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Helicore pizz strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Kevinlee, Jun 12, 2001.

  1. Kevinlee


    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    I just wanted to post this, I don't think it requires a new thread but I can't seem to figure out how to reply to an existing one. The one I started with my search for the perfect string! I know I am not alone in this quest. Well anyway I settled on helicore medium pizz and I am pretty happy with them. They have the growl I was looking for and are even suitable for a bit of slaping. I was told that they can be a bit bright but my bass has a rather dark tone so they worked out well. The tension is not to bad. And great Sustain! My one problem with them is I am not totaly happy with the G string. It just doesn't seem to have the warmth the other strings have. They are new strings however and I expect it will settle with time. I just want to thank everyone for there input. This is a great site, a wealth of information. I just wish I had the funds to give all the various strings suggested to me a try. Anyone whoever feels the need to part with a set of not to badly used strings for a reasonable offer feel free to contact me.

    Kevin Lee
  2. It may be the G string, or it may be your bass. Can you isolate the problem by trying full sets of other strings, to see if the G always seems different?
    I've used Helicore pizz alot, always found them comparable to the Tomastik Spirocore, but less costly.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Also, is it the entire range of the G string, or just the open note? My bass had a problem with the open G ringing like a giant banjo string, and I made an adjustment (non-permanent) at the nut to compensate. Let me know.


    You recommended those Heliocore pizz to me a while back as a Thomastic alternative. I still love the sound of the Thomastics, but if I have two gigs in one night (totaling more than 4-5 hours), the first two fingers of my RH are shredded pulp by the end of the evening. The spirocores are the only string I've really had on the bass for any length of time....Would the heliocores be easier on the fingers, or is the "pulp" phenomenon I described just part of the business and something I need to suck up and deal with?
  4. Kevinlee


    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    Don, in reply to your question about my G string, it's not the open string ringing or anything of that nature. It is more the over all sound of it compared to the other strings. It just doesn't seem as warm somehow. It doesn't have quite as rich tone characteristics. I am probably being a bit to focused on it cause it doesn't sound bad necessarily, just not quite as good as the rest. I had some La bella nylons on this bass for a while and I really liked the sound of them unamplified. No problem with the G with that set. But they did not seem to be able to get that same tone amplified. Plus I'm using that magnetic pick-up now so they had to go. Sometimes I wish everyone would just turn down! It is so much easier to get good tone at quieter volume.

    Kevin lee
  5. Chris:
    You wuss! When I was your age, we didn't have amplifiers, and my action was higher than a limbo bar, and I played doubles with two or three horns in the group, some times a big band, and you didn't hear me complain!!! GEEZ!!!!Get over it.
    Seriously, I don't think there's any string that would make any difference. There's certainly not enough difference between Spirocore and Helicore. If you're going to run long races, you have to train long. Doubles are tough going.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You forgot to mention the part about having to WALK to and from the gig in the snow while carrying your bass with a ball & chain strapped around your leg. UPHILL both ways, remember? ;)
  7. Chris,

    You forgot to add, and barefoot.

  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts

    I've found the Helicores to be lower tension than Spiros, thus easier on my fingers. They also bow much better if that's a plus for you.

    If you want real easy on the fingers, you should check into gut strings, though you may not like the tone you get from them! Great for Paul Chambers and Charlie Haden type stuff but if you like that growly Ron Carter or Dave Holland tone, forget it.
  9. Here are the tensions, in pounds:

    Spir. Orch Spir. Weich Helicore Med




    Weich is the purple wound Spirocore

    Finally, there's the old trick of putting on Spirocore solo strings but only bringing the pitch to EADG. They're even less tension, but I have no idea what it is. And at some point, there's too much give in the string.

    I'm sure Francois and Olivier will be pissed that I got this on the thread before they did; they are, after all, the original string mavens, assuming you can speak French and still be a maven.
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    My problem so far with the string thing is that I'm pleased as punch with the tone I'm getting with the spirocore orch gauge. I tried a set of weichs once for a brief time, but they were an older set... as soon as I put the first orch gauge string on and played a note, something inside went, "THAT'S IT!!! That's THE SOUND!!!!". I'm not sure how to describe the tone I'm going for, but with the spiros, I'm pretty close to it - I think the rest of it will come from my fingers rather than the string, but as always, I could be wrong. I've sent recordings to both Ed & Don, but I'm not sure I want to issue an open invitation for them to liken my tone to another player's....given their rather warped sense of humor, the answer would probably come up, "FiElDy!!!".


    From the looks of that chart, the spiro orchs look like finger crushing strings. Hmm, do you think I could learn to get something like the same tone with the heliocores? Also, the duo recording with Michael Moore is an example of gorgeous tone. What's he using to get it, besides a 200 year old bass, 45 years of experience, and the hands of a master?
  11. In the past few months, Moore has played several concerts and record dates with Dave Brubeck, using his Kay. I've seen him several times with Bertoncini with the Kay. At his level, it doesn't matter.

    I don't want this to sound the wrong way- But with playing 3 different basses and different strings, after very little time, I adjust to whatever I have. If I restring from Tomastik to Obligato to Helicore, the differences are there, but I quickly become immune. And at lessons with Moore, I play whatever bass he has next to the piano. Mind over matter?

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