I give up...

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by hdiddy, May 29, 2012.

  1. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    36 months ago I was using Spiro's with a Stark E. Great sound but the E was slow to speak.

    24 Months ago tried something crazy... mixed Labella Nylon tapewound G & D with something else. Surprisingly good. Got some great comments from folks.

    18 months got tired of the differences in string tensions with the Nylons. Didn't feel right. I hankered to try gut. Gamut Lyons. Fun, loud, lotsa thump. :hyper:

    15 months ago got fed up with tuning issues with Lyon E & A. Replaced with Anima E & A.

    13 months ago got fed up with tuning issues with G & A Lyons. Switched to Olives instead. Yeah this is it. One of the best ever - or so I thought.

    6 months ago got annoyed at my intonation maybe caused by differences in string gauges (*** I was thinking at time). Switched to full Animas. LOVED IT! Loud, articulate, great even tension.

    This week, Anima G winding broke. Was hankering for more sustain cuz I'm messing with more double stops and such. On a whim put on a full set of Labella Nylons that were sitting in the closet. Floored how good they sound. ***?

    I was going to toy with 5ths tuning and have a set on order but now I'm undecided if I want to use them. :meh:
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I never thought that I would use LaBella 7720s. Found a used set for cheap on TB. I've had them on for a couple of years now and have no intention of changing them from my jazz only bass.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    The good news is that you seem to like everything. It's much better than hating everything, which is how I've felt at times.

    It sounds like you're treating your muse to a box of variety truffles and getting pleasure out it as you go. What's the problem? So you're a bit of a string philanderer. You'll settle down with a special set of strings when the time is right.

    Have you tried Pirastro Jazzers?
  4. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC

  5. Sponsored by:

  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Be my guest. :)

    I'm reformed. :bag:
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    True. I'm definitely a half-glass-full person. Granted my playing has been improving so much in the last 24 months. The more I learn the more of what I want in strings changes. I guess I'm making the needed string changes to adapt to my current playing style. It's just odd how much string changes I've been going through - it hasn't been like this before. It feels like strings are just an extension of what I'm learning. Now I'm focusing on time (so I want the attack) and pizz intonation (thus sustain).

    I think also my ears have changed and what I heard from the 7720s back then isn't what I'm hearing now. I hear more possibilities with the strings and none of the detractions. Before I would just hear how kinda nasty the strings are. It's weird.

    I guess the point is that tastes can change and it's good to have a variety of strings on hand to suit the mood. The other point is that, at least for myself, there is no absolute ultimate string.

    Troy, Jazzers were def on the list and I might get to them at some point. The audio samples have always been really appealing to me. Nice growl, not too anemic sounding.
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    They're not really be-all-end-all for me, but I think they're way under rated and I nothing else I've tried is better for me on my bass, for what I'm doing.

    I convinced John Lilley try them and thought he sounded great at his CD release a few weeks ago.
  9. otherclef


    Aug 10, 2011
    How have the gigs been??
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    See the forum sticky at the top.
  11. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    I sure like the Jazzers. I have gone back and forth lately between Jazzers (which I have used for years) various wound and plain gut, and Spiro mittels. I still like the Jazzers best. They have a soft feel, produce lots of volume and are pretty even sounding. They also seem to last for an indefinite period of time.
  12. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    I guess I meant "for someone"- not necessarily me- I'm pretty well set too: Gamuts on my Shen and Flexocor 92's on my classical ride- but the Flex Deluxe's are looking pretty good....;:D

    "Stay strong....stay strong....stay away from string threads..."

    Hdiddy- another vote "for" the Pirastro Jazzers- great "all around" string- they even bow nice imho!

  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm still floored by what these tapewounds can do. If you come at it hard and strong it gives you that typical wah-like rubbery tone. Relax and coax it a bit and it sounds smooth as silk. The bass hasn't ever been this resonant. While playing solo pizz, I can hear the sympathetic vibrations on the open strings and it makes it easy to have better intonation. The E is a little strange... not flabby, punchy, but not deep. Cuts through like the other strings.

