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Obligato + FCS

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jneuman, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. For the winter I took the guts off my kay and am trying different non-gut string combinations. One that I stumbled upon but which makes perfect sense is Obligato on G and D, and Pirastro flat-chromesteel (not Original) on the bottom. This combo works great. The two different strings match perfectly in volume and feel and finish since they are by the same maker. The FCS low strings don't have the Obligato rolling problem and are more spiro-like for pizz but still bow easily. This combo is cheap too! I would recomend it for anybody who likes a more gut like pizz tone but needs sustain and some growl on the lower strings, and does alot of arco too. Has anybody else tried this combo?
    P.S. The ideal string height on my bass is 5/16 on the G for this set-up.
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Obligato D&G with Spiro Weich E&A works well.
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ray, I saw John Geggie (the dude who filled in for Stanley Clarke with Fleck and Jean-Luc Ponty at the MTL Jazz Festival) using that setup in the summer. He really liked it -- sounded great, too.

    jneuman, I've got Obligato D and G on my bass and FCS E and A sitting on a shelf, waiting to be installed. I wanted to wait until after my audition at UoT, which was on Monday, so I'm going to see about installing them on Monday. Looking forward to this setup! :) Right now I'm using Spirocore Mittels, which sound good but they're both very old and actually pretty bumped around and damaged a bit!

    EDIT: The height for my G is the same. I raised it a while ago and IMO, it sounded much better up here than down low. My E is 7/16. Hard to play bebop heads, but it sure sounds great to dig in :).
  4. Thanks for your responses. A few more things about this setup: I think it works well because both of these strings are in the Flexocor extended family. Infact, most pirastro bass strings can be combined with one another withing reason. Secondly, this setup is the closest to the Lycon strings of which I own an old set. I use the Lycons as the reference for ropecore hybrid strings. I was going for an aproximation of Haden's sound but with easy arco response. This comes very close.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I used various combinations of FCS and Obligato on my Shen. I absolutely agree that the E and A work well with Obligato. They pair seamlessly.

    Plus, FCS has white tail silk with a red spiral wrap and Obligato has red tail silk with a white spiral wrap, so they look nice as well!!! :)

    These days I play a full set of FCS. I like the bowed sound better, they feel better to me and they last a lot longer. Once they settle in, the sound fairly similar.
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I used a FCS G with Pirastro Permenants for a long time. I've experimented with a ton of strings, but am back to Perms, except for the G. I'm trying a few different things there right now, but the FCS was nice as a G mixed with them.

    I tried the new Flexicores for a while and may come back to them, but I needed to come back to my old standby for some specific things I was doing for a while. There was a lot that I liked about the Flexicores.

    As a company, I really like Pirastro. My experience with Obligatos, however is that they just aren't durable enough for me. The rolling thing just isn't accpetable to me. If you loved the high strings, I could see using them with something else on the low 1/2.

    Thanks for posting.

  7. I'll have to try that combo. Right now, I'm using Obli + Superflexibles. Oblis have always worked well for me, but I hear a certain "hollowness" in the Superflexibles -- and they're a pain to bow. Maybe the FCS will help cure this.
  8. FCS is similar to Superflexible but different too. They seem like Flexecor 92 with less internal damping goop. Sound and response wise they seem to lie somewhere between superflex and maybe Helicore (?).

  9. My greatest problem with FCS is that they are way to metallic sounding with the bow, at least on my bass. Pizz they are great and probably would be a good combo with the obligatos.
  10. The metalic sound goes away after a while and your left with more of a super-dead-spirocore type grunt.

  11. On my Bass the metallic sound stayed, at least the 2 years I had em on there. :eyebrow:
  12. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    It just goes to show how bass-dependent these choices are.

    I had both Obligato and FCS on my bass, and found that the best strings of the Obli set were the E&A (they didn't stay on long enough to start the 'rolling' thing) and the strongest of the FCS were the D&G (the Obli D&G were very 'twangy'). So if I was going to use those sets my choice would be totally reversed from that already mentioned. The FCS D&G were very clear and smooth and bowed very well - much better than the Oblis.

    I've moved on to Dominants now (presently solos tuned to orch. pitch) and these have it all on this bass. But as soon as I find the "keeper" bass I'm looking for I'm going to have to start all over again on the string thing. :rollno:
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Alrighty, guys. I'm reporting in -- the FCS E and A have made their way onto my bass. It was my first time changing the strings myself (I only did the A, my teacher did the E) and I never want to do it again. Ugh.

    Anyway, onto the strings themselves -- I love the feel of the string. Smooth and very, very pliable. They instantly feel so much nicer than the Spiro Mittels I had on there (of an unknown age.) They bow very easily. Sounding very bright right now, but it's the same kind of bright that'll dampen with age a bit. I can't wait for these to break in...they feel great.
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Pain in the ass. I couldn't imagine doing what Uncletoad did with his starks...changing a full set of strings 3 times in 3 days. Guh.

    EDIT: Also, I'm finding the FCS to feel really loose, low-tension. I almost feel like I'm cheating and need to raise the action a bit. These'll come off eventually, but not for a while -- I still like 'em, just not enough to stick with them forever. I'm gonna pick up a full set of Dominants next for this bass...see what it sounds like with a darker string, but that won't be for a while. Maybe put on a Stark E with those or something.
  16. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I bring an update on this situation!

    I've been to a couple more jazz band rehearsals -- we're doing big band arrangements of tunes like Take the "A" Train, Straight No Chaser, etc. My walking lines are not only much more comfortable to play than they used to be, but my bass is EXACTLY where I want it to be in the mix here. This is the same "tone concept" that I strive for with slab, too -- not to be buried, but not to CUT. I hate "cutting" through a band -- because usually it sounds like a tin can when the other 20-odd people aren't playing. Nonono, this is wonderful...it's this room-filling, warm sustaining tone that's just exactly what I want to hear. I can't get enough of dropping the low F's and G's in the tunes, it just sounds soooo thick. Imagine if each note on the E string was a big ol piece of melting chocolate...mmm. Finger-lick'n good.

    This is the perfect case of what I've been hearing about for a long time...tones that don't seem as nice when you're playing alone, but with the band...tasty. My quintet's going into the studio this Tuesday night at the school, and I have a recording of our school's big band playing Take the A Train back when I had Spiro's on so I can post the differences sometime next week (still had Obligato D and G on during both recordings though.)

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