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Corelli 370's vs Helicore Pizz

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by Bill Moore, Jul 10, 2002.


  1. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore

    Jul 8, 2002
    Sandy, UT
    Newbie upright bass player here (2 yrs). I've got a new Englehardt S9. I've just added one of Bob's fine adjustable bridges and am now ready to add some new strings. I play only pizz (bluegrass). I may try a bow at some point, but for now, just pizz.

    The orginal strings broke, so I'm currently playing some loaner Spirocore Mediums. They sound ok, but not great. The G seems pinched and lacks warmth. They are also pretty stiff, but I'm hanging in there, working on getting the hands toughened up ...

    After much reading on these forums, I've narrowed my choice to Corelli 370's, or Helicore Pizz. Corelli's because they are reported to be easier to play than spirocore, have a great tone and warmth, and I like their price point. In addition, Bob recommended them. Helicore Pizz, because I've read they are also easier to play than spirocore and have a warmer tone. They're also reported to have good durability.

    I'd like to know what folks think about this. Am I off in the weeds on this? What would you choose?
    How do these two sets compare sound-wise, and durability-wise.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    IMHO, both the Corelli and Helicore Pizz don't sound that much warmer than Spirocores.
    However both are available in thinner gauges, so they could be easier to play.

    Many bluegrass players choose gut strings.

    How much warmth do you want?
    What about sustain? Do you want a ringing tone or a short thump?

    Do you slap the strings?

    Another alternative is to choose solo-tuning strings, and to play them at regular orchestra pitch.
    Solo-tuning strings are meant to play a whole step above orchestra pitch, so they're thin.
    Playing them at standard orchestra pitch means a floppy, easy to play string.

    HTH!
     
  3. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore

    Jul 8, 2002
    Sandy, UT
    Thanks for the reply Francois.

    I've never considered gut because of the cost. I'm looking for something more reasonably priced that will last for a good long while. Thats part of the reason for the choice of the two models of strings I'm inquiring about. They both seem to have decent price points, and reports of good durability.

    How much more warmth? Good question .... I would say some, but not a great deal. Maybe just a small amount. The Spirocores I have are old and that may have something to do with it. They just sound a bit too metallic to my ear, if that makes sense. Not having experience with other strings I don't have a very good point of reference. Although, I do have a friend who owns a Kay with Helicore (not sure of the model), and they sounded warmer to my ear than than my Spirocore's. I understand that a different instrument can make a difference. Your statement, "... both the Corelli and Helicore Pizz don't sound that much warmer than Spirocores ..." indicates that there must be some positive difference in warmth.

    I don't know how to answer the question regarding sustain. The strings I have seem to have good sustain, but how much does one need for bluegrass? How would you say the two sets I'm asking about compare in that regard? Would they do the job?

    I don't slap yet, but plan to learn.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Kevinlee

    Kevinlee

    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    My Two cents worth.

    If you plan on doing some slapping I don't think either the Corelli or the Helicore Pizz is the answer. I've tried Helicore Pizz and in my opinion they are far to lively (too much sustain) for slap. And they do seem a bit metalic sounding. I never tried the Corelli but I hear they are very thin in diameter, and this makes them a bit awkward to slap. Just something I've read.

    A couple suggestions would be Jargar Dolce, Very Warm (for a steel string) no sustain really but for slap and bluegrass I think this is more the sound you would want. There is a bit of a waiting list right now I hear but the price is right around $100.00

    Another string I've found to be fairly warm for steel and easy on the fingers is Helicore light Nickle Wound. Not sure of the price.

    And then theres the Eurosonics which some people hate but I'm actually rather fond of. They are very gut like in feel (BIG diameter) and I find them to be very warm once there broken in a bit. These are some kind of nylon or synthetic something on steel core. Easy to slap and good big sound for bluegrass. You can get them for around $80.00 or so new if you keep an eye on ebay. The guy's always got an auction going and that's what they seem to be going for.

    Obligatos are another option but I hear there life span is not that great.

    Like the rest of us you will eventually spend hundreds of dollars on strings and from time to time be happy with your sound.

    I've been pretty happy with mine for a few months now and it's a good feeling when you can get back to working on your technique and take your focus off the tone for a bit.

    Good Luck
    Kevinlee
     
  5. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Originally posted by Kevinlee

    My Two cents worth.
    If you plan on doing some slapping I don't think either the Corelli or the Helicore Pizz is the answer. I've tried Helicore Pizz and in my opinion they are far to lively (too much sustain) for slap. And they do seem a bit metalic sounding.


    Yep.
    If Bill finds old Spirocore too metallic, that means he need something quite warm. Corellis and Helicore Pizz are not the best choice, IMO.

    A couple suggestions would be Jargar Dolce, Very Warm (for a steel string) no sustain really but for slap and bluegrass I think this is more the sound you would want. There is a bit of a waiting list right now I hear but the price is right around $100.00

    Right!
    I had Forte Jargars on but switched to Mediums a week ago, and I'm delighted!
    Warmer than the Fortes.
    The Dolce could be a little too floppy/thin for me, but for slap I guess they can be great.

    Another string I've found to be fairly warm for steel and easy on the fingers is Helicore light Nickle Wound.

    You're probably talking of the Orchestral Helicores.
    Bill, for your information, Helicores are available in three kinds: Orchestral (warmest), Hybrids and Pizz. Each is available in three gauges, and the Orchestrals also in solo-gauge (thinner than Light).

    And then theres the Eurosonics which some people hate but I'm actually rather fond of. They are very gut like in feel (BIG diameter) and I find them to be very warm once there broken in a bit. These are some kind of nylon or synthetic something on steel core. Easy to slap and good big sound for bluegrass.

    I tried the G but didn't like it. Was too twangy.
    But as you say, it may settle in after a while and be a great bluegrass string.

    Obligatos are another option but I hear there life span is not that great.

    Not recommended for slap.

    Like the rest of us you will eventually spend hundreds of dollars on strings and from time to time be happy with your sound.

    :)
    Welcome to the club!