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Flexocor solo strings in orchestral tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by munk18, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. munk18


    Nov 7, 2008
    Originally Posted by Gearhead43 View Post
    I've also heard very good things about the Superflexible Solos and the Flexocore Solos.

    I have a BIG hand carved romanian 3/4. The string length is 43 inches (109cm) and currently I'm using Piastro Permanents on it (that are waaaay overdue). The tension is quite high. I do consider myself more of a classical player, but latley I've been playing more pizzicato in my band and jazz gigs. I just got out of a jazz gig today and plucking never felt so hard. Is this from the tension? Old strings? Well, I have a solo Piastro Flexocor set that I'm thinking of putting on and tuning down to orchestral tuning. Will this make the bass a bit easier to play? However, I'm scared this will sacrifice my tone and lack vibration on arco orchestral/classical playing. I'm pretty sure since the strings are obviously thinner it would make it easier, but I don't want to make it hard to bow or just simply make my bass sound like crap. any suggestions? If not the Flexocors, are there any regular orchestral sets that would accommodate what I want? Any info will be greatly appreciated!
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    A couple of thoughts. As a long time Perms user, when they go, they go and I find myself working way too hard all of the sudden. A used to question all sorts of things, like my soundpost, my technique, my amplification, but a new set really turned the lights back on. Something about those strings and FlatChromeSteels, for some reason, they don't age well.

    As for, what would it be like to put your Flexicore Solos on at Orchestral pitch? There's honestly only one way to find out. I did this with Spirocores for a while and really dug it...until I didn't. If you have a long mensure, it might be a good compromise. Stick them on and see. You can always throw a new set of Perms on. Or try regular Superflexibles. They're similar strings in a way...I think Pirastro was likely targeting the same piece of the market when they put them out.

    I've tried a lot of strings and I really don't believe there is a perfect crossover string. You're going to have to give on either the orchestral end or the pizz end or pick something in the middle that likely means you will have given up a little on both ends.

    But, as we've covered in another thread, even Spirocores (or jazzers) are perfectly bowable. And Flexicore '92s have a good sound and feel for jazz, though there is a drawback.

    Try what you have, if it doesn't work for you, think of how you want to go about replacing your Permanents.

    That's my best pitch.
  3. thewhale


    Feb 28, 2008
    north carolina
    The Berlin bassists regularly play with solo strings tuned to orchestral pitches if I'm not mistaken.
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It absolutely works. There's a long line of people who either went through a phase with it or made it their thing.

    I liked it for a while, but found myself overplaying them after they were on for a while.
  5. munk18


    Nov 7, 2008
    really?! i had no clue about berlin doing that!

    thanks whale and troy. ill throw them on a report back with what i think, but i do think you are right troy. i really love these permanents and cant find something similar, but yeah they are just way too old.

    thanks again!
  6. To me, Helicore Orchestrals are somewhat similar to Permanents, and they're available in three gauges PLUS solo-tuning.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I enjoyed Helicore Orchestrals quite a bit too, but the lower strings just didn't cut it for pizz. I could actually see pairing some heavy Helicores on D and G with Permanents on E and A...if I were still doing such things...
  8. I think the Flex 92's are a good compromise. The bow very nicely, and the pizz sound is good. Not much sustain though.
  9. The E string can be very mushy though, in particular if you already have a dark-sounding bass.
    I found the D to be very thumpy too.
    The G and A are nice though.
    Not a well-balanced set, IMO.
    (a problem with many Pirastro sets)
  10. The E is a bit "Mushier"( iI would say Flabbier) but, as "he-who must not be named" said, the Stark E is the fix for that.
    Is there a well matched set out there? I don't know...:confused:
  11. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I never tried the stark E, but I did have the Flex 92's on with a Permanent E and it "fixed" the set. If I was 80/20 orchestra to jazz, I might do this. I really liked those strings. I didn't hear them well over the bass, but people commented that they had no trouble hearing me and I listened to other people people sit in on my bass in a jazz context and thought it sounded great from the room.

    I kept those strings thinking it may be something to try again some day. Those are my all time favorite feeling strings. Very nice texture and bounce.
  12. munk18


    Nov 7, 2008
    so i put them [solo flexocors] on and to be honest i was expecting a bit more. maybe its my bass, but the sound is really dark. the D and G sound dead. no sustain and hard to bow. also the D sounds metallic, but i think most of these are characteristics of new strings. i left my regular permanent E on it. the A has full sustain. good sound and the tension is a bit lower than i expected. im going to break them in and stretch them out for a while. im also experimenting with my bridge adjusters now since they somewhat slinky. does the action affect the brightness to the sound at all?
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I don't have experience with original Flexicores, but I think you might want to put the E on from that set. The tension of the Permanent E will be wildly mismatches with the solo Flexicores. The suggestion on that had to do with regular gauge Flexicore 92's (crimson silks), which completely different than what you have. I've never heard there was a problem with the original Flexicore E string and absolutely no idea with solo gauge.

    So, with tension that mismatched across the set, it will change the sound and feel of the rest of the set. I'll bet the D and G are dead in part because they can't get to tension over the E.

    And, yeah, you'll likely want to raise the bridge adjusters a bit and try it at different heights until you find the sweet spot (sound not feel).

    But, Flexicores are going to be deadish pizz compared to a new set of Permanents. They are orchestral strings. It depends on what you're going for with your tone.
  14. Another suggestion: Corelli 380TX set.
    This is the nickel set, and is quite affordable.
    Easy to play, good tone for both pizz and arco.
    The tone is somewhat darker than the more popular 370 series, which is wrapped with tungsten and has a clearer tone and thinner diameter. (due to the increased mass of tungsten vs nickel)
  15. munk18


    Nov 7, 2008
    hey guys. thanks for the great advice. right now they are sounding a bit better. TroyK i didnt even think about the E effecting the D and G. i just thought that since they are a solo set the low end will be compromised. i played a program with poulenc and haydn (both masses) last weekend and bowing never seemed harder though. i actually got some aches in my right hand/wrist from having to bow so much, but its all progressive. i just need to get used to it i think. they have only been on for little less than a month. ill get that E on my bass soon and it probably open up alot. even though the permanents were a god send, it seems that the D and G are breaking in now so it might sound even better with the solo E string on.
    Francois, ill check out those corellis out. for the longest time ive been told about tomastik spirocores, but the corellis are great for my price range. well anyway thanks for the help. ill get back to you guys about the E!
  16. sXeMike


    Jan 22, 2007
    Scottsville, Va
    munk, I sent you a pm

    I've been playing the Flexocor Solos with orchestral tuning for a little over a year. For me they're perfect. I have a set of Corelli 370Ms. They're a little brighter and have a little higher tension but they're not for me. I recently started playing around with some arco stuff. The Corellis work better for that but the Flexocors aren't bad.

    I just bought a barely-used set of permanents(minus the E) as backups.(Haven't tried them yet) They're solo string so I'm hoping they'll match up until I can find another set of used flexocors....

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