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Basic folksy sound

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jim Coates, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. I play Southern mountain music weekly with 3 other guys on a porch, unamplified. My job is to add the bottom and not get fancy. I mostly play roots/fifths on an Engelhardt, and I've been doing this and enjoying it for about 1&1/2 years. I have used Supernils, which have a pleasant boomy quality, but not loud enough; Helicore Pizzacato lights, which sound too thin and growly for our music; and the Super Sensitive Reds which came with the bass. I like Reds E&A much better than the Pizzacatos, particularly the A, because they sound deeper and stronger and don't have the jazzy growl of the Pizz. The difference might be just that the Reds are mediums, I think, whereas the Pizz are thins. Now I want to get a D&G pair which have a deep, strong quality. I think my needs are rather simple. I am not concerned with sustain or tonal definition or projection, and I'm not going to be bowing or slapping. The sound can be thumpy or not. The string tension is not important except that I'd like to be able to dig in to get that little extra bit of volume. I can make adjustments if needed for diameter. I'm thinking of trying guts.
    I've been reading these string strings for about a year and I've learned a lot, but I have some questions. What is the difference between a wrapped gut like Oliv and a plain gut. Is one bigger sounding than the other? Do guts sound folksier than Obligatos? My buddy thinks I should try the LaBella black nylon tape but I haven't seen anything good said about them. I know the rule of thumb is to try 'em all, but I'm hoping some of the folks here will share any thoughts on a basic folk sound. I did a seach on 'folk' and found people liking guts, Dominants, and Obli's. Thanks for any suggestions, Jim
  2. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i play bluegrass weekly in a working group. this is what i use for that situation:

    Beater upright with medium guage helicores and a rather high action.

    I think the high action gives the more traditional sound, with obviously less growl.

    in contrast, my decent bass is set up with a very low action and eurosonics.
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    didn't mean to imply that bluegrass is not worthy of a good instrument, just the choice i made .:)
  4. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I play bluegrass regularly - at least two shows twice a month. We jam at the festivals alot more than we perform. I've used the labella black nylon on my american standard ply for about a year. Action is about what you read in some threads on this board. (I don't remember too good anymore). Good feel, pretty even across the strings lacking in volume. I switched to piastro eudoxa. Loved 'em. Plenty of volume, can even bow 'em. G and D are really loud. After about a year, thought if wound gut sounds good, then plain must sound better so I switched to piastro chorda. Wrong. I don't like the sound. Maybe good for slap. When I pick a note, it's sharp and decays back to pitch. Couldn't get used to them so went back to eudoxa. I now use eudoxa on my new englehardt s9. Expensive. The labellas are half the price but more than half the sound. You see them alla time at the festivals. Keep in mind this is my experience on my bass.
  5. Thanks, guys. I should mention that we don't play any bluegrass. We're waiting to see if it's going to catch on. In the meantime it's just oldtime folk --half clawhammer banjo tunes and half word songs. I don't think the bass is authentic for this stytle -- must have been corrupted by that bluegrass music.

  6. Okay, let me catch my breath. I am absolutely new to posting and I was hoping I could stay under Ed Fuqua's radar screen while I'm getting my feet wet. No such luck, so here goes.
    Ed, 4 of us play together in a small circle and that's why I said projection is not a concern to me. You're right that I confused volume and projection.
    Set up. Yes, if I knew of a luthier nearby, not one of our guitar repairpersons, and if I could afford it, I'd definitely have it set up.
    Been playing DB 1&1/2 years. Type of music covered above.
    Teacher. Not interested in one. Now I know this is going to produce a rant. Here is a seriously offered suggestion: start a new thread for the rant and get it placed in the newbie links. Then every time this topic comes up just make a link to the teacher rant. Why not? This comes up often enough.
    The Charleston jazz scene. I'm sorry, Ed, but I don't know anything about it, if there is one.
    Good luck in the city. If you get to the East Cooper area I'd be delighted to meet such a distinguished and formidable bassist (I don't go to Charleston myself). We could see if my bass sounds different if you play it? That's a good one, Ed! Jim (2)
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    You know, this is not a half bad idea. When I get a minute, I may see what I can do about that. The only downside is that I wouldn't get to see the FUQUAZATION of the name of the person toward whom the inevitable rant is directed, which is a real shame. Hell, I wouldn't even be blessed with the "DURRL" moniker had this "linked rant" concept been in place when I joined. Hmmm, I'll have to weigh this one carefully.
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Ed, you always refer to me as NODOZE...