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Mystery String or H5?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Hector Wolff, Jul 9, 2003.


  1. I am playing on a bass with what appears to be a mixed set of Pirastro strings. The set sounds, and feels very nice, except for an E that is a little dificult to get vibrating.

    I would like to get the same setup on my own bass, but I can't identify one of the strings.

    Based on my research on Pirastro web site, the D and G strings appear to be Flexocor (solid Ruby ball end, and Red/D and Brown/G peg end).

    The E and A strings appear to be Flat Chromsteel (White with Ruby spiral on the ball end and Green/E and Yellow/A on the peg end).

    There is the mystery, Pirastro lists the FLat Chromesteel A as having a Black peg end. They do list an "H5" string with the Yellow peg end.

    The "A" string on my bass certainly looks seems like a normal A, in thikness, tension and tone.

    Can anyone explain please?
     
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Your A string is probably a solo-tuning third string (H3).
    The peg silk is probably light yellow.
    Regular yellow is for orchestra H. (fifth string in the case of a bass)

    Orchestra A (A3) is black, while solo A (A1) is light grey.
    Orchestra D (D2) is red, while solo D (E2) is light green.
    Orchestra E (E4) is green, while solo E (F#4) is light blue.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Thank you Francois, I new I could count on you.

    So I have a solo tuning Pirastro Flat Chromesteel A string instead of the orchestra tuning A, is that correct?

    My next questions are:
    1. Why would someone set a bass up this way? Is there some advantage to this solo A string?
    2. Is the orchestra A string somehow poorly matched to the orchestra E?
    3. Does the Flat Chromesteel E and A with the FLexocor D and G sound like a well balanced set to you? It certainly sounds good on this bass.
     
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    It doesn't matter what I think.
    If you're happy with that mix, well, enjoy it, and I'm very happy too! :)
    It took me years (and thousands of dollars!) to find a string mix I'm comfortable with!
     
  5. Dear Francois,

    Thank you once again for helping.

    I know that being inexperienced, my first attempt to find the right strings for my new bass, is likely to fall short. I am hoping to come up with a set that I can still live with, and from which I can learn something for the next time.

    Would it be logical to say that the choice of the Solo A, might have been the result of that specific bass's response, and therefore may not be valid for my new (and quite different) bass?

    I have read all I could about strings on this forum, but I seem to have missed the discussion of the Pirastro Flat Chromsteel E string. Can you be more specific as to how the E doesn't fit well with the rest?
     
  6. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I didn't say this discussion happened here. :)
    My conclusion (and shared by others) was that the E is floppy and different-sounding than the A, D and G which are very good in their category. (a hybrid string with a clear tone, and enough sustain for jazz playing. At least the sustain that the majority of jazz pizz players seem to want...)
    But you may find out that the same string combination doesn't work as expected on a different bass.
    I personnally think the Flexocor G and D, although warm and nice-sounding, lack some life and strenght.
    That's why I use the Jargar's for these two strings.
    The Original Flexocor G and D are brighter, more lively, but still too bright for my needs.
    The Original Flexocor A however, is my A string of choice!
    Strong, warm, lots of bottom end, and just the right amount of sustain I want.
    For the E, I use a Chromcor string.
    It has that dark growl and power, and fits well with the others.
    But the same set may not work well on a different instrument!
    Strings must be selected on an empirical basis!
    This can be an expensive and time-consuming adventure though, so be prepared!
    :)
     
  7. Very well said.

    I think you have summed the issue up well, and have been a great help to me, with your own impressions of the string qualities.

    I will try to relax with the whole issue, knowing that no matter how hard I try, untill I get my new bass in my hands, and spend some time playing, I can't begin the process of searching for my sound. Who knows I may be lucky.

    Thanks once more, for your kind help.