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Acoustic DB v EUB--String Question

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by gypsydjango, Jun 28, 2020 at 3:27 AM.

  1. gypsydjango


    Jul 9, 2009
    Is the type of string on the EUB as important as the type of string used on the DB?
    As the DB is for the acoustic tone / sound we mainly use the string that suits arco or pizz better. As the EUB ls 100% sound out of the the amp do you think the sound on both arco & pizz woud be more even? (Hope the question makes sense!)
  2. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I can only speak as to my experience on the solid body NS Designs NXT4 but in a word, yes. The solid body EUB's will produce a lot of excessive sustain, ringing, bad harmonics. I switched to Obligatos which work well on a solid body instrument due to their inherent deadness. IMHO it takes a fair amount of work and gear to get a good tone out of an EUB and the strings are important along with a good preamp w input resistance matching and a good full range cab. I do not bow much so I can't really address that.

    This thread has been pretty active.

    EUB Strings Thread
  3. I second what @jthisdell wrote.
    I’m always using orchestral strings on the EUB to get a more realistic tone with less sustain and more thump.
    Povl Carstensen and jthisdell like this.
  4. Bowing on a solid body EUB is harder than on a DB. The string start is slower/more difficult.
    A lower tension string would often be a good idea. A lot of makers recommend metal wound synthetic core strings like Obligato. Downtuned solo strings are a good choice as well (often used on baby bass EUBs). If Obligato are too thick on the higher strings, Innovation Braided (140B) or Evah Pirazzi Weich might work well.
    But it depends on your hands if you can use normal tension strings. They feel harder on a (solid body) EUB than on a DB. For practicing they keep your hands in shape, but on long gigs might kill your hands.
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Although I don't understand why, I have to admit that every full scale EUB I have played has been pretty hard on my hands.

    My experience is limited to an old Clevinger and an NS Design US series 6 string. Both were taxing. I think I had Spirocore Weichs on the Clevinger and it was still a beast. The NS Design had the D'Addario strings that were specially designed for the bass. It was a bit easier to play than the Clevinger, and I think this is because the action was a lot lower.

    I thought the NS Design was a really incredible instrument with a very unique voice, but it was nothing like an upright bass. Way too much sustain, no thump, and the tone had and incredible amount of fundamental. The low B-string totally blew my mind. In all honesty I think a fretless bass guitar sounds more like an upright.

    If you want more of a true upright sound, I think getting a bass with some sort of resonant body is the way to go. Strings do make a difference though.

    This video sounds surprisingly good. BSX Allegro with Spirocore Weichs

    FYI, I believe the video is from @rickwolff

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020 at 9:35 PM
  6. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Short answer, yes. I agree the the ns is a very different animal than a acoustic. And for me that is great because that is what i want. Its like saying a les paul doesn't sound like a dreadnought... For me the best thumpy "acoustic" feel setting is put the piezo switch to arco and blent the magnetic in just enough to get sme attack.. Also you need to work on where to pluck, and how to pluck to pull the sound you want out of the instrument.. Meaning... Practice...
    jthisdell likes this.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    My solution was just to accept the NS Design for what it was and enjoy. In big band, I switched between an acoustic upright, the NS Design, and Yamaha TRB6P, depending upon which I felt best served the song. I did not enjoy the NS design on old swing standards, but it was great for some of the more modern pieces we played.
  8. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I enjoyed the NS in a gypsy jazz trio a few years back, as I said, the Obligatos give it a good bit more thump
    Wasnex likes this.
  9. There are several potential reasons why strings on a solid body EUBs strings feel harder than on a DB.
    1. No moving top
    2. Bridge lower and often without (acoustically working) bridge feet (resulting in less bridge wiggling)
    3. Shorter underlength
    4. Often no moving tailpiece
    Maybe even more.

    I also have an old Clevinger keyhole (but changed from a 4-string to a 5-string by replacing with a wider fingerboard and without a raised saddle). Currently I use Spirocore Weich 3/4, but that was a mistake because I didn’t know that Spiro 4/4 have been on that bass before (thought it might have been 3/4).
    Next would be a synthetic core set with a high C (but not EP regular). Probably the Braided or Polychromes or the prototypes I use on my DB.

    Key to a more DB-like sound is a similar string action. Go lower and you cannot grab the string well and that leads to a BG-like plucking.
    A stretchier string than most steel core strings makes it easier to press the string down. Which leads to synthetic core or gut (core) strings. But then no magnetic pickups. Or low tension steel core strings like downtuned solos or maybe even a bumped set of high tension strings.
    Wasnex and jthisdell like this.
  10. My experience has been that darker orchestral/synthetic core strings tend to get a better sound on EUB's. Strings that I've personally heard/played that accomplish this are Belcanto, Kaplan and Evah Pirazzi. Brighter and more sustaining strings like Spirocore's may get more of a fretless BG sound on an EUB.
  11. gypsydjango


    Jul 9, 2009
    Thanks everybody for your info--strings to try.
    PBandJazzBass and Wasnex like this.
  12. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I use Sensicore solo strings tuned down on my Bugbass. When I used medium gauge strings of a few different brands, the E string was always too bottom-heavy.
  13. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I always use Orchestral strings on EUBs as well. Have owned Eminence, Knutson Messenger and Bill Merchant Vertical bass. Usually use Flexocore 92, Jargar, Correllis.
    PBandJazzBass likes this.
  14. E-strings are always too bottom-heavy on (solid body) EUBs via the pickup. That‘s even true for many DBs. The reason is that at the bridge the attenuation of the low frequencies via the top dispersion hasn‘t took place.
    That‘s where the bass EQ needs to be put down a bit or a bit more.
    BarfanyShart and jthisdell like this.
  15. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
  16. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    Strings just matter a lot on stringed instruments, full stop. Acoustic, electric, piezo, magnetic - nothing will change the sound and feel of your instrument more than the strings. Of course, it took me 30+ years to figure this out, but you don't have to stay stupid as long as I did.

    And, Spirocores are pretty good for everything ... but at least I learned that much within my first few years playing bass.
    jthisdell likes this.

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