Top 11 Best Bass Guitar String Brands On The Market


Bass guitars are stringed instruments that have become prevalent in a wide range of musical styles/genres worldwide. An integral part of stringed instruments, as their name would suggest, are the strings.

There are plenty of bass guitar brands and models out there with a variety of different string counts, including the standard 4 or 5, or even more. To offer even more variety to these beautiful bass instruments, numerous companies produce bass guitar strings.

Related article: Top 13 Best Electric Bass Guitar Brands In The World

Finding the best strings for your bass guitar largely dependent on your particular instrument and preferred playing style. Though the brand of strings is far from the most important factor, it’s worth considering. With so many brands out there, we’ll focus our attention, in this article, on the top 11 best bass guitar string brands on the market.

Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I’ve done my best to list out these brands based on the following metrics (in no particular order):

  • Company reputation
  • Variety of guitar strings
  • Performance of the strings
  • Currently in operation

With all that being said, let’s list out the brands.

The top 11 best bass guitar string brands on the market are:

  1. DR Strings
  2. D’Addario
  3. Ernie Ball
  4. Thomastik-Infeld
  5. RotoSound
  6. Dunlop
  7. GHS
  8. Fodera
  9. La Bella
  10. Fender
  11. Elixir

Let’s get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best bass guitar string brands. I’ll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable set of strings, and a link to their official website.


Click here to return to My New Microphone’s articles on musical equipment brands/manufacturers.


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DR Strings

DR Strings produces some of the world’s best bass strings, bringing hand-wound strings back into the market. The company draws on a rich heritage of guitar design, being founded in 1989 by Mark Dronge, the son of Alfred Dronge, who founded the beloved company Guild Guitars.

Guild is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Acoustic Guitar Brands In The World.

The insight from building world-class instruments allowed DR Strings to reverse-engineer the string-making process. But can a human make the difference versus modern-day machinery? According to the company, no machine can make the tiny adjustments needed for a superior string. Plus, all materials are US-sourced and US-manufactured.

DR Strings create state-of-the-art, handmade strings for all players, including bass guitar, nylon, bronze, and nickel strings. Furthermore, their neon series allows players to choose from a plethora of colours to dress their instruments for the ultimate stage presence.

DR Strings sound great because they are humanly wound to perfection using the best materials available. Regardless of the style of bass you play, you won’t regret buying a pack of DR Strings.

Notable bass guitar strings: BKB-45 Black Beauties Coated Steel Medium Bass Strings (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

DR Strings BKB-45 Black Beauties Coated Steel

DR Strings was founded in 1989 by Alfred Dronge and Dr. Benzion Rapoport in Westwood, New Jersey, USA, where the company is still headquartered to this day.

Official website: drstrings.com

DR Strings is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Acoustic Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market


D’Addario

D’Addario strings require no introduction. They can be found around the world, being played on bass guitars of all musical genres. Furthermore, D’Addario’s extensive OEM contracts pretty much guarantee you have played their strings at least once in your life if you’re a seasoned bassist.

D’Addario was founded in 1974 in Farmingdale, New York, but the family started making strings in Salle, Italy, in 1680. Today, it is still a family-owned business with offices on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, among other spots around the world.

Speaking of which, their XL series is the standard by which all other strings are judged. That being said, the company has been investing in sound innovation for decades, and the results are just awe-inspiring. For example, the XT series with carbon steel cores and a treatment to avoid corrosion is as good and high-tech as strings get.

Notable bass guitar strings: NYXL45130 Regular Light 5-string Long Scale Nickel Wound Bass Strings – .045-.130 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

D’Addario NYXL45130 Regular Light 5-string Long Scale Nickel Wound

D’Addario was founded in 1974 by members of the D’Addario family in Lynbrook, New York. Today, the company headquarters is located in Farmingdale, New York, USA.

