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Helicore Orchestra Strings -felt washers?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Al Smith, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. ?? Will using the felt washer provided with the string create a different tone and protect the tailpiece?/ OR will not using the felt washer create a different tone and not protect the tailpiece, OR ?? Is there a previous discussion about felt washers? Thanks.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I think you will find that the felt dampens the sound a bit. A little softer. I play mostly jazz, so I usually don't use the washers.
  3. They protect the tailpiece, and I hear no difference in the tone.
    Maybe Adrian put them between the string and bridge's groove, like Pirastro's rubber filters?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't use the filters. I think the washers dampen the tone to a point.
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Hope this isn't too much of a derail, but I'd like to ask the same question of you Obligato users; felt or no felt? I have a new set waiting to go on the bass, but I'm holding off until after a few big jazz fest shows this summer. I don't like to experiment in front of huge crowds :rolleyes: .
  6. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I did a search on "felt washer" yesterday and found this thread as I was getting ready to put a new set of Pirastro Jazzers on my New Standard Cleveland. The only other info I could find on the subject was a post from the 2x bass list in which a fellow claimed he got much better response from his Obligatos by detuning them, removing the washers and tuning back up. Kinda goes against the CW of detensioning Obli's, but interesting...

    Anyway, I decided to keep the washers on the strings but not use them--I strung up with the ball ends right against the taipiece. I had gotten the Jazzers because I heard about their huge, warm, clear, sustaining tone. The E and A sounded pretty good, but a little thumpy--not outstanding sustain. The D and G sounded very twangy and bright, like a big acoustic guitar. Arco tone was bright and harsh. Not the sound I was hoping for, especially since I was changing from a warm, thumpy, gutlike set of Innovation Honeys and wanted a growling jazz sound.

    Then I restrung using the washers at the ball end and the sound really came together. The E and A now have ballsy, growling sustain. The D and G are still a little bright but the guitar-like twanginess is gone and there is a real sense of depth below the notes. Without the felt washers it felt like the strings were on the bass and now it feels like they are a part of the instrument.

    String-to-string balance is improved--it feels like the strings are working together as a matched set--and the ability to hear a strong fundamental along with clear pitch and purring sustain is really enjoyable. The bass originally came with Spiro Mittels which sounded nice and big but I think the slightly lower tension of the Jazzers has opened up the tone of the bass.

    Bottom line is that at least with Jazzers on my bass, the felt washers really make a noticeable improvement in tone and response. I'll post a little update when I get to play with the bow.
  7. I like the idea that the felt washers will protect my tailpiece from "ball end" damage. I could not hear any difference in sound on my bass (98% arco). The felt washers stay.

    Thanks for your answers and comments. - Al