Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Muddy Lows And Highs

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by ImAGoodDuck, Oct 29, 2005.


  1. So right now I'm playing Spirocores right now, Starks I believe. My deal is that I'm not quite getting the clarity in the lows and the highs that I want. I kind of think that because of my bass that it is a bit darker sound so on top of the Sprios that is where I'm loosing the clarity. I'm thinking of going to the Helicore Hybrids but I'm tryin to figure out the gauge. Heavy, medium, light? Where do my strings stack up now?
     
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Wow!
    The Spiros are IMO in the top category for clarity of articulation and tone.
    You want something even brighter, more cello-like?
    Maybe Corellis 370TX?
    Pirastro FlatChromesteels (not the Original ones) also have a clear, well articulated tone.
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Another idea that comes to mind is that maybe your strings have too much tension, and your instrument gets muted.
    Detune your strings a half step or a whole step to see if it helps.
     
  4. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    :meh: I have a 370TX D&G on my bass and they are not as bright as Spirocores [orc] for me; I find them to have a much thicker sound, and I am planing on getting a E&A soon as well to see if this will give me a little more open sound then the Permanents that are on there now.
     
  5. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    This was my thought, since you seem to be having problems with both highs and lows. As Francois said, try de-tensioning to see how your bass responds: clearly you can't perform like this (unless you're some super-transposing whizz), but if your bass opens up you can at least start experimenting with low tension strings.

    Tension aside, I have found that Pirastro FlatChromes were the clearest on the D&G of my bass, and bowed well. I had problems overall with clarity and bite on the bottom end of my bass, which has been solved by Spirocore medium/orch/reds on the E&A. Neither of these are low tension though. (And as the Spiros did not match the Flatchromes I'm now using Superflexibles on D&G.)

    In your position I'd be tempted to put a set of Thomastic Spirocore Weichs on; they're about as standard as you can get and would provide you with a baseline to judge other strings against. They're not especially expensive, and would have good resale value if you found you wanted to move onto something else.

    Best,
     
  6. I tried detuning and I think it helped just a little bit but not like a whole bunch. I'm not too sure how much it is supposed to help though. I chose the Hybrids to try next I think because its a very popular string, maybe it'll work for me too, and I can get um at 1/2 price and I'm all for that lol. Would you think a lower tension string might help that out or a smaller gauge? I'm not sure how they stack up but I thought that the medium gauge Hybrids are smaller than my Spiros, am I wrong?
     
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I'd think the Pizzicatos would give a clearer tone than the Hybrids.
    I'd also think that smaller gauge would give better articulation and definition.
    So, maybe Pizzicato lights?
     
  8. Ok, thanks Francois. I bow fairly often though so will playing with the Pizzicato make it more difficult than the Spiros?
     
  9. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I have found that the lighter guages give you a darker sound with less definition. Heavier strings give you a stronger midrange. I have had great success with Helicore Hybrid Heavy gauge strings. They also bow fairly well. Ray Drummond has a very clear sound with great articulation. He uses Helicore Orchestral Heavy.
     
  10. Really? I thought it would be just the opposite, having a thicker string would be a darker sound and maybe less definition. Not right?
     
  11. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Heavier strings have a stronger sound. More fundamental and more clarity. I am using solo gauge Helicore strings on my 5/8ths and with my strings fairly high off the board I get a very thick gut like sound. Not as much definition as the Helicore heavy guage I had on before.
     
  12. Are you tunning them a whole step lower then? I would think that they would play a little sloppy.
     
  13. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    USA
    my findings are somewhat opposite of AdrianJ, but we may each be defining "clarity" differently. switching to lighter strings has always brought more "clarity" to my ears, but less "attack". we need an accepted glossary of terms here to proceed with the discussion! :smug: "stronger sound" and "clarity" may not be the same thing!
     
  14. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    USA
    from my own experience, i got a much better growl happening on my Ray Brown style pulloffs (or ripoffs!) when i went to lighter tension...
     
  15. That was always my belief that a lighter gauge string would be brighter than a heavy gauge. Thanks everyone I'll be sure to let ya know what happends. I'll probably go get a set of Light Hybrids or Pizzicatos tomorrow, hopefully.
     
  16. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    If you're really using Starks, it's going to be a big jump going down to something light gauge. What color are the peg head windings?

    Starks are some big strings. You might even have nut slot issues. I don't know a lot about Helicore gauges, but I would think that if your bass had been set up for Starks, going to light gauge Spirocores (weichs) would be pretty drastic in all regards including set up.

    Mettiels would be a lot more common. I'm not sure what color the windings are on Starks, but if they are red at both ends, they are Mettiels. Going from Starks to Mettiels or Helicores' equivilant gauge might be a safer move.

    Just my $ .02 very late in the thread.

    -tk
     
  17. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was thinking about this thread while practicing today (why I don't know :meh: ). It occured to me that it might be a sound-post thing, and anyway, if you're going to change strings drastically then you'll probably want to get a good set-up done (including sound post positioning).

    So if you find strings that get you close to ideal in feel and sound you may well be able to get the whole thing to "100%" with the set-up. Just a thought.
     
  18. My strings are the medium, thats my bad. It's been so long since I have changed those strings that I just forget lol. They aren't dead though so thats why I was looking at changing the strings. Not too long ago I have my bass setup and the sound post adjusted but I'll have a shop take a look at it. I'm really trying to go down my only one size, like you say not too drastic. So what would the size be with the Helicores?
     
  19. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    That makes sense. Starks are unusually big or so I've heard. Never actually known anyone with them on their bass.

    I don't have much experience with Helicores, but Adrian posted this chart in another thread and according to it, either heavy or medium helicores would be a little thinner in gauge than your Spirocores. Let us know how it turns out.

    http://www.adriancho.com/StringInfo.html

    Adrian, I hope you don't mind me reposting this link. I assume since you posted it in one thread, you don't mind it showing up in another.

    Troy
     
  20. Thanks for the chart! Pretty cool stuff. I think I'm gonna go with the mediums just because it doesn't look like its that much of a change, if at all really, from the Mittels to the Heavy Helicores. I'll be sure to let ya know how it went. Thanks a lot for your help everybody.