1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Mixed Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Mgaisbacher, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    I am getting a new bass and have decided that when I first get it I am going to stick with spirocores for a while to get used to the bass but I still think in the long run I'm going to be trying different strings. What I'm thinking about doing is maybe keeping the spirocore E and A but changing the D and G. I'm thinking about trying eudoxa, velvets, obligatos, or possibly just gut. And I was wondering from people who have probably already had experience with these, which out of the ones I listed with last the longest, and also I was worried about sustain compared to spirocores. And just for reference I play probably 90% pizz and 10% arco.

    Also, A few days ago a played someone's bass who had EAD evah pirazzi and a velvet G string. I didn't care for the Evahs to much but I really liked the feel and sound of the velvet. The only thing the owner of the bass said was that the intonation is a little different on that string from the others, is common with mixing strings?
  2. Mgaisbacher:
    I'll kick this one off...but it's all opinion. The question is more about what will give you the sound you want on your bass.
    E and A Spirocore Mittels (unless they are Weichs) have quite bit of tension so they could very well choke off a much lighter D and G such as guts or Velvets. Or if not choke off, give you a strange feel because of the big difference in tension. Hard to say unless you try them all together though.
    Obligato's will work OK...Upton Bass has been selling Spiro Mittles and Obligato's as a set. Obligato's sound good on most basses but do not last very long (6-9 months usually) whereas the Spirocore will last for many years.
    Eudoxas on the D and G would work OK...but....they are prone to unravelling depending on the climate. The silver wrap is quite fragile. The two Eudoxa's will likely cost you around $270.
    Also, Obligato's and Eudoxa's will not sustain as much as the Spiro Mittels.
    Some other strings that would likely match your Spiro's are Dominants. They have a strong fundamental, are closer to the tension of the Spiro's and last a lot longer than Obligato's.
    Innovation 140 H will also work...so will Original Flexocor.
    I could go on. I have used all the strings I mentioned and was a tester for Obligato when they first came out many years ago.
    I am now using Velver Garbo's with a gut G...I have never had the "intonation problem" that your friend mentioned.
    There are tons of opinions and suggestions available here on the strings forum if you do a search.
    In the end though you will have to shell out some cash to see what works and what doesn't.
    Enjoy the ride!:D
  3. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    Ok that helps, and the intonation issues he was talking about was more, if he tried to play double stops between the D and G strings (let's say a fourth) that they didn't line up exactly.
  4. Innovation 140H are rather dark to midrangey and won't fit too well to the Spiros, I think.

    To give you a good advice we need to know more about your Spiros, since they come in a lot of different flavours.
    Are the Mittel/Medium or Weich/Light?
    Are the for a 3/4 (3885.x[W]) or 4/4 (S42[W]) scale?

    The tension is different for 3/4 and 4/4 Spiros, so we need to know a bit more. Also a lot of advise is given without this information and as to be used with care.

    Obligatos fit well to 4/4 Mittel or 3/4 Weich Spiros. Probably also Velvet Compas 180, which might be a bit lighter than the Obligato.
    Innovation 140B (!) fit well to 4/4 Weich Spiros (S42W) and probably also to downtuned 3/4 Solo Spiros. I think medium (to a bit higher) tension gut strings would work with them too. Same with Velvet Garbos/Animas/Blue and probably also Compas 180 SUIT.

    The intonation problems may come from a high action when using strings with a different (length) elasticity. By pressing the string down you make the string longer and depending on the elasticity the tension might rise a bit or a lot, resulting in different intonation. But since it is not a good idea to use strings with a large tension difference (my opinion of course), you don't need to care much about this and better concentrate on matching the tension (and the magntude of tension difference from string to string) when selecting mixed strings.
  5. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    I have 3/4 Weichs on my bass right now.
  6. Obligato for your Spiros (or reglar Compas 180).

    For the Garbo/Anima/Blue (I guess the Velvet was one of them) use 3/4 Solo or S42W 4/4 Weich Spiro.

    The Spiros need a lot playing until they sound good. But they even sound good after a lot of years.

    For your 10% bowing, mixed sets with Spiros could be a bit annoying since the different string types often need a different bowing approach. I once had Inovation 140B with S42W Spiro 4/4 Weich A and E, but changed to the whole set of Innovation 140B later because of the more consistent bowing.
    It might get a bit better after you played the Spiros some years... ;-)
  7. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah the more I think about it the more I think I may just stick with sprios for a while, I don't love their sound bowed but for as much as I play arco I don't think it is unlistenable.
  8. Stick with the Spiros, have black hair put on your bow for better grip, use a sticky rosin and practice is my advice.
  9. I think it is good for practicing arco technique doing it on strings like Spiros that a a bit less forgiving. You hear immediately that you do something wrong. Very easy later on more bow friendly strings.

