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Dominants megathread

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Chasarms, Apr 1, 2005.


  1. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    They bow very well. In fact, as well as any orchestra string out there. My teacher is an SO player and he now uses Dominant G exclusively on both basses.

    The solos tuned standard are well-kept secret for a nice loose gutish kind of thing. I have turned a couple of BGers on to them, and they love them now.
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Chris you'll have that D in about a week. I have a Dominant G that I could send as well(as soon as the strings I just ordered come in).

    I'm frustrated with my sound right now. I have pretty much come to the realization that I can usually get "my sound" no matter what the string is. I have just been without a good instrument for far too long. I'm dying to try an NS.
     
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    No hurry from my end - I'm just grateful to have the option to "try before I buy". Besides, there are about three full weeks of school left, and those last three are always crammed full of loose ends. My two-year-old starks sound good except for that one spot, and it's be no tragedy if I didn't end up finding anything better.

    I can dig it. I have my old carved bass at the office, where I use it for rehearsals and school functions. When I play it these days, I'm amazed at how much harder I have to work to get a sound, and am reminded AGAIN why I wanted my NS in the first place. A thought, though: how about starting a thread here on the forum asking who has NS basses in your general area? Most folks who have 'em are all too happy to show 'em off. :)
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Got the Dominant D on Friday (Thanks, Adrian! I'll take good care of it...) and I gotta say, I think I really like it. I can't say I agree with those who have said they thought the Dominants are higher tension than the starks - they seem somewhat less tense, but still in the ballpark. But the D is a good match in terms of power and sustain. It has a little less of both, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. It's a drier sound, with a little more "click" on the beginning of the attack and a bit more "air" in the sustain, but I kind of dig it. While it doesn't completely get rid of the weird nasal thing at the octave on the D, it makes it sound less nasal and just a little buzzy, which is a big improvment to my ears. What is taking a little getting used to at the moment is the coarseness of the wrap as compare to the spiros...the wrap on the Dominant is about three times as wide as on the spiros, which makes it feel more textured as opposed to the glassy smoothness of the spiro wrap. But like I said, it's kind of nice.

    Arco folks: what is the reported "stick-o'-pain-ability" of these strings? My arco chops are nil, so I figured I'd ask someone who knows what the hell they're talking about.

    So far, so good with the D. I think I'll order a D and G on Monday so that I can hear what the Dominant G sounds like with the D.
     
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
  6. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Chris, don't judge the wrap of the Dominants based on the one I sent you. Usually they are super smooth, I think that one was a fluke(the set I had bought anyway). The G is a rough as well, but any other time I had purchased them I had no problems. I think you will find that after a week of playing the string will really settle in and you will really hear the fundamental. They are nice strings if you can take the tension, which obviosly you can!
     
  7. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Ok, so this isn't a Dominant thread but then the Dominant thread is really a Spirocore thread so there you go.

    I've had the whole set of Dominants on for 2 weeks now. 4 gigs and a handfull of practice sessions. The D and G are fantastic. Depending on what I'm playing the E and A still seem a bit loose in comparison. I like the sound of all four on my bass better than any combination yet. I prefer a Dark and Fat sound and these have that for sure. Strong fundamental and less overtones. They don't have a break in period. Sound great right out of the box.

    Still on the fence with the E and A. I'd prefer them a little stiffer. Probably get used to them though.

    Really great amplified. The D and G completely smoothed out that missing G string sound I was having a problem with. The amplified sound of these is much closer to the acoustic sound I get from that box--which is not as different with different strings than the amplified sound is. Fwiw I don't use a mic I use a full circle. This week I put on a Wilson too. I'm going to another thread on that in the electrical stuff forum.

    I just started with a stick. I sound like a 5 year old. The cats run away and hide.

    Chris, To me they feel smoother than the Starks I had on the bass so the scratchy guy may be a wierdo. Tips of my fingers are toast though so I may not be the best judge. Tension as you mentioned seems significantly lower. In my case It's a good thing. I haven't felt near as worn out at the end of my gigs as with Spirocore Stark or even the Mittel. Kind of like Weich in feel on the E and A and Mittel in feel on the D and G. Much better to me in sound though. Regardless, your a way better player with a way better bass. I'm a newbie. YMMV.
     
