Evah's or Bel Cantos

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jason Sypher, May 3, 2008.


  1. Evah's

    39 vote(s)
    43.3%
  2. Bel Cantos

    30 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. other

    21 vote(s)
    23.3%
  1. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Probably be drummers.

    Or accountants.
     
  2. Or back to the theme of the thread, somebody who plays Evah's (and as you know, no Evah's for me).

    She took first place last Sunday at Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest in her fiddle division. And, yes, that's right, Pirastro Synthetics on her fiddle.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Hey that's great! You must be very proud.

    Did you say Evah Pirazzi on the fiddle? Has she tried the Tonica? They're really nice.
     
  4. I've tried the Tonicas, they're really nice and inexpensive. I bought a bunch of them for less than $20 each, just a year ago, can't even get a single bass string for that (although now they seem around 40). On a fractional sized instrument, however, the extra punch of Evah's helps.

    Funny how the same named strings bear no resemblance across instruments. Spiros is not something violin players use at all, although it exists. Probably the most popular steel string on a violin are Helicores, mellow and reliable, not like their bass strings. And Evah Pirazzi's are marketed as the soloist violin string, intense and powerful, sounds like a spiro stark.
     
  5. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Got the Bel Cantos yesterday here in Amsterdam. Lemur is very good at shipping, it was just a matter of days. I got the G and D and so far think they are great strings. I don't notice any volume difference from my spiros and, although they feel alittle tight for a gut user, sound great. I think I'm home with these. They sing but don't whine, feel great under the fingers and are clear as a bell! Wow, steel strings, a new journey.
    Also they match well with the spiros, no more annoying change in sound just a velvety even voice. Will be interesting to hear in the mix with the band....more on that later. I admit, it feels a bit like a relief to be off the guts for now.
     
  6. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Yea It's a nice combo that will sound better later too. The D/G got a bit looser as they wore in....or maybe I just got used to them I don't know. Anyhow that's the same path I took out of gut.
     
  7. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Out of Gut....into the clarity and power of steel. I can't believe how much Im liking them.
     
  8. svenbass

    svenbass

    Dec 12, 2002
    Boston
    +1 - I made the switch about a year ago from Eudoxa's to Evah's and haven't looked back.

    BTW I'm really enjoying your transcription of Elzic's Farewell! You've got me started down a whole new path.
     
  9. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm glad you like the transcription, flaws and all. It goes well with the recording on my space page or on you tube. That will show you what fingerings I'm using etc.
     
  10. Jason,
    you've written it out? Is there a link somewhere? I've listened to it a few times, neat version and I haven't tried it on the bass, although the version I play on the fiddle is noticeably different (don't think it would translate very well so I've never tried). Washington's March, however, I play on the bass and my version is not that different from yours.

    Just as you went off guts, I put on guts for the first time two weeks ago. Not much of a note down in the bottom, but still better than a washtub bass. With guts going flat 1/4 note every few minutes in the sun, there are similarities to a washtub though. Plus, can't bow them either. But soft on your hands and great for endless outdoor jams. Love them for slapping, not that I'm much of a slapper, but when you can't bow it works for solos, maybe not musical but always a crowd pleaser (yep, that's first time I played guts):

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=hk4CzOfMJVs

    I'll leave the guts on my beater bass for rough outdoors for now. At home and most other places, I'll stick with steel, currently two Belcantos and Superflex/Spiro at the bottom.
     
  11. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Washington's March on the bass, love to hear it. I imagine we are the only two who 1) know the tune and 2) play it on a bass! Do you have any recordings?
     
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Sounds like 'Grandfather's Clock' to me, as done by Tom Gray in the 60's............
     
  13. Isn't grandfather's clock the traditional bassist's equivalent of a pianist's Rachmaninoff concerto?

    Very appropriate for a solo with gut strings: Grandfather clocks actually are one of the other few users of use gut strings. There they are called longcase natural gut lines and they are a bit thinner than our G strings. Funny things you learn when you play that tune in public.....

    Washington's March is one of the tunes for DDAD fiddle tuning. Certainly not as well known as Bonaparte's Retreat, but once you're in DDAD tuning, definitely a tune that gets played at jams. That's why I worked it up on the bass (without retuning, but being up on the G string I still have the D drone). But even a relatively easy and slower tune like Washington's March no longer works with gut strings on the bass (a least Lenzers are only good for boom, whack).

