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My Favorite Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by LarryR, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I've spent timing seaching the forum for answers and have come up blanks. My questions involve the process of zeroing-in on one's favorite string set. My question is not genre related I don't believe so, its length will hopefully apply to many players.

    FWIW, I play pizz Jazz, blues, swing and Pop. I'm a newbie. My ES-1 had Jargar's. Based on this Forum I bought Pirastro Obligato's and dig them.

    But....maybe I'd like Garbo's better or Thomastik Weich's, or Corelli's? How do I know w/o spending $ 240, $ 125 and $ 100, keeping in mind I just invested $ 99.

    I notice some Garbo's on Ebay. The seller say's "they're 3 months old, lot's of life left. Cheap oppty to see if they're right for you". You guys agree? This brings up another question: do strings suffer from detune/remove/reinstall?

    To complicate matters, I notice some folks here like the D & G of this set, the E & A from that set. I'd hate to buy the G Corelli for $ 35 when the x-brand G is better suited to my y-brand D.

    Ok, I'll shut up now.
  2. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I like to use strings until they are dead, 6 months to a year, then replace them with something else, if there is something I want to try. I think it kind of builds character, because I learn to get the sound I want out of that string by the time I'm done with them.
  3. In my experience, yes.
    It seems common general knowledge that strings, especially bass strings, should not be detuned significantly after being brought up to tension. I have noticed profound changes in certain strings after they've been slackened and retensioned. Other strings seem not to suffer at all. Perhaps the materials and construction of some strings suffer fatigue from drastic cycling of their tension. It is well known that gut strings lose some of their twist over their lifetime, and this can be measured by measuring their diameter over time.
    I noticed that garbos always sounded different (worse) after loosening, but they always came back to near 100% after several hours of playing.
  4. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    old strings are something your friends give you, you try out because your strings are dead, you buy a new set of those strings if you think you like them, and get on with life. don't pay anymore than $10 for this privelege. I can make a new set of strings totally worthless sometimes in under two months, if I am playing every night.
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    So...use them and enjoy them until they die, 6 months, a year, depending.

    You don't. Life's a bitch.
    Who cares what we think? It's your bass, your ears. Don't spend any more money on strings over e-bay than you're willing to totally lose.
    Obligatos do, big time. My spirocores have been on and off many times, no problem. Same with my arco strings, original flexocors and flexocors.

    String fever is a disease that eventually overcomes all bassists, and you end up with one of everything in a drawer. We're not going to let you escape.
  6. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Thank you all for your input.
  7. String life depends entirely on two factors. One; the PH factor of your body's sweat and oil, and two; the frequency of playing. Over the last few years, I have averaged maybe two double bass gigs a week, plus practice time, and my Spirocore Weich's lasted 12 months, La Bella Ropecore's about 18 months, D'Addario Helicores 18 months, and my current Velvet Garbos have been on about 10 months and are perfect, apart from some discolouration of the copper wrap. I am expecting/hoping the Garbos will last maybe 3 years.
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I've been reluctant to switch from Weich because they sound and feel good on my bass for a long time. I get a year's playing 5-7 nights a week out of a set, and once they're played in, they sound good under the bow. I'm about to order a set; I'd love to try some of the favorites that you guys have mentioned here, but unless I take a vacation and do some string experimentation during downtime, I think I'll stick with what's been working. I know the sound will be there.
  9. delbass


    Sep 9, 2003
    Albany, NY
    Yeah, I'm with Marcus on the spirocore weichs. I've had the same set for almost two years now, gigging 4-5 nights a week and they definatly get better with age! Just when I was thinking it was time for a new set, I did a recording session a few days ago and everyone was saying how great my bass sounded. After reading all of these string postings, and talking to some other bassists, I've been tempted to try some gut or nylon strings, but for now I'll stick with whats been working.

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