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Looking for a High Tension String

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by paulunger, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    What are your recommendations on the highest tension strings out there. I am looking for a bowable string (I consider Spirocores unbowable). I have seen the sticky regarding the string tensions and gauges of various strings, but it is incomplete and I would like to hear what you all have experienced.
    I am particularly interested in the differences in tension between the Stark Flexocors, Original Flexocors, Original Flat Chromes, Heavy Helicores, Forte Jagars and Lenzer strings. Or if you think another string is a higher tension than any of these.
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
  3. kontrabass


    Sep 29, 2004
    Paul, out of curiosity, why do you consider Spiros unbowable? From what I've seen, if you have someone play your bass with spiros while you stand a dozen or more feet away, it sounds a lot different. I'm considering using them for the C and G of a set for fifths.
  4. Do you really want high tension or just a stiffer string?
    Solid core steels are usually stiffer (than rope-cores) without necessarily being higher tension.
    I'm thinking of the LaBella 610 set.
    Pirastro Chromcors are also quite stiff but very bowable.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have used the Flex Stark, jaegar Forte, Orig Flex and Orig Flat chromes. They all have their merits with sweetmess going to Jaegar and Orig FC. The Stark Flex and Orig are close in most of the gauges but the A is bigger on the orig. The smoothes G to bow is the Flex and then Yagar with the Orig and FC being a little scratchy to my ear. The E and A or the Orig FC is very sweet while the Reg Flex Stark has great spread with the Orig Flex brighter in the beggining and darker when they age.

    All 4 tested and used were good strings but the Gs bothered me if not smooth out of the bag. I have settled on the Starks from which the Ext E/C is now discontinued but I grabbed a few for stock.

    Hope this helps..
  6. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    okay. The reason I am looking for the highest tension strings out there, is that I am looking for an 'A' string that I can tune down to a low 'G' without loosing its punch and bowability.
    I have been using a stark flexocor tuned down, but it is still not satisfactory in terms of sound and responsiveness with the bow.
    Thanks for the replies guys.
  7. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    TroyK - Yes, I have checked out the sticky thread on string tensions. thanks.

    kontrabass - I find Spirocores very difficult to get a good and consistent response with the bow. They are also very brite and twangy, which makes it difficult to blend in the orchestra. I have been trying the Red Mitchell low G string, it has great puch and volume, but it is still very difficult to bow, especiallly compared to flexocors.
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Orig Flex A is 10% thicker than the Stark A. Give that one a shot.
  9. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    What about a solo F# tuned up to G? You might have better luck with one of the softer strings like the Jarger. Of course now you get to spend a bunch of money trying out different F#s. Good luck.
  10. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Francois -
    I know nothing of the Labellas or the Chromcor. Knowing that I intend to tune the A string down to a G, and that I need a very bowable strings, do you still think those are my two best bets. In the past you recommended a stark flexocor and a Jagar Forte. The stark flexocor doesn't work well enough when tuned down, so I am looking for an A string that has a higher tension (or is stiffer).
    FYI - The Spirocore, Red Mitchelll low G is not bowable enough, the Obliggato low G is awful (no cajones), and any F# solo string, tuned up, is just too thick to be comfortable.
    Thanks for your help. You are indeed the string guru.
  11. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Thanks, your info is exactly what I need to know. I use to use the Original Flexocors (years ago) and some of the other players in the section still use them. I will see if I can borrow one of their old ones to try out.
  12. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    I am quite pleased with the heavy helicore orchestras. They make even the stark flexocores feel pretty flabby to me. FWIW, the A string in my set took a couple of weeks before it lost it's initial scratchiness(the rest of the broke in quickly).
  13. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    For me with 5ths tuning, the low B/C string is so darn thick...I had to file the nut wider to saddle the string in the nut where the E string used to be...and bowing it is a much bigger chore than an E string...I guess it's been distracting me from noticing the F# as you've been perceiving it.

    But yeah, I get the impression that you are really looking for the ability to use both 4ths and 5ths tuning with the same set of strings where possible, and for that I might notice an F# solo tuned all the way up to A to feel quite stiff!

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