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Obligatos or Perpetual?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by rickwolff, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Perpetuals

    10 vote(s)
  2. Obligatos

    9 vote(s)
  1. rickwolff

    rickwolff ..Gear & Tone Junkie.. .3M Dual Lock Endorser Supporting Member

    I've had and liked both, but the Oblis I bought used.

    They seemed Very Similar but I got the impression that the Oblis were just a bit warmer and bowed better.

    They were both great for pizza but the Oblis though they had a good sustain may have been just a tad more gut like.

    I was never bothered by the Oblis 'rolling'.

    Can anyone else give me your impression after having played both? I'm kind of leaning toward the Oblis.
  2. I've only ever played Obligatos on other basses but, in my opinion, they have more character than Perpetuals. However, in both sets I've found the E string to be a little lacking. Same with the Evah Pirazzi Weichs.

    I do think the Perpetuals are good strings but I found the tension to be a little low and the gauge to be a little thin for my preferences. I'd consider giving them another try if Pirastro ever makes them in a heavy/stark set.
    Selim and rickwolff like this.
  3. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    It’s been years, but I remember the Oblis having more “organic” qualities - vibes. What PBandJ above is calling character.

    The Perpetuals have nice qualities and they are another beautifully made Pirastro string, but they didn’t have enough on them for me, on this bass anyway. YMMV.
    PBandJazzBass and rickwolff like this.
  4. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Perpetuals for just pizz on a live gig they don’t give out like obligatos
    Steve Boisen and lrhbass like this.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Obligatos were the string that taught me that what sounds good in the living room and what sounds good on the bandstand are two entirely different animals. My LaSala had them on it when I bought it. They lasted exactly one gig, during which I couldn't hear my pitch or cut through the band the entire time, and I changed them out for Spiros the very next day.
  6. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    From what I remember of the full obli set I had on years ago - more thick through the mid mids in an organic way while the perps have more thumpy low mids and a bit of steel core chime in the highs when pizzed. I liked oblis a lot but they died too fast for my wallet - about 9 months.
  7. elmer


    Oct 1, 2004
    Oblis are thicker, stronger and have more tension. Good or bad - depends on the bass and the player. Both are great hybrid sets and bow well - Oblis a bit better IME. Perps amplify well and cut through very well on the bandstand even though they are softer than Oblis. I haven´t played them on the same bass but I still would pick Perps. They sound more natural to me.
    You can compare them played on the same bass on Herve Jeanne´s great String matrix page:
    String Matrix - Hervé Jeanne
    The Oblis there have already too much sustain and growl for my taste. One can also hear a metallic and sharp attack to a note which I don´t like.
    Perps to my ears have a warm and round, more natural and well balanced attack and sound to them. And being steel strings, they should last longer with minor changes in the sound.
    Selim likes this.
  8. There are far too many generalizations being made about these strings...just because you have a certain experience with your bass, pickup, and amp doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone. In my experience I love the feel and growl of the Perps, but they don’t have the fullness or richness that the Obligatos have, and under the bow they are more scratchy and brittle. I’m personally using the Obligatos on D and G with Spirocores on the E and A, which I found to be a great combination. When I was in the studio recording with Noel Freidline I brought both basses...my carved bass with the Spiro/Flex Deluxe and my plywood with Perps. I let him decide...we went with the carved bass. Since then I went back to the Spiro/Obligato set on my plywood bass and recorded another album with Rhonda Kremer, and it sounded terrific. I put the Perps on my carved bass and they sounded much better than on my plywood, but trying to play legit stuff there was just so much scratchiness that I decided to go back to the Spirocore E & A, and I went to the Obligato D and G after I tried the Flex Deluxe for a while. The Obligatos did it for me...they are great with the bow, sound great pizz, and blend well with the Spiro E & A, just like on my plywood. I don’t have any issues with amplified or live playing...but if I did I would attribute it to my pickup more than the strings, as the Lifeline on my carved bass is darker than the Yamahiko on my plywood. I have used the full Obligato set before (as well as Evah Pirazzi and many other strings), but I didn’t like the E and A, felt like they lacked power and I did have issues with them coming apart at the bridge and rolling. I have no such issues with the Obligato D & G mixed with the Spirocore E & A. If the Spirocore D & G weren’t so scratchy with the bow, I’d have no use for the Obligatos, but this mixed setup just rocks. That’s my take.
    JeffKissell, rickwolff and elmer like this.
  9. elmer


    Oct 1, 2004
    Yeah, I agree! Like I said: "Depends on the bass and the player." @rickwolff asked for our own impressions.
    Thickness and tension aren´t generalizations. One can measure them. Of course that doesn´t tell us much about the feel on a particular bass.
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  10. rickwolff

    rickwolff ..Gear & Tone Junkie.. .3M Dual Lock Endorser Supporting Member

    Matches my experience. "Fullness and Richness" and better under the bow.
  11. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    As long as you have the right kind of beer ...
  12. rickwolff

    rickwolff ..Gear & Tone Junkie.. .3M Dual Lock Endorser Supporting Member

    My favorite Italian restaurant: Pizza Cato.
    birgebass, 16fuss and AGCurry like this.
  13. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    I think it just comes down to steel vs synthetic and which you tend to like better. Alot of folks would say some synthetics get lost in the mix but sound great in the practice room but are more friendly under the bow and a more gut like or old school character. Steels are less friendly under the bow but cut through a mix with a band and can sound more modern. Neither is wrong IMO, but i think it is comparing apples to oranges and depends on your personal bass and use cases.
    16fuss and rickwolff like this.
  14. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Obligato... the "roll" can be mitigated, loosen the string enough to twist the ball end in the tailpiece.

    I think the "cuts through the mix" argument is more about technique than the string. There is an optimal technique to generate sound, volume and tone that varies with each string. Having played quite a few back line basses, my experience has been that the bass will tell you how to pull the best sound, you just have to be paying attention and respond accordingly.
    PBandJazzBass and Seanto like this.
  15. rickwolff

    rickwolff ..Gear & Tone Junkie.. .3M Dual Lock Endorser Supporting Member

    Thank you all for your thoughts and feedback.

    I recorded a couple of clips with various string combinations. Spoiler alert - at the end of the third clip I give away my preference, but would like to hear your thoughts as well.

  16. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    ...my opinion, they all sound like you! Maybe just choose the strings that make you the happiest to pick up the bass? The subtleties are lost without direct comparisons. Without the context of these videos, all you really get is a whole lot of Rick playing bass.
    Sam Dingle, Seanto, rickwolff and 2 others like this.
  17. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    I meant to say that earlier. That’s always the final arbiter for me.
    Sam Dingle, JeffKissell and rickwolff like this.
  18. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    To be honest i have liked your sound in all the videos you post! These are no different :) If i had to choose one i'd go with the Perp G video. That G string sounded the most articulate to me, although i do like Zyex too.
    Sam Dingle and rickwolff like this.
  19. Perps and Obligatos are both good strings, but they are different. Can we just leave it at that?
  20. rickwolff

    rickwolff ..Gear & Tone Junkie.. .3M Dual Lock Endorser Supporting Member

    But which one will get me closer to sounding like this:

    Sam Dingle and marcox like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 2, 2021

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