What strings work with a Magnetic Pickup?
Are you using a magnetic pickup, like the Krivo or the Schaller? Since the pickup uses magnets to "sense" the signal from your strings, it's VERY important to note that you must use strings with considerable magnetic (ferrous) content in their core (not just their windings) in order to get usable sound from a magnetic pickup.
The best-performing strings are those with a steel core; the core is the fundamental part of the string, and will contain considerably more magnetic mass than windings do. This means that many synthetic core strings are out. But, there are a couple that have enough steel in their windings to be usable, albeit with a lower output, so those are listed separately below.
This is an ever-evolving list, and I strongly encourage you to share your experiences using any strings, listed or not, with a magnetic pickup.
Strings reported or confirmed to be GOOD for magnetic pickup use, because they have ferrous cores:
- Eurosonics White Tape Wound (Also Black Tape Wound)
- Thomastik Spirocores (and Solo)
- Corelli 370 (and 360 Solo)
- D'Addario Helicore Orchestra, Pizzicato, Hybrid, Solo - (Note: though some find that the E string provides response that is somewhat lower than the other strings. Most magnetic pickups have adjustable polepieces to accommodate this, however.)
- Jargar Strings
- LaBella 7710N Black Tape-Wound strings (and 7710T White Tape Wound)
- LaBella 7720 Rope Core Upright Bass Strings (and 7720S Solo)
- Pirastro Original Flexocor
- Pirastro Flexocor Deluxe (and Solo)
- Pirastro Flat-Chromesteel
- Thomastik Superflexible (and Solo)
- Pirastro Jazzer
Synthetic Strings that are CONFIRMED to work with a Magnetic Pickup:
These strings, despite having a synthetic core, have been confirmed to work well with a magnetic pickup. They do have less output than steel-cored strings, though - so you need to bump up the volume of the amp to compensate.
Strings that we can confirm are NOT GOOD for magnetic pickup use:
- Pirastro Obligatos (minimal metallic content)
- Pirastro Evah Pirazzi and Evah Pirazzi Slap (minimal metallic content)
- LaBella Supernils (no metallic content)
- All Innovation Strings other than Polychrome (no/minimal metallic content)
- Gut strings (insufficent or no metallic content)
- RotoSound Superb RS4000
- Velvet Strings (Anima, Garbo, Blue) - (insufficient metallic content)
On the following strings, the verdict isn't out yet - if you've tried any of these (or any other unlisted strings) with a magnetic pickup, let us know!
- Thomastik Belcanto and Dominant and Precision
- Pirastro Passione and Jazzer and Permanent
- D'Addario Prelude and Kaplan
- Any others not on the list