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Newbie looking for string advice

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by u84six, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    I bought a new Bohemian model Upton double bass (3/4) a few years back and it came with strings that I've been using ever since. I never really liked the sound because it sounds too hollow with a bit too much sustain and doesn't have that old-school jazz tone I like. I was wondering if you could point me to a set to try out.

    Tension doesn't really matter to me, but lower tension might be better for my fingers. I'm looking for that really old-school jazz stuff you hear with old big bands or old jazz quartets. That warm thump with little sustain like you'd hear on old Dizzy Gillespie albums. Basically 30s and 40s vibe.

    edit: I like to slide a lot, too, so I'm not a big fan of sticky strings. ;)
  2. If you're looking for warm thump and short sustain, you can get most of the way there with technique.

    But if you have to have THAT SOUND, guts with wound E&A are what you want.
  3. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I say that you can get that sound with technique. I would recommend Spirocores but they take a little bit to break in. I hear the Evah Pirazzi strings are good as well. If you really want to go to the sound of those recordings then get Gut strings or Velvet strings (Velvet is a compony).
  4. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Ok, pardon my ignorance, but what is "guts with wound E&A"? And where do I find such strings?
  5. Metal wound gut core strings (at least on E and A) have a short sustain (at least my german Efrano strings). Naked D gut also, the naked G guts have a bit more sustain. It depends a bit on manufacturing process and tension (I feel the lower tension guts have a shorter sustain), but gut strings in general have a medium short to short sustain.

    Since metal wound gut strings don't hold the pitch well with changing climate, you might want to use some more stable replacements, Innovation Silver Slaps (lower tension) SuperSilvers (a bit more tension), Evah Pirazzi (a lot of tension!). Synthetic core strings often have a bit less tension than steel core strings, but highly damped steel core strings (like Jargar or Kaplan) might fall in the same category (or even more damped).
    You can also mix naked gut on the upper string(s) and damped modern strings on the lower ones. Best get lighter modern strings with gut or you might feel and hear a tension mismatch.
    If you only want a darker sounding string with a lot of attack, the Innovation Honeys are nice for that old school sound.

    For the real sound, you need the real thing, guts: naked on G and D, probably also on A and maybe on E, usually copper or silver wound guts on A and E.
  6. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006

    Wow, so complicated just for a set of strings. ;) What did the jazz bassists from the 40s use on their basses?
  7. Heroin.
  8. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    I nominate this for a TeeBee award, in the category of "One word post of the year."
  9. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Well given some of the comments, it's probably easier for me to find than strings! : )
  10. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    There is a gut set that the Gollihur boys sell that I think it pretty close. We took up a collection a few years ago and sent a set to Butch Warren, who was very happy with them. Mark, I'm sure you're being careful about the CUP, but I had a good experience with both them and you and it sounds like what the OP is looking for.

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