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Helicore Orchestrals on EUB?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by basss, Jul 30, 2005.


  1. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    Anyone try these on their EUB? I'm looking to tame the metallic twang I'm getting now from the Obligatos I have on my Bugbass.
     
  2. I put a set of lights on my Bugbass. No "twang" problem but I'm not sure what that is. If I were doing it again I'd go for a medium gauge, however. I was mostly concerned with the arco sound. For pizz I didn't hear much difference between any different strings, including Spiracores, Corellis, or Helicores.
     
  3. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    That's odd; the Obligatos are mostly nylon, the metal wrap is so thin it will barely excite a magnetic pickup, and I'm wondering how one could get a metallic twang from them.The only thing I can think of that's less metallic than the Obligatos would be gut or (yeeech!) Supernils. :confused:

    Anyway, the Helicore Orchestrals are pretty mellow, but they are a mostly metal string, as opposed to the 95% nylon Pirastro Obligatos.
     
  4. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I guess that wasn't the best description. I'm trying to get rid of exaggerated string noises, hard & cold initial attack, and excessive sustain. I want to go away from a Ron Carter sound to more of a Ray Brown sound.

    I want it to sound as much like an unamplified DB as possible. I know its never really going to get there but I would like to try. I have read that orchestral strings help with this. Several posts here give positive reviews of Pirastro Flexocors but they are significantly more expensive and I'm wondering how much of a difference they would make over the Helicores on an EUB.
     
  5. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    The Helicores have more sustain than the Flexocors.
    If you want the absolute warmest tone with short sustain (thump kind of tone) with steel, get Jargar strings!
    The Helicore set is better balanced than Flexocors for the tension and feel, IMHO.
    But I don't like the Helicore's tone anyway.
    Sound unnatural/artificial to me.
     
  6. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    Thanks Francois I've been reading up on your posts. Especially helpful since you play EUB. I think I'm going to go with the Flexocor mediums - I just don't really want to spend $150. I think the Jargars may be too thumpy and dead sounding. How big is the difference between the Jargars and Flexocors?
     
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    The Jargars are darker and thumpier but may have more character, more individuality than the Flexocors, which maybe somewhat dull at times.
    You'll probably need to try a few sets before you find what you're looking for... :)
     
  8. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    A different opinion...I've been using Helicore Hybrid lights with my BugBass in a blues band and both the sound and feel are just what I wanted...smoother and more even sounding than the Spirocore weichs I'd used before, especially the E string.

    BTW, it might help to check the string height as part of the overall sound component...a bit higher will move from sustain/mwah toward thump/boom. Also, work on right hand attack...use a lot of finger parallel to the string rather than just the tips held perpendicular.
     
  9. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    Fracois

    Your comment about the character of the Jargars is interesting. I'm just afraid that the sustain will be too short - was this your experience with these strings?

    One more question - I've read that the original Flexor D&G matches up well with the 92 stark E&A and is a bit brighter. Just how bright is this set? Will it still be much darker that the Obligatos?

    tornadobass

    Thanks for the suggestion - I am coming from URB so I have a pretty good handle on RH technique. I find that the EUB responds better for me if I don't hit the strings too hard. When I dig in more on the EUB as I would on URB it tends to bring out the EUBness more. Also, I'm pretty happy with the sound for non-jazz type situations - its fat and growly and the harsh transients get covered a lot by other instruments. Its when I'm in a more exposed setting (like soloing in a jazz situation) that the sound bothers me.
     
  10. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I guess you're right. I just ordered a set of Flexocor mediums. I'll post again after I get a chance to try them.
     
  11. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Sounds like you've found the basic idea...I've seen several URB players using their fingertips and getting a thin, bright sound. And yes, too hard of an attack brings out the EUBness. Is your bass older with one pickup or one of the multipickup arrangements?
     
  12. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    Its the older 1 pickup style (K&K bass max I think). I'm actually in the process of swapping that out too (for a Revolution Solo). When I put on an old fishman that I had lying around it helped a lot. The bass max seems to have a huge low end and wierd sounding sucked out mids. When I would try to EQ mids back in they sounded bad. The fat low end worked for latin and pop stuff but for jazz it was a bit over the top.
     
  13. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Mine also has a single BassMax. I think having the right snugness of fit can help the tone.

    I also found that using light rather than medium strings helped cut down the big bottom end, along with rolling off a bit of the low bass around 40 hz.
     
  14. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I've tried light gage strings and while it did help with the bottom, it also made the sound more bass guitar like IMO. I think what I need is some thump - but it has to be a rounded, warm thump rather than a hard cold thump.
     
  15. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Yes, sustain is almost non-existent, at least with the Dolce and Medium gauges. With the Fortes there is more, but then again, this is quite small...
    I don't have much experience with the Obligatos, I hate them.
    With the EUB, I get tons of mwah, a bright nasal tone, yuch!
    In my limited experience, the set you described above is warmer sounding than Obligatos.
    The Original Flexocor G is quite bright though.
    But if you use the supplied rubber tone filter, it's nice.
    My favorite steel G string is still the (regular) Flexocor '92 G.
    Didn't find a better one yet!
    Warm, good definition/articulation, no metallic overtones.
     
  16. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    Francois
    I got the Flexocors on and your comments are right on. The D & G are very nice but the E & A are bright and raspy sounding and the open strings sound bad. The D & G have less nasal mwah than the Obligatios which give them a more DB like sound.

    Can you recomend a warmer E & A string that will match well with the Flexocor D & G (medium 92's)?
     
  17. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I suggest you wait a few days to judge the E & A...
    However, If you still decide to replace them, I suggest Pirastro Chromcors.
    They're stiffer (using a solid steel core), but still very warm, solid fundamental and percussive tone.
     
  18. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    The Revoluition Solo pickup arrived today and I spent a couple hours dialing in the sound. The RS was an improvement over both the fishman and the Bass Max. It had less nasally highs than the fishman. The lows were less exagerated and the midrange was slightly more natural than the BM.

    The Flexo E & A aren't bothering me as much as they were yesterday. I think the fishman really brought out the twang in these strings. For now they'll stay on. Overall the sound is much less midrangey than the Obligatos - less nasal mwah that makes me think of a fretless BG.

    I feel a little silly about this last discovery. The biggest change in sound came when I started playing with the action. Before I had just left it about where my DB was at aprox. 4.5mm in order to feel comfortable. On this bass higher action results in less tone and exaggerated thump. Lowering the action decreased the thump and brought out the notes more. I found a sweet spot at about 3mm which is a good balance of thump and note. I can't believe I didn't try this before.

    It's sounding a lot better now. Thanks for your help guys.