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Jazz strings on a budget

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Tony F, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. I've just started dabbling in the murky world of jazz, and I'm not convinced my strings are helping me. The bass is a Romanian laminate with a fairly bright sound, and I'm hoping to find some strings with a rich dark sound.

    At the moment I'm using the same set of Rotosounds that I've had for years... I do have a set of steel strings that were on the bass when I bought it, and I've just identified them as Super Sensitive Red Labels. So, that's what I've got to work with! I'm using an Underwood pickup, by the way.

    Ideally I'd like to find something soft and light to play, but dark sounding with a long sustain. Well, who wouldn't? Thing is, my budget is ... um... very low. I'm sure the perfect string is out there, but I can't justify $400 for my poor ply bass!

    Any suggestions? I'm quite happy to work with used strings, by the way!


    Tony F
  2. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Yes! Spirocores. Think of nothing else! Read no threads about strings on this forum, EVER. We're giving you a fighting chance. Buy Spirocore Mittels and never come back to this forum...ever!

    Of course you could try Evah Pirazzi's too. Or D'addario hybrids, or maybe some used guts in the classifieds, or....
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  3. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Oh, if only it were true.
  4. We have a well respected (and really ancient) jazz bassist locally, who told me that Spirocores were "the best strings ever made", and I do respect his opinion - and yours too, of course! I've also heard good things about Superflexibles, and wondered how they stacked up?


  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Supers are a great string, too. Darker sounding, kind of scratchier under the bow. Less expensive.
  6. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm with Marc. Spirocore Weichs. Remarkably cost efficient, nice sounding, and last a long time. I typically get a year out of them.

    Every time I think about trying different strings, I remember that I really like the sound of my bass now. Why fix what's not broken?
  7. Spirocores.
  8. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    In the spirit of full disclosure I don't use Weichs myself anymore. I use Mittels with a Stark E now. Killer. Not 'soft and light' though. I did use Weichs a few years ago and they fit your description perfectly.
  9. i use a Spirocore Mittel E, Weich A, and Belcanto D and G. works well on my "steel" bass, BCs are wonderful to bow.

    but Tony you can't go wrong with Spiros for what it sounds like you are looking for.
  10. If you're tight on budget, you may look at the Corelli strings.
    They're also quite easy to play, as they're thin and low tension. (even the TX gauge, which is the thickest, is comparable to other brands medium gauge)
  11. Truthfully I dont think Obligatos are too bad for jazz, I always liked them when I played them, glad I dont have to bow them anymore though.
  12. If you are truly on a budget, the least expensive string is not your best option--the longest lasting string is.

    Spirocores have a very long life. Personally, I like superflexibles better because I the bow responds more quickly on them.

    Good luck in your endeavors!
  13. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    If you took a poll of Jazz players for the last 25 years an overwhelming majority would tell you they used Spirocores.

    Weichs would probably suit you better than Mittel given what you want and your bass.

    If they cost to much wait till some used ones come up here for sale and buy a used set for under $100. They last for years and years and years. There is another thread here where a fellow is asking the same question. He is just finishing a 7th year with his current set.
  14. mattfong


    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm studying with Dave Young right now, and when we (one of the 3rd year bassists and I) asked him what strings he uses, he told us that he's been using Spirocores for the past 43 years.

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