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Good string combination for a mostly 5ths tuned orchestral bass player?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Blazemourne, Oct 31, 2006.


  1. Blazemourne

    Blazemourne

    Nov 6, 2004
    Spirocore Low C, Spirocore G, Orchestral Dominant D, and Solo Dominant A.
     
  2. kontrabass

    kontrabass

    Sep 29, 2004
    Are you asking or telling?
     
  3. Since his sentence ends with a question mark, I guess he's asking.
     
  4. Blazemourne

    Blazemourne

    Nov 6, 2004
    Asking. And I meant mostly orchestral player. I always play in 5ths.
     
  5. kontrabass

    kontrabass

    Sep 29, 2004
    Blaze,
    Is this the string set-up that you're using? I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about the combination. It's one of the combinations that I am considering, along with Jake's suggestion of Flat Chromes, or some some mixture of Flexocores.

    Alex
     
  6. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    Alex....Bro, I am telling you 92 Flexocors don't hold a candle to the buttery sound and feel of Original FlatChromes. After hearing Ken rave about the Stark Flex set, I requested them on my new bass. I thought they were too bright, hard to play...they just felt wierd. I had a set of Original FlatChrome solos when I was in school, they are probably the best overall strings I've ever played, even better than Original Flexocors which I've used in Orch tuning for a long time. Here's what they'd cost from Lemur:

    A- $36.32
    D- $39.69
    G(F#)- $47.19
    C(B)- $71.73
    Total- $194.93

    I wish Pirastro would give me free strings for doing this.
     
  7. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    How about for jazz ? Can anyone recommend good strings for 5th tuning which are good for bowing, but also have a fat old school tone for pizz ?
     
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.

    I tried on the exact same Bass (my Gilkes) Obligatos, Flex 92 orch, Flex 92 stark, Flex92/Perm A&E and Orig Flat Chromes. The Obligatos were not the best for heavy orchestra but I liked the tone. The G of the Orig FC was scratchy in comparison to the buttery Flex G. The lower FC strings were sweet and full which I agree there but the G bothered me on that bass. Maybe it depends on the bass itself which string works best?

    The Starks work good as many of the basses I have used them on have a 'tank' top. Strong and with no sinkage and sounds better with a heavier string. Maybe someday I will give the Orig FC a try again. Since Pirastro discontinued the Ext.E/C Starks, I bought out my distributors remaining stock of 10 pcs. I can always mix them with reg Flex 92s for Basses needing a lighter string or anything else for that matter so it may be sometime b4 I buy something else.
     
  9. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    Well, I don't know of any strings that are truly good for twangy jazz pizz AND bowing. There are several compromise strings out there. After trashing the Stark Flex's in my last post, I guess I should add that they've been redeemed as my pizz strings on my plywood bass. I don't really like twangy pizz strings on that bass especially through an amp. Depending on your axe, the heavy Flexocors may have the fat, old school thump you're looking for.
     
  10. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    Hey Ken, I was working on post #9 when you posted number #8, sorry for any confusion.
    I bet the speaker cables from my stereo would sound good on your Gilkes! About the OFC's I remember really liking the solo A string on my set and I've heard my bass teacher, Jeff Bradetich, play that Paganini Moses Fantasy a few times all on that top A and thought it sounded great. On my Original Flexes I've been working on Bach and other solo stuff (as well as other things) and I really like the sounds you can get out of that G string. I have thought about trying out the Stark G just to see what it's like with the Originals although I am happy with the purple G. I'm just glad to have the strings that I like. It really helps me to play the instrument more. I will probably stick with the Original Flexocors until I need solo strings again. I would like to try the new Thomastik, but I don't know if I can throw down $200 on something I haven't tried on my bass.
     
  11. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    My bass has a really light top, and it hates high tension - makes it sound contrived and looses the bottom end.

    I am not sure what you mean by "jazzy twang", but I would mostly describe the sound I am after as "thump". Think Larry Grenadier.

    Thanks !
     
  12. Masters2010

    Masters2010

    Jul 30, 2006
    Chepachet, RI
    Just a quick question, what are the advantages of tuning in 5ths and why switch?
     
  13. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    I am not sure what Larry Grenadier uses. I love his playing. If I had to guess I would say he uses old Spirocores on his (I think) German bass. By twangy jazz pizz strings, I am talking about a really bright sustaining Mwah sound kind of like modern Ron Carter (Don't get me wrong I would still LOVE Ron if he pulled the frets out of a Kramer BG and only played THAT).
     
  14. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
  15. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    Larry uses Velvet Garbos. They don't make them for 5th tuning, and I don't think they bow very well. I am looking for that sort of sound, but in 5th, and easy to bow (easy as in responsive and nice sounding).

    On a side note, I absolutely hate the sustaining Mwah sound lol, that's the only thing in Ron's playing that bothers me. I want sustain, but I want a clean, percussive attack, and a slow decay after. Not a smooth attack and slow blossoming of the note...
     
  16. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    Ooops... though the Velvet site doesn't list them, Lemur seems to carry a 5ths tuning set of Garbos.

    Anyone know how they bow ?
     
  17. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    Not great would be a somewhat educated guess, my friend. Man, a guy who worked on my bass showed me a set of Garbos. They're brass colored and the round wound (Half round?) looked pretty frightening. Larry sure sounds amazing on them though.
    As far as finding a growly long sustaining pizz string that is also good for bowing, I don't think they make make any. A good arco string has to have a lot of dampening material in it at the expense of the jazz pizz qualities.
    On the bright side, I have heard of both professional orchestral guys and professional jazz players using TI Dominants. You might want ask Chris Fitzgerald about those. I have heard Obligatos are okay for bowing just not classical bowing.
     
  18. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    I mean to do classical bowing. I will probably be studying with Joel Quarrington in january, but I am first and foremost a jazz musician, so I am not willing to compromise my jazz sound too much. Sustain is not the most important feature though. The attack is. Seems like the Velvets made for bowing might fit the bill.

    Anyway, thanks for your help, and sorry for hijacking the thread !!! I'm just really excited to switch to 5ths over the holiday season.
     
  19. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    Congratulations about studying with Joel Quarrington. I hope you still have some time to tell us about your experiences with him.
     
  20. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    Yeah, I know his students here are shedding like crazy. I'll see if I can keep up. Plus, it's not even sure he'll take me anyway ! I have only gotten in touch with him recently.
     

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