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Jargar vs. Flexocor (or other Pirastros) HI's and Low's

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by KSB - Ken Smith, Aug 21, 2005.


  1. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have read several threads on this and made a few of my own. This one is different as it addresses the Consistency of the G and E (or E/C ext or Low B as well) as compared to the A and D.

    I have not had problems with any of the Pirastro strings I tested as far as the D or A goes. I have however had various tonal problems and a few playing problems with 'either' the G or E with some sets on Some Basses. Also, when I re-cut the Bridge top of a Bass taking the strings on and off a few times, I notice the G becomes a bit Scratchy on the Flexocors. Frequent string changes can kill any string but this is the best bowing G in the business from what I have played.

    I used some Jargar Blues back in the mid 70s on one Bass that I remember. It was not for Bowing but rather for Jazz. They sounded 'OK' and so did the Bass. I don't recall trying them on my Italian Bass which was my main instrument so a true test it did not get.

    After hearing about this darker sound they get and the fact that I tried a 5er with only a B Jargar mixed with Flexocors makes me wonder if I need to try them again. In the 70s-80s I did not play to many Orchestra things at all as compared to Jazz, Pop and Commercial Gigs. Now in my '2nd musical life' I play mainly in Orchestras with a few Jazz Gigs on the side for which I use a different Bass than with Orchestra.

    So Francois (and other Jargar lovers), Should I try and replace my Flexocors with Jargars? I would need the Blues or maybe the reds on one of my Basses (now with Stark Flexes). I also have a 5er and Ext. Basses to fit so there is only room for one sound with my Bow.

    This is like the Iron Chef of Strings here. "Who will Reign Supreme" for the Ultimate dark, smooth, consistant Bowing Shring for the Orchestral ContraBass? Flexocor or Jargar ?
     
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Hi Ken.
    The Jargars are stiffer than Flexocors because they're loaded with a dampening material. (some kind of nylon I think)
    For pizz, the bottom strings can be quite muddy and lack definition, but I heard they bow like a dream.
    Players looking for a very old-school type of pizz tone will love them, but forget about sustain and higher harmonics!
    I'd be very curious to read your comments on them, on one of your fine basses! :)
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Well, I hope you don't mind me picking your brain once again about these Strings. Now that I have read so many of your Posts I do believe you have the knowledge about these.

    I tried Olivs on my Martini and did not like the Lower Strings for Pizz. The E was worse than the A and this was on my Martini which has a very deep low end. They also required heavy Bow pressure to play. Are the Jargars more audible that the Olivs on the Bottom? Do the Blues or Reds require heavy Bow pressure?

    Also you mentioned a few years ago that they stopped making the Jargar Bass strings because of a few 'key' workers that left. Now that they are making them again, are the the same as before? better? or worse?.. or maybe different in some way?

    As far as tension, I am playing with Flexicor Starks on my Dodd. Will the Blues be similar or the Reds? Two of my Basses will remain as 4-string regular, 1 with Ext and one is a 5er. I wanna try them on a 4-string regular Basses first. Are they delicate with on and off the Bass like some other brands? Both my 4s need some set-up work and I don't wanna damage a new set of strings. I would rather change them after the work if they will get damaged at all.

    So Francois, what do you suggest?
     
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    In the Oliv range, I've only tried the G and D.
    The D was already too muddy for me, although the G is beautiful.
    Based on my limited Oliv knowledge and on what I read from other players, the Jargars would be more audible. (I've tried all the Jargars; greens, blues and reds)
    Interesting question.
    Since then I was not able to get a G string that sounds okay like before, and I've tried to get them in all gauges.
    I don't know what's the problem, but it seems to me something changed.
    However, for arco playing, this may be irrelevant though.
    I'd say the Reds.
    Yes, they're delicate, and quite long, so the metal wrap is likely to reach the pegs. (at least the E and G)
    Something cool with the Jargars is that you can remove the balls and mount them in a loop fashion.
    You may wish to use that technique in order to prevent the metal part to reach the pegs.

    HTH!
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    So the problem you had with the Jargar G was the Pizz tone was not lively enough? What gauges did you experience this with? Please tell me what the differences are b4 and now with the G thing.

