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Jargars & Afro-Cuban Thump?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by garron, Feb 24, 2005.


  1. garron

    garron

    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I've recently gotten a gig in an Afro-Cuban band, & I'm looking for a new string with an old sound.

    I'm currently using Obligatos, but would like to try something with a little darker, thumpier sound, & something that might a little easier on the hands during a long set. I'm not sure I have the time & money to get an adjustment for the nut & bridge, so thin is good. Francois recommended Jargar Dolces which I plan to try very soon, but any other opinions would be helpful.

    Thanks again TB-ers for all of the info.
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Picato Innovations are nice for a dark and thumpy sound. They still retain clarity nicely. Another idea would be Thomastic Dominant solos tuned to orchestral pitch. They would be really easy on the hands, and have a really dark sound.
     
  3. garron

    garron

    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Also, from you gut players out there, do the benefits of the gut sound & feel outweigh the added string cost, & new setup, plus more frequent string replacement.

    I'd love to try some kind of gut or similar synthetic, but I just can't make up my mind.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Listen to old Cachao recordings, or any jazz before the late 60's, and that should answer your questions. A good way to get into gut without having to deal with all of the climate problems is to go with pirastro olives. Pick up a Medeski Martin and Wood album and dig on Chris Wood's woody thump. Yes, its worth it.
     
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    One's man's benefit is another's liability.

    Gut is what it is. There's really no other way to get the sound and feel of gut other than with gut. If that is the sound you want, get out the wallet.

    Many, including myself, prefer the sound and feel of steel.

    I played Dominant solo strings tuned to orchestra pitch for a while. IME, they were very similar to Obligatos, maybe a touch darker, and even the solos were a bit stiffer than Obligatos. Great string. I like them a lot. But don't expect an alarming change from the feel and sound of Obligatos.
     
  6. garron

    garron

    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I've kind of been considering Olivs or Eudoxas, or a combo, but the price is keeping me at a distance. I've never played gut, but I think I'd love the sound. I don't know about how gut feels either. I'm too uncertain to make the leap.
     
  7. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I think the bit about frequent string replacement is a misconception. If you take care of gut strings they can last for years and years.

    I would recommend trying a good quality unwound gut G.
    You can get a Pirastro Chorda G for around $50 from Quinn Violins. If you do, be sure to widen the nut slot and lube it with pencil lead. The string can break if it binds in the nut slot as you try to tune.
    Give it a few weeks to stretch and get to proper tension. Play it for a while. If you like it, you can go from there. If you don't like it, you can probably get half your money back by selling the slightly used string.
     
  8. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    My first response would be gut, wrapped or unwrapped, but I had also used Jargar Dolces for a while and they were excellent. Low tension, pretty soft feel, and very very warm. They are made expressively for arco. And they are very thin, which you want. They don't have tons of volume though, especially at say 5mm on the G, though that's just from my bass (Christopher hybrid 5 string). Give em a try, they're cheap too!
     
  9. garron

    garron

    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I just picked up a new set of Olivs on ebay today. I couldn't turn down the price, so it looks like I'll be making a trip to the luthier after all...

    I'd still love to hear any more input.
     
  10. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Garron, keep in mind that the Oliv's are really thick strings, particularly the E & A.

    If you don't dig them, maybe I can help you recoup some of your losses by getting your D & G strings when you play Wormy Dog again.

    Wish I could have replied to your PM before you bought these. I love the Oliv's (if there is a better G string out there for bowing or jazz pizz both I haven't heard it), but I wouldn't describe them as thumpy, despite being gut.

    Hope they work out for you, and let's get together when you are in town next month.

    Monte
     
  11. garron

    garron

    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'm looking forward to checking them out. I've noticed that a lot of people don't like their E & A, but I got the set for 160.00, & I've been wanting to try gut for a long time. I'll probably put them all on & see what happens.

    Monte, PM me with some contact info, & we'll get together. Come catch the show if you want. That's probably one of my favorite venues to play.
     
  12. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    You Dog!!! I was bidding on those. :)

    Probably good though. I have two unopened sets of strings right now already.
     
  13. garron

    garron

    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC

    I thought I saw your username on the bid history. Glad you weren't paying too much attention to the auction... ;)
     
  14. RichR

    RichR

    Jan 23, 2005
    Please forgive the newbie question, but these string suggestions are NOT for an EUB, is that right? How would putting these recommended strings on an EUB sound? I am trying to find a good sounding set for Latin music on my NS 5 string.
     
  15. That's a steal! The G alone is normally about $75. If they are indeed new, I'd say it was worth the risk if you end up not liking them. I'll agree with Monte, they are not thumpy. Definately more thunk on the front end of the note, but the sustain is still there too. The big drawback for me is the tuning issues. They are more difficult to get in tune because they exhibit strange characteristics unlike steel strings. They also seem to go sharp from heat, and flat from cold, which is the opposite of my experience with steel. Still, I am liking the tone, and I can live with this trade-off. I have had mine on about two months, so I'm a gut noob after 15 years of spiros.

    Let us know how yours work out in a couple weeks after you give them a chance to settle in.
     
  16. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I have Chorda D&G and Olive E&A strings. Mine go sharp from cold and flat from heat. I see that you are in the DC area. I would guess that running the heater in the winter dries out the air and the gut strings, causing them to shrink and go sharp. I once had gut strings go incredibly flat at an outdoor gig when the humidity suddenly skyrocketed (Texas weather).
     
  17. hirort

    hirort

    May 17, 2003
    Yokohama, Japan
    I'm using Olive on my bass now and made a bid, too. After that, I forgot to check the auction again. Cogratulations!

    A little bit of advice (what I do);
    1. After widening the grooves on nut and bridge, it's better to put some lubricant in the grooves, soft pencil marks on nut and small pieces of timpani skin on bridge before you install them.
    2. Be patient because it takes a couple of weeks for them to stretch to settle on your bass.
    3. Loosen all the strings a half or a full note everytime after use (practice, gig, etc).

    Enjoy!
     
  18. garron

    garron

    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Thanks again for all the advice guys. I probably wouldn't have thought about loosening the strings that often, so you might have just saved me from a few headaches.
    I can't wait to try them out, though. I think I'll upgrade to a better tailpiece wire at the same time & see what happens.