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Innovations Honeys as an all-rounder? Arco,pizz and slap!

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by RockinBones, Jul 26, 2012.


  1. Up to now I've been playing a mix of rockabilly and bluegrass, predominantly slapped, and a little pizz for jazz and have used Innovations Rockabilly and Golden Slap strings as a good fit for the styles.

    I've recently decided to try and address all the music theory, intonation, arco, etc that I missed by jumping straight into rockabilly bands by working through music grades, which are predominantly arco. However, I'll still be playing in a rockabilly band doing a bit of slap and two bluegrass bands doing mainly pizz.

    I'm trying to find a good (affordable) string set which work best for pizz, okay for arco and can still be slapped. The Innovations Honeys suggest they're a jazz/orchestral string, and are lower tension than their equivalents so might be okay for slap.

    Anyone got any views on whether the Honeys would do the job, or whether there's another relatively low-price string choice out there that would better solve my predicament?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Hey Bones,

    I've never used the Honey's- I'm curious to hear what those familiar with them have to say on this subject.

    The word on the street is that Evah's, perhaps the weich set, may be what you are looking for- Honey's notwithstanding of course. I've yet to try the Evah's myself, but many report them as being a great "all arounder".

    I tried quite a few strings to get the true "all arounder" and finally ended up with Gamut guts- copper wound E and plain Pistoys for the rest. They are expensive, yes, but you really have to consider the longevity they will offer. Well cared for guts last a crazy long time, making them pretty inexpensive in the long run.

    Standing by for input from others!

    Best of luck in your search!

    Joe
     
  3. Thanks for the reply! From the other string threads I'd been reading, the Evah's do seem to fit the bill. I guess I was leaning toward the Innovations as I've tried other strings of theirs (and being crazy cheap in the UK doesnt hurt either!), but I'm open to all advice that'll get me the right string for the job.

    I'd love to go with gut but I must confess I'm a bit concerned about the care involved, and would probably be limited to the cheap end of guts (Lezner, I guess). I heard they were a bit tougher to bow on as well? Could be wrong, but I don't want to make life even harder for myself!
     
  4. I use Honeys, having just switched back from Sprio Weichs; they're great for pizz, with a good gut-ish sound and a nice attack to the note (they get better with age; they can sound a tad plasticky at first) and also very good for arco, responding under the bow well. However, I'm not convinced that they're 'loose' enough for slap, particularly if you're coming from Rockabillies and Golden Slaps; they're about the same tension as Spiro Weichs but also thicker, so although they're a low-ish tension string (compared to, say Spiro Mittels or Helicore Hybrid Mediums) they've some stiffness to them that I think you'd find too much for slapping.

    The same goes for EP Weichs; great for arco & pizz, but IMHO tension-wise too high for slapping compared to what you've been used to, ie, not impossible, but it'll be much more work (and a lot tougher on your RH finger tips).

    Guts could be a suitable option; good for pizz & slapping and arco is not that difficult, provided you keep the bowing area on the plain strings relatively dry of oil so that a rosin layer can form for the strings to grab easily. No probs with the wire-wound E & A, but a little trickier with plain E & A as they tend to be much thicker & take a lot of work & control to get that much mass resonating properly. Get a set of cheap Lezners & give it a go; they're really not that bad (just be prepared for a longer wait for them to stabilise tuning-wise!)
     
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Surprisingly enough, the Innovation Super Silvers and Silver Slaps are very bowable strings! I sponsor a rockabilly/burlesque band called Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz and Brandy, their bass player, does some arco work in the band. I was frankly quite surprised at the tone she got - impressed too. I wouldn't have even thought of trying.
     
  6. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Maybe for someone who already has good arco chops... my experience with golden slaps was less than satisfying with the bow. Plain/wound gut bowed quite a bit better but the Evah mediums(regular, not weich) are the best "all 'rounder" I've found so far. They are pretty tense for a lot of slapping but it was easier for me to adjust to that than to struggle with the arco. They bow beautifully and pizz is powerful and organic sounding. My bass is loud with these strings!
    -YMMV

    I have not tried the Innovation orchestra strings but I am also curious how they compare to the Pirastro synthetics.
    -Jeff
     
  7. Yeah, I tried bowing my Golden Slaps (having very little arco experience)...it did not sound good!

    Sounds like guts may be the way then. Or maybe the EP mediums. Might buy a single Honey string just to test out the tension.

