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New Strings 4 Me (or Playing Pizz on Orchestrals)

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    My story in not-so-brief:

    I'm not playing any gigs now, and I'm learning arco by working through Simandl with an occassional lesson thrown in. I'm up to a Pernambuco (sp?) bow, which I love, after starting with fiberglass and trying composite as well (I skipped the Brazilwood step).

    I'm up to fifth position in Simandl and doing pretty well, except that the tone I'm getting from my D'Addario Heliocore Hybrids ain't fantastic - the lower three strings sound pretty decent, but the G isn't cutting it for me.

    I'm thinking the best choice for me now is to with a set of D'Addario Orchestrals, and if I have to play pizz on them, so what? They'll probably still sound pretty good, just not sustain when plucked that the Hybrids have, and since I make most of my living teaching and not playing, I can live with that.

    Sound right to you folks? The bass is a fully carved but otherwise bottom of the line Roma with which I am generally very happy.

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

  2. There are probably better alternatives, I had Helicores on very briefly last fall (because I like them on the violin and because I use d'addarios on the mandolin), but they were the worst bass strings I've tried and I went through a bunch recently. Every bass and every player is different, but I won't consider them again, 2 weeks was enough.

    If you are looking for cheaper strings, Thomastik Superflexibles are hard to beat for a great hybrid string, next choice would be Corelli. Same price range as d'addarios. They bow very well if that is your main issue, but they are also good pizz strings, last a long time, and are among the cheapest strings on the market. Superflexibles are underrated, maybe because they have been around for so long.

    For pure bowing, however, Belcantos are great. More expensive of course, but you can just get a Belcanto G if that what bothers you the most and try something else for the other strings.
  3. It depends on what exactly you don't like about the G. Can you give us more info on why you don't like the sound of it? Too thin? Too trebly? What's different about the sound of the G than the other strings?
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    What don't I like about my current G? That's tough to answer because this is my first bass, but I'd have to say it lacks depth or richness, and has a rather hard sound to it.

    It also feels different to bow than the others - I'm not sure if I can describe how, but I know that I feel like I have to do something different on the G string than I do on the other three in order to get it to sound good. I feel like I can "dig in" to the lower three strings more than I can the G.

  5. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    If I were an arco only player, I would use the BelCantos; they're very forgiving for those of us with less than perfect technique. I do both, however, and as of now, I'm very pleased with the Evah Pirazzis.
  6. Evah Pirrazis are great, Obligatos are also nice and alot cheaper.
  7. Steve -- If you're looking for a G that's less harsh, there's a few out there that might fill the bill. Someone has already mentioned the Belcanto, that's one good possibility. Another,which I liked a bit better than Belcanto, is Flexocor (not "Original Flexocor", just "Flexocor"). On my bass, to my ear, the Flexocor had a slightly fuller, smoother sound than the Belcanto. Both are bow-friendly, relatively non-scratchy strings.

    Another (more expensive) is Dominant. Also bow-friendly and a very nice sound.

    I've used Helicore Arco (Orchestra) strings in the past and didn't like them very much, but that was years ago. Perhaps they're different now, I don't know. When I used them, I felt they had a rather vague, unfocused sound without much clarity.

    This string thing can tie you up in knots. Good luck . . .

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