Official website: daddario.com

D’Addario is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best XLR Cable Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Acoustic Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 10 Best Classical Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 7 Best MIDI Cable Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Guitar/Bass Patch Cable Brands In The World


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Ernie Ball

What originally started as California’s first guitar-only shop would eventually become one of the great guitar string and accessory brands on the planet. Since the early 1960s, Ernie Ball has been building a reputation as a top brand in guitar strings. Of course, Ernie Ball bass guitar strings are also among the best of the best.

Available in over 120 countries around the world, Ernie Ball strings grace the fretboards of basses in venues across the globe.

Beyond the famed Slinkys series of strings, Ernie Ball has gone on to develop other lines that would accommodate bass players. In that vein, they were among the first to experiment with cobalt, which enhances strings’ magnetic qualities for guitarists and bassists alike.

Buying your strings from Ernie Ball is stepping into the pantheon of great musicians. If you are looking for punchy strings with great attack, Ernie Ball is a sure bet.

Notable bass guitar strings: 2832 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Bass Strings – .050-.105 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Ernie Ball 2832 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound

Ernie Ball was founded in 1962 by Ernie Ball in Tarzana, California. Today, the company headquarters is located in San Luis Obispo, California, USA.

Official website: ernieball.com

Ernie Ball is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 13 Best Bass Guitar Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Electric Guitar Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Acoustic Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 10 Best Classical Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market


Thomastik-Infeld

Thomastik-Infeld could be considered one of the best-kept secrets in the bass string world. The company certainly doesn’t have the same mainstream publicity or marketing investment as the previous brand, but their commitment to excellence keeps them up there with the best.

Perhaps, one of the main reasons behind this lack of popularity is that the brand has a long heritage coming from classic, unfretted instrument strings. Indeed, they are one of the main brands in the world within that niche and their orchestral strings can be heard in the most prestigious concert halls around the world.

Bass players can find a great variety of superb bass strings. The “Infeld” strings feature a new alloy reducing signal-to-noise ratio; this makes them perfect for high-gain situations, while flat wounds make for an excellent choice when playing jazz and other styles that require no friction.

If you haven’t ever tried a new set of Thomastik-Infeld strings on your bass, give them a chance; I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised the company isn’t more well-known.

Notable bass guitar strings: Jazz Flat Wound Bass Strings – 4-String 32″ Short Scale .043-.106 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flat Wound 4-String 32″ Short Scale

Thomastik-Infeld was founded in 1919 by Dr. Franz Thomastik and Otto Infeld in Vienna, Austria. The company headquarters is still located in Austria today.

Official website: thomastik-infeld.com

Thomastik-Infeld is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 10 Best Classical Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market


RotoSound

With development and manufacturing coming out of Kent, England, the sound of the “British Invasion” lives in each string RotoSound puts out into the market.

Although for RotoSound, it all started with classical instruments, clientele such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and The Shadows quickly changed the panorama. John Entwistle (bass player for The Who) approached them to create a set that would vibrate evenly. The company invited him over to the factory, and the iconic RS66 strings were born.

From that moment on, RotoSound supplied the most demanding bass players in the world, such as Jaco Pastorius, with the best-sounding bass strings in the market.

With the input from many professional bassists, RotoSound continued to refine its strings to create perfection. This dedication certainly paid off, as RotoSound has, for many decades, been held to the highest standards for bass strings around the world.

Notable bass guitar strings: RS66LD Swing Bass 66 Stainless Steel Roundwound Long Scale Bass Strings (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

RotoSound RS66LD Swing Bass 66 Stainless Steel Roundwound Long Scale

RotoSound was founded in 1958 by James How in Sevenoaks, Kent, England, where it is still headquartered today.

Official website: rotosound.com

RotoSound is also featured in the following My New Microphone’s article:
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market


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Dunlop

If you were to make a comparison with other brands, you could say that Dunlop is the opposite of D’Addario. How so? Well, because D’Addario is a string company making accessories and Dunlop is an accessories brand making strings. Indeed, the brand is, perhaps, better known for creating the GCB-95 “Cry Baby” pedal, known as the quintessential Wah-Wah.

