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Flexocor vs. Original Flexocor

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bassbaterie, Aug 18, 2004.


  1. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Can anyone expound on the difference (other than price) between Flexos and Original Flexos?

    I've gone from Corelli (ugh! totally sleepy sounding and slow) to Spirocore which I thought was a huge step up in volume and response. Recently I've gotten advice to use Original Flexocor (accept no substitute) and also Flexocor (that the Original version is not really worth the extra bucks). And, that Flexocor is faster to respond than Spirocore. I can really use the faster response for orchestra playing, but I can't afford to sacrifice volume. For jazz, I have the latitude to adjust tone with the amp; EQ is set pretty much flat.

    I read the sticky about Flexocor but this question remains.

    What say you? Originals or the derivatives?
     
  2. The search function on this forum works really well, and these strings have been discussed several times before. Aside from that, the new flexos are more lively I'd say, a bit brighter and clearer. The originals are smoother, a bit darker, and overall IMO a nicer sound. I like the originals best, but if I had to choose between the two and I played any jazz, I'd probably go with the new ones. They seem a little more flexible (hah.) and they probably sound better on an instrument that needs help in the sound production department, like a plywood or something.
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    If you want fast pizz response and a livelier sound, I say forget about the two of them.
    They're basically orchestral strings, which means they're loaded with dampening stuff that reduces the metallic brightness, but also decreases sustain.
    However if you're speaking arco, I don't know, if they speak faster than Spiros.
    My experience with these strings made me conclude:

    Original Flex E & A = thick, dark tone, with little sustain, but more powerful than Flexocor '92 E & A, which are thinner and clearer sounding. The E is even often considered DOA.

    Original Flex D & G = brighter, livelier than Flexocor '92 D & G, which I feel stiffer and much darker.

    If you want a brighter Flexocor setup, you could try:
    Originals G & D, '92s A & E.
    (however the E may sound weak)

    A darker setup would be:
    '92s G & D, Originals A & E.

    A brighter orchestral Pirastro string would be the Permanents.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. I forgot to mention this before; I don't think either flexocore is a great string on an inexpensive bass. I think the place for flexocores is on older, more mature basses that will be used mostly for orchestra.
     
  5. dragonetti11

    dragonetti11

    Jun 20, 2002
    The Original D and A are great for orchestral work, very powerful. I have not tried the Original E. My '92 E is kind of weak compared to the D and A Originals. I am wondering if a '92 Stark E would give a sound more like the Original A and D. What do you think? The G on the two sets do differ. Francois, will the Original G settle down much? I really like the Original G because of the power it gets. The '92 is warmer but lacks the punch. If the Original G would just settle down a bit it would be great.

    BTW-does anyone know how to get this crazy over-write deal off??
     
  6. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Definitely.
    The Original E is very thick and muddy, but the thick '92 E is clearer, yet warm and powerful.
    Not really.
    The only recommendation I can give you is tu use the rubber ring filter to smooth it down.
     
  7. dragonetti11

    dragonetti11

    Jun 20, 2002
    Does the G string seem to be bright on most basses?
     
  8. I am using Originals currently on my orchestral bass. These are dark strings IMO except for the G which can be kind of harsh sounding. I like them a lot better than the' '92s which I don't care for at all. The Originals are not an easy string to play on unless your good with the bow control since each string has its own personality in terms of response but they are "that sound" your looking for for an orchestra bass. I would recomend Helicore for cheaper or less responsive basses. They are also easier on the hands and cheaper.

    Jon
     
  9. PS

    The G is loud too. I use the tone filter ring and it helps the G match the other strings. Some of the guys in LA use a different G string like a Helicore or something else, as well as a differnt E string. I like the E string myself. The G is also higher tension than the rest of the strings. This is similar to the setup on other Violin family instruments but seems weird if you're used to Helicore or Spirocore.

    Jon
     
  10. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Thanks folks for the numerous responses and I apologize for not doing a search first. Based on the descriptions I will try the '92 version. The bass is around 100 years old and used mainly for orchestra. Ha! On my "first" round of playing DB (before I quit in favor of EB for a number of years) I was using Spirocore solo strings at orchestra pitch for 6 or 8 years. Whatever the static was in my 20-year-old head, it resonated with that sound. Lord have mercy.
     
