 am

Out of interest what string brand do you guys recommend? I'm going to change mine soon. There's a lot of choices, so what's good? I've only used Fender ones from the 90s (I had a few packs saved up).

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by jorri » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:40 pm

Newtone strings best yet, another to add. No interplanetary shipping cost for europans and preferred to Kalium

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by SGB-Parts » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:58 pm

Hi fellas
Thanks for that glorious list ! Turns out I'm SGB-Parts owner, it's a new company dedicated to Bass and soon baritones gears, but I'm super stoked to see my brand being mentioned on the interweb :)

Just to add my 0.02 I did order a few custom sets from Max at Pyramid a while ago and they were great, and also I can confirm he is a top guy, however, be ready to shim and adjust the truss rod on your neck, flats are definitely heavier tension

Thanks again and rock on lads !

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Re: Bass VI - String Options

Post by MatthewK » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:29 am

Sounds like an awesome deal, would you be up for posting to Australia?

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