Black Diamond "Black Bass" coated strings

Gear Reviews by Forum Members. Got a great piece of gear? Tell us about it!
Post Reply
User avatar
Oxblood
Newbie
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:18 pm
Location: London, UK

Black Diamond "Black Bass" coated strings

Post by Oxblood » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:06 am

Recently I fitted my Mania bass with a set of 45-105 Nickel Roundwounds of the 'Black Diamond' brand and found that I liked the sound and feel of them a lot.

That still-fresh set has now been passed on to my archtop, to replace its old Warwick steels, which I'd never really got on with: they'd sounded good but ripped my fingers to bits. :(

The Mania has black hardware, so this week, just for fun I thought I'd replace the plain nickels with a set of Black Diamond's Black Bass Cortec-coated nickels:

Image

http://www.blackdiamondstrings.com/HTMLPages/bass.html

I figured they were likely to sound and play very similarly to the plain nickels I already liked.

Oh was I ever wrong...



They're even better! :eek: The coating gives them a bright, steel-like zing, but roll off the treble and underneath that you'll find a glorious, solid wall of no-nonsense fundamental. There's no vagueness to the sound: every note is clearly defined, and keeps its tone as the note fades. This effect is present on every string, right down to the lowest fret of the E.

I'm not sure why, but even though they're the same guage, I get the impression that they're a bit higher tension than the plain nickels: they have a satisfyingly hard, tight feel under the fingers which invites you to dig in, and yet the coating makes them non-abrasive, easy on your skin.

They're smart looking things, too: the black finish is very black indeed - like coal. The type of coating is similar to that used on the DR 'Extra life' coloured types: they won't go furry like Elixirs, but if you're a pick player the coating will chip off in the high-traffic area over the pickups. However, in one respect they are very different: PRICE. In the UK, a set of DR colour-coated nickels will set you back the best part of £40. The Black Diamonds have a list price of £22.

Here's a couple of audio samples I recorded this afternoon:
http://www.dustyend.com/finnbass/oxbloo ... /500MB.mp3
http://www.dustyend.com/finnbass/oxbloo ... m_bass.mp3

As with all such strings, the purported role of the coating is to prolong their usable life. The manufacturers claim that they should keep their tone up to 4 times longer than standard nickels. Time will tell whether that proves to be the case for mine. All I can say right now is that, on this particular bass (a thru-neck made with dense hardwoods) and for my particular style of playing, these are the best sounding, best playing strings I have ever tried. No contest.

...and of course, on a bass with all-black hardware, they look the dog's danglies. :D

Hasty shot taken with crappy camera...

Image

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2307
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: Black Diamond "Black Bass" coated strings

Post by john » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:47 am

Great review Mr Blood .
Looks nice , I like the sound of the first clip.

User avatar
Oxblood
Newbie
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:18 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Black Diamond "Black Bass" coated strings

Post by Oxblood » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:05 pm

Why thangyew! Black Diamond as a brand seems to be very little known in the UK, at least where bass strings are concerned. There are certainly no UK-based online dealers. Are they available in NZ?

User avatar
Randomplay
Silver Member
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:48 am
Location: Taranaki

Re: Black Diamond "Black Bass" coated strings

Post by Randomplay » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:14 pm

Oxblood wrote:Why thangyew! Black Diamond as a brand seems to be very little known in the UK, at least where bass strings are concerned. There are certainly no UK-based online dealers. Are they available in NZ?
Apparently they use to be, im gonna try n get the local rock shop to source me some this week...

Post Reply