Although Dunlop is best-known for pedals, capos, picks, and other accessories, the bass strings they manufacture can compete against any of the brands in this list.

To begin with, Dunlop manufactures nickel and stainless steel strings that are associated with rock bass players the size of Lemmy (Motorhead) and Robert Trujillo (Metallica). On the other hand, Marcus Miller, bass player virtuoso, also benefits from Dunlop with his no-compromise, slapping style. If you are looking for strings that will make notes cut through, Dunlop is a great choice.

Bass strings may not be the first products that come to mind when mentioning Dunlop, though these strings are surely among the best of the best.

Notable bass guitar strings: DBN45105S Nickel Wound 4-string Short Scale Bass Strings – .045-.105 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Dunlop DBN45105S Nickel Wound 4-string Short Scale

Dunlop Manufacturing was founded in 1965 by Jim Dunlop in Glasgow, Scotland. The company moved to Benicia, California, USA, in 1972, where it is still headquartered today. Dunlop owns MXR, Cry Baby, Way Huge, Authentic Hendrix and Dunlop Electronics brands.

Official Website: jimdunlop.com

Dunlop is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Guitar/Bass Effects Pedal Brands To Know & Use
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market


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GHS

What is the link between Flea, Stuart Hamm, and Gene Simmons? Well, they are all superstar bassists who play GHS strings.

The company was founded in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1964 by three people: Gould, Holcomb, and Solko, thus, the name GHS. By 1975, it was bought by Robert McFee, who remains chairman of the board to this day.

The company’s Boomers are comparable to Slinkys (Ernie Ball) and XL (D’Addario) in terms of popularity and availability around the world.

Bass players can choose from a wide variety of materials, including bronze, steel, and even nylon-wrapped steel. It is common to find GHS strings in rocking stages around the world because of their attack and sustain.

GHS is regarded, together with D’Addario and Ernie ball, as one of the most important string manufacturers in the world. Their reputation is well-deserved; pick one set up and find out why they are the top choice for so many professional bassists.

Notable bass guitar strings: M3045 Bass Boomers Roundwound Long Scale Medium 4-string Electric Bass Strings (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

GHS M3045 Bass Boomers Roundwound Long Scale Medium 4-string

GHS Strings was founded in 1964 by Gould, Holcomb, and Solko. The company headquarters is located in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA.

Official website: ghsstrings.com

GHS Strings is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Acoustic Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market


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Fodera

In case you are not familiar with them, Fodera is a bass manufacturer founded in 1983 by Vinny Fodera and Joey Lauricella. Today, they are regarded as the Lamborghini of basses and supply only the highest quality instruments in the market.

Fodera’s philosophy has always been the search for excellence. In that quest, they found that whatever strings they shipped their basses out into the world with didn’t make the instrument any justice. Hence, they decided to create a string set that would match the quality and sound of their instruments.

The result is just as staggering in quality and performance as the basses themselves. These quality fanatics took bass strings to the next level like they did instruments, so perhaps it is time to give Fodera strings a chance.

Notable bass guitar strings: 45125 Nickel Roundwound 5-string Bass Strings – .045-.125 Medium (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Fodera 45125 Nickel Roundwound 5-string

Fodera was founded in 1983 by Vinny Fodera and Joey Lauricella in Brooklyn, New York, USA, where the company is still headquartered today.

Official Website: fodera.com

Fodera is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
Top 13 Best Bass Guitar Brands In The World


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La Bella

Although not so well-known as D’Addario, La Bella also dates back to the 17th century and comes from Salle, in Italy.

By 1914, the brothers Emilio and Olinto Mari opened the first La Bella string factory on 5th Avenue in NYC. Since 1981, the company manufactures all strings sold around the world in their Newburgh facility in New York City.

Regarded by some as one of the finest classical guitar strings manufacturers, La Bella also produces beautiful-sounding bass strings.

The wide variety coupled with the obsessive attention to detail and explosive sound made these strings bestsellers in a plethora of different styles. From nickel to nylon, you can find all types of bass-oriented La Bella strings, each of which sounds genuinely amazing in its own way.

