Orchestral bass strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Anton Avis, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Anton Avis

    Anton Avis

    Dec 13, 2016
    Hi, I've recently bought a double bass for use in orchestras but it is currently set up for jazz. Which strings are high quality for an orchestral setting? I don't really want hybrid strings, I just want high quality orchestral strings. What would you recommend?
  2. Thomastik Bel Cantos seem to be the popular legit string. Flexocors and Kaplans are also excellent. What does the rest of the section use?
  3. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    I've heard it said before: spirocore flexocore or gut. If I had an orchestra bass I'd set it up with flexocore deluxe or flexocore 92. If you have a C extension or want to get one I've been told that flex deluxe with a broken in Sprio medium C/E string is preferd.
    Super Iridium, Anton Avis and Reiska like this.
  4. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Principle bassist in the Louisiana philharmonic uses Belcanto D and G (never more than a year old) spirocore A (2 years old last time I checked and not planning on changing) and a long Superflexable C/E.
    Anton Avis likes this.
  5. That was me, stealing a line from Ken Smith. :)
  6. bassfiddlesteve

    bassfiddlesteve Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    We've all heard it, but how many of us followed it? :bag:

    - Steve
  7. Anton Avis

    Anton Avis

    Dec 13, 2016
    I'm actually playing in a youth orchestra. Most of the section are loaning basses from the county music service.
  8. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Top "orchestral" bass strings would be: Flexocor, Passione, Bel Cantos and Kaplans.
    After that, some players still like the older Original Flexors and Original Flat Chromesteel strings.
    Flexocor Deluxe and Permanents are brighter and more of a hybrid string. IMHO they don't bow quite as easily as the above strings but they are still excellent strings.
    Helicore are an okay student level orchestral string.
    Hope that helps.
    Super Iridium likes this.
  9. the_Ryan


    Jul 10, 2015
    Bronx, NY
    I do!

    I use spiros for everything in orchestra tuning these days.
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  10. Silevesq


    Oct 2, 2010
    What are the strings on it? And what do you mean by jazz set up?
    I know plenty of people including myself that do both with the same set up.
  11. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    My new set of Kaplan lights are just settled in nicely and I'm a big fan. They suit my bass very very well, but it is very much horses for courses
  12. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've gone through most of the above, and in my advancing old age I've become a big fan of Jargars - the fortes can make the floor shake, the Dolces are easy on the left hand (and tunable to solo pitch) and the medium have a good mix of both. Not a pizz string however.
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  13. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I've recently switched from Flex Deluxe to Passiones and am very pleased; the G string specially has more body, and they are definitely easier to bow.
    csrund likes this.
  14. Personally, I think Helicore Orchestrals are highly underrated, and the price is right for non-professional players. My bass is set up with Belcantos on the G-D-A, and Helicore Orchestrals on the E-B. Helicores opened up the bottom end of the instrument dramatically and match the voice of the Belcantos on the mid/high side. I have a four-string with an extended E/C with Helicores top-to-bottom, and they're very even and equally responsive on that bass.
  15. elmer


    Oct 1, 2004
    Flexocor Deluxes are great but they had a bit too much tension on my classical bass with longer mensur. I wanted something still warmer and darker with less hybrid qualities. A strict arco string! So "me too" changed to Pirastro Passiones.
    Regulars were too quiet but the starks are great! They have less tension than Flex dlx and are as easy as it can get with the bow. Only Kaplans were as easy to bow but compared to Passiones they sounded dull and colourless like did the Belcantos too.
    I have also tried "the old stuff" like regular Flexocor, other Pirastros and Jargar fortes (weaker and brighter than Passiones on my bass) and I´m happy to hear that manufacturers have really managed to develop their products.
    Speaking of the old stuff - I also like Passiones pizz tone which is very "old school" with higher string heights :)