Obligato vs. Innovations

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by farmerdude, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. Obligato

    23 vote(s)
  2. Innovation 140B

    12 vote(s)
  1. Ok, its time to get strings this week. Much has been said about these two brands. I am still unclear which one I should try first. Albeit these are just guidelines and different strings for different basses yadda yadda, I would like your opinions again if you will. My pizz:arco = 50:50. Which one should I try first?
  2. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I've heard to many horror stories about the short life of Obligato's, which would lead me to try the Innovations first. JMHO, of course.

  3. Agrarian,

    You just had to know that I was going to respond to this.

    If you really enjoy putting strings on your bass, I suggest you buy a set of each. Put the Obligatos on first. You will really enjoy the sound they give you until you have to play a fast arco piece on the E or A string. After your frustration gets to the boiling point put on the Innovations. You will kick yourself for not putting them on in the first place. The quality of sound, tone and volume was far better on my bass in both arco and pizz. The E and A string don't have the excessive roll of the Obligatos so the sticcato response is much better.

  4. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    It is rumored that oldsaw has a contractual agreement with Innovation. As part of his contract he must have at least 4 Innovation stickers plastered to his Kolstein during performances, and he must wear the official Innovation matching head and wrist bands.

    With that said, I do agree with his comments regarding the Obligatos.
  5. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Well, based on the overwhelming response and clear consensus of this poll, I just ordered myself a set of Innovation 140B strings.
  6. My plan has backfired so I ordered a set of Innovations......thanks for the input guys
  7. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I got a set of 140B (from C. Quinn, since in Paris neither my luthier nor Alienor knew of 'em) yesterday. Very excited due to G.A.S. related outburst of neuronal transmitters. E string: all's OK. G and D: sh..., what's that lame thumpy sound? My old beatup and restored Mirecourt does not sing any more! The open strings do not hold the same pitch from the onset of pizz until the end of resonance: this is quite common but not to as an exaggerated degree as I hear (and see on the tuner) in this case. No sustain. No full sound. No resonance. Useless set of strings for me.

    I know Donosaurus is gonna make fun of this, but being a research scientist in my other life, I had to do this experiment. It cost me 125$ to find out, and I will lend that set around me so that other fellow bass players get that knowledge. I am puzzled by the fact some even thought of comparing these two sets. Obligatos are obviously the result of a very well learned experience in harmonic string engineering, venturing into novel synthetic material. They have nice sustain, a rich and sweet arco sound, and all that within the frame of a strong fundamental tone. Innovation's 140B is only tinkertoying around with metal wound nylon rope twine. I am sorry to say this, but it falls short to produce a decent harmonic string.

    I thank the various protagonists of that thread for pushing me to perform an interesting experiment. I put back on my -almost two year- old set of Obligatos (and a Dominant E).
  8. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Salut Olivier!
    Another frustrating string test, hum? :)
    Maybe you should have gotten the 140H instead (the core is full, not braided).
    This is usually the set that is recommended for a clearer, more sustained jazz sound.
    The 140B are definitely aimed at the orchestral bassist.
  9. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Salut François, je te remercie pour compatir.
    Maybe I have been misleaded and should have tried 140H, but the package was not very explicit about that and they'll have to make some move first if they want to be convincing because my ears aren't full of hay. I am very skeptical that those guys can make a decent string and I am not ready to spend a single Euro to lend them an ear again.
    And I know what to ask Santa to replace my old Obligato set: another set of Obligatos!
    Bonnes Fêtes, Paix.
  10. olivier
    Sounds familiar. I have never had a string shut down the sound of a plucked bass like the Innovations. I mentioned in another thread that I get more sustain out of gut. I also found the Innovations harder to play in tune. They do sound nice bowed and that is the only reason I still have them on.

    Now I wish to try Obligatos and Helicore Orchestra...
  11. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    With Helicore, you'll hear the strings, with Obligatos you'll hear the bass.

    but this belongs to another thread.
    Ciao, got to go.
  12. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I suggest that you write to Innovation (mailto:info@innovationstrings.com) and tell them about your problem.
    Maybe they'll accept that you send them back the 140B set and ship you a set of 140H.
    I hope so!
  13. Do the obligatos bow as well as the Innovations? How about the Helicores?
  14. Call Lionel Davis at 011-29-20-45-1388 and tell him that you bought them on my recommendation. He may agree to exchange them.
    I agree with Francois, you should have ordered the 140H. I am a new player (3 years) and found them to be a lot more forgiving when playing arco. You can go to previous threads about this issue to see what I have said about the 140B's.
    Mark Parsons
  15. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I have contacted Innovation and Peter Lunney, general manager very kindly offered to send me a set of 140H for free.

    I recognize here that my questioning of their abilities to design strings was not founded at all, and present them with my apologies. I will add that given the wide variety of basses, diversity of playing styles, and even broader spectrum of individual tastes for music, it is a fortunate and welcomed fact that string design and manufacturing is performed by several companies in the world.

    Ciao, got to go to practice, I'll see the follow up on monday.

  16. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have ordered a set of 140H and a set of Obligatos from Chris Quinn. Based on the experiences of others, I am planning on trying the 140H on the top two strings and the Obligatos on the bottom. I have heard that the Obligato G is very harsh. Also, the 140H is supposedly a larger gauge - more gut-like in its thickness and that would be more to my liking. I am still waiting patiently for the strings to arrive.

  17. You haven't heard that here, and Obligato has been discussed here since March, 2000. And that hasn't been my experience, using Obligatos on four different basses.
  18. Just the opposite. I found that both are a much mellower (darker) G and D than other strings that I have used. I now have a set of Original Flexicors on my bass and I miss the robust sound of the Innovations and even the Obligato strings.
  19. Hackneyed adage:
    You're surprising me. I use Original Flexocors on my orchestra bass precisely for robustness, or robustity, or robustitude, whatever.
  20. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    So, the 140H set was in my mailbox on Friday morning. Since I had an audition that evening, I had to wait the following day for string test, and reading the package taught me that the H of 140H was for "honey" as the color of the core. Recall that B of 140B is for braided (for Jamaican bass...). Gauge is about the same as Obligato.

    On Saturday, I put the strings on the bass. They are rather stiff, like Pirastro's Cromcore or Thomastik's Dominant. They lack that little felt washer, so I used the one's from Obligatos. Brought them to pitch: they sound good, are indeed brighter, not as muffled as the 140B, and IMHO are a better harmonic string than 140B. They are very bow-able (you have to go a little closer to the bridge than Obligatos). Their arco sound is slightly more... -how could I say- vibrating, more like Corelli nickel, and not as sweet as Obligato. Pizz-wise, they do have some sustain, but not much, and I find them stiff to my right hand fingers. For a half-hour I practice thumb position exercises from Simandl II.

    I made up my mind on the following day: my first impression, as soon as I picked up the bass, was that the strings were too stiff, and the sound was like choked. That's it: Obligatos are back on the Mirecourt, and Hervelois's La Milanese sings again (well, the theme at least).

    Thank you to Innovation for sending the other set: I have tried two sets for the price of one. My bass and me prefer Obligato. And are immunized from string-G.A.S. for a while.

    Cheers to all.