Notable bass guitar strings: 760FS Deep Talkin’ Bass Flatwound Bass Strings – Standard (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

La Bella 760FS Deep Talkin’ Bass Flatwound Standard

La Bella was founded in 1913 by Emilio and Olinto Mari in New York City, New York, USA. Today, the company is headquartered in Newburgh, New York.

Official website: labella.com

La Bella is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Acoustic Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 10 Best Classical Guitar String Brands On The Market


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Fender

Fender is a brand that needs no introduction. The company has made several of my “top brands” lists (see below) and is best known for creating some of the most iconic instruments and amplifiers in the history of music. Fender’s Stratocaster is the best-selling guitar of all time.

The same passion applied to the instruments goes into their string department. Although not their primary selling point, strings like the “Bullets” are well-known and used around the world because they are the best match for Fender instruments.

Bass players find a wide assortment of strings going from bronze to flat-wound steel. Plus, those lucky owners of a Fender bass can benefit from the “bullet” end of the strings, improving stability and extending their lifespan.

A company the size of Fender doesn’t simply disembark in a business niche; it always goes the extra mile to conquer it. Having new Fender strings on your bass is a sure sign you mean business.

Notable bass guitar strings: 7250M Nickel Plated Steel Long Scale Bass Strings .045-.105 Medium (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Fender 7250M Nickel Plated Steel Long Scale

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation started as “Fender’s Radio Service”, founded in 1938 by Clarence Leonidas Fender in Fullerton, California. In 1946, the company had its name changed to Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. Fender began producing guitar pedals in 1954 with their first volume pedal. Today, the company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

Official Website: fender.com

Parent Company: Servco Pacific

Fender is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 13 Best Bass Guitar Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Bass Guitar Amplifier Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Electric Guitar Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Guitar/Bass Effects Pedal Brands To Know & Use
Top 11 Best Guitar Amplifier Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Acoustic Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 10 Best Classical Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 8 Best Acoustic Guitar Pickup Brands On The Market
Top 8 Best Bass Guitar Pickup Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Guitar/Bass Patch Cable Brands In The World


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Elixir

It is safe to say that Elixir created a new business niche and set the course for guitar string innovation when they came up with their coated strings. Their patented fluoropolymer coating extends their lifespan by protecting them from debris, sweat, and any other element threatening their integrity, including corrosion.

But let’s rewind to 1997, the company that was to become Elixir Strings was testing cables and coating them with polytetrafluoroethylene. Soon after, they started playing with the coating material to make guitar strings that sounded great and were also corrosion-free.

After being tested by 15,000+ guitar and bass players, Elixir Strings was officially born. Since the first prototype, the company has experimented with a nano polymer evolving the coating into a microscopic layer that doesn’t affect tone.

Available in bronze, nickel, nickel-plated steel, stainless steel, bronze, and phosphor bronze, nanoweb and polyweb coated strings from Elixir accommodate bass, acoustic and electric players alike. The brand’s bass strings sound so good and last for so long that they have amassed countless fans around the world.

Elixir has made a name for itself by offering crisp, everlasting tone. If this sounds good to you, be sure to try out a pair of Elixirs on your bass.

Notable bass guitar strings: 14002 Nanoweb Super Light Long Scale Electric Bass Strings (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Elixir 14002 Nanoweb Super Light Long Scale

Elixir was founded in 1997 as a division of W. L. Gore & Associates. The company headquarters is located in Newark, Delaware, USA.

Official website: elixirstrings.com

Parent company: W. L. Gore & Associates

Elixir is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Acoustic Guitar String Brands On The Market
Top 11 Best Electric Guitar String Brands On The Market

Arthur

Arthur is the owner of Fox Media Tech and author of My New Microphone. He's an audio engineer by trade and works on contract in his home country of Canada. When not blogging on MNM, he's likely hiking outdoors and blogging at Hikers' Movement (hikersmovement.com) or composing music for media. Check out his Pond5 and AudioJungle accounts.

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