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Eudoxa/Oliv vs. Flex/Orig. Flex

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by conte2music, Mar 23, 2006.


  1. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    On my orchestral instrument I have been playing a combination of flexocor g and originals d and a and either a permenant e or spiro and am wondering how these strings would compare to a combo of Oliv g and d and Eudoxa a and e. I really enjoy the arco sound, but would like a more useable pizz while retaining the power and smoothness of the arco.

    Thank you

    Chris
     
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Have you tried Flexocor Starks on this Bass. I have them on all my Basses now and they have the extra tension for Pizz and bow like the Flexocors that they are.
     
  3. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    No I haven't tried them on this bass. Does the extra tension stiffle the low end? Are they a bit darker sounding than the flex's med?

    Thanks Ken,

    Chris
     
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.

    The Starks are better balanced on the E or actually ARE balanced where as the Mediums have an E too thin for it's own set. The tone of the Starks is thicker, deeper, tighter, louder and has more guts. I can play Jazz or in the Symphony with any of my Basses with this set. The difference is really the actual Bass and not the string. Recently at a rehearsal for a Mozart concert I had to play very softly with some short notes and used about 2mm of hair on each note as if I was using a pick. That's how responsive they are for Bowing.. Not to mention a killer Bultitude Bow, but who's asking?..lol
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Stark Flexocors will give you the extra tension needed for the Pizz sustain. Regular Flexoxor mediums will be flatter sounding in the Pizz and the E sucks. Use the Stark E with the medium set if you are afraid of the tension. Also, with Starks you can use lower action and still get sustain.

    They will not BUZZ as much sustain wise as Obligatos or Spirocores but the will have a good pizz sound. They also have a more fundamental Bass tone than any other string I have tried. "Bass" always sounds better to my ear than "buzz".
     
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Ken can you compare (subjectively) the feel/tension/flexibility of Flexicore Starks to Permanents, which I know you've also used?
     
  7. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    i got some perms in a trade for some superflexibles i wasn't using.
    i put the permanent E on my bass in place of the stark flexocor E and it sounded like it had no fundamental compared the flexocor and the tension was a bit lower (which i did not like at all) so the flex E went back on after about five minutes, i didn't even try the rest of the perms and i'm not really even considering changing to any other strings now....i'm happy.
     
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    So, the Permanent E felt like it had less tension than the Stark Flexicore?
     
  9. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    yeah it did, more noise on the fingerboard...not growl type noise, more like not enough scoop noise because of the lower tension. AND it wasn't as loud as the flexocor either.
     
  10. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Interesting. I've experimented quite a bit with strings, but Permanents have been my staples for the last few years. I don't use their g strings, but the rest of the set is the one that produces the most sound and the best blend of sustain and warmth for me.

    I do think that my bass likes a little less tension and I preferred the feel fo the medium gauge Flexicores to the Permenants. Don't know if they are actually lower tension or just more supple, but I liked the tactile feedback and response that I got from them. The E, sucked, as others have mentioned and I put an old Permanent E back on which worked pretty well with it.

    As mentioned in another post, I was undecided about the pizz sound of the Flexicores, which is 90% of my playing and went home to the Perms for a recording. I'm much happier with their sound from standing over the bass, but actually liked the sound of the Flexicores on my bass from across the room. Now that I'm using Permanents again, I realize that I don't love the stiffness. (I loved the recorded sound, by the way and will upload something when I have it)

    So, you saying that the Permanent was looser feeling and lower in tension than the Stark Flexicore is not what I was hoping to hear.

    Going to stick with the Permanents until they start to go dead and limit experimenting to the G string, but may put the Flexicores back on when it's time for a string change.
     
  11. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    on my bass the flexocor are where it's at for me, they just have such an organic sound to them. i think i get enough growl too because my fingerboard has only a small amount of scoop...which might be the reason i like the stiffer E string so much, less noise (and the fact for a few years i played some of the original flex's on a "hercules bass" as my teacher called it)

    i was thinking the perms would've been louder but that wasn't the case (atleast for the E string).

    and the flex G string is pretty awesome too, i would be curious to see how it compared to an Oliv G.
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.

    First of all the G and D Perms are on the thin side gauge and sound wise. The A and E are the same diameter (.080/.106") for both the Perm and Stark Flex. The formula and metal IS different between the two. The Perms are considered by some to be a Hybrid String. In my Book, if they don't bow well, they are a Pizz string. There is nothing worse than picking up the Bow and hearing Squeeks and Whistles.

