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Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Reiska, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    ehhh... I just had to do this, sorry. Just put formerly played in 4/4 Spiro weichs under my trusty Pirastro guts today. It`s a fantastic mismatch of qualities that blend like no other, both in terms of tone and feel. It`s yin yang s**t.

    I had my second attemp to live with plain gut ADG / low tension E string set high going and there`s a lot to love in them. Nice bouncy feel, super sexy old school doghouse pizz and great colourful and organic arco tone. I`ve fine tuned my setup and physical approach, having the endpin of my big carved bass set high to get access to plucking at, or even below the fingerboard, with the ability to lay down a heavy bowarm close to the bridge. Lots of sound coming out but then, enter the health problems, pain in the muscles of right side of my upper back and neck. It got to the point where I had to take days off the bass weekly. It got chronic and any exercise or stretching didn`t solve it. Last week I decided that enough of this BS, I`ll have to change my approach and setup.

    First I ditched the dogmas of anchoring my right hand low and playing low tension strings set high. Lowered the endpin and tried some " steels " for a change, Evah weichs on top of reqular E beeing that, medium height. No, then Evah solos on top of weich E, a full turn higher. No no no, I hear guts and so I have to play guts. There are plenty of steel string players that I love and whose sound I admire, but I just don`t have that in me anymore at all. Replaced the GD with my Pirastro guts and the E with a Evah solo. Ahh, there it is, with this Haden-ish twist when comparing to the big ass plain A / Evah slap E I had been playing. Nice balanced feel and got compliments on the tone in the rehearsals.

    Then today I noticed that Selim had raised my comment on Spiro-thread about mixing guts and Spiros, which I shortly tried last winter. Decided to give it another shot. First impression on the Spiro weichs, L-O-U-D. First impression on the guts was that they started this shining thing that hadn`t been there earlier today. First impression on the feel was that I only have to take my right hand out of my pocket and the strings start to vibrate. Very easy to go to extremes on the dynamics, very easy to keep time, overall half the work than with plain A / E.P slap E. They don`t crap out like all Evahs do when plucked higher on the fingerboard, or they don`t if I don`t want them to, I love that dirty E string growl and rattle too. Arco starts easily and is loud to begin with, I don`t have to overdo anything on my right hand. Slap is possible. Definently more work on the left hand and the steel stifness reflects to the guts too, but it`s nothing I couldn`t live with, and it is a positive quality in my case. " High medium " height with G at 8,5mm`s, D at -10mm`s, A and E at +10mm`s.

    Sonically they are are night and day, but in some magical way they complement each other. Spiro brightness, pitch definition and spot-on intonation does magic to the tone and playability of guts, my lively and complex sounding high twist Pirastros gets a extra gear and increase of sustain from Spiros on the bottom. They kinda woke up. My guts are allready very powerful, punchy and loud, living in their own bass-y sonical end of spectrum. Short decay, whereas Spiros are bright and extremely ballsy, with grazy amount of ring and sustain. This together makes the high end low, the low end high and together a no amp loud cannon bass. On the other hand, when plucked softly they are as lyrical as it gets together. The Haden thing.

    I`m definently in love again and will stick with it this time. The greatest challenge for me is and will be to learn to thump on the Spiros. Another side of my musical life is about playing more or less freely improvised experimental music and another side is playing lots of The Truth, pizz, arco and slap in a folk band, songs, very arranged and organized stuff. Thumpier the better.

    Can`t wait to get to the shed and tomorrows rehearsals. It`s time for guts on top of Spiros lovefest folks! This thread had to exist!!!

    Reiska :)
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  2. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California

    So, which Spiros are you using???


    Edit: I see, Weich... 4/4, 3/4? How is the tension match? Did you have any thoughts about Solos?
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
    Reiska likes this.
  3. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    4/4 weichs on a 42" -ish scale bass, thanks for asking. Tension match is all over the place, but in some weird way they complement each other in feel. Balanced string heights play a role here, and the stiff and tense guts, these are heavy gauge low twist rate strings. The G is a reqular Chorda and D is ex-nylon wrapped Pizzicato that had the windings ripped off.
    dhergert likes this.
  4. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Well, I was going to say this is going to be hard to match given the scale and the non-stock variety of gut strings, but hey, I'm using an Alcoa, so that's pretty hard to match, too...

