I use DR Red Devil strings!! They really look and sound great. The coating that gives them EXTRA life makes them feel great too! They have terrific customer service - check out this story Customer Service
Here is my son playing in his first band...
My son has a Vintage Ovation Viper hardbody electric which he plays through an early 70's Fender Princeton tube amp. We use a Digitech RP50 amp modeler for guitar effects and it has 30 drum patterns. I don't use effects but I do have a Tascam CD-BT1 that has a few on it.
Here are some great resources that I strongly recommend for beginning bass players:
Wheat's Bassbook - free online book written by James "wheat" Martin. AB member Wheat's AB home page
Bass Guitar for Dummies - typical "dummies" book by a not so typical writer, Patrick Pfeiffer. AB member Patrick's AB home page
ActiveBass.com - this is the best resource for bass players in the world! If you are just beginning, I recommend becoming familiar with the members who spend a lot of their time contributing to the AB "fretbuzz" forums. After you get to know these wonderful people, go to their homepage and check out their favorite lessons and their published lessons. This is a great way to find the really good lessons in the ocean of lessons that are not so beneficial.