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Pirastro Flat-cromosteel.. your Opinion ?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Istar, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I’ve been playing the Double Bass for 2 years now and I love it. The strings I’m using now are Pirastro Flat-chromosteel wich came on the bass when I bought it. I think they have a great sound. I play about 65% Arco vs. 35% pizz. And I was wondering what you guys think of these strings, and If you don’t like them why and what do you suggest ?
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I have them. They're OK but I'm not too psyched about them. The E that I had was awful (may have been NOS) and the A was weak against the Spirocore E. I'll be back to all Spiros ASAP.

    My overall impression is that they are like older Spiros after they've died on me, without the pitch problems of the dead Spiros. They don't have the fundamental or the punch, which is a bummer as I like the darker sound.

    I wouldn't recommend against someone trying them, but I don't think I'll buy anymore of them. The D and G would be good strings for someone that like Spiros but has a bass that is too, too bright on top.

    My 2p.
  4. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I recently put on a set, on Chasarms recommendation, and after two weeks of practice and gigs I'm fairly pleased (I have three more gigs this weekend and was going to do my write-up after that, but I doubt anything will change). They are *way* better than the Obligatos that I replaced, and I prefer the feel/tension over the Corelli 370s I had before those.

    The D & G are very good - strong, not too twangy, and great with the bow. The A & E I am less impressed with, but they are still good...just not great. They sound good pizz, but are not as strong as the D & G, and lack a little definition with the bow - although it's more than possible that the FCS are highlighting problems with my technique.

    If my arco technique was better I'd try Spiro E & A; I think that that combination would really suit my bass, but I'll not be spending any more money to mess with these for a while. Come to think of it, though, anyone want to swap a set of lightly used Obli's for a similar condition Spiro A & E? Maybe if the Spiros were already broken in I'd be able to handle them.
  5. Ok, I guess Airbase likes em.. , And Ray dislikes em. Anyone else have any comments ?

    P.S. Thanks for the Input guys. :cool:
  6. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I tried a couple of used FCS's (would have tried the whole set, but seller trimmed one). I liked them a great deal.

    I've been using Superflexible's. I think they are a very suitable and much overlooked hybrid string candidate, but this thread and the other reminds me to try them again.

    A set is now on order.
  7. Aaron J

    Aaron J

    Jul 16, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    I have used these strings for about a year now and I am very happy with them. I never have had any trouble bowing them, and I think they pizz wonderfully. I have a Spiro E, though. At the time, I had tried these strings on a friends bass and loved them except for the E. I have heard they corrected them now....
  8. Ditto. These were a good hybrid string for me, good both for arco and pizz. Really good sustain, which I liked, and pretty bowable for me compared to other strings I've yet tried. I used them for about a year and half. Currently using Corelli 370 Forte's, which I also like a lot (I try a new type of string each time I have to replace them), but the FC's were a fine set of strings for my needs.
  9. Thanks for the reply guys..

    Greitzer I’m curious which one’s do you like better, the corelli`s or the Pirastro`s ?
  10. LaurenBell


    Aug 10, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    I love my original flatchromes. For arco playing, they have such a sweet mellow sound and very quick bow response, much lighter than the helicores on it before. I still have the helicores on the a and e though because they seem to have more power and punch on the low end, but everybody's bass is different. :)
  11. That's a tough call. The FCs are a bit better for jazz pizzicato, and the Corellis are a bit better for bowing. So I think if you do one type of playing more than the other, that's the way I'd rank them.

    For me, if I had to choose one, I'd probably go with Corelli's, for the slight (and I do mean slight) improvement in "bowability" -- when it comes to bowing I need all the help I can get. But no complaints at all with the FCs.
  12. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I have them on a new bass I finished last fall... they work well for both arco and pizz, but the E was terrible. Try a Pirastro Permanent on the E. It's a good match, and much stronger sounding.
  13. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Hi Nick,

    Any more you can share about the Permanent E with the FC's? I don't notice a problem with the FC E string, but if there's something worth trying, I'll give it a go.


  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I played Nnick's bass with the Flatchromes on it, and was surprised that I liked them way more than I thought I would - except for the E, which suffered from a serious lack of testicular fortitude. I was surprised because I only played the pizz, and while they're too dark and "weak" for the kind of sound I'm after, they felt great, had a decent sound, and best of all, produced a very clear and quick pitch center, making them easy to play in tune - or in my case, easy enough to hear that when I played out of tune, I couldn't blame the bass or strings. The E is a stinker, but the rest are worth consideration, especially if you play more arco than pizz, or if you like a shorter and darker but still clear pizz tone.
  15. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    When you say "weak", what would you say are "strong" strings? Like most of us, I imagine, I'm trying to get a good loud sound out of my bass.

    I like the FC's, and find them to be nice playing strings and pretty articulate. If I could keep those two properties, keep a good pizz/arco mix, AND get move volume I'd say that my string search was over.

    The bass in question is a new Shen SB80; if that makes a difference.

  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Keep in mind, different players have different tastes. The biggest dichotomy is between the "gut" guys and the "steel" guys (man, imagine how much fun Bernstein could've had with that one :D ). Greatly oversimplified, the steel guys seem to like a brighter sound that comes from a string with a steel core and an outer wrapping, often described as a "tight" or "focused" sound. Gut guys often describe their sound as "warm" and "loose".

    Me, I'm a steel guy, and a tension junkie to boot. While gut strings sound wonderful when playing solo, they get easily swallowed in ensembles to my ears. And "weak" steels, while fun to play because the lack of tension gives you boucoup chops for speed, don't really speak quickly (in terms of pitch) or with enough midrange PUNCH to really cut through - IME only, of course. The tensest strings I've ever seen are Spiro Starks, and I've played them for a few years and loved them but for some nasal whining at the octave. Currently I working with Dominants because they don't whine as much and are bowable, but still have a good stiff feel and speak pitch immediately even on a gig with drums, which is a must for my needs. Check out the "Dominants ...splitted from Stark" thread for more details. The bottom line is that I think they're great strings for people who like tension...those who don't may well find them the spawn of Satan*.

    (*Satan himself would be the Starks :) )
  17. Chris,
    you may want to try Pirastro Chromcors sometime.
    They have a solid steel core, so they're stiffer than many rope-core strings, and they have a very nice percussive tone.
    They also don't have the whine you're talking about!

    Just a suggestion!
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    After testing and using various Pirastro Strings on a few different Basses, I find them to be "finicky" to the Bass and it's tension.

    On my Italian Bass, the reg Flex E was flabby but works fine on my English Bass. On My Italian Bass the Perm 'E' was great but not so on My German Morelli with an EXt 'E' with the E note closed. On my English Bass the Orig Flex 'G' and Orig Flat Chr. 'G' were a bit scratchy on my English Bass but not as noticable on my Italian Bass. These tests were done with complete sets and not mixes.

    The String the came to attention on every Bass I tesed them on were the Obligatos. The only problem with these are the 'E' bowing qualities on fast passages and when they get a little old.

    Each Bass needs what it needs to work best. You have to find that happy medium.
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Hey, I'm always open to suggestion! I think I remember you saying you'd never tried the Dominants, but how would you compare the Chromcors to Spiro orchs in terms of sustain and tension?
  20. Ken - I had the scratchy sound also at first, after talking to my luthier about it it turned out that the problem wasn’t the the string but the sound post, which was just a little to high. After shortening it the sound was great much brighter, and warmer both arco and pizz and ofcourse no more scratch.

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