D’Addario Flex Steels Bass Guitar Strings

I love trying new strings. A lot. And as primarily a double bassist that pays almost $300 FlexSteelsfor a set of strings, buying bass guitar strings seems like a steal! So when D’Addario announced their new Flex Steels I immediately pre-ordered them from Bass Strings Online. (On a side note, my favorite double bass string vendor is Bob’s House of Basses / Prodigy Strings. )

Last night after band practice I decided to put them on, replacing the D’Addario balanced tension nickel strings that I’ve been using. I have pages of string notes in my Evernote notebook. The D’Addario nickels are a great standard string to start with. They have a nice, neutral sound, play easily and are inexpensive.

D’Addario writes that “…FlexSteels deliver the unique combination of flexible feel optimized for slap and finger-style playing coupled with a coveted deep and round tone with just the right amount of punch and bite.”

I agree! Right out of the package they delivered on that statement. These strings are punchy while retaining an even sound across the sound spectrum. As with most steel strings they do have a more ‘abrasive’ feel than nickels. It’s not a huge difference and after a few minutes of playing you probably won’t notice it any more but I think it should be noted. But again – that’s generally a characteristic of steel strings versus nickel.

I play a 5 string Carvin bass and prefer lighter gauge strings. D’Addario does not yet have a 5 string set in the gauges I like so I ordered a 4 string light set and put on a D’Addario ProSteel low B string. The Flex Steels were noticeably clearer, more defined, and well…punchier.

The sound was great right out of the package. Some strings need to break in, others have too much treble zing but the Flex Steels had the right sound immediately.

Even with a pick they retain their full sound.

I’m completely blown away but these strings! The sound is absolutely perfect and clear.



  • Thanks for the review. Would you say these have more or less mids than the Pro Steels? I have Pro Steels on my SBMM SUB SB-4 and need a string with more mids than the Pro Steels provide.

  • Good question! The Flex Steels sound pretty even throughout the spectrum. They don’t have the forward mids like RotoSounds but if I had to pinpoint it, I would say they have some extra low mids to provide the extra punch they have.

  • I appreciate the info. I may need to get a set of Flex Steels and a set of Rotosound 66 nickels and do an A/B comparison.

  • The Flex Steels are much fuller and less ‘grindy’ than Rotosounds. Not as scooped as DR strings such as Fat Beams.
    Last night at band practice the band commented on my sound and how full it was. That was the first time anyone has really noticed when I changed strings.

  • Cool. I tried to get into DR strings a while back but I didn’t like the lack of mids in their round core strings. I also disliked the lighter tension compared to D’Addario XLs of the same guage. (XLs have been my go-to strings for years.) I like being able to dig in a little and feel some resistance. And being able to lower the action is always nice.

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