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Mini review: Innovation Polychrome 140P

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Pjotor, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Pjotor


    Nov 5, 2018
    After receiving lots of helpful tips in this thread I decided on a set of Innovation Polychrome 140P for my Chadwick folding. Here are some comparisons with Spirocore Red and Innovation Ultra Black after having them settle for about 15 mins.

    Arco tone: The Polychromes have a wonderful tone with a woody character. Red Spiros growl more, almost sounding harsh in comparison. (The Ultra Blacks can be bowed with a generous helping of rosin but it's hard to start the tone with a bow.)

    Arco feeling: Polychromes are medium tension and the other strings have high tension. This makes the string significantly easier to start and control than the red Spiros (please note that I'm quite a newb on arco).

    Pizz tone: Very sweet and balanced tone, will probably work well in most contexts. Ultra Blacks are thumpier with a less elaborate tone, while the red Spiros sound balanced but with slightly longer sustain and a bit more bass guitar character.

    Pizz feeling: The Polychromes are easier on the hands without feeling floppy. The D string is the least "unfloppy" but it's not a problem while playing. Very easy to pluck and with good slap control. Haven't tried drag slaps yet but I expect it will be easier than on the Spiros or Ultra Blacks due to the lower tension.

    Other: No setup changes were needed going from red Spiros. The bridge notch for the E string may need widening but it's a close call. The Polychromes are not as smooth as the other strings – I can feel the windings on the lower strings in glissandos – but they are by no means rough.

    Conclusion: Polychromes were a notable step upwards for me from the red Spiros and is equal or better in all areas. I play mostly bluegrass and some jazz, and spend most of my practise time with arco and Simandl. I had hoped for a good mix of UB and red Spiros and this string delivers it. Time will tell if wear from tearing down/setting up a folding bass will impact the lifetime.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    longfinger likes this.
  2. Thanks Pjotor!
    Please review your comments later, after a longer break in time please!

    dhergert and Pjotor like this.
  3. Pjotor


    Nov 5, 2018
    I’m liking these strings more and more. Easy to control and play.

    Had a 4 hour bluegrass jam today in a noisy pub. I actually got a small blister on my right index finger, but I blame lack of extensive playing and background noise, not the strings. Hope to get more long sessions like this in to strengthen my right hand.
  4. Great to hear!
    I got an A a few months ago, but didn’t fall in love with it.
    Glad they work for you!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  5. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    Maybe this belongs in the main Polychrome thread, but my experience is with the Chadwick as well. I really liked the Polychromes, and they shone for me arco. The feel of the string, the bounce while walking pizz was lovely. I think they sounded really nice. Even, loud enough, good voice, and intonation.

    My issues are more with the Chadwick, but when my G broke and GHS was kind enough to issue me a replacement I really noticed how dead the other strings were. I feel like must have been a real gradual decline, because I didn't notice on the tour as much. Now that I strung up the bass again with some new Spiros on the bottom over my old Polychrome D and new G, the D sounds like plastic, no voice, no bottom and no more singing highs. The travel bass just kills things so fast. I feel like the 140B when I played them seemed to retain their character longer--I could get by with 2 sets a year and 60-80 tear-downs on the bass, per set. The Spiros that Charlie installed on the bass when I bought it 6 years ago have been on and off more times than I can count and they always sounded good. They're so trashed now with the core exposed in the peg head and by the tailpiece, the silks barely holding on, and the A started having some weirdness tonally--it's gotta be time for some new ones? Right?

    The new Poly G is wonderful and seems to stay that way now that I'm not on the road and leaving the bass set up. It really holds it's own against the S42 Reg E, and S42 Light A (Yeah I'm trying the heavy bottom thing too--I like it!). I think Selim is really onto something. I think they'd make a nice set over Spiros. However, the D is just lame now, acoustically and plugged in. I'm thinking I'm finally going to stop playing with synthetics on my touring schedule and look for a permanent steel set (likely spiros and a lot of arco practice--although I'm intrigued by Prestoflex or maybe Jargers on top). If I had another bass, I would definitely look into the Polys again, but then so many other doors open up to me string-wise....it never ends. I haven't spent my kids' college fund on strings yet, so I'm not into that, 'It's only Spiros from now on,' phase.
    Pjotor and John Chambliss like this.
  6. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    recordings please!
  7. Pjotor


    Nov 5, 2018
    Thanks a lot Jon Mush for your input! My set is still fairly fresh and I have only packed up the bass 4–5 times after I installed them two months ago.

    I'm thinking of trying Spiro Weich next; the medium set that came with my bass is good but I want/need something a bit easier on my fingers. Off to the classifieds…

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