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Kolstein Heritage

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by JAS, Jan 31, 2005.


  1. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    I just ordered a set of these Heritage strings. I am excited to try them. They have gotten mostly really good reviews. Kolstein's description of them sounds very interesting. He says they approximate the great feel of gut, but have more of the tonal characteristics of modern steel strings. This sounds to me like what a lot of us are looking for.

    The Eurosonics that I have been using do feel nice and have sounded really good in some situations as far as pizzicato goes. I think that I have kept using them mostly because of their exceptionally nice feel. I have had enough of not being able to bow these - I feel like an incomplete bass player unless I can bow the strings.

    So, I am hoping that these Heritage strings will come through for me. If I don't end up liking these, I think I might just go back to where I started and deal with Spirocores.

    Any new comments on the Heritage strings?
     
  2. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I will receive a set tomorrow from "hem haw" in Chicago; I'm coming from Spirocores which I do not dislike but which are just dead. I'll give the Heritages a week or so (which will include two recording sessions, some gigs, and a master class) and maybe we can compare notes.
    (I detest those "I just put the strings on five minutes ago and they're [awesome] [wretched]!" posts--I like to open the wine, let it breathe, swirl it around, gargle with it, drink it with dinner and get a hangover and THEN talk about it.)
     
  3. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    Sounds good. Hopefully I will get them by the end of the week or maybe early next week. I am certainly guilty of judging plenty of strings after about 5 min. Its hard not too, after trying about 20 sets of strings you get kind of impatient. If a set feels like it might be a nice thickness and feels nice under the fingers - I will usually let them stay on and break in. I am looking forward to comparing notes on these.
     
  4. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    They are on back order at Kolstein's. I should get them by next week. I guess there has been a high demand for them and they are in the prosses of making more strings.
     
  5. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    I got them today and my initial feelings are that they sound very good. They are similar to the obligatos but sound much better. Somewere in between Spirocores and Obligatos sound wise and feel wise. They are loud too.

    Will I give them a chance to break in? No, because I have gotten used to a thicker G string and these feel too thin under my fingers. Sure, I could keep playing them and get used to it but I just really like a thicker string. People who play gut probably won't be into these because they are significantly thinner- especially the G string. Anyone want mine send me a P.M.
     
  6. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I gave the Heritages a full week, and I did end up taking them off the bass.
    But! I blame this more on myself than on the strings. I found them to have a really fantastic, loud, warm-yet-cutting sound, and to feel very solid under the fingers. When listening to someone else play my bass from across the room, they sounded like those old recordings of Paul Chambers or Sam Jones, with that very mid-rangey punch. However, I felt that they simply slowed me down way too much, and others who played my bass commented on how things just wouldn't come out--a fast line, a nuanced turn, a clearly-articulated up-tempo arpeggio. Not that these are the things that form the bulk of my (or anyone's) bass playing, but when these tools aren't in the box it's noticeable.
    I must say, though, that in a way, I feel like I should just learn to use a set of strings if I like the sound, and get over my technical set-backs; I had the same experience with Velvets, which sounded great but which kind of got in the way. When I listen to Red Mitchell on the last couple of tracks of Ornette's "Tomorrow Is The Question," I hear a bassist playing some amazing stuff with strings that are clearly fairly cumbersome to get around on. It had been done for many years, and the ease, volume, and stability of steel strings were accompanied by the loss of a distinct warmness and complexity of tone (as has been discussed on this site at length).
    Also, I did not find the arco situation to be particularly spectacular, although I suspect this has a lot to do with my arco technique (which has been forged in the fires of Spirocores). A slight alteration of technique is necessary, and someone with a clue could definitely make these strings roar in an orchestra section, but it was beyond my capacity.
    These are serious strings worthy of consideration, and I think many players will really dig them. But they require you to meet them halfway, which in today's world of Obligatos and Spirocores and Helicores and Corellis seems a lot to ask. But give them a try--they may make your bass sound completely different, which can be a good thing (the first day after putting steel strings back on I suffered serious withdrawal from the warmth and power of the Heritages; a long rehearsal later, and I was happy again with the Spiros).
     
  7. jlattuada

    jlattuada

    Apr 25, 2001
    Richmond, Va
    Put a set of Heritage strings and am slowly adjusting to them. Had to really raise the bridge up from my old setup of Helicore Hybrids. They really stretch a lot in the first few days and have needed constant retuning. Plan on giving them a month or so. They don't have a clear focused sound that I was used to so the verdict is still out.
     
  8. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I've had these strings since they were first introduced late last year, and I think it's important to note what the overall sentiment is here... These strings do not sound like steel strings, nor do they feel like them. If anyone tried them with those parameters in mind, I guess you were probably disappointed. As far as being able to play fast and make intricate passages come out, these strings *can* do it. I have a fellow bassist friend in town who is head over heels beyond where I am, and he has the Heritage strings on his old 1890 german bass, cranked up, and can move around like crazy. His tone is also significantly brighter than mine. Now, I play very differently from this guy. I am more about big tone and less chops, and these strings are dark and boomy, but very precise, but project like crazy. They play more easily than the Obligatos in my experience. We play in duo quite a bit, and to have two different styles side-by-side with the same strings attests to their versatility in bringing out two very different players' personal approaches.

    If you're not into a bit of a darker tone, then these strings really won't do it for you. I think that players who are into the gut sound *would* like these, because they can get it out of your bass if your personal concept for getting that sound is in your head. They are thinner and do feel different than gut in that respect, but they have a very distinct bounce that I think gut players would dig.

    Just thought I'd offer a positive view on these, since most reviews seem to be of a dissenting nature.