    I'm interested in this in my everlasting search for volume, but I'm not sure when -- I'm sort of waiting for my current strings to reach their end of life. I had been thinking a whole lot about Red Diamond Guts, but currently I'm a little concerned about their round wound copper E and A. And l do like lower tension...

    So howabout Spiro 4/4 Solos E and A under stock Red Diamond D and G?

    I suspect in the long run, I'll try full sets of Spiro 4/4 Solos and also of Red Diamond Guts, first, then I'll start trying to co-mingle them. Not sure which I'll try first.
  5. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Ahh, the solos. I`ve tried the aforementioned Evahs and 4/4 Spiros under plain guts and the tension match is great with both. But now I find myself liking the tension mismatch of Sweichs / guts as it delivers more of everything, with significant ease of right hand pizz. I barely have to pluck the E and A and they deliver serious punch. Play them hard at the end of the fingerboard and they become brutally loud. The E is easy-ish to control between growl and clean note with the left hand, even when it`s hard work comparing to the solos. I love the fact that I don`t have to overdo stuff in the right hand, or be afraid of the E crapping out when hitting hard.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
    Trombonist and dhergert like this.
  6. threetone


    Sep 27, 2011
    Love it.
    I read the thread title and immediately ran to my string drawer and put my GD guts on top of my very old spiro weichs!
    The guts are Chorda C.H., they are old and well abused. I cleaned them up, clipped and sanded the hairs, put some linseed oil on them, and man, i’m looking forward to playing these again!
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
    ericsmith, Sam Dingle and Reiska like this.
  7. erniepro

    erniepro Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Honolulu HI
    One of my basses , Kolstein Panormo, is sounding and feeling good- pizz and arco- with Spiro solo under Gamut medium light Pistoy D and same gauge (or maybe it is a medium, I cannot recall exactly) Lyon G.
    With lower string height, my old really good sounding Juzek is very fine indeed with Spiro weich 3/4 under a wrapped Sonres gut D and presently a med. light Pistoy G ( soon to be changed ,to compare ,to Olive G, which I love on this bass, and just hope it does not unravel or break, which is often a problem with that string here in Hawaii )

    So the spiro under gut is working well for me, for all kind\s of styles and playing.
    Reiska likes this.
  8. erniepro

    erniepro Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Honolulu HI
    Oh. and I do think that weich or solo feels good when transitioning, A to D, particularly with the bow
    Reiska likes this.
  9. ericsmith


    Dec 22, 2008
    4/4 Spiro weichs on top of Pirastro CH guts here as well!
    Good set!
    Reiska and threetone like this.
  10. Spiros on top of gut?
    Not the other way? Gut on top of Spiros?
    ericsmith and Sam Dingle like this.
  11. RamaTemmink

    RamaTemmink Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Efrano G + D
    Spiro Weich A and a Spiro Mittel E

  12. ericsmith


    Dec 22, 2008
    I want to be different!!!!
    Ok... It's gut D & G.
    DoubleMIDI and Reiska like this.
  13. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Whew, good. For a minute I thought we'd have to start another ARE SO MUCH FUN!!! thread.

    Reiska likes this.
  14. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    That sounds good to me. Balanced, but the gut qualities take over when you move to D & G, which is where I really don't like the metal tone. No gigs this week, so I'm trying something similar with Jazzers for E and A. I'll report back once they've settled in.
  15. As you get used to them, you’ll modify your right hand technique. With gut you’ll want to stroke through the string rather than pluck it as with steel.

    Think of it as a caress.
  16. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Spiro Mittle E A with Damian Dlugolecki D G!
    Earl and Reiska like this.
  17. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    How’s the tension jump from A to D? Or do you just get used to it?
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  18. Sean Riddle

    Sean Riddle Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Ventura, California
    I can’t speak from experience, but my teacher uses this exact setup on his main bass and it truly is a glorious sound!
    Reiska, james condino and Sam Dingle like this.
  19. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Stop it! All of you!
  20. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    It seems OP Reiska has hit onto something...
    Reiska likes this.

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