Different types of strings okay?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Andrew_S., Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Alright, I already parused the newbie section and didn't find what I'm looking for.

    Essentially, I'm looking into changing my strings. My question is this:

    I've heard about players using gut on just the D and G strings and another "type" of string on the E and A. Is it okay to mix and match strings like this? It would seem to me that if you have a certain gauge string for (for instance) the E string, you'd have to maintain that gauge for all of the strings.
    Granted, I play BG as well so, to me, it would be weird having different types of strings on the slab.

    any help would be appreciated. Thanks! :)
  2. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Very common for doublebass. Many players have used gut for the D & G and Spiros for E & A. The problem comes from bowing. If they aren't well matched, the bowing sweet spot will be in different areas of the string in relation to the bridge. I used a mixed set of guts (Eudoxa & Oliv) and have no problem.

  3. Huh? What is this 'sweet spot' you speak of?

    I think you might find if you experiment with different bow speeds and different distances from the bridge, you'll probably (hopefully) find an infinite number of 'sweet spots'. This is assuming you don't want to be playing the same volume and tone for every single note you bow.

    I'm sorry if this sounds a bit sarcastic - it's definitely not meant to be. I'm just trying to point out that there are plenty of good points on the string to bow depending on the tone and colour you're looking for at any given time.

    I will agree that there may be some relative differences in tone from one string brand or type to another.

    Anyway, most pro players I know (orchestra players anyway) use a combination of strings. Most commonly players will use slightly brighter strings on the bottom 1 string (or bottom 2 strings in the case of a 5 string bass). It tends to help with clarity in the lower registers.
  4. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    You've not played on gut strings much, have you?:D There are obviously different sweet spots to get different sounds. What I'm talking about is the spot on the string where it is easy to get a note started, a note to sound full, etc, especially when bowing 16ths and an insane tempo. IMHO, there is only one spot about an inch that does that.

  5. Here's a reply I posted to the 2xbasslist today. Same basic topic, from an orchestral point of view.

    After two years of experimenting with string sets, then mixed sets, I found a
    solution - at least for me.

    Since the Pirastro Original Flexocore "E" is so weak and dark, and the "G" so
    bright, I added the D'addario Helicore Medium Orchestra strings for the "E" and
    "G", but kept the Original Flexocores for "D" and "A".

    No other string create that perfect meaty boom that Originals "A" and "D"
    give, but to get good sound on the outer strings I ended up going to Helicores.

    The Helicore "G" was still too wirey and tight for me, so I went to a Eudoxa
    "G" and I'm very happy with that string. Considering the latest string
    conversations, I think I'm going to go to the Pirastro Oliv "G"!
    (In fact, when I tried the complete Helicore set, the whole bass was under
    too much tension; too much of the Helicores' Vaunted "Evenness across the set"
    actually made them *all* react poorly, especially in pp dynamics.)

    My current "COMPENSATED" SET:
    Pirastro Eudoxa G
    Pirastro Original Flexocore D
    Pirastro Original Flexocore A
    D'Addario Helicore: Medium Orchestra E

    This set is well balanced for my bass, and I think would work on most older
    Germanic/Tyrolean and Italian basses. And Jakstadts.

    This combination is what I have used for the past year or so, including my
    Louisville audition. But I think using a Pirastro Oliv "G" would be even better.
  6. KPO-

    You might recall I've been using the Oliv D and G. Recently I've been wondering about the Eudoxa D and G. I've been thinking about maybe needing/wanting a brighter tone on those two strings. After you've installed the Oliv G, would you mind posting a comparison of the two here.