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Getting new strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by fcleff, Feb 22, 2006.


  1. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Hey there,

    I am getting new strings soon. I have been doing mostly orchestral playing but am getting into more solo and chamber playing. I also play a little jazz. Right now I use Helicore Hybrid Mediums but would like a little more sound. I know of a lot of players that mix-and-match strings and would be open to some suggestions there, too.

    I play a Karl Herman french bow with black hair and Pop's rosin. The bow is pretty heavy. :help:
     
  2. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    how big is your bass? Have you tried different gauges of the strings you have? There is sort of a balance between not moving the top and choking the thing.
     
  3. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Hey there Alex. I have a 3/4 with violin corners. You've seen it before. I think you have actually played it before, too. I haven't tried different gauges. Jesus used to tell me the different combos that he tried, I just can't remember any.

    Robert Jenkins aka fcleff
     
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    JESUS PLAYS BASS?! And more importantly, he speaks to you about it?:bag:
     
  5. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    What, you thought he was a guitar player? Of course Jesus plays bass and talks to me about it. In fact, the entire Holy Lineage are bassists. This includes the fallen. You can't trust the band to just anyone.
     
  6. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    By the way, Marcus. What is your set-up?
     
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Velvet Animas on a New Standard La Scala Hybrid.
     
  8. mister_k

    mister_k

    Jul 27, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I just switched my strings out from Helicores (pizz) to Obligatos. I know I'm late on the curve, but I figured I'd give them a shot.

    Sorry Marcus, I wanted to get the Animas (and still do) but a busted string on the road bass forced me to move before I could afford the Animas (and I wouldn't put them on my traveling body anyhow.)

    I'm pretty happy, but the oft criticized lifespan may bite me in the end.


    K.
     
  9. Who didn't know Jesus played bass? Fretless is the way to go and why would Jesus bother playing a wind instrument? Plus Jesus recommends Corelli 370s. :)
     
  10. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    So far I have recommendations for Velvet Anima and Corelli 370's. Most of the playing I will be doing is arco and I want a little more volume. Are you predominantly jazz or classical, Marcus. Velvet are sure proud of their strings.
     
  11. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Actually, f, I wouldn't necessarily recommend my setup for you. I'm a jazz bassist, but Animas are not the best choice for someone who plays arco primarily.

    My boy SPECIAL K uses a very capable all around string, the Pirastro Obligato. They sound and feel great, pizz and arco, and they aren't so expensive that you feel bad when you have to replace them when they go dead on you inside of a year (sometimes well inside). The corellis are nice, too, but I haven't played them enough to help you there.

    Might I also suggest the tried 'n true Spirocores? After you play them in, they sound really great in a lot of different playing situations, and you can't kill 'em. Unless you're Ray Parker:smug:

    See what a can of worms this is?
     
  12. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks Marcus. I have heard a lot about Obligatos but the life span worries me. I want something that will last a little longer. I'll look into Spirocores. I haven't always played solo but know that a lot of soloists mix-n-match. Any thoughts on this?

    It is a can of worms, indeed. But I like to go fishin', especially with Jesus. Although, since he moved to Chicago, we haven't been lately.
     
  13. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I have almost no experience with mix-n-match, beyond different gauges of the same string, i.e., Mittel Spiro E string with Weich gauge A, D, and G. That was my setup for awhile. Lots of folks here have mixed 'em up; hopefully they'll pipe up with their thoughts on the matter.

    So, Jesus is still good with fish, plays bass, and lives in Chicago. Who knew?....
     
  14. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I had to take a break and feed the herd. Thanks again, Marcus. Do you or anyone know anything about Tomastiks?

    ZZ Top knew, but they thought that Jesus Just Left Chicago :)
     
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Yeah, there's tons of info here about them, just search on "Thomastik" or "Spirocore" and you'll be able to read volumes about them. They're wonderful, IMHO.
     
  16. mister_k

    mister_k

    Jul 27, 2004
    Los Angeles
    For the record, my primo bass (the one that gets used for the no amp gigs and local sessions) is armed with Spiro orchestras and they are beauts. Once you get the hang of bowing them your bandmates may never let you switch (except for the sax player who insists the only way to play bass is with guts, but watch him turn mean when you tell him what kind of reed or mouthpiece to use...uh, that might not be a widely useful anectdote sorry.)

    K.

    edited to distinguish between "pimo" and "primo"
     
  17. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks. I have heard some good things about these, too. And it will be a cold day in hell when a sax player tells me what strings to use.:bassist:
     
  18. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    well, hear are my recommendations:

    Helicore medium gauge orchestras (Good for your bass and orchestra gigs and chamber stuff) sound good for jazz, my experience is that they don't keep their luster more than 6 months to a year, playing everyday

    My thoughts on the corelli 370's are they are the best string for arco if you are playing solos and trying to pull off cello parts in a small chamber group, but are not going to cut it in orchestra. Lynn Seaton swears by them for jazz, and I use them for jazz and solo stuff, I like them a lot. Rabbath was involved in the production of these strings, they are what he uses.

    If you want more balls, the old flexocores (92's) are good for that. They may kill your bass, I am not experienced with them at all.

    Mixing it up has never appealled to me, but it does to some.

    I always feel there is a big difference tonally from one string to another, and like the Corelli's because they are very even string to string.

    I don't ever care for the Helicore G strings much. My bass felt a little stifled with the mediums, and I mihgt try the light hybrids if I go back. My last Hybrid experience was before they changed to a new design back in '97 or so. They were ok, but not very long lasting at that time.

    I have trouble bowing a fresh set of Thomastik strings, and have gone back and forth with a set of weichs and another of orchestras. You aren't going to play any cello suites at pitch on the orchestras I don't think, but you may be able to with the weichs, and Renaud Garcia-Fons is a constant inspiration making those work for him. (On probably one of the best modern basses out there)

    Between the lines summary: I think you want light (if they make them) flex 92's (expensive) or helicore mediums or lights (Cheaper and pretty easy to play)

    Best wishes to you and your fam. Jesus is on the boards some too, uses his name.
     
  19. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I LOVE animas for pizz, but if you're playing mostly arco the animas are an awful choice, IMHO. They can sound good with the bow but it's way more work than it has to be. I'd suggest Obligatos if you want to play both arco and pizz. In my limited experience they afre the best I've found at going both ways. My teacher, Aaron Clay, can make spirocores sound great with the bow, but I think he'd be able to make weedwhacker line sound great
     
  20. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks Alex. Best to you and your fam, too. :)

    When you say the flex 92's might kill my bass, do you mean they may keep the top from resonating well?