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Downtuned solos, help me decide: Flex deluxe, permanent?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Dr. Love, Dec 4, 2018.


  1. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    I currently have almost no time to practice due to family and day job commitments, and when I do get to play I'm fatigued after a short time so I'm thinking of trying solos downtuned to standard. I normally use Flexocor deluxe on this bass and also liked Permanents, but I'm not sure if the solo versions would behave similarly at lower pitch. I'm mostly pizz but like more arco friendly strings because I'm not very skilled with the bow and I generally prefer big, percussive and round sound rather than spiro growl and sustain. Anyone have any experience with the strings I've mentioned or other thoughts?
     
  2. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    Don’t have any experience with the solo sets mentioned (although I used to play Flex Deluxe orch gauge extensively), but you could look into Innovation Polychromes. I thinl they have the pizz Sound you describe and they bow very very easily. Big, dark but clear tone and lowish tension.

    I also experimented briefly with (for about a week) and enjoyed Dominant solos tuned to orchestral pitch. Effortless to play and a lot of fun without the “extra weight”. Not enough girth for me, but I’m holding onto them if circumstances dictate that I need a low tension set down the road.
     
  3. lurk

    lurk

    Dec 2, 2009
    If you get a chance to play someone's bass strung with Spiro solos at orchestra pitch, check them out. Bow like a dream and nice jazz pizz. Not nasal like regular spiros, but they have a lot of the clarity.
     
    HateyMcAmp likes this.
  4. lrhbass

    lrhbass Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Dallas,Tx.
    The Polychrome strings are a good choice, easy on the hands. I found them to be a better arco string than I anticipated,the pizz., was ok not what I was looking for in the long run.
     
  5. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Tuning down the Sprios sort of mellows them, but, you still get the clarity.
     
    HateyMcAmp likes this.
  6. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    What are the downtuned solos’ volume like compared to the other Spiro gauges?
    Thanks
     
  7. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    This was true for me as well, which I why I use polys on top of weichs. This combination changes the character and response of the 2 polys compared to what you get with a full set (for the better).
     
  8. lurk

    lurk

    Dec 2, 2009
    Softer, but still fairly loud. I think a lot of what we think of as volumn isn't pure decibels, but rather how we perceive the sound. Guts pizz, for example, aren't really loud, but they sit in an area without a lot of competition so the acoustic sound is easier to hear. The thing about Spiro solos I dislike the most is the feel - they're thin. On my bass the Spiros I dislike (top 3 - I use one for the E) are the weichs, which are whiny and nasal.
     
    Selim likes this.
  9. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    A bit softer, but they cut a bit more due the clarity.
    Here is an unamplified duo on my travel bass which is not quite as loud as my main bass, but has a full set of Sprio solos:
     
    noelpaz and Selim like this.
  10. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    Right. I’ve just recently begun to understand how a string that has good or at least sufficient volume, may not be heard (perceived) as well (by the player, in particular) because certain (mid) frequencies that help with projection are missing.

    The polychromes have less mid content than say, Evahs, and certainly Spiros, and so do not project as well, or at least not in the same way.

    I could see the value of using d/t solos in an unamplified performance setting, if only because of their frequency content you could hear yourself better? True?
     
  11. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    Interesting. And i would you consider that bass a “loud” bass (irregardless of string choice)?

    I like the saxophone player.
     
  12. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Michael is a fantastic player! It is pretty loud bass, basically a Shen hybrid, I am able to mostly play it unamplified. My old carved bass and other old carved basses are louder in a different way.
     
  13. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Basically a shen hybrid? Not to derail the thread but I assumed the travel bass was a chadwick. Are they made from the same company?
     
    MDrost1 likes this.
  14. MDrost1

    MDrost1 Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    Yes,

    Chadwicks are made by Shen and modified by Charlie Chadwick.
     
    damonsmith and Sam Dingle like this.
  15. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    On topic is that it is a modified Shen - so while it sounds and works fine, it has a more basic sound so you can actually hear the strings pretty well. The string choice is contributing more to the sound than normal.
    My older bass sounds good with all the strings I've ever tried!
     
  16. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Yes! Guts are not loud, they are very audible if that makes sense. And higher you cranck them more audible they get. Other strings are not like this, they stop delivering after certain point and only become impossible to play.
     
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  17. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Check out Joey Neager's string tension chart. He includes the tension of downtuned solo strings and recalculates all the tensions to a uniform string length.
    StringTension
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    lrhbass likes this.
  18. Or mine. Excel file in Dropbox, link in signature.
    I even recalculate the manufacturer tension data to a unified scale length, since the tension is only valid for the scale length the manufacturer uses for measurement and these differ from 2 up to 6 cm (2.4 inches).
     
    noelpaz likes this.
  19. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    That's great data on both of those, thanks
     
    Max George likes this.
  20. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I’m using downtuned Obligato solo D and G over Spiro Weich E and A on my jazz / plywood bass and Corelli 370F on my carved bass. Both are great choices for low tension.
     

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