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American Alternative to Spirocores

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Swing Doom, Oct 20, 2013.


  1. I really like the feel of Spirocores. However, the price tag of most European strings is simply too high for me. So I was wondering if there were any American-made strings that feel similar to Spirocores. I'm not as concerned that they sound similar as there are many different sounds that I like. As long as the sound good, they don't necessarily need to sound like Spirocores.

    Right now I'm playing Evah Pirazzi strings. I don't like the feel at all. It seems to take much more effort to play my bass with Evah Pirazzis than it is to play basses strung with Spirocores. My old high school strung their bass with Spirocores and I loved the way they felt and my professor uses Spirocores on his bass and I also love the way it feels. This is why I'm going for a feel similar to these strings.

    I'm looking into D'Addario Helicore Hybrids right now as I'm a jazz player but I still play with the bow at times so I need something that will sound good both pizzicato and arco. Any thoughts? How is the tension and feel of these strings?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Just keep an eye on the TB classifieds for a used set of Spirocores. Chances are you can find a set that is less than a year old (which means a good bit of breaking in has been done already) for a great price and since they're Spirocores and it seems they're your preferred strings, they'll last you many, many years. Just my 2 cents there.
     
  3. Maybe a D'Addario Helicore Medium Pizz would be close.
    Tension is somewhere between a Spiro Weich and a Mittel...and they have a bit of that Spiro "zing".
    Older Helicore Pizz strings had poor quality control and could break unexpectedly but I believe D'Addario has reformulated them now so their reliability could be much improved.
    It's tough to beat the Spirocores for reliability though.
    I would spend the extra cash to get the Spiro Mitts or Weichs if that's what you like. Even if you find a US string that comes close, you'll probably end up back with them anyway.:p
     
  4. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Concur.

    You wont be saving money if you buy strings that you don't like- or if you buy strings that don't last as long as Spiros.

    That said, there is a set of new Pirastro Jazzers for sale in the classifieds- great deal on great strings.

    Joe
     
  5. Edvin

    Edvin

    Feb 25, 2010
    Sweden
    i agree with everyone
     
  6. I have the helicore hybrid light strings and while I can't offer a comparison to spirocores, i think they are a solid choice for both pizz and arco.
     
  7. I tried in the past a Helicore pizzicato light set which worked very well for pizz, not tried with bow.
    Spiros are the standard and works also with bow.
    You can find Spiros used more or less at the classifieds. If you don't, I'm planning to sell an almost new set Spiro medium for 3/4 basses. You could PM me.
     
  8. Agree with all of the above. With Spirocore, you easily buy one of the cheapest strings available- the retail price may be high initially, but many have them on their bass for 3 or more years, and that does not work with most other strings, certainly not with Helicores.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  9. jacochops

    jacochops

    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX
    Whatever it's worth, I LOVE Spiros, but being in China, their availability is a little more difficult.
    I am currently playing a set of Helicore Pizz HEAVY...not medium. They are the closest, to me, to Spiros for pizz. The heavy E REALLY makes the bottom full. The tension on the hands is not bad. They don't last as long, but I can get them here for 75 bucks, so they work for the gigging I do here, which is pretty consistently 3-4 nights a week.
     
  10. SuperSensitive Pinnacle sound close to Spirocore Mittel with lesss tension. I only tested the high C, sometimes the tension of the lower strings don't match the tension of the high C, so I cannot say anything about the normal set.

    In the long run I'm rather sure you better pay the price for the Spiros once and live with them for the next two to ten (or more) years, depending how much you play them.
    Don't think the strings are dead after half a year or a year, you just played them in...
     
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I haven't yet changed out a set of Helicores so I've gotten, hmm, 10 years out of a set? Your mileage may vary...
     
  12. My Spiro 4/4 Mittel S42 got more than 20 years (with longer periods of not playing at all) and I only took them down to try out lower tension strings. I kept them, they bow really nice now.
     
  13. That's cool! Didn't know that was possible.

    Okay, YMMV indeed. Whenever I tried them, that's like 8-10 years ago, they struck me as the most wonky strings ever, quality-wise. Lots of unravelling, sounding weird/buzzing, breaking, and other things. Plus, I thought, after most accurately a year, it basically took them 2 weeks to go 100% dull and dead-sounding.

    But, it might be me, or they changed something about them (I know they have, I don't know when though).

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  14. Gosh, 20 years Spiros?! I think the current world record belongs to you sir
     
  15. lcdck

    lcdck Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    New York, NY
    Might be worth checking our the Zyex mediums too.
     

  16. lcdck: D'Addario Zyex Mediums are a very good string. Well made and sound good. Not as much tension as Dominants.
    But I think the OP is looking for something that sounds like a Spirocore....the Zyex is a metal wrapped synthetic string.
     
  17. The bottom strings of the Pinnacle set are nothing like Spiros.
    They're quite dark and short-sustained.
     
  18. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Absolutely agree. Assuming they are strings you like, Spiros represent very good economy.
     
  19. Hqubed

    Hqubed Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
  20. Hi folks! My first post here (hope I'm doing this right).

    Just weighing in on the string conversation; I recently put on a set of the new "Zyex" strings by D'Addario and I'm really loving them! Was using heavy gauge Helicore Hybrids for a number of years then tried Obligatos and liked how they were easier on my hands as well as a little friendlier - sound & playability-wise - under the bow. When it came time to change strings I thought I'd try something different and the Zyex strings have really been a nice surprise. I would describe their feel as being "buttery" under the fingers. The tone, ironically, is quite robust and I'm enjoying how the sound seems to bloom from my bass; never seems pinched.

    Hope this is helpful to anyone curious about trying these strings.

    Carry on my bass brothers!
    --Adam Cohen
    www.adamcohenmusic.net
     

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