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D'addario Orchestra Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jazzbassnerd, Dec 7, 2005.


  1. jazzbassnerd

    jazzbassnerd

    Aug 26, 2002
    I am a player playing lots and lots of both jazz and classical (I'm a double major in college). I want to say now that I am not asking for the perfect string, just want some insight on the D'addario Orchestra's.

    In my search I found that most people suggest Obligatos or Spirocores when people mention these strings. I don't like the feel of Obligatos on my bass, and I am not particularly fond of the "Spirocore sound."

    I have been using the Heritage strings for a while now and I really like them. They come very close to giving me my dream pizz sound for jazz. very warm while still having sustain. However, I am become increasing dissatisfied under the bow. Thus my question.

    Does anyone use the D'addario Orch Strings in orchestra or for jazz? The only guy that I know for jazz is Ray Drummond. I'm not sure what gauge he uses. For orchestra, my classical teacher uses them as well as some of the students here.

    I would say that the sound that I want is on the warmer side of a jazz sound. I really dig Scott laFaro and Dave Holland's tone if examples help. For orchestra I really want a deep warm sound (doesn't everyone.....)

    Any ideas besides Obligatos or Spirocores (or even ideas with them, maybe something to do with them????)?

    Thanks you guys.
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Ray Drummond uses Helicore Arco Heavy gauge. I think Patitucci uses them sometimes as well. I was using the A, D, and G for a while until they started to die and I really like them. I think they work very well for Jazz pizz. That said, I haven't found anything that comes even close to the sound of Velvets. You should definitely check out the new Compas 180's. I get compliments on my tone where ever I play(I am using the Compas 360's at the moment but I have had the 180s).
     
  3. jazzbassnerd

    jazzbassnerd

    Aug 26, 2002
    Did you use the heavies as well?? I've been thinking about these strings but I'm a little concerned with the switch from Heritage (a pretty low tension string) to something that would be high tension on my fingers. Are the heavies that high in tension??
     
  4. dbgal

    dbgal

    Nov 28, 2005
    Idaho
    I use D'addorio Helicore Orchestras on my ply for community orchestra & also various small ensemble stuff. For orchestra I'm mostly bowing; for the ensemble (rock/folk/klezmer/blues/jazz/ etc.) it's about 80% pizz. I just switched to Medium gauge from lights because I wanted a bit more sustain & volume, & I'm really happy with the sound. The strings have a warm tone, but not muddy- they're fairly even across the strings, & I have nice clarity for higher register solo stuff (arco). I got about 10 months of life out of the Lights playing probably 8-10 hrs/week. The problem with bass strings is that what sounds great on your buddy's bass will really suck on yours, or vice versa. & they're awful expensive to experiment :) But, I've been happy with the Helicores.
     
  5. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Heavy gauge Helicores are still less tension than Spirocore Orch. I actually prefer the feel and sound of the Heavies to the light/med. They have a much stronger/clearer sound.
     
  6. I have the D'Addario Heliocore Orchestra mediums on my Shen Sb180 hybrid and my daughter's Shen SB100 ply. She plays only orchestra, and I play about 75% orchestra 25% jazz or standards.

    I find them to have (as advertised), a warm clarity of tone, even down to the E string. They are an easy string to bow, easy on the fingers, and with just enough sustain to be usable for jazz. I have been playing about 12 hours a week, including lessons, and orchestra rehearsals, for a little more than 2 years, and mine are just now sounding like they might need to be replaced. So they do last, at least with my fingers. (I play only with clean hands, and I do wipe the strings down after every session.)

    I do feel that I would like a little fuller sound from the G, and a little smoother sound from the E, though, so I have been thinking about the Flexocor 92 medium strings, with the heavy E , or the Jarger heavy strings. However if I make the switch, I don't expect nearly as usable a piz sound.
     
  7. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I think that Helicore Orchestra is a good all purpose string. The pizz is a lot better than say, Flexocor (Flexocor's arco is great though) but the sustain on the E and the A isn't the greatest. Not bad though. This is the trade-off. I don't like any of the other Helicores - Hybrid, etc.

    I also like the Innovation 140B for a dual-purpose string.
     
  8. jazzbassnerd

    jazzbassnerd

    Aug 26, 2002
    Alright, sorry to change the thread a little but through more research I got interested in some other strings too.

    Is there any comparison someone can make between the D'addario Orchestras, and Thomastik Superflexibles?

