Innovation by GHS

Rockabilly - 140RB (Rock a Billy) Med/Light Tension Strings

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  • Rockabilly - 140RB (Rock a Billy) Med/Light Tension Strings
  • Rockabilly - 140RB (Rock a Billy) Med/Light Tension Strings, ball end
Our Low Price: $198.50

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Innovation Double Bass Strings have a unique, non-metallic core which provide a gut-like tone without the cost or maintenance of gut upright bass strings. They hold their pitch well in climate and temperature changes, and most of their strings are equally suited for pizzicato (plucking) and arco (bowing).

Includes our exclusive Gollihur Music tipsheet to get the most out of your purchaseMany of Innovation's strings are similar in design, but they assign different names to the different tensions/gauges. For instance, if you like the description of these strings but prefer a firmer feel, the Ultra Blacks are the way to go -- this "Rockabilly" set is essentially the "Ultra Black Light." You don't have to play Rockabilly to enjoy these strings, either -- they have a great old-timey pizz tone.

Innovation Rockabilly Strings were the first offering in their "Slap" line of strings and have a distinctive black outer winding over a synthetic core. These strings, designed specifically for the needs of rockabilly bassists, provide warmer, darker tone with decent volume, making them a great string for players who play predominantly slap-style.

Their decidedly gut-like tone - and softness - makes them a great alternative to the expense and maintenance requirements of real gut strings.

Players report that the Rockabilly strings are a good synthetic slap-style string - and they have the side benefit that they actually sound quite good for jazz pizzicato playing; they provide the player with enough sustain and growl to cover a jazz gig without changing to a different string. They are a little stiffer in feel than the Silver Slaps or Golden Slaps (an important distinction is made between "stiffness" and "tension") so the feel of the string is somewhat different.

Note: All of the Innovation strings do not contain any ferrous materials; they are not suitable for use with a magnetic pickup, like the Schaller we carry. They will work with all typical piezo-based pickups (like the Realist, Full Circle, and all the K&K pickups and systems).

Innovation designs these 3/4 size bass strings to fit on a standard 3/4 size bass. They may very well fit your bass if it is larger than 3/4. For your reference, the lengths of the string, as measured against the bass tailpiece to the nut is 51.5 inches, plus an additional 17 inches to handle stringing in the headstock.

For a comparison chart of the differences between the different Innovation String models, check out the "comparison" tab.

String Lengths

  • Ball end to nut (Afterlength + Playing Length): 51.5 inches/136cm
  • Afterlength (Ball end to bridge): 5.5 inches/14cm
  • Wound top of string (pegbox): 17 inches/43cm

String Gauges:

.078 .087 .100 .124

Important note about the gauges listed above: the measurements were done here at the shop with a (cheap) digital caliper, so they may not be spot on – they’re not intended to be critically accurate, as they are here for basic guidance to give you a rough idea of what to expect. Additionally, variances in raw material supplies (at the manufacturer) can result in strings that may be slightly different from batch to batch. GHS makes the strings to meet a certain tension spec and mass, but (for instance) if there are variances in the gauge of the nylon wire or nylon tape used for the outer winding, it can make for a difference in the strings' overall diameter. All that to say, don't get too caught up in the numbers! Where the rubber hits the road is how the strings feel under the fingers.

Innovation Comparison

Differences and comparisons between the Innovation Strings we carry are as follows:

Set Tension Outer Winding Tonal Character
Ultra Black Set Medium/High Black Nylon Tape Clearly-defined attack with more sustain.
Honey (Solid Core) Set Medium/High Chrome Tape Most "gut-like" of their offerings, tonally.
Braided (Stranded Core) Set Medium/High Chrome Tape Dark for pizz, short sustain. Rich tone under the bow.
Polychrome Set Medium Chromesteel Tape Good hybrid string, a modern take on gut-like sound.
Super Silver Set Medium Clear Nylon Wire Pretty close to Traditional gut-like sound and feel.
Rock-a-Billy Set Medium/Low Black Nylon Tape Mix of articulation and gut-like sustain good slap/click
Rock-a-Billy Reds Set Medium/Low Red Nylon Tape Mix of articulation and gut-like sustain, good slap/click
Golden Slap Set Low Clear Nylon Wire
(inner winding has gold color)
Similar to the Super Silver, with less tension. Very slappable, but great for pizz, too.
Silver Slap Set Low Clear Nylon Wire
(inner winding has silver color)
Similar to the Super Silver, with less tension. Very slappable, but great for pizz, too.
Psycho-Billy Set Low with
thicker gauge
Clear Nylon Wire Similar to the Silver Slaps, but thicker diameter for slap (similar tension).
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5 Reviews

  • 5

    Innovation 140RB set

    Posted by Timm Reasbeck on Oct 6th 2022

    This set gives me that tone I want, smooth to the touch and nice even volume across all the strings. They replace a set of zyex. The RB140 set is a warmer rounder sound. While the zyex was good for arco or pizz, the RB140 is strictly pizz. The string installation tipsheet from Mark was valuable resource also.

  • 5

    Innovation Rockabilly Best Yet

    Posted by Felipe Toltecatl on Dec 17th 2021

    These check off every box for me. Warm tone tone and great sustain even acoustically! The cherry on top is the they slap fantastic due to their synthetic core. Not clanky at all! Leave those weedwackers for yard work.

  • 5

    Made me keep my bass

    Posted by Joey A. on Nov 4th 2014

    Last month I had my Cremona bass up for sale but since I put those Rockabilly strings you recommended I can't stop playing it. The most impressive is how the E string rings out with depth and clarity... Sweet.

  • 5

    Could have played all night

    Posted by G. H. on Mar 18th 2012

    I think I mentioned that my bass had these (Innovation Rockabilly) strings on it when I bought it last week. Brand unknown to me until now. I... could've played the bass the whole night! Everybody complimented me on my sound, was great. They had a stall at the Show so I got to play other types (on dawghouse basses): Golden Slap on demo bass, and Super Silver on instr. of Ronnie Scott's house bassist Sam Burgess) - all were fantastic to play: soft and inviting.. towards creativity I mean. I'm sold on them. Good sizzling sound under the bow as well.

  • 5

    Very happy

    Posted by Shawn Nemechek 12/2010 on Dec 14th 2010

    Hey guys! Just wanted you to know that I'm very happy with my recent purchase of Innovation RAB strings. This was the first time changing strings on my upright and the info you sent was very helpful. The strings are easy on my hands and I'm pleased with their sustain! Thanks!

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