    Being able to bow just to warm up the bass makes the Jazzer's appealing.
  14. I'm really happy with Innovation Super Silvers for Pizz. They can sound fat, get the mwah sound and spoil your fingers with their ease in the process.
  15. Put on some spiros, forget about strings and focus on the music. Don't flame me, I'm speaking from experience....
  16. MaxJohnson


    Jan 29, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
  17. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Anchorage, AK
    I've gone back and forth between Animas and DD or Gamut strings over the past ten years. The Velvet strings are certainly more stable than even the finest handmade gut strings, but IMHO the sound of the pure gut strings is incredibly hard to leave behind for good. Living in Alaska has pushed me to using Velvets on the bottom and either Pistoys or DD strings on top. Seems to work just fine for my needs.

    Recently, I thought I might be able to achieve greater resonance in my big bodied Czech instrument by tuning it in fifths. Velvet does make their 180's in a fifths tuning so I ordered up a C & G string and asked both Damien and Dan to make me a high A string. The Compas 180's are SO nice sounding on my bass that I am considering ordering the 180 D and just keeping the high A as the lone pure gut string on my bass.

    I suggest giving the fifths tuning a whirl. It can't hurt to try it for a while and there is a good chance you'll me mighty impressed byte strangely open sound and extended range that fifths give you. Guessing you ordered a Red Mitchell set. If by chance you ordered the Obligato set make sure the lower strings are the reformulated versions with steel in their cores. You can check with a small magnet.
  18. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    @Jason: yeah I'm pretty sure my bass would sound good going back to Spiros. I just don't like a particular "pingy" sound I get from the G string in the upper registers. Basically what I'm saying is that I'm using the Labellas instead of the Spiros and focusing on the music.

    @Nathan: Yeah I bought the RM Weich set but I don't think I'll use them and will probably sell. I figured out a new set of exercises thats making my pizz intonation work alot better - which also means that my double stop playing (even in 4ths) has gotten surprisingly better in little time. I'm at the point now where the bass is starting to "disappear" during the solos and I'm focusing just on the music. It ain't broke so I don't think I should fix.
  19. The pinginess goes away and what you are left with is the most consistently strong, powerful, musical string for every kind of music. I can't believe how much time I used to spend worrying about strings....
  20. Chris Symer

    Chris Symer

    Dec 13, 2009
    Diddy, I would say that you should hang onto the Red Mitchell fifths set when they arrive. They won't go bad and they will be right there the next time you get curios. During my first foray into fifths (around 1998) I played in fifths for the month of January then switched back to fourths for gigs. I found that after a month of fifths my concept had changed for the better and the muscles in my hand were feeling stronger from having been used in a different way during that time. It actually helped my playing in fourths quite bit. I feel confident that you would have similar experiences if you played fifths for a month and then switched back.

    Yes, the Velvet Compas 180 fifths set is a nice set of strings, I just had them on for almost two years. I find them a bit more work then Spiros though as far as getting the articulation that I want with pizz playing. They have a beautiful arco sound that I miss with the Spiros, but Spiros went back on my bass recently and over all they are a joy to play....
  21. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks to TroyK and other Pirastro Jazzer lovers. I got a hold of a used set and like them quite alot. I'm still adjusting to them in terms of technique but they're pretty much getting the sound I want. You guys are right, they're pretty good.

    I would describe the sound like sort of cross between Spiros and what I was getting from the Labella Tapewounds. It just doesn't have the same "sensitivity" that the tapewounds were getting for pizz, but it also doesn't have the same inconsistencies. Sometimes if you didn't pressure the string enough with with the tapewounds you'd get some odd sounds. These don't do that. But they also get the job done with the bow and sound pretty decent.

    Volume wise they're noticably louder - prob gets me closer to what I was getting with the Animas. I would guess louder than spiros. Deeper-mid-ish sound.

    Tension wise they're lower than the tapewounds, spiros... maybe about the same as Animas. The tensions between the strings is good and the sound is consistent from string to string. With most sets I was getting a flabby E (except for animas).

    This will be the string until my tastes change and my ears are looking for something else. At the moment, I would def choose them over Spiros.