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Olive and Superflex Combo

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Mark Carlsen, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. I tried a new string set-up on a 2 year old Christopher 7/8's flatbck [All Carved] today.
    I have been trying lotsa different set-ups including strings,soundpost adjustments,adjustable and solid bridges,ebony and pearwood tailpieces,airplane cable /solid wire cable[Velvet shoestring],and finally have found a good match.
    The bass being fairly new is alittle on the bright side and has almost to much sustain.It is loud acostically ,but most of the metal strings I have tried[Spiro's,Helicore]are too growly.so I started on my search for a Gut set-up.
    I had an old Golden Spiral on the G,Pirastro Pizacato's on the D,A and a Helicore Hybred on the E string.It had that PC sound almost ,but hated the feel of the rough windings on my fingertips.I use Obligatos on most of my basses.
    Put Olives on G,D and Thomastic Superflex Ropecores on A,E today and this is a great match and now I can bow this bass without the nasal sound of plain gut.
    Cost some dough and monthes of experimenting ,but I think I have a winner.This is a good no amp bass for those special gigs.I am pleased to finally match this beast w.its new combination.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Superflexible E is a good match for the Olive G and D, but I haven't really been too happy with the sound of the Superflexible A. It is not the same tonally as the E. I think an even better match are Obligatos to the Olives. Keeping in mind that all basses are different of course...
  3. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    If I was playing arco only and/or more modern jazz (i.e. not a lot of stuff where I wanted an old school sound), I'd go for the same setup.
  4. This set-up hasn't settled in yet and I'm now not quite sure about the Superflex's on the A,E strings.I liked the Helicore hybred E that was on before.The Olives are a great string.I was pretty sure that Olives on the lower two strings would of been to dead for jazz pizz.They sure bow nicely.
    I might try some Helicore Orchestra's on the A,E and see if they match up.I tried Obligato's on this bass and they were alittle to twangy.I do like them on most basses though.
    You guys like the Chorda's,do they bow OK? I think I read on another thread that you said they did.Thanks for all the info you guys have left here,helped me spend my money wisely !

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The plain gut Chordas bow easily, the wound(A and E) don't bow so well. I think if I were you I would leave the Superflexible on the E and get a different A. You have close to Adrian Cho's setup...you could go for a Eudoxa A. The diameter matches up better to the Superflexible than an Olive A, and it has a bit more definition. I have been jumping around all over the place with strings for a while now, and frankly I am still not set in what I want to play yet. The Chordas are wonderful sounding strings for straight ahead swing, but they lack far too much definition for anything else IMO especially with all of the duo work I am doing now. I may go back to Helicore Hybrids for the time being.
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Oliv A is not too bad for pizz. I've never tried Oliv E but I agree it's probably too dead sounding for pizz. In theory the Chordas should bow well - they are supposed to be for Baroque performance after all. The G is fine but of course it is unwound gut with all the problems that go with bowing it.
  7. Tonight I put the Helicore hybred back on the E string and it has a fuller tone,I think I got a faulty Superflex.
    I sometimes get E strings in particular Spiro's that sound as if the core is defective as to leave a metalic sort of buzz after you pluck the string{The swell part of the Note} I try to make sure all nut and bridge slots are nicely shaped so no little sharp edges would cause this.Is it the string, or quality control, or just me?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I had the same problem with the Superflexible E. I have Helicore Hybrids on right now, and I think they are a significant improvement.
  9. I know Thomastic's [Both Spiro's and Superflex's] have a longer break in time ,but I've used their strings for years and do see this frequently on their E strings. One trick that sometimes works for me is to tune the E string up to F and then back down to pitch.This is after they have stretched and settled in a bit.Sometimes this tames that buzz I was talking about.Sometimes not....
  10. I know this is an ol' thread ,but just an update on " Puff Daddy." [Chrissy 7/8 flatback]
    The Olive and Helicore set-up is great on the small resturant duo gigs I do. One joint in particular always asks me to turn down.I just can't find the Knob....
  11. Another note...
    This set-up/bass saved my A__ last week as I was involved in a show for 8 preformances in the theater district in Boston and this bass was the right sound for the gig.
    Beuatiful 800 seat theater,4 piece group w. piano,accordian.nylon string guitar/mandolin,drum set,percussion including tympini ,bells,vibes etc.
    The drummer also had calf skin heads on his bass drum and snare.The blend was mostly acoustic and I had some arco parts.Sometimes you have to match the venue,if possible.A real challenge,I had a good time.
  12. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I'm using unwound guts (Gamut Lyon light gauge) on G and D with Helicore Hybrid heavy gauge on the A and E. Extremely happy with this setup. It has the sound I'm looking for but is far less muddy sounding than any of my previous setups. The sound is a lot clearer and allows me cut-through the mix more easily and to intonate better.
  13. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Thanks to Chris I am now a Spiro stark E convert. I have been using this with the Superflex and with the Dominant sets. I have a set of Oliv's that Kenny boy gave me so i may try this setup.
  14. pipeman


    Mar 20, 2005
    jersey city
    have eudoxa's on the E and A and olive on the D and G right now. the eudoxa's are not dead sounding at all. they are much thinner than the olive E and A, have allot of sustain, and bow vey well. just so you know....
  15. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Since I'm still looking to change from the E & A chordas (which are cranked high), I'm interested to know your string heights (for string tension reasons). My D & G (and C!) are plain gut
  16. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Mine is about 6 mm for the G and 11 mm for the E. I don't think it's always true that you must have really high action to play on gut.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm at about 9mm for the G and 15mm for the E. The bass just responds best to these heights. That is the Christopher....my German bass is in "restoration".
  18. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Actually I could probably increase mine but I'm not sure what effect it would have. The strings I'm playing on now are overall easier to deal with than the Chorda, Oliv, Eudoxa, Superflex combo.
  19. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    it is very interesting how differently we all rate the same strings sometimes. with all the variables of taste and then the particulars of different instruments (and ears) who knows what to think?

    case in point, I just gave up on the Oliv Eudoxa mix b/c they sounded so stuffy on my bass (i wanted a bowable gut sound, and found flat-wrapped gut strings just aren't it, for me). my bass didn't project as well with those strings. Flexocor original did better, and bowed better, and now a full set of Superflexibles sounds better still! much bigger sound, all four strings match well on my bass. the extra growl they impart sorta mimics the whine of a plain gut or a round-wound gut (not perfectly, but close enough and better than more stuffy sounding "arco" steels) bowing is very nice, too, much better than the olivs or eudoxas. surprised? me too. one vote for 4 Superflexibles as the "better than Obligato" hybrid champ!

  20. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Two votes for the Superflexibles.

    Also, Flat Chromesteels are serving me quite well as a hybrid-like set.