I am getting a new bass and have decided that when I first get it I am going to stick with spirocores for a while to get used to the bass but I still think in the long run I'm going to be trying different strings. What I'm thinking about doing is maybe keeping the spirocore E and A but changing the D and G. I'm thinking about trying eudoxa, velvets, obligatos, or possibly just gut. And I was wondering from people who have probably already had experience with these, which out of the ones I listed with last the longest, and also I was worried about sustain compared to spirocores. And just for reference I play probably 90% pizz and 10% arco.
Also, A few days ago a played someone's bass who had EAD evah pirazzi and a velvet G string. I didn't care for the Evahs to much but I really liked the feel and sound of the velvet. The only thing the owner of the bass said was that the intonation is a little different on that string from the others, is common with mixing strings?
I'll kick this one off...but it's all opinion. The question is more about what will give you the sound you want on your bass.
E and A Spirocore Mittels (unless they are Weichs) have quite bit of tension so they could very well choke off a much lighter D and G such as guts or Velvets. Or if not choke off, give you a strange feel because of the big difference in tension. Hard to say unless you try them all together though.
Obligato's will work OK...Upton Bass has been selling Spiro Mittles and Obligato's as a set. Obligato's sound good on most basses but do not last very long (6-9 months usually) whereas the Spirocore will last for many years.
Eudoxas on the D and G would work OK...but....they are prone to unravelling depending on the climate. The silver wrap is quite fragile. The two Eudoxa's will likely cost you around $270.
Also, Obligato's and Eudoxa's will not sustain as much as the Spiro Mittels.
Some other strings that would likely match your Spiro's are Dominants. They have a strong fundamental, are closer to the tension of the Spiro's and last a lot longer than Obligato's.
Innovation 140 H will also work...so will Original Flexocor.
I could go on. I have used all the strings I mentioned and was a tester for Obligato when they first came out many years ago.
I am now using Velver Garbo's with a gut G...I have never had the "intonation problem" that your friend mentioned.
There are tons of opinions and suggestions available here on the strings forum if you do a search.
In the end though you will have to shell out some cash to see what works and what doesn't.
Enjoy the ride!:D
Ok that helps, and the intonation issues he was talking about was more, if he tried to play double stops between the D and G strings (let's say a fourth) that they didn't line up exactly.
Innovation 140H are rather dark to midrangey and won't fit too well to the Spiros, I think.
To give you a good advice we need to know more about your Spiros, since they come in a lot of different flavours.
Are the Mittel/Medium or Weich/Light?
Are the for a 3/4 (3885.x[W]) or 4/4 (S42[W]) scale?
The tension is different for 3/4 and 4/4 Spiros, so we need to know a bit more. Also a lot of advise is given without this information and as to be used with care.
Obligatos fit well to 4/4 Mittel or 3/4 Weich Spiros. Probably also Velvet Compas 180, which might be a bit lighter than the Obligato.
Innovation 140B (!) fit well to 4/4 Weich Spiros (S42W) and probably also to downtuned 3/4 Solo Spiros. I think medium (to a bit higher) tension gut strings would work with them too. Same with Velvet Garbos/Animas/Blue and probably also Compas 180 SUIT.
The intonation problems may come from a high action when using strings with a different (length) elasticity. By pressing the string down you make the string longer and depending on the elasticity the tension might rise a bit or a lot, resulting in different intonation. But since it is not a good idea to use strings with a large tension difference (my opinion of course), you don't need to care much about this and better concentrate on matching the tension (and the magntude of tension difference from string to string) when selecting mixed strings.
I have 3/4 Weichs on my bass right now.
Obligato for your Spiros (or reglar Compas 180).
For the Garbo/Anima/Blue (I guess the Velvet was one of them) use 3/4 Solo or S42W 4/4 Weich Spiro.
The Spiros need a lot playing until they sound good. But they even sound good after a lot of years.
For your 10% bowing, mixed sets with Spiros could be a bit annoying since the different string types often need a different bowing approach. I once had Inovation 140B with S42W Spiro 4/4 Weich A and E, but changed to the whole set of Innovation 140B later because of the more consistent bowing.
It might get a bit better after you played the Spiros some years... ;-)
Yeah the more I think about it the more I think I may just stick with sprios for a while, I don't love their sound bowed but for as much as I play arco I don't think it is unlistenable.
Stick with the Spiros, have black hair put on your bow for better grip, use a sticky rosin and practice is my advice.
I think it is good for practicing arco technique doing it on strings like Spiros that a a bit less forgiving. You hear immediately that you do something wrong. Very easy later on more bow friendly strings.
Just keep the Spiros and practise a lot with the bow. They break-in faster that way and even if you would decide later to check ut other strings keep your old Spiros. My set of Spiro Mittel (S42 fo my 4/4), that I took down to check out other strings, not because they died, were more than 20 years old (but I didn't play for several years during that time). They are still good and I would say much better for bowing than during the first one or two years. I just looked for a thicker high C string with a little bit less tension (generally) and got happy with the Innovation 140B. Maybe too less tension for a 3/4 scale. It really depends on the bass. Without my high C problem I would have kept the Spiros.
Even the 3/4 Spiro Weich on my 3/4 EUB got better after a lot of hard playing and bowing during the last year and they are really nice balanced across the strings.
Try to keep the Spiros on for a year, then you can think about other strings again ... or not.
I agree with the others... for 10% arco I'm not sure that I would replace the Spiro's.
Granted, it's horses for courses, but I've got Obli's on G and D, and Spiro Orchestra Mittels on the bottom. The Spiro's had their notorious characteristics under the bow, plus they were hurting my fingers when I played pizz. Oddly enough, on my particular bass, the Obli's sound almost exactly the same when plucked, but are much more bow-able.
I left the Spiro A and E on there because they weren't causing any problems, and it's not lost on me that periodically replacing 2 strings is cheaper than replacing all 4.
The Obli's wear out. I noticed an improvement when I recently replaced mine after 2 years of practicing at home and weekend jazz gigging. But I'd rather replace my strings than my fingers. The Spiro's might be worth another try after the current pair of Obli's wear out.
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