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Low C strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Adrian Cho, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I decided to go with a Dominant A for now to match my unwound gut G and D. For the C extension, I decided to try a Kolstein VariCor. After using the Spirocore (Mittel), I was in for a rude surprise - a very obvious reduction in volume especially arco. One thing you have to say about Spirocores - they may be bright and they made not be easy to bow but they are loud as hell and have a strong fundamental. Low C on a Spirocore is like a pipe organ. So I'm back on the Spirocore low C for now. The question is, what other strings might produce a similar volume and strong fundamental and be good for pizz but would bow better? Surprisingly, I'm not really interested in a darker tone although a little bit darker/warmer wouldn't be bad. I'm beginning to realise that with the lowest string and especially with the extension notes, that a string which is too dark really does not cut through very well at those low pitches.

    I'm thinking Superflexible or perhaps Jazzer which according to at least one person is apparently (surprisingly) really good under the bow.
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Try a Permanent. It will settle a little darker, can Pizz well and Bow up there with the Flexicors. I will put one on the Martini as soon as Arnold makes the Extension. BTW, what Extension did you get? Is it on your Modern Italian?
  3. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I got one of Bill Merchant's extensions. I posted briefly about it here. I'm extremely happy with it. I've long admired his extension design for it's refined appearance and the use of the Maple instead of all-Ebony body. He did a beautiful job on the varnish of the extension body and the thumbrest he incorporates into the design really helps make it easier to finger notes up there. The installation of the extension itself improved the overall sound of the instrumentation although Bill did do some other minor work (neck reset, soundpost reset) while he was at it.

    Do you really think a Permanent will have a big sound like a Spirocore? I was really disappointed with the VariCor.
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I'm surprised that the Varicor has less volume.
    They're among the strongest orchestral strings on the market.
    Sorry it didn't work for you!
    I was thinking at the Jazzer too, but you may also consider the Super-Sensitive Supreme.
    I suppose the Dominant E is not available in extended lenght?
  5. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Nope the Dominant is not available in the extended length. I was really surprised and disappointed with the VariCor. The difference in volume was immediately and obviously noticeable.
  6. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    On my multiple layers of thin wood and glue under pressure from some far of and reasonably unknown land made bass ;) I find the Permanent E much bigger and meatier as well as thicker then the Spirocore [red] E I had on the bass for 7-8 eight years up to the last summer. I changed to a set of Superflexibles but found the Superflexible E weak on my bass, so I tried the Permanent E and haven't looked back.
  7. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Permanent keeps coming up. I wonder if anybody can say anything about the tone of the Permanent vs Dominant on the A string. I think I will try a Permanent C extension but I'm not sure whether I should try a Permanent A as well so that I'm only dealing with two and not three different types of strings. I chose the Dominant because I figured with a synthetic core that it would be a little closer to the gut D than a steel core string would be.
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Well I've had Permanents on the bass for a few weeks now and they very nice. Shorter sustain matches the unwound guts better but then again I also miss the longer sustain of some of the other strings. There is still a slight drop in arco volume - definitely from the Spiro C extension and possibly on the A too in comparison to say the Dominant. The fundamental of the notes below the bottom E is good for arco but not so great for pizz which is a bit disappointing. Sigh - I might have to try a Jazzer or Superflexible C extension.