Rotosound has been creating, designing and making strings for over fifty years. By helping music icons like Jimi Hendrix, John Entwistle and Geddy Lee to create their amazing sounds, Rotosound strings have become synonymous with the British Tone. Renowned throughout the world, Rotosound is the home of legendary products such as Swing Bass 66 and Roto strings and is justifiably proud to be part of rock history.
Founded in 1958 by James How as a small, UK based, family-owned and operated company, Rotosound core values are little changed today. More sophisticated machines, designed and built by the late founders son, Jason How, still produce high quality instrument strings using only the best materials and a great team of people who really love what they do. Each string is physically and visually inspected at every stage of the manufacturing process to get maximum consistency, ensuring each one is unrivalled in tone, tuning stability and durability.
Now sold in more than eighty countries across the globe, Rotosound strings are not only used by some of the greatest guitarists and bassists, but continue to attract the best of the current and up and coming musicians. For over fifty years now their strings have changed the sound of rock and have been used on some of the most amazing albums recorded by some of the best artists in the business including Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses/Velvet Revolver), Billy Sheehan (Mr Big), Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix), Guthrie Govan, Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) and Roger Waters (Pink Floyd).
Rotosound are also the choice of strings for many of the world’s most contemporary successful bands such as The 1975, Rival Sons and Florence & The Machine.
Rotosound strings have played a large part in the history of rock music and the company plans to continue drawing on this rich legacy to continue being a major influence for decades to come.
Swing Bass 66
The string that started a revolution and brought the bass player from the back line to the front.
This is the string that James How and John Entwistle perfected into what was to become the industry standard. The bright punchy high energy sound this string offered and so much a big part of early rock music as we know it, quickly grew in popularity to all four corners of the globe and remains the leading contender to this present day.
The John Entwistle connection 1966
“It was in 1966 and I was looking for that Danelectro sound again. I tried everybody’s strings but the E and the A’s just didn’t work. It was the same with Rotosound but there was something about them that was almost there but not quite. To solve the problem I got in touch with James How and told him his D and G strings were great but the E and A didn’t vibrate properly.
He told me to take my bass along to Rotosound and have some strings made until they got it right. After a couple of hours, we realised that the problem wasn’t in the wire winding, but in the core of the string. You could see that the strings vibrated in a big circle and that was wrong; the core needed to be thicker.
We also made the overall gauges a bit heavier and they sent me away with 12 sets to use. A couple of days later they called and asked if I objected to them putting my name to the strings and selling them commercially. I told them I didn’t mind as long as they kept me supplied with free strings!
But then we had to do the same with medium and short scale strings because I had loads of different basses by then. Those strings, the RS 66 sets, were the first that vibrated properly other than the Danelectros.”
The ‘Monel ‘flatwound bass string that’s been awarded many accolades since its inception.
The RS77 Jazz Bass set has found favour with so many of the worlds top leading artists including the likes of Oasis, Steve Harris, Roger Waters and Herbie Flowers.
The build spec remains a close kept secret but the Monel 400 tape used in the strings making brings out the true character of these strings over the competition who are happy to use the much less costly flattened stainless steel.
These strings are still manufactured the ‘old fashioned way’ by hand on machines that James How built at the end of the 1960′s.
A string that was specifically designed by James How for Jim Burns’s famous Black Bison in 1962.
This string emulates the upright bass sound and the nearest you will ever get to a double bass that can be played as an electric bass.
The magnetic stainless steel undercovers that sit below the special black nylon tape ensures the best of both worlds by having a bass that is comfortable to handle, that will work with a conventional amplifier and yet offer a sound so reminiscent of its much larger brother.
RS88LD (65 - 75 - 100 - 115)
RS88S (65 - 75 - 90 - 115)
RS885LD (65 - 75 - 100 - 115 - 135)
Solo Bass 55
Another first designed in 1977 by James How is the stainless steel bass string with his patented linea pressure-wound finish.
Once the string is wound a rolling technique is applied under pressure which displaces the crown of each winding producing a flat that reduces finger noise and friction thus allowing for more rapid finger movement.
The linea effect accentuates the middle frequencies resulting in a tone quite different from a normal round-wound string.
Great for studio work when tackling quieter musical passages.
SM55 (40 - 60 - 80 - 100)
RS55LD (45 - 65 - 85 - 105)
RS555LD (45 - 65 - 85 - 105 - 130)
This very popular nickel on steel string offers the best of both worlds insomuch that without sacrificing on quality Rotosound engineers have simplified the design specifications.
This enables the savings made to be passed on to the customer and to offer no less than six sets of choice.
The sound, balance, feel and tone remains uppermost in Rotosound’s commitment to offer the musician the very best in value for money.
These strings are manufactured on ‘state of the art’ computer controlled string winding machines that have been developed by Rotosound engineers to bring you a consistently good product time and time again.
RB40 (40 - 60 - 80 - 100)
RB45 (45 - 65 - 85 - 105)
RB45 (50 - 70 - 90 - 110)
RB40-5 (40 - 60 - 80 - 100 - 125)
RB45-5 (45 - 65 - 85 - 105 - 130)
Bronze Bass 44
An old stalwart from Rotosound’s history that still has a loyal following among the acoustic bass fraternity.
The tonal response from our specially formulated bronze really brightens up an otherwise muddy sound from certain hollow bodied basses.
RS44LC (40 - 60 - 80 - 100)
RS445LD (45 - 65 - 85 - 105 - 130)
The Rotosound Patented String Cleaner (for use with Bass and Guitars) is a unique effective tool with a revolutionary 360-degree cleaning process to revitalize used strings. Microfiber pads remove and hold debris without need for cleaning solution.