Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Michael Case, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. Hello all,
    I have had obligatos on my bass for approx. 6 months now, they have been pretty good to me but lately I haven't been diggging them as much. The tone for the most part is good, though, a little weak in the E and A string plus I never feel like I can "dig in" to them when playing. My question is, does anyone have any recomendations on how I can get more out of them or a different string with better tone and feel? I play jazz and am doing some classical studying too, so arco is as important as pizz.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Please explain what do you mean by "better tone and feel". This is so subjective that it almost doesn't mean anything.
    What do you want exactly?

    There are not that much good hybrids strings around. The Obligatos are one of them.
    The Corellis are another good choice. However they sound quite brighter than the Obligatos and are quite thin too.

    Thomastik Dominants (another synthetic core string) are an alternative to Obligatos. However thay may feel stiffer.

    A well-known jazz bassist who uses them is Dave Young. (he also plays classical music)
    In the classical world, Joel Quarrington is a well-known Dominants user. (he tunes in 5th)

  3. What I was trying to say is this. I am hoping to find a set of strings with a stronger tone in the E and A to me Obligatos seem weak in that area.
    As far as feel is concerned, I don't feel like they hold up when playing pizz in a live situation. It almost feels like they I'm playing on rubberbands.
    Does this make any sense?
    Thank you.
  4. The funny thing is, I love they way they feel on my left hand. They seem a little floppy under my right hand. I have been thinking to bring my bass to David Gage and have the sound post adjusted. It seems like it's not in the ideal place. The last time I had it adjusted was when I had spirocores on. Well maybe before I go so far as to change the strings I will try that. Like I said with the exception of a couple of minor things I love these strings. If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know.
  5. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Maybe raising the E string side of the bridge a little?
    This would give more room for the A and E to vibrate, producing more volume, and you could dig in them harder, giving a better right hand feel.
  6. I've Obligatos on both my basses (on one of them for just over a year, now) and I find them to be great for both arco & pizz. The other really neat thing is that they hold their tuning incredibly well - to the point that sometimes when I don't have time to tune (well, I usually tune before I leave for the gig), I just say to anyone who asks, that the bass comes tuned from the factory, and doesn't need tuning as long as I'm the owner... (er, I suppose that could also explain some of my more interesting choices of notes... :( )

    - Wil
  7. The tuning thing is true, I haven't much experience with other strings like it, but I do have to say I am very happy with that. Like I said earlier, I am going to try a sound post adjustment to see if that will help.
  8. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Mike, I stopped using Obligatos for the very reason you describe--when I really dug into them (especially in a live situation) they just crapped out and died. It was gross: no sound coming out, and the strings were actually rolling under my fingers, which disconcerted me. Also, the E and A strings responded poorly to strong attacks with the bow (in my rare arco/classical situations). They felt so nice under the fingers, and I really loved them at first...
    Medium-gauge spiro's withstand the "digging in" like no other string, but they're kind of a chore to play for me. I'm trying Corelli 370 Forte's right now, and they sound really great in both pizz and especially arco settings. But they're very thin in size and can be defeated by an aggressive right hand (albeit not as easily as the Obligatos, in my opinion). It goes without saying that results vary according to the bass, but I found that light-gauge Helicore orchestra strings made kind of a nice alternative to the Obligatos, even for pizz-heavy playing.
  9. I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who feels this way about Obligatos. Anyway, I have tried the Spirocores and Corellis (both second hand sets). The Spiros felt very hard on my hands (left esspecially) but since then I have had adjusters added to my bass bridge and had the action lowered, so I'm thinking about them again, but I'm not sure. The Corellis seemed like they were the deal, I am thinking heavily about them.
    Johnono, where in Brooklyn are you?
    I grew up out there!
  10. I hear what ya sayin' about different basses and different players when it comes to strings. Even with the BG I'm still not 100% sold on strings I just have the ones that have been the best for me and last the longest.
    Park Slope is a pricey place, when I was younger I remember it being pretty reasonable, but over the past five years YIKES!
    Anyway, thanks alot for everything, I love getting feedback about topics like these.
  11. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Yeah, Park Slope is a cruel mistress. My wife and I actually can't afford to live here, but we're making it work in a studio apartment for now. Being from Indiana, the 540 acres of wilderness next door keep us sane, but all of my friends and colleagues live in Astoria. Queens calls us...
    Speaking of the individuality of basses and their response to strings, I still keep in the back of my mind the most perfect feeling/sounding bass I ever played: my first teacher bought a Rumano Solano right before I moved along, and it was strung with Flexocors. The action was low, the sustain was long, the sound was huge, the arco was effortless, and the guy played it in the New World Symphony Orchestra. It sounded great in all settings, and I remember thinking "Oh--this is what a real bass plays like."
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    My experience with Ebola-gatos, now on the girl for about a month and a half:

    Pizz: The tone is neat. Much drier sounding than Spiro's. I can't tell what is happening volume-wise with them. They definitely don't seem as loud as Spiros when playing them, but I sense that the projection is pretty decent. Where they stand with volume out front in comparison with the Spiros I can't really tell. The sound is really beautiful if you don't dig in too hard, and maybe louder?

    Arco: The D and G bow really nice. The E and A are OK. I seem to have some problem getting a clear tone/pitch on the E and A as you get up the neck, and then the problem starts getting to me on the D string as well once I'm up getting up around the octave. I lay as much blame on my right hand as the string, but Spiros seem to be a lot easier to get a clear tone/pitch in that range to me.

    I'll likely leave them on for a while and see how they age, and the way I go through strings I should be able to give a life-span report in another month or two.
  13. I'm not the greatest of arco players (not even the goodest :D), but I have been less than satisfied with them on the bow. The sad part of all this is, I loved the Oligatos when I first put them on it's just the more I paly them, the less they work for me.
  14. Well, I am happy to report that I have put a set of Spirocore weichs on my bass and have like them so far. I did my Saturday night gig unplugged and the volume was really nice. Arco is even pretty nice (though a bit metallic right now, but I assume that will change when they break in).
    Thanks for putting up with me.