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helicore orch for pizz?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by shwashwa, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    i like that modern sustaining pizz sound. definately not the gut thing. i know that guys use the orch strings for pizz for a more traditional gut like sound with less sustain than the spirocore type sound. my problem is that i like that spirocore sound for pizz but i want to work on some bottesini stuff, and i think i'll just need to get the orch strings because any hybrid type string i've used just doesnt cut it. i have obligatos on now, and they sound great pizz and ok arco, but they dont amplify well on that particular bass so i cant really use it on a jazz gig. here's my idea: put the helicore orch strings on for the arco purpose, and use a piezo pickup for jazz thump and blend it with a magnetic pick up to add some sustain. ( i have the necessary equipment) the magnetic pickup i have seems to add sustain to any kind of string i use it with, but it wont work with the obligatos because there's not enough metal content. any comments?
  2. Ray Drummond plays on heavy gauge orchestral Helicores.
    You may want to listen to him to get an idea of the tone he gets.

    Did you try Pirastro Permanents and Kolstein Varicors?
    The Helicores would be my last choice.

  3. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    i've tried both on different basses than the one i'm considering the change for now, and didnt particularly care for either. varicore was a good arco string, not great for pizz for my tastes, but i didnt try it with the magnetic pickup like i wrote about. and i have the pirastro permanents on another bass, and love them for pizz, but find them alittle too bright for the sound that i want arco...

  4. Shwashwa -- I used Helicore Orchestras for about eight months and didn't like them for pizz at all (which is why I switched to a different type of string, Pirastro Flat Chromesteels, a few months ago). The reasons I didn't like the Helicore Orchestras for pizz were that they had no sustain at all (and I realize some folks like that), and they had a very vague sound that didn't seeem to have any character, at least on my bass. I don't think of it as that "old time thumpy feel" that people seem to like, I just think of it as the lack of any discernible character in their pizz sound. However, as many here say, YMMV.
  5. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    that's interesting. ray drummond gets a decent sound with them, but not exactly what i'd like for me, but he's not using a magnetic pickup like i would (blended with an underwood). how did you like them for arco?

  6. I tried to give a test drive for the helicore orch. med. for 3 months. I play them with mostly pizz and some arco on my old 7/8 Karl Hofner ply bass. Overall, they did the pizz job just OK. The E and A strings had a little sustain as you want, but it did not had some bottom that I like. The D and G, in my test, was warm enough, but 92' Flexocore is warmer.

    Finally, I took them off and put back my old varicor.

    Bangkok, Thailand
  7. They were better for arco than pizz (makes sense, since they are designed for arco). They required more bow pressure than my current strings. They had a decent sound, I would describe it as "bassy" as opposed to "trebly". However, my teacher's Spirocore strings sounded a lot better arco than my Helicore's, although of course my teacher's arco technique is a zillion times better than mine. The Helicores just didn't have as focused or clear a sound.
  8. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I just wanted to post my experiences with Kolstein Varicores...to me, the best all around string I've tried. Tons better than any of the D'Addario's, with almost as good a pizz sound (in some ways better) than Spirocore. I haven't really ever strung up my bass with a pure good arco string, because I'm so much just a jazzer, but I'm not a good arco player and the Kolsteins don't seem to trip me up that much.

    The Kolstein's are kind of unbalanced...E A D are pretty bowable and dark, but the G string is really bright and screams like a SOB! In fact, I've found that the "ultimate" light pizz setup (for my bass) is Spirocore Weich E A D and that bitching Kolstein G. It's as loud as the rest of the Weich set, sounds even more growly, and blends in tension wise -- just about perfectly -- with the rest of the strings.

  9. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I just got a new (old) bass and it has Helicore Orchestras on them. I didn't care much for the pizz at all although granted I'm really into the gut sound - my other bass is all gut. However I really didn't like the Orchestras for pizz. I'm going to try the new Compas 180s on it.
  10. I've used light guage helicore orchestras on my bass for about five years doing mostly jazz and country gigs and a little orchestral work.They work fine for pizz for me but my bass is super bright with tons of sustain.I used to have spirocore mediums on and I liked the tone acoustically for pizz but the bow sounded kind of harsh.I use an underwood pickup and the spirocores sounded really nasal and I could'nt get any kind of percussive thump happening.The helicores sound a lot less cheesy with my setup and I still get lots of sustain out of them but not quite as much growl.I'd say if your bass has enough sustain the helicores should work fine.

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