    Gut strings are a lot of fun to play as long as you don't need to play anything melodic. No blisters, no pain. By far the hand-friendliest strings.

    For playing melodies, top two Belcantos just work better than anything else for me. Obviously much tighter than gut strings, but still gentler than most steel strings. Flexocors, for example, are getting too tight for me.
     
  14. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Sorry, I thought you were referring to the YouTube clip. :)
     
  15. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ok, tried them out on the gig, all acoustic Irish session. I thought they were great and I loved the new sustain on the upper strings. I feel like they cut well and blend nicely. I sometimes feel like they are tight at home practicing, gut are definitely much easier on the hands. But that's a matter of strength and I'm sure I'll adjust within a few weeks.
     
  16. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ok, I'm a died in the wool gut user and I have to say...what the hell was I doing struggling with those guts for so long? The Bel Cantos sing, cut, mix and drive. I'm playing things I could only dream of before. True, it's a little harder to fast pizz and I miss some of that "duh" in the upper registers on the G string but everything, and I mean everything else just sounds great. I'm really enjoying the even power of these strings. Oddly enough, the whole bass seems to be happy. It took a little while to get comfortable with the newfound sustain. But once you get used to using that sustain to it's best effect, it's a lot of fun. I'm very pleased.
     
  17. You'll be back...
     
  18. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ominous. Cultish?

    I'm convinced that gut are better for certain applications. I think I really need a good Cleveland strung with guts in addition to my current bass. Truth is, I don't want to go back. I mean, as much as I adore the sound and easy feel, I just don't want it anymore. Playing steels has made me feel like I'm finally on an even keel with all the other players etc. It was kind of like my own personal crusade, to force gut sound into my ensembles etc. I made it work, and some couldn't understand why anyone would ever play anything but gut. That is, until I switched. Now they say "wow, I expected it to be really metallic sounding but its actually very woody". It's amazing how differently I play. I now choose to play across the board where I never would have before. I find notes that just "pop" when before I would choose a safer, longer string note that is actually weaker sounding in the mix. Eb comes to mind. I'm playing a few tunes in Eb minor, Bb minor as well. Now I play them across the bass instead of vertically. I'm excited by the sounds I can get and am surprised by my certainty with the intonation. What was so different before I wonder? Was it the two materials? The sound difference? I don't know but now I feel like I'm playing way more of the instrument. Plus, I can find percussive, woody sounding notes without reverting to slap, which is something I would like to use more sparingly (call it a calling-card-crutch that I use too much). I feel I gain so much by forgoing the whispery frequencies and softer feel of guts and exploring the rather infinite possibilities of the steels.
     
  19. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    OK, so I guess I have to 'fess up to a few things.

    I too have swapped out my gut strings for Belcantos in the interest of getting my arco together.

    I really like them!

    They are very even and sound good anywhere on the board. They seem little bit bland in the lowest register but I don't think many people have noticed. The arco sound however is beautiful and much easier for me to control. I truly suck with the bow but at least now I can make some noise that sounds like improvement. I am happily surprised with the playability overall and I do think my bass responds really well to the tension of this set.

    I also wish I had a second bass I could keep strung with gut, but at this point the siren song of the arco is calling (I've been hanging' 'round with a cello player who is good...real good!!) I honestly don't think my bass sounds noticeably different unless I really over emphasize the "steelness" of the strings in my playing. If I play in a "gut like" manner, I don't think anyone accept another "gut" bass player could even tell the difference. They definitely feel much different to me, but as I said, they don't sound very different.

    -J

    BTW- I also traded a speaker cab. for a new "old" bow. It's nothing fancy but it sure makes practicing more enjoyable.
     
  20. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I have come to the exact same conclusion. I think I needed to spend the time with guts to learn what I needed to learn about sound and playing from them though. It changed my right hand forever.

    Now on steels I have a larger palate. I also have a different sense of the bass and how it fits in. My lines have a gut edit on them too so I don't play so much junk that gut strings render impossible.

    I never strayed much from spirocore on the E/A. Really like them there. I have mixed feelings about spirocore D strings but the arco friendly G strings like the Belcanto, the Flexocor, even the Superflex are far more appealing to me than the spiro G.

    The Belcanto really are a great bridge from gut to steel on the D and G.

    I have contemplated going back to them recently as the flexocor really get indestinct pretty quickly as they wear in. The Belcantos generally stay clear and clean. I think I might just be a Thomastic poster boy. I never stay with Pirastro strings very long.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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