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See my post thoughts on bass strings from more information on this topic.
Strings are a very personal choice for every bassist. Just changing that one little thing can make the same bass can sound awesome or awful. Each different playing style has a different set of string associated with it. Putting bluegrass strings on and playing an orchestral concert will likely make you sound terrible, and vice versa.
There are dozens of brands to experiment with, and each experiment will cost you at least $100, so it is a good idea to do as much research as you can before you sink good money into potentially terrible strings. While I generally prefer Pirastro strings for orchestral and solo playing and Spirocores for other styles, I know that these might not be the best match for every single bass and every single bass player.
Bob Gollihur did a survey the late ’90s on people’s string preferences for different styles, but this survey has recently been taken offline and I can’t seem to track it down. Unfortunately, it was also done before my favorite brand of double bass classical strings, Pirastro Permanents, was created. Quinn violins has an excellent string description area on their website for bass strings. This is good for general string brand quality information.
NYC double bass dealer and luthier David Gage has written some really terrific articles on both choosing strings for specific playing styles (and what has historically been used) and on changing strings.