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More bass from a 'thin' instrument?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by fenster, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Hello, all

    I have a late 1930's French bass... one of those viol-shaped ones. It's heavy as all get-out, and obviously has a lot of wood everywhere (including the top). The D and G strings are loud, clear and lovely as anything I've ever heard, all the way up to the end of the fingerboard.

    HOWEVER, the bottom end has always been a bit thin and reedy, and the E-string slow to speak. Does anyone have any thoughts about where to start in my quest for the perfect A and E strings to help this instrument out down there?

    In the foreseeable future, I will mostly need the instrument for pizz plus some arco playing, traditional, 'roots', country, and jazz. Very little chance of any orchestral or chamber work right now. I'll mostly be using my instrument amplified, though of course a respectable acoustic sound would be nice, too.

    Thanks very much,

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I would take the bass to a luthier and have the sound post adjusted. You might be able to get a better balance across the strings. As for strings....every bass responds differently. If you really want a full deep sound, you could try Pirastro Eudoxa E & A strings. They are gut core, Silver plated with metal windings. Great sounding strings. If that isn't in your budget, then I would try Spirocore Orchestra E & A.
  3. And what strings are you using right now?
    The deepest, darkest, A & E strings I know are Original Flexocors, but you may find them too muddy, it's hard to say.
  4. Thanks for the responses.

    The bass has been essentially mothballed for nearly a decade and I'm just starting to really play it again. A very good local luthier did some major work on the instrument to get it back into shape, and it's never sounded better, so now it's time to start experimenting with string combinations to get whatever extra I can out of it.

    As far as what's on it now: a very ancient mixed set. Pirastro Eudoxas on the G and D. It's been so long since I've purchased strings, that I can't even identify the two on the bottom anymore: a Thomastik something-or-other with a red end on the A, and a Pirastro(?) E, yellow end with purple spiral. I have no idea any more why that particular combo is on the instrument.

    I'm fortunate to have a local violin shop with a "string lab", where you can go in and try out different strings on your instrument. I'm mostly just looking for a starting point.