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Well it's a Dominant thread now. I've got Dominant G, D, and A on at the moment, and my initial impressions are very favorable. They don't growl like the Starks, but they also have a drier, more "organic" sound to them without losing the punch. I didn't order a Dominant E, but I'm tempted to try one anyway. I'm not going to gush at this point - the four gigs this weekend should let me know where they stand. What's really exciting is that even I, arco hack that I am, can pull a decent sound out of these things even though I can't find my ****ing rosin. If these turn out to be gigworthy, then I fear all hell may break loose.

    Phil: if you had to describe the pizz sound of the E, whose tone would you liken it to? My imagination says it's likely to be kind of "Hadenesque" but then it's been wrong before.
     
  9. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Dominant E is not bad. Not near as much growl as the Spirocores, but still not bad. It is really thick sounding and full. Lots of fundamental.

    I always loose my rosin! In fact I haven't been able to find it for the last week and a half. Looks like a new cake is in order....
     
  10. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    "Hadenesque". Probably. The Dominants all kind of seem like that. At least on my bass. He's one of those guys I'll bet trancends strings though and would sound like his bad self on a washtub bass with a clothesline. I'll drag out some records with him on it tomorrow and consider that more.

    They don't growl at all for me. By the time I get them low enough they just choke out and buzz. I'm not much of a growl fan these days anyhow. I keep shooting for that big round "orchestral pizz" kind of thing. Like late '50's Sinatra records. Is that Red Mitchell? Songs for Swingin Lovers, Only the Lonely?

    I put the Stark E on Monday night for practice time. Front side of the note had more definition, still big and round but longer note length than the Dominant. Dominant seems to have more air in it. I get a bigger fundamental but not as loud overall as the Stark. Stark is harder to play. I miss the "steel" in the Spiros but the Dominant has a rounder sound that at the moment is more attractive. Ray mentioned somewhere that the Dominant felt "cheap". I never thought of it like that but compared to the Spirocores I can see that. The plastic core is not as "authentic" feeling as the Spiro or Guts. If the Dominant had some "zing" in there it would be hard to beat.

    The Stark bows like poop compared to the Dominant. I suck and the Dominant makes me sound like something with a bow. When i get the Stark going it has that "sound" though. Sexy. Gritty. Nasty. Dominant sounds really "normal" with a bow. Like what a bowed string should sound like. But like I said before more experienced voices should be given way more weight on these matters.

    Put the Dominant E back on for the gig last night. I think I might be getting used to it. I was starting to lighten up and actually play music last night. I'm sticking with the full Dominant set for awhile I think. I want to get some miles on these and see what happens.

    No drummer on the gig on tuesdays. Made me want to use a mic on the bass and get more of that air. The pickup on quieter gigs is to far away from the sound I aspire to. I started to turn the amp down and down and down and pull harder and sounded better. Hmmmn.
     
  11. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Listening to Alice Coltrane "Journey in Satchidananda". An obscure Haden choice of course but why not. He stomps around all over that record.

    Anyway that is the sound.

    Nobody lets me play like that now.
    Get thrown out into the street for that.
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The gigs this weekend are still the real test, but so far I've used the Dominant G, D, and A with the Stark E in several rehearsals and a performance here at school and gotten good reviews from the other players - and this is all with only the Full Circle without the AMT. I'm itching to hear them with mostly AMT with a little pickup thrown in for flavor.

    Also thought I'd mention what a class A dumb*** I can be when it comes to missing the obvious. A couple of weeks ago, I had Nnick help me mount the AMT mic on my tailpiece, which has been great since it's one less thing to carry and install 200 times a year. Problem is, I haven't modded out the cable to end in a removable plug yet, so I've got about 8 feet of wire folded up in a towel and wedged under the tailpiece for transport. When I had one of my students who is primarily an orchestral player check out the strings with a bow, we both noticed that they sounded pretty thin and lacked resonance. After about 20 minutes of wondering whether these strings were as good as I initially thought, I removed the wedged-in towel, and the bass completely opened up. Like, DUH! Hello? Earth to DURRL? :rolleyes:

    I'll report back after the gigs this weekend.
     
