Good E string for Drop-D tuning (3/4 bass)

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by lewalcindor, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. lewalcindor


    Jan 12, 2015
    Hello all,

    I play a 60/40 mix of arco/pizz, and am looking for a good E string that can be used for Drop-D tuning. My bass is a 3/4 plywood Thoma from the 60s, and it has a pretty deep and boomy sound (or maybe it's just the arco-friendly strings that I have on it now - Flex 92 med on ADG, Helicore med on E).

    I appreciate any suggestions in advance.
  2. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I play in drop D on a regular basis and Use a Spirocore Stark E. At full tension, that string is a beast, but a whole step down and it is really nice.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
    iiipopes and lewalcindor like this.
  3. What about a Flexocore Stark E? Similar tension to Spiro Stark E, I think, better for bowing and should fit your Flexocore G to A a bit better than the Spiro.
    lewalcindor likes this.
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I've dropped a Spiro Mittel E and that worked pretty well, too if the Stark is too much.
    lewalcindor likes this.
  5. lewalcindor


    Jan 12, 2015
    Thanks all for the suggestions! I'm actually split between the Flexocors and Spiros. I've only started playing again after a few years of break, and I will be playing more jazz than classical .... for now. The Flexocors I have now are a bit muddy on the upper registers for the D-A strings for pizzicato, but I'm not sure if it's a product of the Flexocors themselves or my plywood bass.

    The Helicore drop-D is definitely not working for pizzicato (it's just barely adequate for arco). Overall, I'm looking for better definition throughout all strings up to a bit above thumb position. Of all the strings that I have, I think only the Flexocor G is fine for now (even if this particular one is a bit whiny and nasally). The D-A strings are not working as well, but are still adequate. But the drop-D is definitely not good.

    What do you all think - should I go for Spirocores for the D-A-DropD strings? I do plan to play classical a bit (just getting my bow back from a rehair), and I recall the the Spirocores were a bit slippery under the bow, but workable. Other strings that I'm considering are Flatchromes and Permanents.
  6. For more jazz than classical take Spiros.
    Either Spiro Medium E (or Stark E for an extra power D) downtuned with Spiro Weich A, D & G (bows better)
    or Spiro Stark E downtuned with Spiro Medium A, D & G (if your bass needs higher tension strings).
    If you are not used to playing Spiros, give them a few weeks to several months for playing in with the bow. Harder to bow than Flexocore or Helicore, but you can get used to after a while (which can be much longer than you might expect).
    lewalcindor likes this.
  7. lewalcindor


    Jan 12, 2015
    Thanks for the advice! Looking to get Spiros for at least the lower two strings. I've agreed to purchase used Permanent G-D and a Spiro mittel A string already; all I need is a Spiro E. Let's see how it goes.
  8. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I play two Permanents on top and two Spiros on the bottom. They blend together really well. The low Spirocores bow pretty well and are very common for bottom strings regardless of bass or tuning, and the best way to describe the Permanents for me has been that they are a more bow-friendly Spirocore. Given what you've had to say so far, I think you should be happy with what you are getting. If you do go with a new Spirocore E, it is going to take a little time to mellow though.
    lewalcindor likes this.
  9. lewalcindor


    Jan 12, 2015
    Thanks, Mike! I hope I'm happy with the combo too. #crossfingers

Share This Page