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My Upton needs some THUMP

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by gomez hacienda, Mar 3, 2006.


  1. Ok, I know that all these string questions can get tiresome, but this is very specific to Upton ply players.

    I've tried Obligatos, 7710s, and am now about to experiment with a few more string types. But what I want is for my Hawkes ply to thump. I've thought about guts, but which kind? wound, unwound, combo?

    I'm starting to lean towards Garbos...maybe, but I've never heard them before. I don't care about infinite sustain or a giant metallic growl. I want bottom with fundamental.

    I don't mind a higher action as long as I don't have to rip the tendons out of my left arm to do it. I'd even spend coin on Dlugoleckis if I can get what I want to hear. Can someone please help an ol' beast that needs soothing. :help:

    gomez
     
  2. Robert

    Robert

    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Gomez,

    I'm in the same position as you (looking for more volume and fundamental), even though I don't play an Upton plywood.

    I recently purchased a set of Garbos and I'm still breaking them in. I tried Lenzner guts a couple of weeks on my D and G but took them off due to too little volume and too little fundamental (much worse than Chromcors and Spirocores imo). If volume and fundamental is important (more important than true gut sound) I believe wound guts are better suited since the winding give the string more mass. Garbos somewhat feels like wound gut (quite low tension, heavy gauge, and a quite gutty sound quality).

    When I first installed the Garbos I found them quite heavy, thick and stiff, but it's been a few days now and they are beginning to soften under my fingers, and I'm liking them more and more.
    The sound is quite "big". I got a nice and big sound out of my Oblis, and I can't really compare the fundamental between the strings. The sound of the Garbos is "bigger" though, I think it is thanks to some resonance peak in the upper lower end, and some nasal tonal quality. The overtones are oldschool and a bit gut sounding, especially on the G string (and some on the D). A big difference compred to i.e. Spirocores is the lack of brittle steel string sound in the attack, which is very nice.

    My string height is currently 8-12mm (G-E). I'm sure even more volume and fundamental could be achieved with more string height. Increased string height always tend to give more "oomph" (more fundamental in the attack, and shorter decay).

    But of course, and as everyone says, the strings can sound different on your instrument. The only way to really know is to try them.
     
  3. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Gomez,

    You're going to get a lot of opinions about this, but here's mine: Get Efrano plain gut (Lemur Music has these) for your G and D, and Pirastro Pizzicato (gut core, semi-flatwound) for your A and E. This is a thumpilicious combination.

    Also, make sure your action isn't too low. Higher action usually produces more thump, but too high action produces tendonitis. :(

    Also, proper sound post adjusment is important. Too tight diminishes bottom, too loose is woofy.
     
  4. Robert, thanks for the info. I had Oblis on for a while as well, I actually thought the overall sound wasn't bad, but volume?? I get more out of the 7710 black tapes that are on now. I really like the feel of those but still too "steeley". I'm pretty sure I'll like the Garbos...for the sound and I do like a little fatter string. More for my gnarly old fingers to grab onto.

    ps...That would be good fodder for a new thread...send picks of your fingers. I've seen some amazing hands with great dexterity on some players. If anyone saw mine, you'd say I was a coal miner, not a bass player. :crying:

    gomez
     
  5. I'm reserving my decision on guts til' I've exhausted all other possibilities. If so, then I'll really jump in with both feet and get the bass tweeked just right for the guts and that'll be that. But not quite yet...I've got to try the Garbo, Anima route just once. Everyone says such great things about them.

    gomez
     
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    That's funny, my hands look like I've been doing some coal mining after I play the Animas for awhile.

    Does it bother me? Not a bit!
     
  7. I grew up here in 'Da Great City a' Chicaga', as mayor Daley Sr used to say, and we played that strange game with a 16" softball and no glove...by the way, it aint soft! If anyone ever has, at least a few of their fingers would be a little goofy lookin'. Needless to say, I was not a classical pianist as a kid.

    gomez
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Hah! That's funny...actually, I was referring to the black patina that Animas leave on my hands after awhile. They are actually very easy on the hands for long periods of time.

    I've also found that the black residue actually acts as a kind of lube, sort of a nice "conduit" to the strings. I don't wash it off until the gig's over, so if you come up to shake my hand, be forewarned!:smug:
     
  9. Robert

    Robert

    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Yes, that is another thing I've noticed with the Garbos. Even though the gauge is heavy and the action needs to be a little higher, they seem easier on the hands, especially on the right hand when I play hard. This is good. ;)

    Btw, Marcus. How are the animas wound? Are they copper just like the Garbos? Why do they leave black trails?
     
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Yeah, all four are copper wound. There are some excellent closeup pics of them in a couple of recent threads here. The black residue comes from a reaction between the copper windings and my skin. Not sure if this happens with everyone. It's a bit unsightly, but harmless as far as I know. I just view it as a sort of badge of admission to the Anima Club.
     
  11. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    If you want to get that thump in your sound, first jack your strings up. I think that different strings will have a different "color" but string height has a big impact on the sound as well. Some of the best gigs I have played, bass players have come up to me asking if I play on gut when I had Spirocores on(with the G at 10mm).
     
  12. Thanx...I've been tweaking up the Labellas a bit at a time as they settle in and I don't mind it as long as the strings have a softer feel...but Spiros!? Did Ray Brown have a high action? He used Spiros, no?

    gomez
     
  13. philly

    philly

    Nov 20, 2004
    nyc
    I put the animas on an upton laminate. Got a nice thump out of it.
    Not as clear mind you as the steel strings I had on there , but definitely deeper rounder thumpier.
    I think the bass reacts well to the low tension. I also jacked them up sort of high, and that might very well contribute to that sound as well.
     
  14. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    My Anima's don't stain but they smell. :meh: My hands smell like I handled a thousand pennies everytime I finish playing on my bass. Oh well... I guess I gotta suffer somehow.
     
  15. I can imagine...like after you pump gas into your car and you stink for the rest of the day. :(

    My real curiosity is why they use copper? It must have something to do with the properties of the metal. :meh:

    gomez
     
  16. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    It was mentioned elsewhere that Velvet may be headed more towards a position of full disclosure; maybe these mysterious questions will soon be answered. Whenever I've contacted them via email, they've always been very courteous and positive, so you might want to give it a try. They might be interested to see how much positive buzz there is on their product line in these forums. I first contacted them after my first set of Animas, saying how much I dug them, and they replied (among other things), "thanks for believing in us". That suggests that their rather unorthodox approach may have generated some flak for them in the past. As for me, I just hope they keep making them.
     
  17. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Nah, just wash your hands and it goes away. Just a little bit annoying that's all.