OK; the above has been said around here before by some people, but I thought I'd emphasize it. I think Velvet Animas are the best-sounding pizzicato string I've ever heard; but (IMHO, YMMV) they aren't really fit for modern orchestral bowing techniques, and the unique feel under the fingers (and the low tension-to-output ratio) takes some getting used to (but it's worth it). Thomastik Spirocores (mittels) are the undisputed "modern steel (jazz) string" and will be the Platonic ideal that my brain conjures when the words "bass string" are mentioned forevermore, but they have their own well-known limitations. On my bass, Obligatos are worthless wet noodles and Pirastro Flexocors/Permanents/Flat Chromesteels are mostly good for bowing and not long, painful jazz gigs. Gut strings are the bomb! In the same sense that driving that awesome '65 T-bird that your friend rehabbed from the junkyard is the bomb, until you need to use it every day to get to work or you want to drive 1000 miles with your bass to a gig and you realize that the gasoline consumption and the oil consumption are roughly equivalent, and that the brakes don't function well above 30 mph. (Again, YMMV--I offer these comparisons as a yardstick against which to judge my opinions of the following string. Which are as follows--) Dominants are awesome. They combine the best qualities of Spirocores and Animas, except that unlike either of the above strings they are a dream under the bow (just listen to Joel Quarrington for some proof). They're a bit stiffer than Spiro mittels, but not in a bad way (not stiffer like Flexocor Starks are stiffer; stiffer in the sense that when you play Spiro mittels and say "damn, I wish these would give me a little more meat to work with" then these strings do). They have more than enough sustain for "modern" jazz work, and more than enough thump for everything else. They're not difficult to play, but they're not too easy to play, either. They come much closer to the Velvet perfection of huge tone for unamplified jazz gigging than any other non-Velvet string I've tried, and they're much more friendly under the fingers than Velvets. Tonight, I surreptitiously played them unamplified on a gig with some heavy-ish guys (put the amp onstage, plugged in, turned it on, but didn't turn it up so they wouldn't know) and it was a dream come true--"Sunday at the Village Vanguard" tone, and afterwards when I told the pianist and drummer they both independently said "Holy sh!t, that felt so good and open and nice and I knew something was different but I couldn't tell what." So I think these strings are worth checking out, you know? If you disagree with many of the above statements (like, if you think that Velvets sound bad, or that Spirocores are not in fact the "modern steel string sound," or that Obligatos do not in fact sound like wet noodles and that the other Pirastro strings are generally good for hybrid purposes, or that gut strings actually function well in all musical settings, or that a 40-year-old T-bird is actually perfectly functional as a means of transportation), then it's possible that your bass and fingers make different things happen with strings than mine do, and your results with Dominants may differ. But I first played them on a friend's bass, who got the idea from TalkBass, and then I played them on Chris Fitzgerald's bass and thought "huh," and all you "hybrid" or just straight-up pizzicato players may have the same positive reaction I did. Edit: It occurs to me that there might be some confusion, so: "Thomastik Dominant Bass Strings" are what it is that I'm referring to as awesome. Not chords built on the fifth scale degree, or "top" partners in sado-masochistic relationships...is it just me, or is it getting late?