    For me I guess I am looking for something inbetween the Flexocor 92s and the Olivs. Sounds like these may do the trick.

    Reds or Blues might depend on the actual Bass I guess. Only testing can actually tell me which String works best.

    On the length and Loops this sounds good. Once I find the right String for a particular Bass, I will leave them on. The Dodd is a bit longer than the Gilkes from the Tailpiece to the Nut. I will surely measure the Strings carefully b4 installing them.
     
  6. The light bulb just went off. Ken, you are doing all this extensive research and testing because you are preparing to design and manufacture your own line of DB strings. I don't know why it didn't occur to me sooner. Well, good luck! I can't wait to see what you come up with. I know, you can't give away any info just yet, but just know I'm on to you! ;)
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    T-Bal, you ae far too 'creative' in your thinking. I have no intention of making or marketing my own Double Bass Strings. I would be more than happy just to find some that works best for my taste.

    I don't know how many of my DB String posts you have read in the past year or so but this search is purely for personal reasons as a Bass Player.

    If for some reason you have predicted my future, then by all means order me one extra 'Crystal Ball' (or 'light bulb') just like yours......lol
     
  8. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Exactly!
    The tone is dying much too quickly, and too faint.
    I'm confident that with the bow, this would not be a problem though.
    Experienced that with all gauges.
    First bought two blues, then a red, then a green.
    Same thing with all of them!

    What did you mean exactly when you wrote that you are looking for a string in between the 92's Flexocors and the Olivs?
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    What I meant there was that it sounded like your description of the Jagars put them in the middle of those two as far as the tone goes. Just trying to get a feel for what they are like in comparison. If I am incorrect, just tell me. But for me, a darker than 92s but more audible than Olivs would be nice.
     
  10. Sadly, probably all of them :crying:
     
  11. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Yep Ken, the Jargars are darker than '92s but more audible than Olivs.
    Maybe you just found the holy grail of arco strings? :)
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    If I find it, I will let you know. Thanks for your help. I have called a Dist. today and will order some to try for awhile.
     
  13. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Don't underestimate him Tom...
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    T-Bal (Tom), Well, while you were "Sadly" reading all my Posts, I was at the same time having alot of fun doing it.

    "One mans Gold is another mans' Garbage".. Who said that?

    Thx DZ, why don't you come out more often and play with the big boys..Invitation, not a question!
     
  15. dragonetti11

    dragonetti11

    Jun 20, 2002
    I don't understand why Ken should try the reds. Aren't they the lightest guage? I tried the Middles about a year ago and they really lacked volume and power. Ken you said you have starks on? Why then get the dolces? OR are the reds the heavy guage-maybe I am just confused.
     
  16. No offense meant. Only self-deprecating humor, as in I spend way too much time here. Then again, it's fun for me, so what the hay!
     
  17. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    what ? like a heayweight bout ? ?? IF you'd quit taking all my gigs i might be able to get out...LOL...
     
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Tom, I'm pulling your leg.. tug tug...

    Dragon.. Reds are the Fortes..? Starks in German but the Danish call them Forte.. Green are the lights/Dolce.. Please share you complete experience with them.

    DZ, I only took the Gigs you couldn't do. It was you told them to call me... Im just a Sub!!..lol
     
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Ok, I just got them and put them on replacing a very old set of Flexocor Starks with a Reg G. I installed them with the Loop, taking off the flat ball. I also filed a round notch on the inside top of the Tailpiece to the loop doesn't sit on the edge of the Ebony.

    First Impression is they do not feel balanced. The G is dark and smooth and a bit softer sounding that Flexocors. The E is thicker than Starks and harder to Bow but only slightly. D and A are breaking in so I have to wait and see if they are ok or defective. D has slight buzz and A turns a bit when bowing.

    They remind me a bit of Obligatos but better for bowing and darker sounding. I can't tell if this softer tone actually carries better than the more direct sound of the Starks. Time will tell as I will give them a good workout. I will call my Dist and get the gauges to make sure these are correct.
     
  20. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Blues would be easier to bow though.
    The Reds are quite stiff.
    If they are all red silk, the gauges should be okay.
    Never had any gauge problem with Jargars, and I bought several sets over the years.