Dismiss Notice

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

Pirastro Product Changes

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jneuman, Jul 27, 2005.


  1. I knew it! Ken, I think the Flexocors had the ruby thread since the early 1980's and continued with the new flexocor line after 1992. Flexocors prior to 1992 never had that dark purple/almost blue thread. That's something that pirastro created after 1992 to identify the "original series" My initial suspiscions were confirmed by Adrian Muller. The lavender or violet wrap comes from the 1960's and 1970's I believe. It's a much nicer color in my book. Kind of like the TI Dominant color. Maybe they switched to avoid confusion between brands. I wish they'd swtich back. I hate the ruby color.

    Jon
     
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I bought my first set of bass strings in 1980, and they were Flexocors.
    There was only one Flexocor type then.
    The silk was violet, like the Original Flexocors we have today, but the strings were different.
    The bottom strings were not as thick as the Original Flexocors sold today. (from what I recall)
    There was a very nice thin wire (silver-plated?) intertwined over the peg silk section. (a large pattern, not close winding)
    Hard to describe with my poor english.
    Those strings were top quality!
    Ken said their strings were made in the US by a subcontractor then.
    I think they should bring them back with that quality level.
    I'm sure many people would gladly pay the higher price to get these strings back!
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I bought some Flexicors around 1970 or so and they were more Ruby/purple than Blue/purple from what I recall. The Silk color on the 'current' Original Flexocor in NOTHING Original from what I can see. Not the color or the sound. Gauges, I can't recall but Colors I remember well. The Regular or 92s Flexocors look and sound like they did in the 70s. I don't know if the gauges are similar though. I gave away the old set from My Gilkes to Don Z. I have asked him to measure the gauges or give them to me to compare the thicknesses to the current ones. Colors are about the same and only a tad different in shade which can also be faded color.
     
  4. I think we need to start a new thread called "obsessing about the (sorted) history of Pirastro product changes" Let's get the color terminology straight first. Ruby = Magenta = the color of today's Flexocors. Purple = the color of Today's original Flexocor. Violet is lighter than purple and is the color used on the current Eudoxas and Thomastik Dominants. I have only ever seen Flexocors with the Ruby wrap until the Original Flexocor line came out. That's from 1980 until now. I have heard of the lighter violet wrap being used a long time ago but never seen it. I've never heard or seen anthing like what Francois describes, although it sounds cool. I, like Ken thought that the darker purple/blue wrap was a new invention. The only people who could really put this to rest are Pirastro themselves and it seems like Ken Smith is the only one who can get them to talk so...Ken?

    Jon
     
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    You mean 'sordid'? Chronological would be cool, too.
     
  6. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    My teacher, a symphony player, occasionally complains about how the old great Flexocors are no longer available. He also says that even when Pirastro brought back the "Original" Flexocors, it was never quite the same.
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The story about the USA Sub-contractor comes from a Bassist/Dealer that is 10 years my senior. Pirastro will not admit that they ever had them made anywhere but in Germany by themselves. Now it doesnt really matter who made what when as much as it matters who can make what 'tomorrow'!!

    I will compare the current Starks to the ones on my English Bass and see if they are the same. If they differ, then they are the REAL Originals. I don't know about the old ones on my Gilkes if they are medium or heavy, Old or new. If I can, I will compare them as well.

    Then, sending a 30 year old string to Pirastro does not mean they can make the old Formula. It just means they will have a look.

    With different string machinery these days, old designs may not come out the same. It is a combination of the materials, design and the equiptment making them PLUS any Majic involved by the actual individual String making Person as well.. IMO........
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Is this akin to the New Coke vs Old Coke thing ?
     
  9. Yes thank you Ray. Sordid is what I meant. Hopefully our Moderator can make the change in the thread title? How I passed college english, I will never know.

    Jon
     
  10. Ken, as someone who has experience marketing strings, you would know better than I, but strings making isn't like bass making, there are materials which can be consistantly duplicated, dimensions and toleracnces which can be duplicated, etc. Metal is metal, winding tension is winding tension etc. Any old string could be taken apart, the alloys used verified by NMR or something like that, the dimensions of the various windings measured directly. With a little trial and error adjusting the winding machince, one should be able to come up with something close. This is not so much art but engineering. Am I missing something?
     
  11. Francois

    I wasn't really being serious about starting this thread, but hey, maybe it's a good idea. With that in mind, could we possibly change the title to something less sarcastic and inflamatory like just "Pirastro Product Changes" I wouldn't want any pirastro reps getting upset (if you know what I mean). Plus my poor spelling wouldn't be up there for the world to see.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jon
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Due to EPA regulations here and similar restrictions in other countries, "Things Ain't What They Used To Be".

    Not all metals are the same. Not all formulas are the same. Not all disposing of chemicals used in Manufacturing is the same SO, Not all the products are the same.

    In USA, String Winding metals used to be washed and the discharges disposed of. Now, you can't just dump anthing you want. Machines need Lubrication during winding to prevent overheating. When does this waste go?

    Things change for reasons we never hear about. BTW, Candy Bars used to be bigger and cheaper! Now you get less and pay more. What happened with that?
     
  13. Yes and when a package design changes ie Drakes cakes, that's when the size decreases. The above mentioned product has suffered at least five such reductions in the past 20 years.

    I still like my Or Fl from Pirastro, enough to not want to try any experimentation right now.
     

  14. You raise good points Ken. I hadn't thought of possible environmental restriction issues. Of course that probably only applied to large scale manufacturing, so the boutique string maker could have more options prividing they were willing to take the extra steps (which would add cost of course). I think I would be willing to spend more on orchestral bass strings since I would only need to change them once every couple of years.

    Jon
    Jon