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orchestra strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by toman, Jun 5, 2003.


  1. Hey guys, I was hoping you could offer some suggestions on strings. I play mostly orchestra stuff, some solo and a little jazz. Actually, barely any jazz. I'm playing at what would probably be considered a fairly average college level, if that matters.
    I've had helicore orchestrasfor a while now, and they sound sort of dead on my bass. Like they were just too much midrange type sound, and not clear at all. I've also tried flatchromes and the original flexocores. The Flatchromes seemed a little bright and kinda twangy, maybe a bit jazzy if that makes sense. The flexocores were just to harsh and 'in your face' for me as well as seeming to have a lot of tension. I might note that my bass has a pretty long string length, so thats a bit of a concern.
    I'm thinking about trying a combination of oliv D and G, with eudoxa A and E. Is this a resonably acceptable orchestra setup? I don't know anybody who's used them, but then most the players I know don't experiment much. They're pretty expensive, and I don't want to blow my limited funds... What do you guys think? Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I have used this combo with good results for orchestral playing (although I play mostly jazz), and now use a full set of Eudoxas.

    Since it is expensive, you might consider what my teacher uses. E & A Obligatos, and D & G Olivs. They match well, sound great, and save $$ over all gut.

    Be sure and read some of the things I've written about gut here, pros and cons. They are my best solution, but I know they aren't for everyone.

    I also know that Velvet has reformulated their 180's (synthetic gut) to make them better for arco. I haven't gotten to try them yet, but if they have solved the scratchiness from the old formulation, they will kick butt.

    Monte
     
  3. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I currently use Olive G D & Eudoxa A E: gorgeous sound, but I agree with Monte that gut strings do require some significant adjustment in your technique, due to their high flexibility and action. I consider those strings to be too “moody”, depending on the weather. It’s not just the detuning-retuning thing: I found that their feel, response, sound vary with the relative humidity. I already have a new set of Obligato to replace them at the end of the summer, as I know now that they do a good job at emulating gut sound, but with more playability and stability that gut. There are other “synthetic gut” strings available too (Dominant and Supreme), maybe some time I’ll check them out.
     
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Dominant and Sensicore? :)
    There are also the Innovations strings, but I think we both dislike them...
    RotoSound also has one or two synthetic core sets, but I can't comment on them.
    The Presto strings (reintroduced as Eurosonics I think) have synthetic material over a steel rope-core. I didn't like the G string I tried.
    I've not heard much good comments on them either.
     
  5. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Merci François, tu as raison.
    I try NOT to stir TOWMAN at strings that are completely off-the-wall for orchestral playing. I've heard that those other strings you mention are appreciated for slapping, maybe, but I've never even seen them.
     
  6. Thanks for the input guys. I'm kinda likeing the idea of going with the top two olivs and some obligatos on the bottom, if nothing else to save a little money. So just how big of a difference are these strings going to make in terms of my technique? I'm not opposed to small changes, but if it's going to be radical I'd rather direct that energy into my music. I have played olivs on another bass, with some other steel strings on the bottom and they didn't seem to be that hard to play. The mix with steel didn't work well at all though, imo. So I guess what I'm saying is do you guys think the adjustment in technique and the 'fussyness' of the gut strings is worth it or practical in the envronment I play in?
     
  7. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I think so, but I, nor anyone else can tell you for sure.

    Monte