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Fifths Tuning!

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by piggywiddle, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. piggywiddle

    piggywiddle Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    One of my basses has been tuned in fifths for a while but I never got around to playing it much. I've had a set of Spirocore Red Mitchell strings on the C-G-D for years and a Belcanto Solo A.

    These are my findings:

    1. LOUD
    2. Incredibly powerful
    3. Lacks warmth for arco and a bit scratchy
    5. C and G and quite slow to respond under the bow.

    I really like darker/warmer sounding strings like Belcanto - has anyone had any luck with a C and G that is a bit quicker to speak and a bit less growly/aggressive sounding? I will probably end up putting a Belcanto Orchestral D on soon.
    BarfanyShart likes this.
  2. A. Munk

    A. Munk Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    san francisco bay area
    I had a very used set of obligatos 5 th’s tuning on bass for a bit.
    They were definitely warm/dark.
    I felt they were a lot easier to bow than the spiro mitels orchestra they replaced.
    I keep thinking I’ll try a new set someday.
  3. piggywiddle

    piggywiddle Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    years ago I was playing in fifths with a professional chamber ensemble and Pirastro contacted me and a few other fifths players to test out these Obligato prototype strings. I remember the first thing I told them was that the Low C string sucked and sadly they carried through that same design into the commercial version. Funnily enough I still have that prototype low C in my string drawer!
  4. A friend of mine who's a 5ths player uses a Spiro C and Dominants for the G, D, A (ala Joel Quarrington.) He wasn't too fond of the full Spiro 5ths set for bowing, but as always any Spiro low string kicks absolute butt.
    piggywiddle likes this.
  5. piggywiddle

    piggywiddle Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    those are pretty aggressive under the bow, too. I find dominants to produce a very harsh sound.
  6. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Dumb question but wondering if it’s just for arco, you could try like a Flexocore stark A tuned down to G, flex medium d and flex solo a. Though the G-D transition may be too weird
    piggywiddle likes this.
  7. There used to be a set of Velvet's Compas 180 Suit for fifths tuning - I don't know if they are still making it. Believe it or not, I've tuned a good old Spiro Mitt E down to C and it worked alright, a little loose. Perhaps a stark E would substitute well. For me the G (III) string was always the difficult one.
    piggywiddle likes this.
  8. Alberto Wang

    Alberto Wang

    Apr 5, 2018
    I love Spirocore 3885 orchestra weich low C. Much more warmer and darker, and more arco-friendly than the RM mittel C. It blends well with the Belcanto solo #F, orch D, solo A.
    piggywiddle and Sam Dingle like this.
  9. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    I've got the Red Mitchell mittels on my EUB, and I love them, but i want to try the weichs because 1) the C is slow on the bow, and 2) i want the A to sound more like a solo string. My only hesitancy is that the piezo on my EUB is responding magically better than with any other set of strings, and i can actually switch seamlessly between arco and pizz with it sounding good and no knob twiddling, and I'm worried losing that with the lighter strings.

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