String recommendation to take out some EUB "zing"

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by davehertzberg, Mar 18, 2014.


  1. davehertzberg

    davehertzberg

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I just got a BSX Allegro 5 string. I love the way it feels, but it just has so much "zing" - I don't know how else to put it. I'm trying to get a darker sound on it, and while I've managed to EQ some of the mid-rangey-ness out, I think different strings will help. It came with Helicore Hybrids which definitely won't work. I've also tried various G strings that I have lying around, including EP Weich, EP Solo, Bel Canto Solo. Out of those the BC worked best but didn't have enough pizz attack. I'm hoping to get some recommendations for strings to help with this. I'm thinking something dark and warm, somewhat low tension, less sustain and must be bowable. I'll be playing a lot of Latin stuff on this bass, but also will be messing around with looping so I want some flexibility in terms of tone.

    Some ideas I had are:
    Velvet (Animas, Compas, Classico, maybe Blue)
    Obligatos (just on D and G - I used these a while back and couldn't stand the bottom strings)
    Innovation 140B or 140H

    Any thoughts on these and others would be much appreciated!

    Also, if it matters I'm thinking of switching to High C (instead of low B).
  2. DoubleMIDI

    DoubleMIDI

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
    Innovation Honeys (140H) are rather dead on the highs but have a lot of attack and lower midrange. Sound a bit old-school. Not my taste, but maybe what you are looking for.
    Innovation 140B (Braided) are similar to Evah Weich, maybe a bit more attack it you play at the end of the fingerboard, but probably less than you want.
    Compas 180 have attack, but are a bit hard to adapt to for bowing. The Classico have less attack, I like to mix them with Compas 180 on the lower strings.
    You can mix the higher Obligato with downtuned Spiro Solos or Innovation Braided/Evah Weich (a bit darker than the Spiros) for the lower strings.

    Sorry, no experience with Anima and Blue.

    Switching to high C will give you more string problems than you have now. Don't do it if you are unsure, do it if you really want the higher string.
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Disclosures:
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I've had good success with the D'Addario Helicore Orchestral strings on stick basses. Their innate thumpiness counters the EUB 'zing' pretty nicely - and they are decent arco strings.
  4. korotkov

    korotkov Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    St. Petersburg, Russia
    How's evah solo on the eub? I was going to put mine on YAMAHA EUB to get a more of the upright bass sound (got helicores now)
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  6. davehertzberg

    davehertzberg

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Better than the helicores, but still not great for me - still too zingy. I only tried the G string though so the lower strings might be better.
  7. erniepro

    erniepro

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    Compas 180 with a Spiro solo E work well on my Clevinger
  8. daddarioorch631

    daddarioorch631

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Location:
    Farmingdale, NY
    Disclosures:
    Product Specialist, D'Addario & Co.
    I'm sorry to hear the Hybrids didn't work for your bass. If you're interested in talking about other string options to try, I would love to chat about our bass strings. Feel free to message/email me!

    josephine.llorente@daddario.com
  9. Skribble

    Skribble

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, Englandshire
    I also find the EUB 'zing' very annoying - a horrible nasal overtone, particularly on the D and G strings.
    I have Innovation Super Silvers on my Eminence and I'm very happy with them, although the E is a bit wooly for my tastes, it's a compromise I'm willing to make.
    Before you try new strings, have you tried dampening the afterlength? I find it removes a lot of those annoying (to me) ringing overtones.

    Skrib.
  10. Groove Doctor

    Groove Doctor

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Which amp & cab are you running it thru....


    I've tried my Taki Upright-ABG thru plenty of amps.
    Worst = SWR.
    Best = Mesa WalkAbout.

    Cabs:
    Best = Baer ML112. Freakin awesome sound, very woody & round
  11. DoubleMIDI

    DoubleMIDI

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
    Dampening the afterlengths was the first thing I did when I got my EUBs (Stagg & Clevinger keyhole). This is important. For the Stagg I used a sponge (with a sheet of cardboard to separate laquer and sponge) at the end of the afterlenghs where the strings cut in. At the end of the afterlengths of the old Clevinger I put in a roll of rubber foam.

    The 3/4 Spiro Weich on the 105cm Clevinger are hard to play (and the Spiro Mittel when I got this instrument used have been even harder). I use it for rehearsal or practicing mostly to train my muscles. The upright is so much easier to play afterwards.
    For gigs or extensive practicing I would either use Spiro Solo or Innovation Braided/Evah Weich/Zyex for this instrument. Clevinger recommends Obligato.

    On my Stagg I like the Presto Balance Hybrid Medium. You might prefer the Light version. Easy for pizz and bow.
  12. davehertzberg

    davehertzberg

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Gone through a couple of them already.

