5 String, High C string

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bdengler, Oct 29, 2000.

  1. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Has anyone tried a 5-string upright with a low E and a high C string? If so, what string combination did you use? Thanks!
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I've never seen an *acoustic* upright strung with a high C, which isn't to say that it can't be done. Finding strings might be a problem; solo sets aren't designed to be tuned above A, and lighter guage cello strings won't accomodate a 40-42" scale. Try Ned Steinberger or Martin Clevinger for strings. I know they make electric uprights with high Cs.
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I know of three brands of Hi-C bass strings:
    Pirastro Permanent
    Pirastro Flexocor
    Pirastro Jazzer

    There may be others, but I didn't find them yet. :)
  4. I have seen more than one upright bass with the high c tuning at Bluegrass festivals. this is quite common they also make a low B string these are not as common.
  5. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I've seen quite a few basses strung with High Cs, I have one.

    You can add
    Thomastic superflexible and spirocore
    Obligatos to the makers of C strings
  6. Well known bass player I know who played or play high C are Barre Phillips, Eberhard Weber and Barry Guy.

    There are a lot of high C strings if you look at the manufacturers site. But since they are sold very seldom, (almost) no supplier wants to get them in stock. If you know what you want ask for these strings and be very patient. It can take up to two months (depending where the strings come from)

    SuperSensitive makes high C for any set.
    Corelli makes high C for the M and TX series, but not the F series.
    Thomastik also makes a Spiro Weich 3/4 high C that is not listed in any catalog but available on special order.

    Personally I have tried about 14 high C strings but was not happy with them. If you play a lot (several hours a day), this might not be a problem, but the steel high Cs I tried are either rather thin and cut so much into the flesh of the finger, that it is hard to press the string down on the fingerboard to get a good sustain, even with a lower action, or they sound weak in the lower positions if they have less tension or they are thick enough but have a lot of tension (Obligato, Evah Pirazzi regular). Another thicker one that could have been fine has a bad manufacturing quality for the whole batch in stock and better ones are only made if the ols stock would have been sold.
    I'm also not very happy with the current aluminium wrapped synthetic core high Cs, since they don't sound well and often don't match the sound and tension of the other strings. Also bowing them is different from the other strings.

    If you like Spirocore Mittel, you might be happy with the Obligato on top, maybe together with an Obligato G too. For me it was a bit much tension and a bit less sustain. But the latter one might change after some playing. I killed my Obligato because of a too narrow nut slot, so be carful to widen your slots on nut and bridge for an Obligato.

    Currently I'm waiting for some test strings that may arrive until the end of the year. I got two test strings for two different sets that are promising from this manufacturer, but both lack a little bit of tension. These sets are both fine (depending on sound taste), so until I find something better (I doubt it) these will be fine, even for those who cannot play as much as they need for the steel core ones.

    For the bluegrassers the Rotosound RS4000 might be OK. Also the Black Diamond Thunder (made by the SuperSensitive company) if they are available now (I got a test set some time ago) which might be a bit cheaper than the Rotosounds.

    Pirastro makes a lot of high Cs, most of them with a steel core, but at least also Oliv (gut core), Obligato and Evah Pirazzi regular. Unfortunately the Evah Weich are only available on request for three times the normal price (and I think some minimum number of strings to buy).
    Since the Evah Weich is still too dark when amplified for my taste, I looked for something else.

    You can always get any string in naked gut from your favourite gut string maker on request. Cheap regular made ones are available from Efrano in Germany. But since naked gut is rather thick compared to metal wrapped strings, you may want to use them only with a G and probably D also in naked gut.
  7. erniepro

    erniepro Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Honolulu HI
    The Olive high C works well on my eub, with Olive G beside it
  8. I play a Christopher 500 series 5-string. It's currently strung with E A D G Belcantos and an Obligato high C. I use it for jazz trio work, orchestral playing, and musical shows. When called for in orchestra, I restring to a low B. I like the high C because it saves a ton of shifting! (By the way, It took about one month for the Obligato High C to come after I ordered it!)