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Obligatos a hybrid solution?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bdengler, Oct 22, 2000.

  1. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Sorry to beat this to the ground, but I have a dilemma. I've had Spirocores (Weich) on my bass that I use to play in church. Wonderful sustain, great for pizz. But when I bow (about 30 to 40% of the mass) yikes! Very strident in the D and G and I really have trouble making the D string speak properly with the bow. Obviously, I'd like some strings that are less strident than Spriocores but still have some of the sustain in a jazz string. I'm wonder if Obligatos would be the solution? Or Corelli's? I've tried Obligatos for arco...I didn't like them as much as Helicores but I could use them if I had to. Thanks!
  2. Try Thomastik "Superflexible" (the ones with the blue silk windings). I actually use them for that very reason - they have a fairly warm sound with the bow but they have a very long decay for pizzicato.

    One thing to remember, like Spirocores, they will sound very harsh with the bow until they are broken in, at which point they sound nice and warm. Most people give up on them before they are properly broken in. The other great thing about these strings is they are one of the cheaper options out there.

  3. I vote for the Corellis. They have a very nice arco sound
    and good pizz sustain. And they sound good right away as opposed to a "Break-in" Period. I was using superflexibles years ago, but it took Months for them to get the mellow sound I wanted.Most players that are working cannot afford
    to allow for a break in period.
    (imagine this scenario...
    Ummm... New Strings, Maestro. They should be fine in a month or two...:oops: )
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Hi Dengler,
    You could try Corelli tungsten forte. IMHO, Obligato have warmer tone, have more character, but if you didn't like them... :rolleyes:
    Anyway, both are indeed among what you'd call hybrid strings.
  5. Deng: I'm surprised by your reaction to Obligatos played arco. When I put them on my symphony bass everybody in the section loved the sound. At the same time, others who have heard it played pizz think it's a great jazz bass. I would recommend Obligato as an ideal string if you want to do both; however, each bass reacts uniquely.
  6. I find the break in period to be more like 3 DAYS for the Superflex. Even still, in the context of an orchestral setting, I've never had a problem with using them immediately after putting them on. The core of the sound is always very full even when brand new and the temporary "metallic" edge is usually masked in context of the whole group.
  7. Well as Don said, YMMV from bass to Bass and individual preference. What works for you may not work for me, etc..But I must say, my curiosity is piqued by all this talk about the Obligatos. I may just save up and try a set myself! :)
  8. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Well, Don, I must admit I was, in a sense, raising a question that begs the answer. I've tried the Obligatos; they didn't really "wow" me but at the same time, were great to bow and my community orchestra director noted that he heard me above the others during a pizz part (Phantom of the Opera excepts), which made me think that the Obligatos may be the ultimate hybrids. So, I posed the question to see if anyone would agree with me about the Obligatos (you did) and to see if anyone else had any alternatives (they did...the Superflexes and the Corelli tungstens). So, now its a matter of trying them out. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

    Regards, Brian
  9. I'm glad you're so upbeat, Brian. I probably would have thought I was being told I played it too loud!
  10. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Are Dominants from the same ilk as Obligatos (synthetic core)? Sometimes I convert my bass into a "piccolo" bass by adding a high-C string to play some simple cello parts in church. I thought of using Obligatos for the A, D, G but there are no C strings. I can get a Dominant in a high-C string. Would it work to mix the two sets?

  11. Yes, they're synthetic too.
    I guess they'd fit fine together.

    The Thomastik on-line catalog doesn't mention a Bass High-C string, it's a Low-C.
    Is the high-C a special order?
  12. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Francois, you are correct. The Dominant comes in a low-C, not high-C string. Oh well. Does it make sense to mix a gut Oliv or Eudoxa with synthetic core strings? I know they come in high-C strings. Otherwise, I'm stuck with the brighter C strings, like Spirocores, Superflexibles or Flexocors.
  13. Probably more than mixing gut with steel, but I never tried, so you'll probably need to make the test!
    I think the Oliv is darker than Eudoxa.
  14. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Hi. Could someone enlighten me regarding Correli string types; what is the difference between the tungsten and the nickel wound strings? I am also uncertain about what "Forte"/"Extra Forte" indicates - it refers to string gauges I guess, but in what direction? I am not familiar with those terms (doesn't "forte" mean loud...?).



    [Edited by erik II on 11-27-2000 at 02:25 PM]
  15. The tungsten is an heavier metal than nickel, so the string is thinner, and the sound is brighter. Nickel has a darker tone.

    You're right about the Forte, Extra Forte; it's related to tension, thus gauge.

    But don't be fooled, the Corellis have a thinner diameter than most steel strings, even the TX (extra forte) gauge.
  16. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Thanks Francois.

    So does that mean that TX is the thickest string, with the highest tension, Forte is lighter, and Medium is the lightest... nooo, that didn't look right...? Sorry to pick on this, but how is the relative thickness/tension situation between the different types exactly?

    And which type/gauge would be closest in character to the Obligatos, just for comparison? Or are these very far apart?

  17. Exactly.
    Think of 'Forte' as 'Thick'.
    For two strings of the same design to produce the same pitch, a higher tensioned one will be thicker than the other. The extra mass is needed to compensate for the higher tension.
    That's mathematical.

    Don't know for the Corellis.
    Some manufacturer publish their string tensions figures.
    Browse the string section of Quinn Violins www.quinnviolins.com to check some of the values.
    Thomastik and D'Addario publish them.

    The Obligatos are using a synthetic core.
    The Corellis are all metal.
    I don't have an answer for that, sorry.
  18. After 3 months of using Helicores, I felt the sound of Obligatos would be more appropriate for the Vivaldi I'm doing Friday. I put them on tonight. What a gorgeous sound! There's some pizz work on some of the other pieces, and the Obligatos are delivering a lusty tone that sustains instead of dying immediately the way so many arco strings do. I love this string.
  19. I bought a new set of Obligatos for my orchestra bass, and I moved the used Obligatos to my jazz bass. Response and tone on both instruments is wonderful. My answer to the question posed by the title of this thread is yes. Obligato is THE hybrid string.
  20. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    When I put them on my turn of the century factory French bass I had the feeling to hear the wood of my instrument for the first time, especially when bowed, but the pizz tone was also nice and warm. I am wondering if the same happens with plywood instruments. Any Kay, Englehardt, Musima etc has tried Obligato ? Is it important to have good body resonnance for this string to function ?

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