    Ordered Innovation 140H D and G, and only installed the G. At first I liked it, but then it started to sound a little boomy and unfocused. That led me to take some old Spiro solos I had on my baby bass and put them on. So far I've put on G, D and A, and these have worked best so far. They're a little dark but not too much, and just the right tension. The G string still has a little zing, but I'm thinking it might be that the fingerboard is super flat and needs to be scooped a little. I'll take it in when I have some time. For now, this is a workable solution, but I still have to try the E string.

    I'm using a Genz Benz Shuttle 10" combo, but I also have it plugged in to a Zoom B3 with a preamp, compressor and graphic EQ effects. These all help warm up the sound quite a bit.

    I might try an Obligato G with the rest Spiro Solos.

    And DoubleMIDI, I've read some of your posts on High C's, but I would like to give it a try despite your warnings :) Sounds like Obligato High C might work best, although if a Flat Chromesteel works for Renaud Garcia Fons, I could probably work with that too!
  13. davehertzberg

    davehertzberg

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Oh, and I will also try dampening the afterlengths. Do you just use like a regular kitchen sponge? And not sure what you mean about the cardboard. I'm having a hard time picturing that.
  14. DoubleMIDI

    DoubleMIDI

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
    Obligato high C has a much higher tension than the Obligato G. The Obligato high C mixes well with Spiro Weich but I disliked Obligato high C beneath Obligato G.

    I have tested about 20 high Cs now, some of them prototype strings. I know what I talk about...

    And it takes some time to get used to the high C. If you only play that tuning, you will have problems going back to a standard upright or a low 5-string. Bad if you ever need to rent or borrow a bass or need to play on another person's bass (like in a session or an orchestra bass). This is at least my experience. (I have a cheap Stagg EUB I can use for practicing standard 4-string playing a bit before the next jam session ...)

    For the sponge, I used a cheap bathroom sponge and cut it with a bread knife. The strings hardly cut in on one side a a lot on the other. About 6cm of the string run over the sponge. I added the cardboard, because I wasn't sure weather the softening chemicals in the sponge would weaken the lacquer or not, so I looked for some separator.
    You can experiment with the sponge position and thickness, but don't damp the complete afterlength, just a part of it.
  15. davehertzberg

    davehertzberg

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for the tips about high C strings. This will be for an eub which I don't play as much as my regular (4 string) upright, so I don't foresee the kind of problem you're talking about. Interesting about the obligato high C being higher tension than the g. Would it mix well with the Spiro solo? If not which one would you recommend for Spiro solos plus high C?
  16. SteveV74

    SteveV74

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    Newton,KS
    DR strings are my brand and they have a bunch of different strings to fit different needs....try the black beauties, or any of thier strings with the K3 coating, will give you the sound youre looking for
  17. davehertzberg

    davehertzberg

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ummm...I think you wandered over to the wrong side of the tracks, Steve.
  18. DoubleMIDI

    DoubleMIDI

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
    Assuming that you talk about 3/4 Spiro Solo, I haven't found something that matches well (the SuperSensitive Supreme would, but they are discontinued, maybe the Pinnacle which has a bit more tension). Since I have a 110cm scale instrument and use 4/4 Spiros (sometimes only), I use the Weich set, which is comparable to the 3/4 Solo set (at least for the higher strings).

    Most high C strings I tried are either to high in tension for the rest of the set (Obligato, Efrano), too low in tension for the rest of the set (Innovation Braided & Honeys for the aluminium wound string), too low at all (SuperSensitive Sensicore) too high in tension for my 110cm scale (most steel core strings, except SuperSesitive Supreme or Pinnacle) or have too less sustain pizzed.

    I'm currently happy with an experimental string from Innovation, but the tension of the rest of the set in not evenly distributed and aimed in a different direction than my taste.

    Currently I'm testing Evah Weich with Efrano high C gut. Would be better with a gut G, I think, but then you need to order the higher tension G to match the high C.

    If you mostly play the 4-string, then it might take a lot of time to feel home on the high C 5-string. When I switched from 4-string to high C 5-sting it took me about a year until I felt at home. Afterwards I had problems missing the high C on a 5-string ...

    Sometimes I'm still thinking going down to a low B 5-string to be able to play the standard stuff. (Playing classical solo literature would be a bit hard with the high C, because you need to find out new ways of playing it and even if you find them, it might be harder than on the normal 4-string.)

    If you use the EUB mostly for jazz and other popular styles of music, then you usually chose yourself what and how to play. For the big band it is often easier with the high C but not always.

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