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from original flatchromes to obligato...

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by redriot, Mar 1, 2005.


  1. redriot

    redriot

    Mar 1, 2005
    germany
    right now i got original flatchromes on my bass, but i really dislike them... they`re way to hard to play and sound very metallic on my bass.... the good thing about them is that they bow quite nice, except the g-string..
    i'm thinking about changing them next month....
    my current favourite would be obligato because i am looking for a good hybrid string (i play mostly arco and some jazzpizz)
    so would you recommend the obligatos to me?
    have you got any other recommandations for me?
    what about that rolling thing with the obligatos? will it drive me nuts?
    where can i get obligatos for a decent price?

    if you could answear some of those questions and excuse my bad english i would be very happy :)

    best greetings
    philipp
     
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    There will be very noticeable differences in both sound and feel between the two strings.

    Orig. FCs are a very traditional orchestra string. They are stiff and are intended for mostly arco. The pizz tone not suited for jazz.

    The Obligato is a totally different animal. It will feel MUCH softer under the fingers. The strings are also bigger in diameter. The Obligato typically produces a decently strong fundamental and has plenty of sustain for pizz.

    They bow pretty well, with you being accustomed to the arco tone of the flatchromes, you may disappointed.

    You may also consider the flat chromesteel. It is a bright string with plenty of sustain for jazz pizz, but bows better than the Obligato. They are similarly soft under the fingers.

    You should note that going from the original FCs to Obligatos will be a pretty significant change for your bass. You may end up needing a setup tweak in order to make the Obligato work. They need much more room to move than do traditional orchestra strings. It may also take a little time for the bass to acclimate to the tension change. Obligatos are fairly low tension.

    If you are interested in trying Obligatos without spending a ton, there is a lightly used set for sale in our classifieds.

    The best prices I have seen for new strings is at Concord Musical Supply. You can find them using Google. I don't know if they ship outside the U.S., but you can give them a try.
     
  3. redriot

    redriot

    Mar 1, 2005
    germany
    well that's what i feared... i have no money for a bass setup :(
    i was kind of hoping for the obligato to be acceptable for my bass so i need no setup....
    i'm in germany here and nobody here uses adjustable bridges, so setup is very expensive...
    what string height do obligatos need? (mm?) my bass is quite well setup with a well planned fingerboard and quite low action.. perhaps it could work :)

    philipp
     
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I don't know that there is a set string height for Obligatos. It would just depend on the bass and how the neck was set up.

    For what it's worth, I went from Obligato to Flexocor and back to Obligato.

    When I installed the Flexocors, which are similar in tension and stiffness to flatchromes, I was able to lower the bridge about 3-4 mm with no buzzing. When I switched back, I was forced to raise my bridge right back up.

    It is less of an issue once they stretch out, But in the first few weeks, they really move.
     
  5. redriot

    redriot

    Mar 1, 2005
    germany
    so if they have stretched to their maximum it's ok?
    sounds good to me :)
    but i got another question here... how similar too gut are obligatos? because at first i thought of eudoxas for my bass... but the price kept me away from those strings...
    somehow i think the bass could use some lower tension tension strings, and my fingers of course as well :)
    it already has veeery wide nut and bridge slots, but i don't know why... the man i bought my bass from didn't know it either....
    but i saw something very interesting lately, the principal bassist from the frankfurt symphony orchestra has eudoxa strings and his strings are so very very close to the fingerboard that it's really unbelievable... but he can play a healthy forte pizz without any buzzing....

    philipp
     
  6. redriot

    redriot

    Mar 1, 2005
    germany
    why do doublebasses have to be so complicated?
    it would be really crappy to loose 120$ on a string that doesn't work on my bass...
    i'd really appreciate it if the stringmakers would be so kind to tell what the string exactly does, what tension it has and something more specific... i'm a student and just don't have the money to try a new set of strings every week to find the perfect string for me... it's just some very expensive guessing...

