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Hybrid strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by raybrownfan, Mar 14, 2001.

  1. raybrownfan


    Mar 14, 2001
    I just wanna know what hybrid strings are. Can somebody tell me?

  2. Strings good for both arco and pizz?
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The only string I know of that is actually called "hybrid" is the D'Addario Helicore.

    They offer three versions, one for jazz/pizz, one for classical/arco and a "hybrid".

    The Helicores naturally have very long sustain, so for the hybrid and orchestral sets, they add some sort of damping material which reduces sustain. The hybrid just has less damping than the orchestral so the sustain is less than the jazz set but more than the orchestral set.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    The replies above are both correct: on this board as well as in other bass related forums "hybrid string" is used for a string which is good for both arco (concert bass) and pizz (jazz bass). It could be also that the term as been introduced by D'Addario in their Helicore line of strings for double bass. My point here is that it is one thing to coin a term and another to apply that concept to string making. The Helicore "Hybrid" is actually a poor hybrid string which does not fulfill its programme because it is rather tough under the bow. Corelli tungsten, Thomastik Superflexible and Obligato are considered to be good hybrid strings.
  5. i dont know much about strings but i got a question about hybrids:
    since they are "good for both pizz AND arco" does that mean they are just as good for pizz as a "only good for pizz string" AND just as good for arco as an "only good for arco string",
    or does it mean it can do both, but both are compromised.

    my analogy would be a hybrid bike. a hybrid bike claims to be good for mountain biking and for roadbiking, but on the road they are slow becuse of the shock absorbers and hefty frame, and on the mountian they are bad becuses of the smaller tires and lighter frame.

  6. If such a string would exists, everyone would play it!
    You can't have a string with excellent performance on two styles with opposite needs:
    arco: warm tone, short sustain, scratchless
    pizz: clear and/or bright tone, clear articulation, long sustain
    So, a string that is good at both is not ideal at both...
    There's always a compromise.
    Arco strings usually contain dampening stuff to reduce harshness and the metallic edge, and this reduces the sustain and the articulation is less clear.
    Of course, if you like a gut-like pizz tone, as I do, orchestral strings may be a good choice, even for a pizz player!
    It's just that the usual idea of a pizz string is one with bright tone and long sustain.
    The Kolstein Varicor is a good hybrid string, along with the Corellis, Thomastik Super-Flexible and Pirastro Obligatos. Also Pirastro Permanents. (a bright arco string)
  7. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    ... and that a long sustain string will tend to "fight" your bow.
  8. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I've used both the Helicore Hybrid and Obligato's. The Hybrid's were disappointing on my bass. The Obligato's have been far more satisfying. The rub is that what works well on my bass, may or may not work on another.
  9. from what i am hearing on TB it seems like the obligatos are for me. i play in an orchestra and i do clasical solo work. but i also play in a jazz band. i dont want to compromise "bow-ablility", i had a set of pizz strings before and for fast string crossing passages in my solos and in the orchestra it was bad because the bow wouldnt grip the string, and i would often get an octave harmonic on the open e string.
    as for tone, i would like a warm clean bowed sound, and for pizz i would like sort of a old school warm thump type sound.

    so... it seems like (from a previos thread) that sound wise and "bow-abilty"-wise the obligatos fit me well. HOWEVER everyone that was playing obligatos loved them at first but it seemed like EVERYONE changed their mind after they had them on for a little while. people who atfirst said they were great, later said that after 2-3 monthes they were seperating on the bridge, and the tone just went strait down the crapper. almost 75% of the people that loved them in the begginging wouldnt recomend them at the end of the post.

    there is a thread titled Obligato breakage? it seems like every one there thinks that obligatos only last about 8-10 months

    can anyone prove or disprove this?

    if this is true about the obligatos then is there another string that might fit what i want and last longer?

  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I'm waiting for some feedback on the new Kolstein Heritage strings. Similar construction to Oblis. I think GOODBAIT was going to give them a try, if I remember correctly.
  11. Has anyone tried Velvet Animas?

    Apparently an amazing hybrid string (with an amazing price to match), but I've never seen the real thing.

  12. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    I just had a chance to play Obligatos on a bass that is the same model as mine (midpriced carved chinese) and initially when they were tuned way low I like them, but once tuned to pitch the G and D string felt way to stiff for pizz. I have also played a set of Helicores and never cared for the A and E. For a Hybrid set I might recommend a Helicore G and D and a Obligato A and E. If anyone has tried this combo before I would appreciate the input otherwise I have the Helicores lying around I might buy the Obligatos and throw them on for a while to see what I get.
  13. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    A common complaint about Obligato is the E string. I think I'd be more inclined to do the opposite. That is, Helicore for the E and A and Obligato G and D. For me, the G and D are the Obligato highpoints. You get a 'twang-less' sound in the upper reg that you don't get with metal strings. I'm considering replacing the E with a Helicore Hybrid I have sitting in a drawer. I know that Chris F. has been using Obligatos in conjunction with a Spiro E of late and I think he's been pretty happy with the sound.
  14. A very good steel hybrid string, IMO, is Pirastro's Permanent.
    I just rediscovered them on my modified EUB, because I need a clearer sound. (the new bridge/pickup system has a darker output)
    These strings have good definition, have a clear tone, but still a good fundamental, so the tone is large, strong and full.
    The E is rattling on my fingerboard though, so I use a Chromcor E instead.
    I know a few members here have switched to them on my recommendation and they were happy with the result!
  15. tww001


    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    I just took a set of obligatos off my bass and replaced them with superflexibles. the obligatos are wonderful strings, but i got rid of them because i found them to be too soft under my fingers for pizz, which resulted in a melow tone (refrence to duke unintentional!) without enough attack. Odd (atleast to me) that you found them to be stiff. Their arco response is gorgeous though, they had no scratchiness on my bass whatsoever. I'm giving them to my friend who has been an electric player for years, but recently bought his first upright because of their softness, I figure they'll help him along without too much pain. I love the superflexibles though...they are a little darker and scratchier on my bass, which is what I was looking for.
  16. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    KWD and I are both Christopher hybrid owners and fans but I have to disagree with him on this one. The Helicore Hybrid A and E sounded horrible on my bass, especially the A. The D and G were better but no match for the Obligatos in any regard.

    The Obligato E is not sloppy by any means but does have a slightly slower response than the A and above. It has a nice growl down low without the metalic whine of the helicores. It sounds like a real resonant double bass instead of a fretless electic.
  17. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    I will have to agree that the Obligatos bow nicely and to their credit I have only played on them right after they were installed and tuned up to pitch, but I did find that the D on both basses seemed very stiff to me. But I will have time to play on that one a little and see if it frees up.
  18. Josh McNutt

    Josh McNutt Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    Denton, Texas (UNT)
    I haven't tried them, but my teacher has and he said they were terrible for arco. I think they're roundwound.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    No and no. They are good for arco, and are most certainly not roundwound.
  20. Josh McNutt

    Josh McNutt Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    Denton, Texas (UNT)
    Lemur's description says, "All strings are metal-wound - the precision-finished round wire winding results in a..." That, to me, indicates roundwoundness, but I haven't seen them.

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