    Thanks so much for all the advice and views, clearly the best solution is to buy a new bass - one for slap and one for the rest!
     
  8. I have EP weichs on my old German flatback, and they are a little beastly to slap on for too long. Great normal pizz feel and tone, okay under the bow, if a bit sluggish response. My teacher (classical) hates them, but most of what I do is country, blugrass/old time and slapping, so until I get another bass setup for that stuff, the EPs are a good compromise.
     
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Did you guys try putting some rosin directly on the strings?
     
  10. Can give it a go...any particular type of rosin you'd recommend? Again, as I'm new to bow I have some rosin but its probably awful!
     
  11. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Nope! :)

    I'm can't figure out how to do multiple quotes, but here is what I've found:

    Oak rosin- I use the Gaston Brohan "Soft Plus"
    Black Bow hair.

    And Gamut Pistoys for the plain strings- imho they are much easier to bow than any other plain gut.

    I agree that the wound gut bow easily. Arco on plain gut is a challenge, even with the above mentioned changes, but it's not THAT hard- I think that once you get a handle on it, it will really start to grow on you! So many sound colors!

    Bones, early in the thread you mentioned the care required for gut- it's not that bad, honest! It depends on the climate where you live- Washington DC is not the ideal climate btw, and I find the little bit of maintenance to be worth the sound.

    Also, Lezners are great strings- but I really think the Pistoys are worth the initial outlay, especially if you intend to bow!

    Joe
     
  12. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    I did... I also roughed up the area between the fingerboard and the bridge with a little sandpaper. I really wanted this to work because I really like the strings but they were just too inconsistent and frustrating with my limited arco skill.
    The Evahs are much more rewarding under the bow but they are DEFINITELY more work to slap. Since my focus is more on arco and less on slapping, the choice was obvious for me.
    -Jeff
     
  13. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Just asking! ;)

    While it was here I put a new set of strings on Brandy's bass and tweaked the setup some but I couldn't get anything out of the Silver Slaps arco-wise until I rubbed some rosin on the strings.
     
  14. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Jake, I'm sorry if that came off as snarky, it was not my intension.
    Like I said I really wanted them to work for me but I'm just not consistent enough with the bow yet.
    I do think Innovation's nylon wound strings have a cool sound, very deep and thumpy, dare I say "gut like.".
    -Jeff
     
  15. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Me too- that said, I'm the worst person on the planet for cleaning rosin off of stuff after it has collected there! :eek:

    I'll wipe things down before a classical concert- otherwise, "it stays where it lays" so to speak! :smug:

    So, indirectly, yeah! There is usually a pretty good bit of rosin on my strings since they're old and I never bother to clean them...I just never would have thought to put it there by any means other than practicing or playing! :)

    The secret of my success? :D

    Joe
     
  16. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Funny how the smiley face sometimes conveys lightness and sometimes doesn't - the limitations of the keyboard. ;)

    Not offended at all guys and thanks for sharing your experiences with bowing the Silvers. I was amazed that anyone would even try! :D
     
  17. I might have to get out the Goldenslaps and give them another try with arco myself!!
     
  18. They might not sound to bad bowed but they are not particularly easy to control with a bow IMHO. At least not the silvers and I assume the slaps would be as bad or worse.
    I did play a bass once that had some really old strings that were the same type as the Innovation and they weren't too bad, but it took lots of miles to get them that way.


     
  19. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I wasn't meaning to suggest that they were suitable substitutes for Flex '92s, just that you could pull some notes from them with a bow! :D
     
  20. donn

    donn

    Mar 28, 2011
    Seattle
    Wonder if Velvet Blue would be the thing? I've never slapped on them, but I've sure seen it done. They seem to me to work OK for arco, maybe depending on choice of rosin, and of course they're great for regular playing-like-a-normal-bass-player.
     

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