    philipp
     
  7. Philipp

    That's why alot of people just use what their teacher recommends/uses. Infact many use their teacher's old strings. You can't get much cheaper than that. From personal experience, if you play alot of jazz pizz, and your not into the thumpy sound of pirastro original strings, Obligatos are a good choice. They are especially suited to less expensive instruments where they seem to add tone and volume. They are a louder string in general. Pirastro say they are the closest thing to Eudoxas in a synthetic string. Most people do not like the Obligato E string however due to the rolling problem. A Thomastik Superflexible E (light blue at the ball end) is a good match with the Obligato's. With a well shaped fingerboard, you should be able to use normal orchestral string height like 7-10mm with these strings. If you need to raise the string height, shims can be put under the bridge feet which shouldn't be that expensive. If orchestral playing is your priority, and you plan to be a proffessional orchestra player some day, I would say stick with the Original Flatchromes and replace the E string with a Pirastro Permanent or D'addario helicore. This will help balance out the set and make pizz on the E string a little more responsive. This is the setup that the pro's use and the sound that people want when auditioning players.

    Jon
     
  8. redriot

    redriot

    Mar 1, 2005
    germany
    well i wrote pirastro today and they want to send me a set of obligato strings for free, so i can try them :D
    at first i thought something like that they are a major company and wouldn't do something like that but now they are quite friendly and nice as it seems :)
    so all i have to do now is waiting for some strings to arrive.... very nice company indeed....

    philipp
     
  9. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I have to throw my 2 cents in here and recommend Superflexibles and Dominants. Both respond very well to the bow and have a nice dark pizz sound.

    right now i have on my Shen Willow a Spirochore Stark E (Thanks Chris !) and the balance of the set are Thomastik Dominants. That stark E cannot be beat !
     
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I know that you are inclined to use the stick now and again. Does the stark shine in that arena?
     
  11. redriot

    redriot

    Mar 1, 2005
    germany
    well actually i wrote 2 mails...
    one with some questions about the obligatos a day earlier
    the other one with mentioning your name...
    the answear from pirastro was for my first mail but it reached me after i send the mail mentioning you send me :)
    but it was kind of funny cause pirastro barely wrote a whole sentence... they just said thank your for your interest in our strings give us adress so we can send you test set :)

    philipp
     
  12. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Oh yeah I bow the hell out of it. It does sound very good especially now since it has mellowed a bit.. I just got a new bow so I've been doing almost nothing but !
     
  13. arose11

    arose11

    Sep 30, 2002
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Hey Mr. Smith,
    I have been doing my research on strings, and have decided to try out some Obligatos. Here's where I ask for your help, If I e-mail Pirastro, and tell him you also sent me, maybe they would send me a pair on trial? Your help would be much appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Andrew R.
     
  14. arose11

    arose11

    Sep 30, 2002
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Right, I know you're not a spokesperson, thanks anyways. In addition to doing classical and straight-ahead jazz, I also do some more modern jazz, and a cello, bass, paino, classical/jazz/everything band. Would I get a good sustain from these Obligatos? I was wondering about the Corelli Tungsten strings, but I was thinking it maybe a little too bright for my bass. Any input would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Andrew Rose
     
  15. Dudes!
    This is my advice:
    Get a sound you can live with and feel you really like. Spend 6 months to a year with the setup and see if you are happy then. We have to (re)learn to play the instrument each time we change our strings. You can get the sound you want with a large number of different strings. But we have to learn how to draw that sound out. That takes time with the strings.
    There are a huge number of mics and pickups and all that. Something out there will work for you.
    Get the instrument feeling right. All that other gear will tailor to your needs. If you want lower tension strings, look into the specs through the manufacturers and check out strings with lower tension. And vice versa.
    Find stores/ manufacturers with good return or trial policy and try some strings. Send them back if they are not what you are looking for. I have found that the string makers encourage us to try their strings and welcome our feedback and questions.
     
  16. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Pirastro's customer service is unbelievable. I am very brand loyal to them for this reason. I wish more companies stood behind their products and treated their customers the way that they did.

    I would have advised you to avoid Obligatos since they really don't work for everyone and I could tell that you were worried about spending the money and taking a chance, but now you get to try before you buy, so what could be better?

    I think that you're going to love them right off. I wouldn't necessarily assume that you would have to change your set up for them, but you'll know when you put them on. Keep your excitement down until they've been on there for 2 months. If you still love them, then you've probably found your strings. If not, I suspect that you'll try different Pirastro's after that treatment. Draw a lot of pencil graphite into the grooves of both the nut and the bridge, it will help the strings settle in gently.

    Good luck with them.

    Troy