1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

First DB string purchase, need suggestions

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by ripper911, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Alright, I've been a little hard on my new bass. A while back I cracked my bridge, now I broke my d string. I've ordered a new bridge and will be buying strings soon. I will have a luthier fit the bridge.
    With so many choices and the high prices of bass strings I'd like to make the right choice.
    I play mostly Arco, maybe a little pizz here and there, but mostly classical. My bass is a cheap Chinese 4/4 with a thick spruce top. I like what I've been reading about the spirocores, but would they be appropriate in this situation? What gauge should I try, maybe mittels? I don't think I'll have a problem with bowing, I've been bowing instruments for years.
    I have been impressed with the Thomastik Infeld strings on my other instruments and am inclined to use them on the bass as well.
    Any help is appreciated. :)
    If I need to supply more information I will be glad to.
  2. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
  3. I have :bag:
    I did forget about the Arco string test, lol.

    But, with my bass being a 4/4 and the type it is I would like to solicit opinions from the crowd.
    I'm not a professional player, just around the house, but I do want some good strings on this thing.
    I know every bass is different, but I hope I can get some insight as to if I shouldn't be looking at spirocores for this type of bass. Let's call it a composite hybrid... Spruce top (probably laminate/composite) with plywood for the back and ribs. I would try dominants but they don't come in 4/4.:meh:

    Btw, you guys are worse than the Porsche crowd, lol. :D
  4. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    We can't be worse than the Porsche crowd. We're better. For example, instead of a Porsche, I own a 1967 Jaguar E-type convertible in BRG w/ black leather, and I've been to the factory - twice - 1990 & this summer. And yes, I keep it maintained myself with the factory manual and specialized tools.

    Since you've read the stickys, it can be difficult to find strings for a larger bass. Yes, the bass may be a 4/4 in body size, but what is the mensure, or scale length? Is it as long as 110 cm or 43+ inches, which traditionally defines 4/4 mensure? If you're inclined to mostly arco, then the T-I Bels are advertised as fitting up to a 110cm mensure and have a reputation of bowing well, but the afterlength needs to be adjusted properly to make sure they fit. There are also Superflexibles in 4/4 110cm length as well, although they have a tad more tension than the Bels.

    I don't have experience with Pirastro arco strings or any of the other brands, others will post input on these strings, I'm sure.
  5. I might just buy a replacement D for now and see what the luthier recommends.
  6. It would be a good idea to post your scale and afterlength.
    I think any Thomastik 4/4 (probably even the 3/4) and every Pirastro string would fit your bass. Probably also the Corelli and Innovation strings, I had both on my 110cm scale 5-string bass, but then it depends on the afterlength because the outer metal winding stopped around the nut. Eurosonics (=Presto Balance) may work on a 4-string, but are a bit short.

    The most important thing is, that only thomastik makes strings for 4/4 scales that have the same tension on 4/4 scales than the 3/4 strings on 3/4 scales, which means that they are lighter on the same scale. So if you take a Pirastro string (or any other manufacturers string) that is designed for 3/4 you will get a higher tension on a 4/4 scale with the same string. So you might want to look for lower tension strings or Thomastik 4/4 strings. The difference in 3/4 to 4/4 scale is about a half tone or about 10% string tension.

    For arco the Innovation 140B is nice, but probably hard to get at the moment because the manufacturer needs to get a new supplier for the string cores. I played some orchestra stuff with them (they are similar in tension as Spiro Weich 4/4 S42W) and the bow grabs them better than the Spiros (I tried a mix for some time). Pizz sustain is a bit short at the beginning but will open up over time (or with some manual treatment).

    The S42 Spiros have some more tension and are not bad for bowing after some month of playing, so try to get them used (they get very flexible then). But usually Belcantos are a smoother bowing string than the Spiros. It depends a bit on what you play, orchestra, solo or both. But I hope someone else will give you advice on the solo side.
  7. My bass' mensure is 43"
  8. 43" is close to my 110cm (just a cm less).

    I would recommend Innovation 140B for a soft sound, SuperSensitive Supreme (softer) or Pinnacle (brighter) or Spirocore Weich 4/4 (S42W). The SuperSensitive are also lower tension. I like the Supreme except for the high C that is too thin for my taste, but who cares if you don't need it.

    The Corelli M type might be OK too, but a too weak on the lower strings for my taste (more for solo suff than orchestra). Also sounding a bit thin, bright and not very loud.

    The longest lasting strings are the Spirocore, but the string tension and sound is not completely even. Haven't checked the Supreme and Pinnacle sets, only high C, the Innovation 140B is nice but probably hard to get at the moment. They are also all not very expensive (at least in Germany). Maybe the SuperSensitive are the cheapest in the US.

    The Belcantos would have similar tension to Spirocore Weich 4/4 (S42W) on the upper strings but less on the lower ones (they are more targeted to solo work where all strings have similar tension). You might want to use a Spiro Weich 4/4 (S42W set) E with them to get a bit more out of the bottom.