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Orchestra Bass String Setup Megathread

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jesse Dietschi, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. Dolces then? :)
  2. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    I use a low C Red Mitchell Spiro, Dominant solo F# tuned up to G, Flex deluxe D and Flex deluxe solo A. I may go back to Belcanto D and solo A with that lower combo in the future, they seem very close in feel and sound to the flex’s. The bass is a modern 7/8ths Venetian copy, 42” sl.

    One day for symphony rehearsal I used my smaller bass with Spiro strings and it was just fine.

    I have read that retired Chicago Symphony principal bassist Joseph Guastafeste used Spiro starks on his Busan and Gasparo Da Salo basses for his entire career. I have a set of starks and they are serious. A lot of pizz growl, and advanced arco skill required. Likeable in an evil dark way.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  3. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Remember (typically) a larger scale length will make a medium set of strings feel heavy unless you have a specific 4/4 sized string.
    stefaniw80401 likes this.
  4. Just switched to original flex G-A and a permanent E. Am really loving how dark it is, and the strings can take a ton from the bowing arm. Compared to the passiones I was running before, they sound alot better for orchestra playing, though I loved the passiones for solo playing.
    piggywiddle and Sam Dingle like this.
  5. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Try Flexocor 92 Starks for the G and D and an Orig Flex A and Spiro E.
  6. Mittel E, presumably?
  7. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
  8. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Hmm, you and two others (on page 1) recommend this same/similar combo. How did you discover that the Orig Flexocor A-string was better matched with the 92's than the Flex 92 A-string?
  9. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    i used a set of original flex for about 4 years. The E is muddy and the G is overly bright in comparison to the D and A. The A is incredibly robust so it’s a keeper.

    the flex 92 starks on the right bass sound just as robust as the original flex A. There is a bass player on Instagram that goes to some school in Texas that plays with this setup and he sounds great. Actually, I think for some reason he uses a Belcanto D but maybe that’s temporary. I really like the Flex 92 Stark G and found the D to match very well.
  10. foilracer

    foilracer Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Curious...what you "say to yourself" that talks you out of ordering a set of Olivs?
  11. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    May I be so presumptuous as to offer an answer? Okay then.

    As wonderful as Oliv A, D, and G are, the E does not speak well on my 7/8 orchestral bass. I have replaced it with a Spiro weich, which thunders. I have Oliv A and G, with a Gamut pistoy D... I will probably put an Oliv D on.

    As wonderful as Eudoxas are, I have had two fail soon after installation, with unraveled windings. At their price, I'm done.
    foilracer likes this.
  12. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    I used Oliv D and G and Eudoxa E and A for about 3 years and I liked it but I had to complain to Pirastro often because the windings would come undone...Honestly for the price the experience was completely unacceptable.
    The Oliv E is junk - far far far too thick and muddy. The Eudoxa E is a wonderful string.
    foilracer and AGCurry like this.
  13. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Olivs and Eudoxas are great until they're not. If you get a year out of a set in NYC weather, you've really accomplished something. I'm actually back to Passione mediums; easy to bow, and tonally consistent across the bass. I'm curious about Genssler's soon to be released Tempera strings, though.
    foilracer and Sam Dingle like this.
  14. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    After checking out Spiro Weichs and Mittels (with the Spiro ext. E), and combining used Flexocor Deluxe D and G with the Spiro A and ext. E, I wound up settling down with G, D, A Flexocor Deluxe with a Permanent ext. E, and am quite happy. Spiro Weichs were quite unbalanced, and the mittels were still too low tension (including the ext. E). The Flex Deluxe hit a great balance in terms of tension, and I appreciate that they're a hair thicker in gauge than the Flex92s. I've read that they're known for being stiff, but I guess the way my sound post is set makes them still quite malleable (tough to describe... good/more, or right amount of tension but still loose feeling?). They've only been on about a week, so there's still some settling down to do, but I can see myself sticking with them for a while (glad I took a chance on them!).
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  15. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    glad it worked out for you. The soundpost is something most don't consider in terms of feel but I had my luthier mess with it with the strings i wanted so my bass felt best. you can now do this thing called, practice (?) that I keep hearing about.
    salcott, KUNGfuSHERIFF and Phil Rowan like this.
  16. I’ve had good luck with Flex Deluxes with a Permanent E/C. If I didn’t use them, I’d probably go back to Spiro Weichs, I think. On my “to-try” list are Corelli 370Ms and Perpetuals, although the one bass I tried with Perpetuals, I didn’t care for them.
  17. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    +1, and if only string experimentation were the only thing preventing me from steadily practicing.
    Lee Moses, salcott and Sam Dingle like this.
  18. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Well I had my ancient spiro S42 mitts on again for a couple of weeks and they sound great pizz (jazz), though a bit twangy. With arco it was like having 4 different strings on. The D sticks out, the A is wolfy and the G is spiro-ey. The E is the true gem out of this lot.

    So I went back to my old passione med G/D/A over spiro S42 Mitt E. This inspired me to play thru my JSB cello suite rep for about an hour of joy.

    Can anyone compare passione med and stark?

    How is passione different from flexocor 92?
  19. elmer


    Oct 1, 2004
    Starks have enough power for the orchestra like we´ve discussed in "Passione question" thread.
    Flex 92`s have more tension on D and G than Passione Starks. On A and E 92´s are unbalanced and have less tension than Pass. Starks. On my bass the Starks were also easier to bow.
    I think you could get a nice set with your Spiro mitt E and rest of Passione Starks!
    After Passione Starks I changed to Bel Cantos. At home they may sound a bit dull but in the orchestra they are great. The easiest bow response with a warm but clear sound and they blend wonderfully with other strings. On my bass they are my favourites for orchestral playing.
  20. That is bang on
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