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Best strings for pizz on good entry-level bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by JourneymanSixty, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. JourneymanSixty


    Apr 19, 2019
    I've been playing upright for three years, and having a blast playing folk, Americana, and getting into a little bit of jazz standards. I've got a Shen SB80 3/4 (good entry-level laminate) bass, and bought Spirocore Orchestra mediums for them after researching and finding them to be the "reference" set to start with. Everyone I play with seems to love the tone, but I'm wondering if a change might get me some more thump. I have no near-term ambitions for arco, so it's really all about adding some more pizz fullness with the limitations of the laminate bass. I especially would like a fatter G string sound, even at the expense of volume. Evah Pirazzi medium seems like a good bet. What do you recommend?
  2. Since how long are they on the bass?
  3. I haven't tried Innovation strings since GHS bought them, but that might be a better option. If you want to stick to metal wound you could try their Braided, Polychrome, or Honey set, or you could try one of their non metal wound sets.
    Evahs can sound good in the practice room, but have a dynamic ceiling. The mediums I have heard are also very high tension.

    Alternatively you could stick it out with the Spiros until they're broken in. They'll have plenty of thump and will be plenty loud. The brightness you perceive of Spiros by your bass translates to a more fat and clear sound in a band mix. It’ll also save you a lot of money in the long term as experimenting with strings is expensive.

    Or you could keep at least the Spiro E and A and try out different D and G strings that are a little more darker.
  4. 16fuss


    Apr 25, 2005
    Spiro Mittel gets you the best possible sound out of your laminate.
    You can get a nice pickup (and maybe an amp) for the same money you will spend in trying only the most popular strings...
    In the end you will be happy to see your old Mittels at the very bottom of your drawer...
    piggywiddle and Sam Dingle like this.
  5. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    I found the Evah Pirazzi weichs to be a good alternative between steel clarity and gut low end presence. They do have a dynamical ceiling, but I don`t feel that it`s that much of a problem, at least for me. I play mostly all acoustic, or micked, nowadays and haven`t had a problem with hearing myself, or getting heard by others. This is on a big carved 3/4 bass with string height at high side of medium. EP requlars are great too, but I like the weichs better because they allow a tad higher action while still remaining relatively comfortable for the left hand. I also think that thump is in the technique of the player and string height of the bass as much as it is in the strings. EP weichs are easy to thump on my bass. They bow great and slap a little too.
  6. 16fuss


    Apr 25, 2005
    Theres a big difference between carved and ply reacting to strings. Plys need more pressure and all the clarity you can get from the string.
  7. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Zyex by D’Addario might be a good alternative. They are a bit bright to begin with, but will would have a good deal of clarity on the upper end of the harmonic spectrum with some “gut-like” thump.
    Seanto likes this.
  8. JourneymanSixty


    Apr 19, 2019
    Thanks for all your excellent and helpful replies! So I'll stick it out for awhile with the the Spiro Mittels (they've been on the bass for over a couple of years), and consider trying a Zyex or Evah Pirazzi weich on the G sometime. The idea that it could be easier to play is appealing too.
    Fretless55 and Sam Dingle like this.
  9. MikeDavis

    MikeDavis Supporting Member

    May 24, 2012
    FWIW, in the last few years, I’ve been testing out strings and gone from gut to Evah Weichs, to Spirocore Mittles, to Evah Orch. I’m enjoying my current strings, but in retrospect would have been just as happy leaving the spiros on. I know this is a constant refrain on these boards, but I sounded like me on all of the above and my band mates did not notice a difference. I’d suggest that when your Spiros die (ha!), and you’re about to buy new strings then try one of the Evahs, but in the meantime (especially for pizz only), my experience is that the difference is not worth the expense of the change.
    16fuss, PBandJazzBass and Fretless55 like this.
  10. After looking for the sound you’ve described, in twenty years I’ve gone through a few sets of UK Innovations (GS, SuS, RB) which I liked and I felt were good low tension gut synthetics. Very easy on the paws.
    I also tried a bumping a set of Spirocore Weich with an added C string tuned to G, which only gives you twice the short coming of the Spiro G...
    Even tried six string sets (with the intention of stringing up four) of weed whackers. Awful!
    I even have a set of Cordes Lambert I’m afraid to install as the E string is .195mm, it’s the size of a pencil.

    End of the trip through the rabbit hole got me back to where I started with a full set Of Spirocore Weich on one hybrid and Innovation RBs with a Spiro Weich E on the other.

    I’m happy.
  11. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Highly recommend Zyex. Fat G string, really good price, great pizz sound with a gut like tinge.
  12. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    My Kay seems to like Spiro weichs better than mittels, it's counterintuitive but actually seems to project more, I liken it to the higher tension dampening the top a little bit. But I've got Lenzner D/G over Spiro E/A right now, really liking that combo for pizz. Ymmv
    Fretless55 likes this.
  13. Whatever you end up finding that works for you, stick with it.

    Experimenting with strings doesn't do as much to improve you abilities as practicing.
    Bar Star, Ed S, lrhbass and 4 others like this.
  14. MikeDavis

    MikeDavis Supporting Member

    May 24, 2012
    I tried liking this multiple times, but it seems to have only registered the one.
    PBandJazzBass likes this.
  15. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Sorry for this but gut strings generally have lighter tension than steels and they also generally sound great on ply basses?
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  16. 16fuss


    Apr 25, 2005
    @Reiska You mean unwound? I had only few oportunities to check that setup, but i am not convinced your statement is true for my likings. But no gutplayer here.
  17. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    @16fuss I mean traditional 2 + 2 plain / wound and that I think that it`s safe to say that ply with guts is generally thought to be a classic combo.
  18. ;)
    I think a string that thin would not work at all for a DB. Not even for a high E.
    But if you mean inches... ;)
    unbrokenchain and Fretless55 like this.
  19. Good catch buddy!

    ...kinda reminds me of the Spinal Tab 12 inch Stonehenge.

  20. pdbass


    Jan 2, 2007
    Spiros and patience. A match made in heaven. Also, FWIW, if you do decide against the Spiros, don't get rid of them. They'll be back on your bass at some point. You can't get away...
    lrhbass, unbrokenchain and MikeDavis like this.

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