Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Pirastro Chorda

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Francois Blais, Feb 16, 2003.


  1. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Hi.
    Do you know how it compares to the Oliv and Eudoxa, other than the fact that it's plain gut?
    Is it much thinner than usual plain gut strings and not recommended for jazz pizz?
    It's the least expensive (even cheaper than the LaBella) so I could be interested to give it a try, but I'd like to hear a little about it.

    Thanks!
    François
     
  2. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    While in NYC this summer, I saw bassist John Webber, who was using Chordas for 100% jazz pizz. I've never heard him bow, either there or on recordings, so I can't speak to arco capabilities for these strings. Guage seemed to be very similar to Eudoxa's or Oliv's, with the A string pretty fat (more like an Oliv).

    Take all this with a grain of salt however, as it was a quick impression during the break. Sounded really nice though.

    Monte
     
  3. tsolo

    tsolo

    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I'm not much of an arco player - mostly just to practice intonation and accuracy. I have eudoxa on one bass and chorda on another. For me, the eudoxas seem easier to play. They respond quicker to my bow attack which eliminates my squeak. To me, they have about the same tone and volume. FWIW, I probably won't buy chordas again. They are difficult to keep in tune. Maybe these will last for 10 or 15 years.
     
  4. I'm interested to hear that the Eudoxas eliminate the "scratchiness" from your bowing. I could use that too. Do you feel the Eudoxas also are good for pizzicato? Do they have much sustain, and is it a good pizzicato sound?
     
  5. tsolo

    tsolo

    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I like the pizzicato sound on my bass - an Englehardt S9. The eudoxas have more sustain than i expected. I'll try to upload an MP3 from a cd made at a studio playing a bluegrass style. What arco I play makes the bass have a big sound. The more i play on the chordas, the better i like them. Still not good for arco for me but the pizzz tone on my old ply is beginning to grow on me. Deep dark tone.
     
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    tsolo, I was wondering what your thoughts on the Chorda are ten months later. I'm currently using Olivs (G & D) and Eudoxas (A & E) and I'm thinking of replacing the Olivs with the Chordas. I'm expecting they would be much harder to bow but I would hope that the pizz sound would be even better. I mean we're comparing unwound gut with wound gut so I assume that the sound is quite different. It looks you had the Chordas on a plywood (an ES9)? What bass do you have the Eudoxas on?

    What is the windings like on the bottom strings of the Chorda? I read they were roundwound which I generally do not like. I used Animas which were round windings machined flat on the outside and I found them hard to bow with a harsh arco sound and they ate up my fingerboard and fingers.

    One problem with the Chorda is that you can't get a C extension string for the bottom whereas you can special order them for Eudoxas. However I'm wondering if the sustain on the Eudoxas might be too unbalanced with the shorter sustain on the Chordas.
     
  7. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    adrian_cho
    how long would you say olivs, and Eudoxas last before you have to buy new strings?
     
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've had one set on for a year and they just keep getting better.
     
  9. The chordas are the ones intended for Baroque performance, right? So I'd think they'd be allright for arco playing... Anybody tried them who plays arco a lot?
     
  10. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes they are for baroque playing but gut is hard to bow no matter what and although I've never tried it, everything I hear is that unwound gut is even harder to bow than any wound gut. Also, I would expect (but may be wrong) that they have a rougher sound for arco.
     
  11. tsolo

    tsolo

    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I have the A and E that I will give you if you pay postage. I never did get used to them. I took them off and put on labella gut. Much easier to play. They bow fine. I put the D and G on another bass - then sold the bass. They are round wound and large. You can see for yourself.
     
  12. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    That's awfully damn nice of you to offer them. I sent you a PM.

    So how would you say the G and D were for pizz compared to the Eudoxas and why do you say the Labella gut were easier to play - in what way?
     
  13. tsolo

    tsolo

    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    The chordas are for baroque playing. I didn't know what that is. The sustain for pizz was almost non-existant compared to the labellas. the chordas had a higher tension, or seemed to, than the labellas and were harder to get started with a bow. since i don't play arco much i can't really comment. The labellas suit my style of playing better.
     
  14. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I put on a set of Chordas about nine months ago. (only pizz). They were recommended to me by someone who plays unamplified Dixieland six nights a week. He said they were the best quality gut strings he had ever tried. I agree with him. The sound is big and rich. I don't think I'll ever go back to wound D and G's. I'm still getting accustomed to the big roundwound E and the D seems to require a slightly different attack. I have thought about trying a different E string, but the sound of the set is so well matched that I hate to mess with it.
     
  15. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Ctxbass, have you ever used Eudoxas? I'm very happy with my Eudoxas on the bottom. The Olivs on the top are great but I think I can do better. Although the Oliv G is regarded by many as the best G out there (which is obviously a subjective thing), it's still a little thin to me and I'm quite sure that unwound gut would give me the sound I want. However the Chorda E doesn't come in an extension (which I am thinking of putting on my bass) AND I worry that the roundwound will be harder to bow than the Eudoxas (and sound rougher). On the other hand, the long sustain of the Eudoxas may not go well with the Chordas on the top.

    Decisions, decisions. I'll just have to wait and try them. Ben Wolfe sure sounds damn good with the Chordas that's for sure.
     
  16. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Adrian,

    Never tried the Eudoxas. I got an unwound D to replace a synthetic string, and fell for that sound.

    They might not sustain plywood , but on my 1960's carved German bass, the Chordas have a warm, natural sustain. The G sings a bit more than the D, so a Chorda G just might work with your Olive D and Eudoxas.

    It seems like the big strings have the big sound, just like a thick reed on a horn. Years ago I switched to heavy gauge strings on my Fender bass to get a full sounding G. More tension, higher action, but what tone! It might take a while to get the arco where you like it, but I wouldn't think of it as starting from scratch (pun intended).
     
  17. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Just to add some more to this thread. I've ordered a Chorda G & D and tsolo was nice enough to send me his A & E strings (thanks again Terry).

    Anyway, I chatted a bit with Jon Burr who used to play on these strings. On the recording "In Full Swing" with Mark O'Connor (great recording by the way) he plays with Chordas on the top three strings and a Spirocore E.

    However he now uses Eudoxas. Actually he currently used Eudoxas on the top three and an Obligato E but he is going to change it to a Eudoxa as well. He said arco was the reason he went to the Eudoxas and found them to be much more subtle, focused and accurate. He said that as expressive and pretty as the Chordas are, they can be false, particularly on the open strings, and they're very hard to bow. Also, one thing that suprised me was that he said they're hard on the fingers. He also said he found the Chorda E so dead he couldn't use it at all. Mind you this is his experience on his bass (made by Hannah Mayne) with his setup.
     
  18. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Setup may have much to do with the "dead" E string. It takes a pretty good snap to set the Chorda E in motion and it needs lots of room. If you have low action forget it. I'm still building up to a good comfort level with that string. It's just like playing the double bass. If you love the sound, you do what it takes to get it.
     
  19. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes I wondered whether the setup was an issue and I sent Jon a message asking if he put the action up on his bass when he put the Chordas on. I gather you did?
     
  20. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Yes, though not as high as some people. The bassist who recommended these strings keeps his action at 20mm. (It's a bit more than I can handle). He plays unamplified with a dixieland band, and big strings with high action is the real deal.