  11. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    After installing the '92 Flexo on the D string as a test I am unconvinced...much darker, much lower tension, but not a whole lot of improvement in the response. Maybe 10% better, but not sure if it will justify the switch and investment in a drawer full o' strings.

    Just wondering...if one takes one's bass into a bass shop, will any let you try out strings before making a purchase? I don't mean opening up a brand new set for you, I mean checking out a trial set they keep around.

    :meh:
     
  12. dragonetti11

    dragonetti11

    Jun 20, 2002
    I know Henry Boehm in Wisconsin will do that. I not sure about anybody in texas.
     
  13. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    You could try Flexo D and G, with Spiro E and A. I believe that may be the Edgar Meyer trick. My teacher has run this set-up for years with success, but he's got a very exceptional instrument. He's always played orch and jazz with it, but no longer since he picked up an old Prescott.

    Good luck. String searching is a drag.
     
  14. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Also tried the Flexocor on the 'E' and it was very dead, flabby and slow. The 'D' developed into a satiny feel with easier bowing but it just sacrifices so much volume. I'm thinking this bass has too short a string length (38 1/4") to respond well with the more flexible strings. Or else it will need a different setup/sound post placement. Does that affect what strings you can use?

    Playing on the bass with mixed Flexocor and Spirocore was really uncomfortable with the difference in tension across the strings, but maybe it just takes getting used to.

    For now I will just deal with the stiffness of the Spirocores. It is a REALLY bright sound, maybe too much, but at least it has total definition. Bears more investigation...
     
  15. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    I know this is old, but after many, many years I'm experimenting with strings. When you speak of the 92's as above, which gauge are you referring to, light, med. or heavy? Thanks
     
  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I do not agree with Francois's assessment of the Flex 92's.

    If played on a regular DB with a bow in an Orchestra as these Strings are intended for, then on most Basses and for most players the medium orchestra gauge 92s are just fine. If the E feels soft on your Bass which MOST basses in the world have problems with any E, then use the Stark/heavy gauge E. There are other E choices out there as well but for tonal Balance stay close to the 92s set-wise for a good sound match. The Stark Ext C/E has been discontinued. I bought about 10 extras that were the last ones from a Dist. for personal use for my stock. The next best for the E or Ext E/C would be the Original FlatChrome in my opinion.

    The Orig. brand Flex is very tight and less colorful tone-wise to my ear and it chokes the sound on some basses. The 92s have a darker sweeter sound to my ear. I play mainly on older Italian and English Basses but have had just about everything one can imagine.

    No matter what String I try, I keep coming back to the 92s. Some Basses I use the regular E with or without an Ext and some I use the Stark E. The complete set in Stark works well too for a heavier sound but it might choke some Tops but not as much as the Orig Flexs do.
     
  17. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    The main reason I'm asking is because I have originals on now and they sound great but are a bear to play and the ext. C is deadish. I put a med. gauge G, D & A on to see what they sound like and they make a bright nasty sound I don't think anyone wants to hear. However, I liked the feel of a lighter gauge under both hands, so I'm thinking the heavy gauge might be worth a try. BUT, you say the ext. has been discontinued. I've never tried the 92 med ext so that might be worth a try. My bass is best characterized as tight and bright.
     
  18. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Unless otherwise specified, it's medium gauge.

    Best regards,
    François
     
  19. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I don't have any problem with that, Ken.
    Primo, I'm playing pizz only.
    Secundo, I'm not playing the quality of instrument you do.
    Since a decade, I'm playing on EUBs only.

    I'm really not qualified to judge the arco qualities of strings.

    Best regards,
    François
     
  20. jlehmberg

    jlehmberg

    Jan 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I play with originals (g,d, and a) and am thinking about switching to the regular flex's. Based on past experience, I'm guessing that I'd be sacrificing some volume and focus and maybe a bit of punchiness and clarity in return for an easier response and a more dulce sound. Anybody have any thoughts before I plunk down my money?