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Pirastro Permanent vs. Helicore Hybrids

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Nivaca, Jun 18, 2005.


  1. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    For several years I've been using Corelli 370s, but I wish to change for a more robust sound. I tried some weeks ago a set of Helicore Hybrids and like it very much. So I searched this forum for advice, and someone somewhere said that Hybrids have a short life; he recommended Pirastro Permanent for long life and robust sound. I'm looking for thick sound on E and A (though my 370s' A is fine).

    Any advice on that?
     
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've been using Permanents on E, A and D for over a year. You're going to love them on the E and A at least. You didn't say what type of music you're playing, but I'll assume that arco is not that important to you if you like Helicore Hybrids.

    If it is, the Permanents will bow much better for you. I've had issues with the sounds I get on my bass from the G and D strings, so it's not a good gauge, but I never used the Permanent G string. It might be fine on your bass.

    The E and A sound KILLER when you put them on, honestly, they lose some growl after 6 or 8 weeks, but still sound quite good, I replaced them after 8 or 9 months and was glad that I did, but I wouldn't say that they really died, the sound just got a bit weeker over time.

    I prefer them to Helicore for my purposes (jazz with some arco now and again), but as always, YMMV.
     
  3. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    Thanks for the tip! I needed some good advice on Permanents.
     
  4. G string is fine, too: not too thin (at least on my bass). Since about half a year I use a full set of Permanents on my bass, and for arco and jazz (at least if you prefer a more "modern" jazz sound a la Gary Peacock and Dave Holland, so do not expect any gut like sound) the are perfect!

    Cheers,

    Vincent
     
  5. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    Thanks, Vincent. What pickup / mic do you use with the Permanents? Any advice especifically on that? (Though this isn't the pickup thread.... :ninja: )
     
  6. I use a mic exclusively, a Neumann KM 185 on a stand, but before that I used a Schertler Dyn-B, which also gave good results in combination with the Permanents.

    Cheers,

    Vincent
     
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Not really in answer to your last question, but... I've found that strings sound different on different basses. Your profile doesn't say what type of bass you have or what type of music you are playing, but I think they are an excellent hybrid string. Certainly darker than Spirocores or Helicore Hybrids, but not as mushy sounding as pure arco strings or as thumpy as gut.

    Plenty of sustain for jazz in my estimation, yet they respond to the bow quite well. (I'm no expert, but all the better to judge ease of response).

    I was puzzled a little bit by your question about matching a specific pick-up or mic to a specific string. I've never thought about it that way. I definitely would match a sting to a bass and a pickup mostly based on what you like or maybe what your bass will tolorate if you have something precious or with some special considerations. But aside from trying to use a magnetic pickup for gut or something, I've never really thought about selecting a pickup to go with a string change, especially one like you're talking about. Helicores to Permanents, while I think it's a good idea, is not going to be a totally dramatic change.

    Just my thoughts.

    Troy
     
  8. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    I use a small italian violin-shaped carved bass, and play mainly jazz pizzicato (and a little of arco, buy only where required or needed).
    My question on the strings-mic combination was mainly for general knowledge (i.e., plain curiosity about Vunz's gear), though I recognize your right in including the instrument also in that combination. Be as it may, in my bass (and IMHU) I found that some strings-mic combinations work better than others. For example, with Spirocores I had good response with mic but no so good with a pickup, while with Corelli 370s the reverse ocurred.
    Since I don't know the Permanents, I wish to know how do they perform with pickups and mics.
     
  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Interesting.

    For what it's worth. I use a Realist with my Permanents and like it for the most part, but I like that sound...for the most part.

    I tried a wing bridge pickup and didn't like it, but I've never liked a wing bridge pickup, so I isolate that opinion to the pickup.

    I have thought before that really dull strings might tolorate a really bright pickup better and something like a Realist might deal well with really bright strings, but I've never really gone down the path of testing that.

    Let us know what you decide to try and how it works out for you.

    Troy
     
  10. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    Troy and Vincent (or anybody): how are Permanents compared with respect to brightness / dullness to Spirocores? I've been told that the former are duller than the latter, but I have no clue about it.
    Since my bass is small (a bit smaller than 3/4, but not too little as 1/2), I'd wish my strings fitted nicely -- but Permanents come only in 3/4 size; so if Permanents are less brighter than Spirocores (that I wish), I'll buy them even thought I risk a broken E. Thanks!
     
  11. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I have never had Permanents and Spirocores on the same bass, so I have to be careful about answering since that is that only true test. But, I am pretty confident that Spriocores are brighter and more agressive sounding string than Permanents.

    Pirastro markets the Permanent as a hybrid string for someone who will play more arco than pizz. I play almost all pizz and think they are very suitable stings for both, but I definitely think of them as more...oh I don't know...warm sounding strings than Spirocores or Helicore Hybrids.

    IMHO, of course.

    Troy
     
  12. Nivaca

    Nivaca

    Jan 8, 2005
    Thanks, Troy! That's exactly what I needed to know!
     
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Permanents are Hybrids? That's the first time I heard that. Any more info on this or the source for the comment?
     
  14. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Well, I couldn't find what I remembered seeing before, which honestly didn't specifically include the word "hybrid", I imposed that on my own. But, this is what is on Pirastro's site now:

    "quick response - ideal for both arco and pizzicato"

    Which to me, means "hybid" as opposed to their Pizzicato string, which can't be bowed or (someone will disagree with a specific example, so let me say) "a pure orchestral string" that doesn't speak well as a pizzicato string.

    What I remember Pirastro saying before and it may have been in an email to me, was that the Permanent was intended for someone playing something like 60% arco and 40% pizz. I may have the percentages wrong, but what struck me was they were trying to reach people with both needs, but really reaching arco players who double on jazz, where as I think Helicore Hybrids, for example, are pizzicato strings that are marketed to suggest that you could bow them if you needed to.

    You are right, I don't recall Pirastro ever using he word "hybrid", but that's what it means to me.

    FootnoteL: I just play jazz, but like that sound and want to be a better arco player. They worked great for me. I'm going to take a break from them for a while and try something else, but not because I'm unhappy with them.

    Troy
     
  15. +1!!

    Vincent
     
  16. Paul Dwyer

    Paul Dwyer

    Jul 31, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    Anyone tried or heard Perms on the bottom with an Oliv D & G? Think it would be a mis-match?
     
  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I tried the Olivs for awhile and have used Perms mixed with Flex G n D. I would think the sound between the two to be from different worlds. The Dark Metallic Perm Bottoms with the Gut sounding booming Tops... Try it.. Might work depending on the Bass. Not all strings work the same on every Bass.
     
  18. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I'm trying to understand from this thread. Are the Permanents darker or brighter sounding than the Helicore Hybrids? What about gauge (thickness) of the strings?
     
  19. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Can't comment on gauge, but they're pretty standard feeling "mediums".

    I think that Permanents are darker and bow MUCH more easily than Helicore Hybrids. I've never had them on the same bass, so I have to qualify, but they are much warmer than pure pizzicato strings, which is how I really think of HHs.

    Except, on my bass, the G string was very strident, but I have that problem with all or at least most G Strings on my bass, so I wouldn't judge by that.

    I'm currently at a much lower tension set up and it seems to have changed that characteristic.

    Troy
     
  20. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I think Permanent vs. Helicore 'Orchestra' is more of a comparison. They both have a 'notch' between the E,A and D,G as the low strings are deep and the upper Strings are brighter in comparison. I just think that the Pirastro has more of a fundamental Bass sound all around than the Helicores.