Understand first that these strings are best suited for a fretless where a player is using a finese style not typical to fretted instruments. Sunbeams are very sensitive to the amount of energy you put into them. The round core allows for more natural and unrestricted string vibration which can cause excess buzz on instruments with some playing techniques. So, if you play more aggressively Sunbeams will require adjustment to your instrument and playing style. If this is the case, raising the action and/or easing up on the attack will help. I found when using these strings on my EDA 900 that simply using less energy in my string attack was all I needed. Ironically, I found this made playing those longer sets much easier. Honestly, just let the strings do their job of moving more freely and help you become a better finesse and technical player. If you have to play hard with a pick or otherwise, go with something else.
On the fretless is where these strings really seem to make a difference. These are brighter than flat or ground (half) rounds, yet smooth and easy on the fingers and fingerboard. As mentioned they are more supple than hex core strings and give excellent response with both magnetic and piezo pickups. The Sunbeams do offer a greater level of definition, clarity and playability that fretless players seeking to be more present into the mix should appreciate.
So far the strings seem to last as long as any other. The cost is remarkably reasonable for a round core string as production is more difficult to be sure. As for installation, these do require a bit of caution when trimming and tightening. I gently crimp the end of the strings with a vice grip and fold them back a bit to prevent the wrap windings from loosening and they are all set.
They gave my fretless that "WOW" factor that I originally had when I first plugged that bass in for the very first time! They sound that much cooler than the other ones I tried in between the time I first played the factory set, 3 other disappointing sets, then finally these.
Everyone know how dependable DR's are at this point. But if you have a fretless bass (un-epoxied fretboard) and are looking for a sick set that won't eat yer beautiful bass neck up - go with these. Not to mention, they're totally affordable compared to others that you could totally blow crazy money on as you explore all the string manufacturers out. They're easily worth the $$ and they sound the way you want them too.
The problem I have with these is that even though they are nice-sounding nickel wrap rounds, they have a round core and that causes them to have a really big string excursion. My basses are all set up with really low action and straight necks so strings like these make tons and tons of noise in that situation. On the other hand nickel rounds with hex cores don't do this. Also, I found the note definition of these strings lacking compared to others. And finally, they are a pain to install.
Maybe these are great if you have a medium-high action but the way my basses are setup, these are not at all appropriate. Perhaps Nickel Lo-Riders would be better for me because I think they use hex cores.
These strings are on an Late 70s custom P-base style fretless, 34 inch neck, maple body with P/J DiMarzios
These things are Slippery, even for nickels. After years of trying many nickel round wounds on the fretless and always returning to flats, I was amazed how quickly I forgot these were rounds. Nice!
The strings lost their initial zing fairly quickly and settled into sugary smooth melodic highs, very detailed mids with plenty of punch and growl, and nice tight controlled lows. Overall a well balanced sound that could be tweaked to almost any genre. I've strapped these things on a couple of fretted guitars and although they sound good and feel incredible... I still prefer steel.
As for stamina, they are at about the 50 hour mark with no sign of deterioration (still early).
Bottom line: In my opinion these are about the best nickels out there and can really bring a fretless to life.
I will be trying other strings on the fretless but I think I'll keep coming home to these for a long time. Definitely worth a try!
I am pleased with every aspect, so far...the only thing that I am not sure about is the life of the string because I have only played these strings for about two weeks and three shows.