1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

D'Addario: Major Thumbs Up!

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by josiah goldfish, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Hello everyone,

    Haven't posted in a while, but I decided I just had to post about this.

    A couple of months ago, I moaned to D'Addario about some Helicores I'd tried out. First of all, the D string was broken, and I couldn't get hold of anyone at D'Addario's orchestral section. Second, the strings were really not great, not as described at all! I expected them to be bright, but they were really thin sounding and very twangy. I got rid of them. In hindsight, they may have been better on a different bass, but I wasn't a fan.

    A couple of weeks later I received an email from D'Addario apologising for my bad experience and suggesting I try Zyex. I wasn't prepared to do so, but they sent me a new set to try out on the agreement that I give feedback to them about them once I'd tried them out. Pretty great service huh?

    The strings themselves were a huge surprise. I've got Zyex strings for my E and A at the moment, with Gamut guts on the G and D. The D'Addario strings are wonderful. They have a fantastic growl but, at the same time, they also have the glorious gut-like thump that's so desirable. They sing under a bow, and they feel lovely under the fingers. Of course, guts are squishier, but these are still very nice. Nice and bendy. Going back to the growl, it's awesome! Very very nice, the strings purr if you want, or they can come out snarling at you like a threatened dog. They match the guts perfectly, moving from a growly, thumpy E string to a slightly twangier, thumpy A to a fat, thumpy D to a singing, thumpy, purring G string. I had animas on the E and A before, but these are significantly nicer on my bass. Easier to play, growlier, singing and far more harmonically rich. Though I don't think they sound quite as good under a bow, they're easier to grip.

    I love them! Thanks D'Addario, you have successfully regained me as a loyal supporter. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these!

  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Good to know, thanks for sharing your experience with them. "Nice and bendy". I like that!
  3. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    I really like their strings and its great to know they back them up with good service.
  4. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I like them too. I'm using the light gauge Zyex set. I missed the power of the mediums at first but I've been won over by the feel of the lights. I've also had good experiences with the pizzicato line. I think I prefer the Zyex to their Hybrid product as a crossover string.
  5. Kai Sanchez

    Kai Sanchez Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    That is great to hear. It would be nice to see if D'addario could compare to any other string band quality wise, I'd much rather buy an american made string and support an US business. Two of the top players here have been using hybrids for years, and I used them myself for many years when they came out loved them.
    I'm curios about the Zyex, tension wise which set is similar to Spirocore Weichs?
  6. I really couldn't say, I've actually never used Spiros on my bass and only briefly on another. My medium set is quite squishy, but not as much as gut. Still quite low tension, I'd say similar to animas.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've had zero issues with Helicores and I have been using them from when they were first introduced back in the 90s. Like them much better than Spiros or Kolsteins (what I used to use). With string prices creeping upwards again (Spiros used to be same price as Helicores) I have no plans to switch.

    I'm using Innovation Silvers on one of my basses, will have to look into Zyex when it's time for a new set.
  8. John Chambliss

    John Chambliss Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I've had Zyex mediums A/D/G on for a couple of weeks. D and G sounding wonderful - A string still a little tinny but coming along. Sticking with a Spiro mitt on the E.
  9. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley

    It's been too long since I've played on Spiros so I can't give you a fair comparison. Med Zyex feel in the same ballpark as Superflexibles to me.

    I know someone published the tensions in the original Zyex thread and I think you can find them on the Gollihurmusic site. It might be a bit of an apples oranges thing because Zyex strings are stiff while being on the low side in tension. I had a mixture of medium weight Zyex and Dominants on another bass. The Dominants seemed to have more tension -and felt meatier- but they were similar.
  10. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    I'm not a fan of their strings, (as I have discussed here before), but I have nothing but good things to say about the people behind the product. They're great people, and they work hard to make their customers happy.

  11. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I have a high regard for Helicore orchestra. They are a bit too dark on some basses, but one of the very best steel strings under the bow IMO. I tried Zyex once, which I was expecting to be similar to Obli. I found this not to be the case. They felt a bit stiff and sounded nasal compared to Obli. However it was at a trade show, I didn't know the bass, and they had been installed that day, so it wasn't a fair test. Has anyone out there switched from Obli to Zyex? They are quite a bit cheaper.
  12. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    I used them for a while. I'd compare them closer to dominants, actually. not a perfect comparison, but closer.
  13. I have used the medium Zyex D and G with Spiro Weichs. They work very well together on my Eberle ply. Similar feel and tension. I found that surprising considering the Zyex has a synthetic core.
  14. I think the synthetic core gives a fatter, more root orientated tone. These strings are absolutely wonderful for getting that slightly fuzzy, nearly gut sound on older recordings. They're like gut, but they growl and purr a bit more.
  15. lrhbass

    lrhbass Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Any comparisons to Eva Weich?
  16. Sorry I've never tried them. I could compare them to animas, gut or helicores.
  17. daddarioorch631


    Jan 27, 2014
    Farmingdale, NY
    Product Specialist, D'Addario & Co.
    Thanks to everyone for the feedback and kind words. If anyone has any questions/concerns regarding our strings, feel free to shoot me an email josephine.llorente@daddario.com
  18. byrdzeye


    Mar 28, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    A BIG thank you to Josephine. She contacted me last week about the Xyex strings after following this forum, and kindly shipped me a set of the lights to try out on my 2013 Shen SB88. It came with Helicore Pizz lights, which I didn't care for, both for the feel (touch) and "hard" sound at the front of the note. I put the Zyex on today, just before getting together with my guitar playing friend for a night of pickin' and grinnin'. Well, there sure was a LOT of grinnin' tonight. Although I had to tune a lot (fully expected), these were a joy to play on these old hands, and it totally changed the sound of the bass (for the better). I'll post a full report tomorrow under a new heading, as well as another one after they've been on the bass and played for about a month. Again, thanks to Josephine and D'Addario.
    daddarioorch631 likes this.
  19. Will Kaplans be released in a solo guage? I want some solo strings and Kaplans only come in orchestral tuning. Helicore orchestrals aren't my cup of tea, so I'm hesitant to buy those. Anybody try these out?
  20. Vigilantelove


    Aug 14, 2013
    I recently switched from Obligatos to Zyex light. I wasn't thrilled. D'Addario was great about it, sent me Zyex mediums, but they still didn't work out for me. I found them to be stiff, with the A and D sounding a bit metallic and bell-like. They also had a tendency to choke up in the upper register with very little clarity to any of the notes near the octave. I can't say if this is a problem with the strings or if the strings just didn't agree with my bass. I've used their guitar strings for years without any issue, and I absolutely love their customer service, so I'm still a frequent buyer of their other products. Zyex just left a lot to be desired on my bass.