    Just keep the Spiros and practise a lot with the bow. They break-in faster that way and even if you would decide later to check ut other strings keep your old Spiros. My set of Spiro Mittel (S42 fo my 4/4), that I took down to check out other strings, not because they died, were more than 20 years old (but I didn't play for several years during that time). They are still good and I would say much better for bowing than during the first one or two years. I just looked for a thicker high C string with a little bit less tension (generally) and got happy with the Innovation 140B. Maybe too less tension for a 3/4 scale. It really depends on the bass. Without my high C problem I would have kept the Spiros.
    Even the 3/4 Spiro Weich on my 3/4 EUB got better after a lot of hard playing and bowing during the last year and they are really nice balanced across the strings.

    Try to keep the Spiros on for a year, then you can think about other strings again ... or not.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I agree with the others... for 10% arco I'm not sure that I would replace the Spiro's.

    Granted, it's horses for courses, but I've got Obli's on G and D, and Spiro Orchestra Mittels on the bottom. The Spiro's had their notorious characteristics under the bow, plus they were hurting my fingers when I played pizz. Oddly enough, on my particular bass, the Obli's sound almost exactly the same when plucked, but are much more bow-able.

    I left the Spiro A and E on there because they weren't causing any problems, and it's not lost on me that periodically replacing 2 strings is cheaper than replacing all 4.

    The Obli's wear out. I noticed an improvement when I recently replaced mine after 2 years of practicing at home and weekend jazz gigging. But I'd rather replace my strings than my fingers. The Spiro's might be worth another try after the current pair of Obli's wear out.
  11. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I couldn't find another thread but wanted to post something funny (to me). I'm currently renting a bass for a few weeks because mine is back home. The guy asked if I was cool using a gut string, saying he has the Spiros with an Oliv G. Never using the olives for a long time I said sure why not. Upon opening it and looking at the strings I realized that all 4 strings are different. After quick research I figured out that the set up is

    Spiro E
    Evah A
    Eudoxa D
    Oliv G

    anyone try this? It sounds pretty good. I think I like the zing of the Eudoxa compared to the Oliv G, but thats on this bass.
  12. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    Since this thread has been revived I should mention that after a few months with different D and G strings I went back to all spiros. I tried obligatos, Evahs, and at one time evah D and permeant G. And actually I am doing a lot more arco recently, I would say 90% of my practicing is now arco and I still like the spiros. The Evahs and obligatos were a little easier to bow but not a whole lot (in my opinion) and they lacked the clarity that the spiros have especially in the higher registers, also I am going for that Edgar Meyer sound more then a more classical setting, dark sound.
    Bigbassguy likes this.
  13. RandalPinkFloyd


    Jun 3, 2012
    On my Spector, I ran larger gauge strings on D and G (EB Power Slinkies) and my E and A were stock Spectors. On the rare occasion I let other bass players play it, they were none the wiser. I don't recall having an issue setting it up, all I know is, it gave me the tone I was looking for, as prior, I felt the D and G were just a tad too twangy. No intonation issues or anything.
  14. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Sorry to revamp this. Quick question about mixing. I have evahs on right now and i like them enough but I'm having some issues with the E string and am considering putting my spiro E back on. Love the A string as I hear most people do. I'm wondering about the D and G. The evahs are nice but I'm looking for a little more brightness from them but not as much as spiros. Would Obligatos do the trick? Has anyone tried the combo of Spiro E, Evah A and obligato D/G? Thanks.
  15. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    At least 5ths tuning Obligatos blend well with Spiros, both weich and mittels.
  16. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Everything goes with a Dead Spiro E String.
  17. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

    Jun 26, 2012
    Hi! I’ve had my spiro mittels on my bass for a year now and i’m thinking of experimenting with different G and/or D strings. What are ur picks i should try first? That would work good with mittels
  18. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    What do you not like about the mittle d/g. Here is what I've known to work:

    Obligates although I didn't like them
    Evah mediums. I have a friend who uses these
    Dominants. Stiff strings but what I have on now
    Oliv D G. Expensive and prone to unraveling.

    Belcantos if all you do is arco
    Bass Baron likes this.
  19. Bass Baron: As long as you mix steel strings with the Spiros you should be OK. I tried using a couple of synthetic core strings with the Spiro Mittle E and Weich A. At first the mix sounds good but after a while the Spiro really show the flaws of the synthetic strings in the mix.
    Some players have used Velvets with Spiro's but they did not work for me.
    Bass Baron likes this.
  20. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

    Jun 26, 2012
    Can’t really put my finger on what i don’t like about them, they just lack something imo. Thanks for the tips really curious about the Evah mediums with spiro!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.