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STRINGS: What strings work with a Magnetic Pickup?
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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:

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)
  • "Weedwhackers"


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



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The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Mark