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Help profile me for strings!

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by lermgalieu, Jun 25, 2002.


  1. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Ok - so I have been playing DB for roughly 4 years and have used three sets of strings. I like certain aspects of two of the sets, and am pondering a gut hybrid string. However, they are obviously expensive and am looking for your views of my experience and your guess as to what I would like.

    I have a fairly cheap, newer Glaesel laminated bass. I play jazz, rock, and misc (and very occasionally bluegrass) tunes in a fairly loud setting - B3, 2 guitars, drums. Very infrequently I do a jazz trio thing with bass, drums, and piano.

    I want something I can bow down the road, but I don't play much if any arco currently.

    My string experiences:

    1) Heliocores - they seemed ok, but a bit raspy and not anough growl for me. However, this was before my bass was properly set up so I could be wrong.

    2) Obligatos - I like the definition and the general tone of these, but I wanted more of a jazzy growl on the strings, and a better amplified tone. Also, in thumb position these seem to sound a little plunky, tho it could be my technique ;-)

    3) Labella tapewounds - I think I like these best so far, but unamplified they aren't very loud OR growly. While you get those aspects back when amplified, I would prefer something a bit meatier and more defined unamplified.

    Over the weekend, I took the LaBellas off and put the Obligatos back on just to see (except with the Heliocore G since the Obligato fell apart). So far, other than getting my thumb torn up on that Heliocore G, they are 'ok' but I would probably prefer to return to the LaBellas until I find/can afford a set of gut hybrids like the Velvets (Garbo?) or the Pisrastro (Oliv?).

    Any feedback on my experiences would be appreciated, even in jest. Also, would it make sense to combine the LaBella and the Obligato set in any combo, or are they too different?
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You keep mentioning the word "Growl". If you want Growl, try the kings of Growl - Thomastic Spirocores. The "orchestra" gauge will chew your fingers to the bone, but will give you all the growl you could ever want. They are also rumored to be among the worst strings ever made for bowing because the same thing that makes them growl seems to make them scratchy as hell when played arco. But since I don't wield the "Stick-O'-Pain", it's not an issue for me.
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Pirastro Olivs are real gut (with an outer flat chromesteel wrap), not hybrid or synthetic.
    And don't expect growl from them...
    If you want sustain and growl, the choice is more limited:

    Spirocores, which are also available in three gauges, the softest being the so-called Weichs.
    They're also available in solo-tuning, which can be used at orchestra pitch in extra-thin gauge.

    Pirastro Jazzers, which are about the same tension and feel as the Spirocore Weichs.

    Thomastik Superflexible (or so-called rope-cores) which are slightly darker than Spirocores, about the same tension as the Weich and better at the bow.

    All these strings are steel.

    Among gut strings, the Pirastro Eudoxas are those that would best fit the bill for you, IMHO.
    They're thinner, clearer sounding and have more sustain than Olivs, which are typically an orchestra string.
    BTW, Eudoxas are wound with flat silver.
     
  4. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Wow - Just Strings quotes $342 for Euduxas! Maybe I will check out one of your steel suggestions ;-) Thanks so much for the detailed info.
     
  5. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Quinn Violins is much cheaper. I paid $237.50 for a D & G Oliv and E & A Eudoxa.

    Monte
     
  6. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I vote for Spirocore Orchestras. But I think you may be expecting too much from your bass...