    The Tension is better on the A and E of the Starks in my mind but the Tone and Bowability is 100% better. That's where it counts for me. I have my Shen strung now with medium Flexocor G and D and Perm A and E. These are new strings but the Perms just came off my 5er and I put the Flex A and E on it having G thru E reg Flex and the low B a Perm. I can here the difference with one of five strings being a different formula as you can 2 and 2. My experiment two years ago with Flex and Perm were using older broken-in strings and not new ones. I had the combo on both my Gilkes and Martini. I can't make a judgement based on strings that are 5-10 years old I guess.

    I too put a set of new Perms on my Morelli with the Ext. E/C and took them off within minutes and put the Obligatos back on. I just don't like the Bowed sound of new Perms. New Starks (Flex) on the other hand are a blessing when first tuned up and only get better......
     
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I have an OLIV G on now that I took in a trade and when it comes apart, I have an Anima G waiting to go on that, you guessed it, I picked up used on TB. I think I'll try after that a stark Flexicore G and see what I think and/or maybe a heavy gauge Helicore Orch. If I like the Stark G, I might try the full set.

    Ken I can see that the proof in the pudding for you is arco, where with me it's Pizz. That being said, I did like the pizz sound of the Flexicores from across the room, I just struggled with them from behind the bass.

    On diameter, I agree about the D and G Permanants being unimpressive. The G is unusable on my bass and I don't love the D, but live with it.

    Who knows? I wish I didn't think about this stuff so much.
     
  14. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    Thank you very much for your replys Ken. I'll put the Flex Starks on the top of the list. I should be ready to buy a new set in about a month or two. Ken, have you experimented at all with the eudoxa or oliv. Has anyone else played both the flex and eudoxa or oliv. I have really enjoyed my setup of flex g, orig flex d and a, and perm e, however I do a number of pops gigs and musicals where I have been forced to use my jazz bass because I need the pizz. It would be nice to have the great bowing of my current strings but with a pizz that isn't so boxy sounding. It seems like the flex stark could be the way to go, but those olivs really have me curious.
    Thanks so much guys,
    Chris
     
  15. Adam Wynter

    Adam Wynter

    May 9, 2005
    Ken, how would you rate the Starks against Original Flexocors for bow response? I have the Originals on the D and A on my bass (a new handcarved hungarian) but find the A to be quite difficult to 'Sforzando' on sometimes. The Flex Stark E which I have seems quite a lot easier to play this way. Wolud you say the Starks are better across the set?
     
  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have tried the Olivs but not Eudoxas. I used the Olivs on my Italian Bass only for a single concert, La Boheme. We were short on Bass and I needed to be a bit louder to fill in. At the last minute I put the Olivs on my Martini, raised the bridge double the normal height and brought it to the concert. The Pizz was great on the G and D, good on the A and fair only on the E. My hands hurt from the higher action by the end of the night. I took off the strings and gave them to a friend afterwards. The Olivs are not for me. I do hear though that the Oliv tops mix good with the Eudoxa bottoms.

    Priastro Bowing Steels include Flexocor, Orig. Flex, Orig Flat Chrome and maybe the Perms. The Stark Flexs are similar gauge to the others mentioned with a few exceptions. The Perms have lighter tops. The Orig Flex has a heavier A. The G on the Orig FC and Orig Flex are not at all as smooth as the Stark or med Flex (92s). I have seen people use reg med Flex wit the E changed to either Helicore, Perm or Orig Flex. Why do they do this? Because the med Flex E is actually a light or extra light gauge and Pirastro, the Germans think they know everything and will not listen to reason. The E is .097 with .100 on the E/C and the 1/2 size. It needs to be at least .102-.104 to balance with the rest of the set.

    Observe this, that the E is lower to the top than the D and A and has less tension overall do to it's height. For this, it needs some extra thickness. Tune the E up to pitch in the center of your bridge in the A slot and see what I mean. My 5er has the reg E and it is tighter than it was as an E on my 4-str Shen. It's higher off the top as the 4th out of 5 strings but as the last, it is looser.

    People for years have been replacing the Flex Es because it was too light. They did not know I believe about the Stark E. That works Perfectly as a fix for the Flex Medium 92 set. The stark set is just meatier all around and the extra tension make some of my Basses growl like Ray Browns Bass on Steroids. My Loveri sounds great playing Mozart and Vivaldi as well as Jazz with the same strings. My Dodd sounds like old school Jazz guts with them on but that Bass feels an octave lower on each note. My Martini sounds great but the E is so dark even with Obligatos on, it almost kills the Speaker on my SWR. My Gilkes also sounds great for Jazz as well but again. with a fuller thicker but very audible bottom.

    The Stark Flex 92 set are the Best string I have found. It does everything you want the Bass to do and it sounds like a Bass, not a Banjo!
     

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