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Did I get "weak" strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Nate74, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. I've had a BSX Allegro for about 10 months and while I like it, the strings have always felt "stiff" compared to the Correli's on my other EUB or the Spirocore on my Shen. I did some research and believe it still had the factory D'Addario Helicore Hybrids on it. I found a little chart that showed the color of the threads on the ball end and it appeared to verify this.

    I did some reading and made a list of 1/2 scale strings (needed for the BSX) that mentioned being "soft" etc. Fast forward a week or so, I see a set of 1/2 scale D'Addario Prelude strings for $40 and can't resist trying them out. I play at one practice and discover this on the low E-string:


    So what is this called and what caused this? I'm assuming it's bad...?

    I play 100% pizz with some light slapping and I'm not thinking these strings weren't meant for that OR I got a defective string.

    Being relatively new to upright, I'm only guessing but did I get strings that were meant to only be played arco?

    Thanks for any guidance...
  2. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Nate, the string is starting to unwind. Common on old/used strings. Some are more prone to this than others. What note is under that section of the string? Might be OK for a bit if it is high up the fingerboard, but you'll want to replace it.
  3. Thanks Matt. These were BRAND NEW strings; with less than 30 minutes of playing on them when I noticed this. The unwound spot is around the octave mark (where I never play). I may just put the old Hybrids back on for a while.

    Did I get a bad string?
  4. You got a bad string. Preludes are, IMO, the Yugo of bass strings. Get some half-size Spiros on that critter and forget about strings for the next 15 years.
  5. I certainly payed the "yugo" price :) Yeah, I knew better but I guess you do get what you pay for. I'm really like the Corelli's on my other EUB, but may branch out a bit.

  6. I would call it "separation of windings".
    When I hear "unwind" I think of a broken winding so the windings will unravel.

    Should not happen on a new string as long as the string is not clamped by narrow nut or bridge slots. (And even then it would only happen there, not in the middle of the string.

    Explain to the manufacturer what happens with the new string and ask for a replacment.

    And better stay away from massive metal core strings next time...
    If you want to try something cheap and not bad, try a set of Innovation 140H. You can get them cheaply without postage cost from StringExpress in the UK. Or try Thomastik Superflexible. For lower tension also SuperSensitive Supreme or Pinnacle are not expensive (stay away from red label).
  7. I don't know if D'Addario will care, but I'll shoot them an email. I think I'll check out something else though in the meantime. Thanks for the thoughts.
  8. @DoubleMIDI: S-S Supremes are discontinued, four your information.

    @Nate74: correct me if I'm wrong, but the BSX has a 3/4 size scale (around 104 cm.)
    1/2 size may fit better because there's less slack to wind up, but 1/2 size strings are likely to be thicker than their 3/4 size counterparts.
    The E string possibly did this because it was overtuned. (re the scale of the bass)
  9. You are correct on the scale, and yes, I went with the 1/2 scale so I wouldn't end up winding exposed metal wrapping around the tuners (I read that somewhere here but not sure what thread). I didn't occur to me that a string intended for a 38-39" scale would necessarily have more mass than a string intended for a 41-42" scale, but it makes some sense.

    I just took a set of calipers to the strings though and the Prelude E string that has the issue measured .109" and the Helicore Hybrids E string measured at .112. This may not be conclusive though... I guess what I really would need to know is what force is required to get both into pitch since I don't know if that is directly proportional to the outer diameter, or some other variable like mass...

    It's an excellent thought though and something I'll keep in mind in the future. Thanks!
  10. I just found a thread where one poster mentions that the tension is directly proportional to the mass of the string (by length I would assume) so the diameter is just one variable contributing to the mass. In post #3 of this thread (http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f17/corelli-helicore-hybrids-789710/) the poster refers to the use of tungsten windings as allowing for higher mass and lower tension. I also find it interesting that the strings I was trying to replace are referred to as "high tension"...
  11. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    If you wind up ditching those Preludes, keep the G string. It's a really neat alternate G string to match with something like Spiros. Francois had suggested it in a older thread somewhere, and the other day I pulled it out of the box to try - really liked it for what it was.

    The Preludes really are meant to be cheap student grade strings...They were on my first bass when I got it, and IME were horribly stiff. But, other than your winding issues, if they work on your EUB then great, but Spiros or Corellis etc would probably feel a lot nicer under the left hand.

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