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i got some thomastik light good for bowing?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by pacojastorius, May 21, 2005.


  1. pacojastorius

    pacojastorius Guest

    May 21, 2005
    usa
    i want to know whether or not thomastik light tension strings are any good for bowing or should i buy some medium trension strings before the bow?
    P.S. they are the normal steel pizz strings with red binding.

    cheers!
     
  2. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The weichs aren't bad for bowing, IMO...I've never used the orchestra gauge Spirocores. They're a little scratchy and unforgiving, but once you get used to them...and they start to age...they're fine. If you're playing mostly arco, I would try something else. Mostly pizz with a little arco, you'll be fine. I like the Kolstein strings for a real mix of pizz and arco.

    Will
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The best string for Bowing is the Pirastro regular Flexocor. I even use them for Jazz. They have a true Bass sound and not a Buzz Saw type tone, if you call that tone at all.
     
  4. cattaca

    cattaca

    May 24, 2005
    Eugene, OR
    I've got medium Flexocors right now. My luthier is trying to convince me to go to Obligatos. Have you had any experience with those? He's primarily a jazzer, I think, and a fan of the Spirocore sound (sounds buzz-saw-y to me! but they were new strings, barely played) so I'm not sure if I want to follow his advice. I like the Flexocor's sound, but it is a little muddy on the low end and the pizzicato does not have much presence. (My luthier says that Flexocors are THE WORST pizz string bar none. But my guess would be that that would be among the decent strings.) And the upper end tends to get scratchy...

    Catherine
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Well that also depends on the Bass you put them on as well as what you define as good or bad Pizz. If I want growl and don't care as much for 'real' tone then Spiros-red or Obligatos are the choices. I have recently taking a liking to the Obligatos as they have a fuller tone than the Sprios and can be Bowed fairly smooth. The only problem with them for me is the heavy and hard Bowing I do in Orchestra. The Flexicors are way better for that. I have the Original Flexicors on my Italian Bass (Martini) and they too sound great as well as did the Original Flat Chromes on both my Italian and English Gilkes for Jazz Pizz. A jazzer looking for growl with the more common Jazz players type Bass should go with the Obligatos for Pizz (mainly) if Pirastro is to be your brand.

    Catherine, I don't know who your Luthier is but his statement is not an absolute. Only some Basses with work with Flexicor for Pizz but when they do, you will see the purity and fatness of the tone that no Buzz-saw String in the world can produce. I did a few Jazz Trio gigs recently and both the Flexicors and Original Flat Chromes sounded great. More like Ray Browns' old Italian Bass he used in the 60s with some of the Oscar Peterson stuff and with Ella. It is the Bass pictured in his Book. As a matter of fact, the Jazz Guitarist I worked with Requested I use the Same Bass on the next Gig as he Loved it's tone. I didn't tell him is was set up for Orchestra playing. I did Mozarts Requim with the same Bass and strings with a 20 piece Chamber Orchestra as well as a Full Symphony Concert without changing the set-up at all.
     
  6. cattaca

    cattaca

    May 24, 2005
    Eugene, OR
    That's good to hear. Someday when I have $140 to burn, I'll try the Obligatos, but till then, I guess I've got a good string for my bass & playing. (I actually like the sound of my pizz, the only downside is I've had trouble cutting through in loud ensembles). Thanks for the input.

    Catherine
     
  7. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    There's a reason every string thread turns into an Obligato thread... they're great for anything you want to do with them.
     
  8. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Except, as Monsieur Smith mentions, "The only problem with them for me is the heavy and hard Bowing I do in Orchestra." I have the same gripe with Obligatos. (That "rolling" thing that many people mention drives me nuts.)

    Other than that, they're perfect.

    Except for the (apparently?) robust pizz attack I use when playing jazz, under which they wilt like Swiss chard in a frying pan.

    Other than that, they are...well, I guess those two gripes render them useless for my purposes. I wish it were not so, because their sound/feel is quite lovely in the more contemplative/less fiery settings. How about some "Stark" Obligatos, Pirastro? Or at least some "mittels?"
     
  9. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    You might want to try the Spirocore 3885.0W set (Red Bottom, Purple Top). My Guess is that you are referring to the S42W Set.

    From what I gather from talking to Thomastik the S42 is for a longer string length and is thus constructed differently than the 3885 set which is for a more standard 3/4 string length. Bassists have been putting S42's on basses for years with little regard to this fact (in part due to Thomastik not educating people about the product!).

    Perhaps one of the Thomastik lurkers can jump in here and say a few words!!!
     
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    If the Thomastic People were a little nicer and listened more to the players, they could do a better job in the USA and UK Orchestra market. If Spiros Bowed as smoothly as Flexicors, there would be some real competition in the Bass sections.

    If I set up a Bass Just for Jazz and some Commercial work with occassional Bowing, Obligatos would be my String. I did Beethovans 5th with them on my Morelli with the Low 'C' extension. They did better than expected but I needed a little extra Bow pressure to compensate.

    When with they make the 'Holy Grail' String... Put me on the back order list..
     
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Just to make sure my comments on the Spiro Reds are accurate, I took an old set that came in with the Morelli last year. They are used so i figured the edge was off a little, hopefully... I tested them on my Italian Bass that currently has Original Flexs/Blues on.

    I did the 'G' first. A little weak but not too bad with the Bow..

    Then I did the 'D' next.. Now my grass was cut a few days ago so the Grasshoppers are resting quietly.... Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... No lawn mower.. Just my Bow testing these Spiros.... Ouch.. Now way..

    I took them both off, no further testing needed.. Not even the Obligatos do that... They at least have a pleasing tone when Bowed.. I thought I was playing a new Chinese plywood Bass for a moment untill I put back the Flex Blues... Whew... I feel much better now.. I still prefer the Reg Flex/purps... but the Blues are a close second..

    I used these Spiros on my Old Italian Bass back in the '70s-80s.. I did mainly Jazz, Pop and commercial type work.. Now I know why I didn't get too many Classical calls in the studio.. Most producers lived in high rise Apartment buildings and didn't have any Grass that neede cutting..lol

    Bottom line.. I would rather Pizz on Flexicore than Bow on Sprios.. One note on the Flexs.. If the 'E' is too mushy for Pizz or Bow on your Bass, then try the New Permanent 'E'. I see many a player using Hellicore 'E' in the mix but it has less definition than the Perm does.. 2 n 2 is ok too.. I used that for awhile as well.
     
  12. pacojastorius

    pacojastorius Guest

    May 21, 2005
    usa
    so......wanted to know,
    whether or not the lighter gauge of Thomastiks would not sound good with a bow? I have some D'Addario Helicore 'heavy' but took them off becuase they were too loud in my apartment when i practise in the evenings! i heard somewhere that maybe the lighter strings didnt sound good with a bow.
    cheers
     
  13. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I'm not so sure that any spirocores will sound good with a bow.

    And Johono, amen! I need an Obligato set with a little bit more tension, that would be ideal for me. I play the hell out of my instrument and I get a little too much "clatter" in my sound with the Obligatos. It's made me be a more dynamic player, though, since I am most pleased with their sound when playing lightly.
     
  14. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.