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Need help with string choice (pizz, arco, lowtension)

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Abracadaver, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Abracadaver


    Nov 11, 2005
    I've been asked to join my school's string ensemble, and I've agreed to join once I have my bass properly set up. It's a Cremona (sb2), and yeah, it's a piece, but it's been fixed up quite a bit from the luthier I got it from. I've been playing for a little over a year.

    So I'm ordering a bow from Bob G. this weekend, but I still have to get new strings. Right now I have Innovation RABs, which really suited the style I've been playing (Mix of folk/jazz, and a bit of slap). The steels that I previously had on my bass really tore up my hands, and gave me huge blisters, and this was way before I even started to slap. The RABs really cut down on blisters, and I almost never get them.

    I guess what I need is decently low tension steel string, with fair pizz tone, that is relatively easy to learn arco on. I know that's asking quite a bit, and I'm not expecting everything out of them, but any help would be appreciated. I've read into it some, but I'm still not entirely sure.

    Thomastik Superflexibles are what I'm looking at the most. I read that they're more for pizz than arco, and that's fine. Are they easy on the hands?

    Any other suggestions would be great.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would suggest Correlli 370s (I used the 'F' gauge).

    They are thin and low tension, but with a much fatter tone than you'd expect for their weight. They bow easily and have a very smooth arco sound.

    I liked the sound of them a lot, but I (and my bass) prefer a heavier tension string.

    More info at Bob G's: http://www.urbbob.com/strings.html
  3. Abracadaver


    Nov 11, 2005
    Thanks a lot, I haven't read much about that string. I'll definitely look into it.
  4. You might also try the Piastro Obligatos. I've had a set on my Englehardt and really like the sound. As a beginner in Arco, they gave me nice results. Bob Gollihurs site has info on these strings also. I bought a set of Corelli's, but haven't tried them yet.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Either the Corelli or the Obligato is an excellent choice as a hybrid string for arco/pizz.
  6. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    I think the corellis sound perfect for your needs. The have a nice warm warm tone with fantastic clarity. The obligatos are certainly louder but I prefer the tone of the corellis.
  7. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Superflexibles are not really a low tension string - they match well with the Spirocore medium/mittel/red/orch...with just slightly less tension.

    I have been using the Spiro orch E&A with the Superflex D&G - the Superflex are less nasal than the Spirocore, and bow a little more easily, but have less punch and clarity.

    Obligatos didn't work for me at all - I found them dull and thuddy pizz and gravelly arco. They must be very bass dependant, as many like them.

    Wecome to the "search for the ideal string." There are so many variables and preferences that we poor fools will be keeping the string manufacturers fat and happy for perpetuity.
  8. Abracadaver


    Nov 11, 2005
    Thanks for the advice, everybody. I ordered a pair of Corelli Forte's, along with a brazilwood french bow from Bob's website.
  9. I'm a bit late to the party on this thread, but what is the volume like on with the Corelli's? I'm currently using some Spirocore Weichs on a 3/4 Meisel (who's thick sides/back/top really inhibit tone and volume production) and I play acoustically with a Gypsy Jazz quartet. So, other than all the good reviews on the acro advantage of the Corelli's, what about pizz volume? Has anyone been able to make any A/B tests with the Corelli's vs. Spirocores? Thanks!
  10. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think that the 'arco advantage' is the Corelli's main selling point. Not to run them down, they are a good string, but if you are playing mainly pizz Gypsy Jazz I would think that there are many better choices.

    Volume will depend on your bass, and whether it prefers low or high tension strings to produce it's maximum output. Only your own experimentation will tell you the answer to this.

    For Gypsy Jazz, especially if you are called on to play primarily in a two-feel, then you need something with a solid tone and a good attack, as you are the major timekeeper.

    Spiros orch./mittel/red are a good bet all round, and if your bass has a thick build you might want to try a heavier string rather than a lighter one to get that top moving.

    I'm having great results from the Tomastik Dominants - try a search of this forum to see what is being said about them (sorry, I couldn't resist being a Dominant-Evangelist :p )

  11. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I switched from Spiros to Corellis and there was a considerable drop in volume and now I am going to try the Obligatos. I like the bowing on the Corelli's but would like a bigger sound for the jazz stuff I do.
  12. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I think the Corelli's and Obligatos are pretty similar, if you
    dont get the volume you want from the Corelli's I would
    try something higher tension like the Dominants.

    I have Obligatos on my bass and I love them, but it seems to
    be an example of a bass that does well with low tension,

    Just my .02 :)