1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Pirastro Obligatos - wow

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by dhosek, May 3, 2001.

  1. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    OK, I finally got around to restringing my Engelhardt M1 with these. Oh wow. It's amazing what a set of strings can do for a bass's tone. I feel like I've added about $2000 worth of tone onto my bass. If anyone's been hesitating about going with Obligatos, don't.

  2. dh,can i ask what style of music do you play? are they good for arco and pizz or better for one over the other.i am looking for a good string set/combination for just pizz at the moment,maybe some small amount of bowing at a later stage in my learning.are they o.k. for slap style playing?
  3. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    I do jazz and classical on upright and I'm quite happy with the pizz sound, although it doesn't quite have that really jazzy tone that the original strings that were on the bass (Thomastiks, I believe) had.

  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    In the Lemur catalog they warn that you might have to do some filing on the nut to allow the strings to pass through freely so that you don't risk breaking them. Have you noticed anything about whether they seem tight going through the nut?
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I use Obligatos on both my orchestra bass and my jazz bass. To me, it has been the perfect string.
    On my jazz bass (the Mittenwald), I get just as much sustain as a Tomastik spirocore, but without the scratch when bowed.
    The other night, I recorded some jazz using my orchestra bass going into a microphone. Awesome.
  6. Chris,
    Maybe I'm being anal and if I am please forgive this rooky. My strings pass "over" the nut on my bass. As has been noted in other posts, be careful to liberally use the no.2 pencil in the grooves, knotches or what ever they are called. I had a couple of Obligato's come apart that I had to replace for that very reason.

    We are playing Beethoven's op124 in concert this weekend and I was thinking about changing my Obligatos per comments that Don H. had made in an earlier post. I was hoping to get a faster response on the E and A strings in a couple of the faster passages.

    Any thoughts about that Don?

  7. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    I must have missed those posts mentioning that - I have applied pencil lead in the grooves both in the bridge and nut. I have noticed the windings on my Obligatos coming loose a bit where they go over the bridge. Do you mean there could be a connection here?
  8. Yes, the Obligatos do tend to stretch quite a bit for the first couple of days, and if they don't slide along the grooves in the bridge, either the windings will catch or they will pull the bridge as they stretch. I seem to remember Don saying that he actually had to tilt the bridge slightly, as tightening up the strings would pull on it,but when they finally settled, the bridge was straight. So I put a lot of graphite in the slots, and I've never had a problem.
  9. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Proverbial Cross-Cut:
    If you were doing his 9th, I'd change to something with more tension. However, the 9th is opus 125, and you're doing 124, so maybe you can squeak by (Ooops - sorry). Admittedly not knowing 124, if you've been practicing with Obligatos, I'd say stay with them and learn from the experience. You're always going to encounter rapid passages, but few as merciless as the 9th. I guess it's symphony weekend; tomorrow, we're doing Dvorak 7, and a Strauss horn concerto with the principal from the NY Philharmonic. This guy has unbelievable chops, and I have about 50 bars in the key of Cb.

    Relax, and enjoy the magic. Good luck.
  10. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    A stiffer Thomastik's Dominant has replaced my obligato E for better arco response. I am pleased with the result...
  11. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Thanks reedo35, that's what I thought I knew - but last night I somehow managed to interpret oldsaw's post as a warning against that :oops: ...how that could happen...too much coffee...:confused: Well I don't know.

    So; Sorry 'bout that - everything back to normal - pencil lead = GOOD. :)
  12. I love my Obligatos. I play mostly pizz, jazzy/rock/funk type stuff.
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Hmmmmm...(stroking beard thoughtfully)...why do I start to feel GAS pains every time I read this thread?
  14. You know Chris, the way I explain it to my wife is that strings are not "gear" per se, they are merely a maintenance item...without them you can't use your bass. Why would you have a nice bass and not maintain it? I think we should all go buy a backup set of Obligatos right now!
  15. Mmmmmm......by way of this logic I think you may have something here. Let's see if this works. "Dear, I have these 2 sets of Helicores and of course the set of Kolstein strings that came with the bass and I do not think that they should be wasting away on the shelf. Why don't I just find something to put them on so that they can be put to use? Think of the money I'll save when I can buy a bass without the strings."

    Ya.....right. This thread is morphing into the G.A.S. thread.
  16. Who could argue with logical rational like that? :D
  17. Jon Stefaniak

    Jon Stefaniak Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    I think the e and a are a little too mushy. I crossed over with helicore arcos on the a and e and feel that besides the slight change in tone (obligatos being more nasely and d'addario's more open in the low end (bigger whomp in the tone)) they match well. I suppose I like more tension on the low end because i adjusted pleasently the the different tensions. The obligatos have a more focused arco sound and more "present" pizz that works better for the top strings. Hilicore arcos are a little too smooooth ("buttery" mushy) on the top (d and g).

    fraying at the nut- when I first put the on (the obligatos) my luthier, anticipating the low tension associated with dominants, raised my bridge a bunch. in lowering the bridge, I loosened and tightened my strings a few times till it was right. The winding at the nut bunched up a little ( each time they're tightened, they streach a great deal) and created a slight buzz on the open g pizz. I don't realy carg for now, but I think I should buy a spare just in case.

  18. Boy, is this going to cause a stir. I have thrown my Obligatos away.

    While at theISB, I was given the upper 3 of a set of Innovation 140B's by Lionel Davis who developed them. These are a polymer core string like the Obligatos. They have a similar pizz quality but are a far superior arco string. He put the G and D on at the convention and I put the A on yesterday morning. When I got to rehearsal last night the A was barely out of tune and the G & D were in tune. I couldn't wait for him to send me the extended E string so I just ordered it from Lemur.

    The bowing response is many times better, especially on the A string and I assume will be similar on the E string. The tone volume is also greater with the same bow pressure.
    With the Obligatos I always felt that I needed more rosin. With the Innovations there is an immediate response of the string to the bow without the scratch making them a pleasure to play. They have the same "dark" quality of the Obligatos.

    Ya, I know I'm fickle but when something this good comes along I don't look back.

    Mark Parsons
  19. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Old Saw:

    Thanks alot,man!!! I was perfectly happy with my Obligatos. Now you've piqued my curiousity.

    I wanna hear from you again in a couple of weeks after the initial euphoria has warn.
  20. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I'm sure it is for different reasons, but the bloom is off my rosy Obligatos as well. I put a set on my Kay about three months ago and I think I'll go back to Corelli 370TX or Forte. They have a nice traditional sound and bow ok, but don't have the edge I prefer and I feel like I have to work awfully hard to get sound out of them. They just aren't as articulate as I like my strings/notes to be. Perhaps both my Kay and I also like lighter tension strings - unfortunately, my hand/arm problems have peaked the last couple months and my ability to play has declined further (not like it was every that great to begin with <g>), so I need all the help I can get.

    Orderd a Butler (German) bow, too, to see if I can handle it better with a little less pain than French.

Share This Page