    While I don't like the spirocore sound, I have read that the Superflexibles are a little darker. Although, I am a little concerned about the comments about the bottom end. I already have a spirocore Orch gauge E on. Of all the E strings I've played, that one is unbelievalbe.

    My bass came with spirocore weichs on it and I loved it. But something made me switch and I forget what. So maybe the superflexibles would be a good choice...(or maybe just the weichs).

    Now I'm thinking "aloud." Anyone have any thoughts. Thanks for everyones imput (past and hopefully future).
     
  9. I am currently playing with Superflex 4/4 solos on my jazz bass, and when I'll be rehearsing both styles I'll just take my jazz bass because they bow pretty well. My jazz bass has a little over a 43 inch string length, so those 4/4 work well, and have a really nice light tension. maybe 3/4 solos would be good for a smaller string length. I will most likely not purchase them again however, because I want a little more meat in the pizz sound, and I'm not too concerned about bowing on that bass.

    I've used the helicore orch on my orchestral bass, and while I enjoyed the sound initially I did not like the way they felt under my hands. On my bass they had high tension, and lost their clarity after about only 4 months of play. I currently am using a Permanant E...it is a very crisp sound, and has some pretty usable sustain. I think you should investigate the Perms. The flexocore g, and original flex a and d are just killer under the bow. Best of luck!
     
  10. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Superflexibles are a good choice if you're doing more pizz than arco. They will provide better pizz sustain than Helicore Orchestra. But they are darker than Spirocore and so the arco is less scratchy. An orchestra bassist probably wouldn't use Superflexible but jazz players who play a decent amount of arco often use them. John Clayton used Superflexibles for a long time but I think he switched to Obligato. Superflexibles are reasonably priced and will last a pretty long time, too.
     
  11. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Agreed. Superflexibles are really nice strings. Brighter sounding than Helicore Orch, with more sustain and a deeper tone. They don't have any dampening material inside, but are still a very dark string when they break in.
     
  12. Thanks guys - I'm happy with supers at the moment but was about to get sting gas, talking of which, I used Pirastro Jazzers once and thought they bowed ok - it was a few years ago though.

    However, on my affordable string gas list (velvets just cost too much) are Innovations which reckon the H or honey set could be used orchestrally?
     
  13. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I experimented with both the Innovation H and B sets and wound up using the G&D from B set because they had a darker arco sound and were a little more 'gut-like' for pizz which I like. But I mixed them with the E&A from the H set because the E&A from the B set were too thuddy for pizz for my taste. The E&A from the H sounded good for arco, while the D&G from that set was a little too bright for arco for me.
     
  14. Thanks Bobby - I might try that - Francious said he liked the Innovation G on his EUB - where is Francious bythe way?
     
  15. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I used the solo-tuning braided G, at orchestra pitch.
    The string quickly developed a loose core problem though.
    It was on the bass only for a few days...
     
  16. jazzbassnerd

    jazzbassnerd

    Aug 26, 2002
    Francios-

    I'm wondering if you could read my original post and offer some suggestions. thanks.

    I've been thinking about putting some weichs back on. Those are the strings that came with the bass and fell in love on first note. Thoughts?

    Thanks again.
     
  17. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Well, to be honest, I don't like Helicores at all, orchestral or hybrids.
    You want a very good orchestral string, and a warm pizz tone?
    How about Flexocors?
    The E could be replaced with something else though, as it's weak and flabby.
    I suggest the Super-Sensitive Pinnacle E.
     
  18. jazzbassnerd

    jazzbassnerd

    Aug 26, 2002
    Flexocores almost seem to much of a orchestral string to me. I worried about how much sustain they would have. The more I think about it, I might just throw some Weichs back on as those were the ones were on my bass when I fell in love with it. I'm thinking I might have got into the grass is greener syndrome and should just go back to the strings that were on the bass when I found "my love." Haha.

    Do you think the flexocores have a good amount of sustain and clear punchy pizz attack?
     
  19. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't think Flexocores are a good solution. They have very little sustain and a very blunt attack. They also don't have the same projection for pizz as Spirocore Weich. In a pinch flexocores will work especially for an old school sound, but I don't think you would be very happy with them. You should check out the Superflexibles. I think you would be pleasently surprised. They are thicker sounding than Weichs but with about the same sustain and volume.
     
  20. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Clearly no!
    Pirastro Permanents could be another choice. It's basically an orchestral string, but with a brighter tone and better sustain.