Pirastro Flat-Chromesteel for Jazz?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by kwd, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Classical players in this forum have said that Flat-Chromesteel might a good choice for jazz due to their bright sound and long sustain. Has anyone put this to the test?
  2. I played on them back in highschool when i was doing orchestra, wind ensemble and big band; They're a pretty good all around string. I personally would say they lean more toward the orchestra end of the scale, particularly after they age a bit, but they do have a fairly clear sound. If I remember correctly, they also have a fairly low tension and are easy to play on. Hope that helps...
  3. I am going to put on a set of Flat Chromesteels this weekend. I'll let you know my thoughts after I've got them on. In the meantime, maybe others on the forum have experience with them.
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    On my first EUB (an original Ampeg Baby Bass, modified with a custom maple bridge, fitted with an Underwood pickup), I was using FlatChromes G, D and A, and a Spiro E.
    I think the FlatChrome E doesn't match the other strings of the set correctly.
    They are thin, sound clear with a fair sustain.
    I can't comment on their arco ability though!
  5. I've got my new set of Pirastro Flat Chromesteel strings on my bass, and I have been playing both arco and pizzicato with them as I work them in.

    My initial reaction is very positive. For jazz pizzicato, they have a strong, loud sound, very bright, and long sustain (at least longer than my previous strings, Helicore Orchestra, which had no sustain at all and weren't designed for it).

    The Flat Chromesteels also are easier on my fingers than the Helicores, and respond more easily to my right hand (my "plucking" hand) because they have a very smooth surface. They sound good together as a set, including the E string (I think I read somebody's post that the E didn't go well with the rest of the set). At least on my bass, they all sound good as a set.

    I think the original question didn't focus on arco, but for what it's worth, I like them for arco as well. Less bow pressure required than the Helicore's, and again a clearer, sharper sound, with more volume. By comparison, the Helicores seemed like they had mufflers on them, and the E was murky and vague.

    So that's my two cents worth on Flat Chromesteels. Hope this helps. Perhaps others can contribute too.
  6. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I appreciate all of the posts. As usual, it's been very helpful. John, thank you for following up. That was particularly helpful to me because I have Helicore Orchestra E and A strings on now. It gives me a good data point. Helicore Orchestras are great when used as advertised, but not for jazz.

    It sounds as if Pirastro has addressed the mismatched E problem. There are a lot of references that problem in the threads and Lemur makes mention of it in their catalogue.
  7. kwd -- one more thing occurred to me that I should pass along, in case it helps. The Flat Chromesteels feel like they're a thinner gauge than the Helicore Orchestra strings. This suits me just fine, but I guess it depends on one's preference. For me, it makes them easier to pluck, especially the lower strings. I'll post any other thoughts that occur to me as I continue to wear them in.