After the fat strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Remyd, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Since my bass is going to the luthier for a checkup and bridge adjusters anyway, it’s time for some new strings!

    I have Silver Slaps on now, but also have been doing less and less rootsy bluegrassy stuff this last year or so. Silver Slaps are also giant cables, so I think a light string might need nut work.

    Musically have been going in a more Folk kind of direction with a couple Jazz and Latin sit ins, and a little arco. Arco intonation is much harder than I remembered, and these strings are not appropriate for relearning. I think a set with a little more character is next on the list, but I don’t want to lose too much projection in an acoustic jam session, which will certainly continue to be the bulk of my material, at least until I lose my mind and start another project.

    Anybody have any suggestions?
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Are you looking for more steel strings or more thick gut like strings? If you want gut like then maybe Evah slaps. The steel string I see most former gut players using is Evah lights. Then they eventually move to spiros.
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  3. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    I hated synthetic Evah slaps at first but ended up putting ADG with Evah weich E on my bass recently. I was using plain guts on top of Spiro weichs for some time but the mwahhing A and arco feel had me going to this direction, along with the fact that I`m playing outdoors a lot this summer. I don`t like the overly floppy E, but then the ADG are a good match with E.P w E, both in tone and feel. My problem with them at first was that I was comparing them to guts, and as I should have known, nothing compares to the real thing. Garbos come close, but arco is a pain with them. Haven`t tried any Innovations though. E.P slaps pizz and bow really well, what they lack is gut projection and volume. They do have lots of gut character when played pizz, there`s plenty of complexity of tone going on the DG, and the A with weich E provides warm and full low end with great fundamental. I play almost exclusively acousticly nowadays with bridge arch suited to plain gut ADG / Evah or Spiro weich E. When jacked up they are loud enough for acoustic playing, I have my G at 8,5mm`s, D 11mm`s, A 13mm`s and E at 11mm`s. My bass is fully carved big 3/4 with 42 inch mensure. For me this is a great compromise set of strings that does everything I need my bass to with relative ease. I play arco 40 / pizz 60 -ish, 50 folky rootsy stuff / 50 improvised music.

    Edit: E.P slaps are pretty fat, but nothing like plain guts in that matter. Closer to standard thickness, E.P w E looks normal when paired with slaps.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  4. Jeff Kissell

    Jeff Kissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    A properly set up nut should be able to facilitate thinner strings but I would think the bridge might be a bit more nuanced. If you're really looking for more projection like a gut string and bow-ability, I would talk to your luthier about Spiro solos at orchestra pitch. About the same tension as gut but more modern arco sound, with a higher string height and technique, the Spiro solos can really simulate the gut sound quite nicely. The feel, however, is totally different from the fat strings. Here in the US I would also suggest the Kaplan solos but I don't know the availability in Finland.
    Reiska likes this.
  5. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thanks @JeffKissell ! My reason for the extreme bridge arch is that it compensates idividual strings tension to the pizz feel I`m looking for, while still maintaining bowability. I tend to play pretty physically pzz, and like the sound I`m getting that way, but don`t want strings and notes that fart out, or to hurt myself. I`m able to do the bridge sculpting job at home and have been messing with it since last autumn and a right hand disaster when my pizz fingers skin wore out and wrist started aching. From setup perspective, since then I`ve avoided low tension E strings and generally strings with scratchy feel. Obviously it`s a techique issue too, but there`s a zen thing about diggin in and not get killed while doing so, there`s definently a point of diminished returns, when the physicality kills the tone and starts to hurt. I`m working on it :) Spiro solos are great, as propably are Kaplans, but I`m so used to plain gut tension on my G & D that I want to keep it that way. My bass really likes this sort of tension too as it diminshes the wolf on A harmonic.

    @Remyd , sorry for the partial derail.