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Dominants bow/pizz on high-tension-loving bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by darkocuk, May 17, 2011.


  1. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Heya!

    About to try and get some Dominants for my pretty ancient ply bass.
    My bass loves high-tension and Spiros Orch Mittels sound just perfect on it (been using those forever, but unlike some of you, I change them every 6mths - 1year, or they get real dead under the fingers).
    Played a Red Mitchell set for a while (5ths) and they sounded a lot darker but resonated great and were actually easier on my hands. Stopped with them cuz of fingering changes (basically, if this tuning was widely used instead of orchestral, I'd still play em).

    The thing is, Spiros Mittels bow awesome, but you gotta keep your technique on bow top notch, and I don't have enough time.
    Spiros on the other hand are hard on hands, and I am not a big guy. After years of using them, I am happy to try something easier - don't fancy getting arthritis in my hands like Ray Brown.
    Weich's sound too much like a bass guitar, all mid and attack and metal growl... not what I want.

    I found two things about string reviews:
    1. Lots of past 'conditioning' guides people's opinions - not enough objective factors mentioned..
    2. I rarely read anyone mentioning what kind of bass they have they are using strings on (past the model and size), and I find that to be the main fact to elaborate on when evaluating strings.

    So,, Dominants on high-tension-loving bass is my q?
    How do they perform pizz/arco?
    What bass have you got em on: carved, ply, high action, dark tone, lots of harmonics, mostly fundamentals coming out, moves and sings, growls - what are its main pros/cons. Try to describe the bass with that setup, not what you like or would want to hear.

    I'm deeply grateful for any answers on this,
    Darko
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I use them on a hybrid LaScala, 99% pizz, string height set between 6-9 and 7-10 mm from the G to the E. Soundclips are available on my site.

    I know the string tension chart shows Dominants as being less tension than Spiro Mittels, but they are also stiffer, which makes them come out closer to even tension in terms of feel. They are also a bit smoother under the finger, which helps. My bowing technique is poor, but to me they bow more smoothly than the Spiros.
     
  3. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Thanks. Which of your clips are with Dominants?
    So i guess i can expect: similar feel under fingers but smoother, same fundamental power but less sustain and brightness/harmonics, easier arco maybe and maybe less hand fatigue.. Would you agree?
    Thx again
     
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Have you seen the Dominant Megathreads?
     
  5. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Would you recommend mixing dominant g,d with spiro mittel a,e?
     
  6. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Ive read through one megathread but didnt find enough info relevant to my situation. This prompted me to post..
     
  7. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm using them on a mid-50s Kay plywood. My arco is terrible, so I can really only comment on pizz.

    To me the Dominants have a much softer, more flexible feel than Spiros. I keep my action pretty low.

    The sound I get from them is warm with lots of fundamental, but I do get some upper partials in there as well. It's not all thump.
     
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Just hoping that you found the threads. I love Doms and had them on two different carved basses, mostly jazz pizz., string heights of about 7 mm at the G, 9-10 mm at the E. One bass was a Romanian import, the other was my Upton Concert. On both basses they produced a darker sound than Spiro Mitts, ample growl, and good fundamentals. I'd still be using them if they didn't keep breaking! Some players don't have that problem at all. With Doms, you need to make sure that none of the metal part of the string wraps around the tuning roller. Even when that wasn't the case on one of my basses, the core of the string (E and G) let go. Doms are my all-time second favorite string (ignoring the breakage problems I had). My experience with Doms matches Chris' experience very well-- except he has no issue with breakage (about which I'm jealous :)).
     
  9. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Thank you. So youre back on Spiros?
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    All of the duo and Nachbar trio clips on my site are with Dominants. The duos are unamplified, the trios definitely amplified.

    Pretty much, although I haven't had hand fatigue problems for a while now. The Dominants can be made to feel high tension like Spiros, but without the "boing" factor if that makes any sense.
     
  11. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Thank you all for the information!
    Chris, I listened to your soundclips and have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
    I can see why you switched - just the right amount of air in that sound, slightly softer mid and high end but still sustained sound.
    I am getting real excited about these strings.
    Again, thanks to all of you!

    Darko
    ... *would close this thread now,, but I can't..:( is that even possible?*
     
  12. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
     
  13. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Thanks for these words of encouragment.
    I sure hope you're right.
    I heard plenty of stories, I guess mainly about classical string players, cellists and violinists mostly, about getting arthritis in their hands later in life. On the other hand, I don't personally know of one afflicted by it... so they could just be stories.
    Thanks,

    Darko
     
  14. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Darko,
    They are not just stories. Arthritis is a very serious problem for many string players. I've known several bassists and guitarists who have had to quit because of it. Others just "live" with it with meds and softer strings. A good friend of mine who works with a name jazz group uses solo strings tuned down a step because of his hands.
    GG
     
  15. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    I often toyed with the idea of solos tuned down.. I guess i will try this sometime but i know my bass will lose a ton of power with that setup.. But it may also gain more harmonics ans sweetness. Ill add it to my todo.
     
  16. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Boy do i hate the iphone touch keyboard.. Makes me feel like an elephant trying to play flight of the bumblebee on a piano..
     
  17. eerbrev

    eerbrev

    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    that's why I use a computer like a real person.
     
  18. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    got a set of dominants.. put d and g on and hmm,, liking it me thinks.
    Chris,, they are a lot easier to play, but I see what you meant by stiffer - that's gotta be the synthetic core that makes em like that.
    they bow a little fuzzier, but man, lots of character comes out under the bow.
    and pizz, just more velvet.
    Imma put on a and e now and check that out..
    D
     
  19. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    A and G also nice, but I will give em a week or two to grow on me if possible. the whole thing sounds more 'dry', but I think i like it.
    bottom not boomy enough,, but maybe just not as much low mid as spiros,
    yea,,.. ill shutup and give it some time.
     
  20. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    ^^ I mean A and E
     

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