  13. We've gotten great feedback from the Rockabilly crowd on Dominant Solos tuned down. Nice and slappy. T-I R&D recommends Superlfexibles for bowed, but Dominants are the darkest all-around string they make.

    Here's the tension on the Dominants:
    G 63.9lbs
    D 63.9lbs
    A 66.1lbs
    E 66.1lbs
    C 67.2lbs

    and Solo gauge (at pitch...less if you tune down):
    A 59.5
    E 61.7
    B 63.9
    F# 66.1




    Interesting thread... :cool:
     
  14. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Sounded like excrement this weekend. All loud gigs with little chance for true acoustic tone. The thing sounded like a synth bass. Uggh.

    I was missing Spirocores this weekend.
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Played three gigs with the Dominants this weekend, and liked them a lot. They're a different kind of sound than the spiros - louder on the outside frequencies, quieter in the middle, but still with good sustain. With the combination of the AMT and FC, they amplify quite well.
     
  16. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Thats great to hear Chris. Looking forward to how the strings continue to work for you. I am a fan of the Dominants. They are much closer to the sound I hear in my head than Spirocores. The attack is different.
     
  17. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Did some demo sessions for a fellow last night. He put a big old Tube mic in front of my bass, mixed it with the pickups. Sounded excellent. Big, round and woody. Just like I'm looking for. The dominants were great. I think I may need to get an AMT or something.
     
  18. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    Why do some bassists say the Dominants are floppy and similar to guts in feel and some bassists say they are stiffer than spiros?
     
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I have a few educated guesses:

    1) The dominants are stiffer-feeling that spiro weichs and solos, and to my fingers about the same as the reds...except that the synthetic core feels very different. Depending on what your definitions of "stiff" and "floppy" are, this could lead to very different descriptions.

    2) The Doms are definitely not as stiff as spiro starks, and could be called "floppy" by comparison, although "floppy" is not a word I would choose.

    3) Some people may be describing Dominant solos, which I would imagine are farily "floppy" feeling compared to any number of stiffer strings.


    Last night I played a gig in a room where I have never been able to get a defined sound from any string - even the spiro starks. The Dominant G, D, and A performed like champs, and I could hear everything. I especially like the defined "pop" at the beginning of each note, the lack of which is a thing I've heard constructive criticism about when getting feedback here on some of the live soundclips I've posted. I was VERY happy with the sound I got last night. I have a Dominant "E" on order, and will check in when it arrives and I've had a chance to check it out. Right now, I'm still on a very happy honeymoon with these strings. :)
     
  20. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I bought a 1960 Kay M1 once that was strung with Dominants. It sounded so full, so perfect, and it bowed as well as I imagined possible. (Joel Quarrington, a brilliant classical player, uses Dominants, tuned in fifths--if you haven't heard his playing, it's well worth checking out.) At the time, I was playing my "real" bass strung with Spirocore weichs, and the Kay seemed much fuller and more "real" (much to my chagrin--my bandmates would mention that my $1200 bass sounded more "woody" than the $10,000 axe...). Then, the Dominant D string broke (at a wedding, right in the middle of the little classical processional--our half-classical/half-Dixieland trio didn't get any referrals from THAT gig) and I restrung the Kay with spirocore weichs. They were a joke in comparison with the Dominants! Very thin, the volume was reduced by 50%, and the arco response was greatly reduced. Perhaps the Dominants are floppy in comparison with certain strings, but they are definitely stiffer AND easier to bow and more "full" (whatever that really means) than the Spirocore weich type of string. (And I should mention that weichs are pretty much my reference string.) For my own needs, the Dominants maybe would not be flexible enough because I need more room on the pizz end of things than the arco end of things; but they are some nice strings nevertheless.

    [PS As I write this, I'm listening to Chick Corea's "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs;" whatever strings Miroslav is playing with, that's what I want...]