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!  

Pizz and Arco, Corelli and Evah

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Birkerts, Dec 7, 2011.


  1. Birkerts

    Birkerts

    May 20, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I'm looking for opinions on Evah Pirazzi Weichs vs. Corellis (370m? 370f?). I play Obligatos right now, and while I like the pizz tone for jazz on my bass they feel stiff and the arco is scratchy - and I'm not new to the bow. The strings can't be stiff, and they must have excellent bowed response as well as have a decent sound for supportive jazz basslines.

    I play about 50/50 arco and pizz - arco both solo and in orchestras, and pizz in small combos and a big band. For arco tone I LOVE Rabbath - I like it to almost verge on cello-like, which is why I'm drawn to the Corellis. For pizz I like a warm tone that is also articulate - I like Rufus Reid's sound, and John Clayton. I do not play very hard - I try to get a big, teddy bear sound with minimal effort. Tone is very important to me, but the feel of the strings (under the left hand especially) is also crucial. Basically, I'm picky as @&$%.

    What are people's experience with these strings? Other strings I can try? (I've done a lot of research already, boiled it down to these plus a couple others).

    Thanks for your help,

    Liam
     
  2. Birkerts

    Birkerts

    May 20, 2010
    Boston, MA
    It might help to have some samples of my sound:
    Birkerts's sounds on SoundCloud
    A Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square has an arco opening - that's about the best sound I've been able to get out of these strings/my instrument. My teachers who have played it haven't done much better.

    I'd love some feedback on the playing too - just not too harsh, I'm only a student! :bag:
     
  3. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have not played the corellis. If you think the obligatos feel stiff then the Evahs will feel even more so, IME. On my current bass I have had both and the obligatos felt less stiff and softer under the left hand. I went from Evah regulars to weichs to reduce the tension but do love the sound arco/pizz. You might want to try a used set to see how they feel and work with you/bass.
     
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    The Corelli 370s are very thin and I didn't care for their feel for jazz pizz. They were thin sounding on my bass, too. Corelli 380TX are thicker and pretty good for jazz pizz although the E string was useless for jazz on my bass. They bow well, too.
     
  5. Evah Weichs are a really nice arco string, and I think their sound is pretty acceptable pizza too. Not hard work to play. I switched to Evah from Corelli basically because the Corellis (I was using 370s) were too quiet, especially for orchestra.
     
  6. uprightben

    uprightben

    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    The current strings on my bass are evah wiechs, and my last strings were corelli 370. For me, on my bass, the corellis gave a nice pizz sound, but more Ron Carter than Rufus Reid. I found them very hard to bow cleanly. The evahs are much warmer pizz and much easier to bow. I also think the evahs are less stiff, even though they have more tension. I really think it is a matter of finding the strings that best match you and your bass, so results will defiantly vary.
     
  7. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Corellis are the absolute last string I would recommend to you for this purpose. But strings seem to behave differently on different basses.

    If you say that Obligatos were stiff and scratchy, I'm perplexed; those are the floppiest, least-scratchy strings I've tried (although my bass has a long mensure, which makes a big difference). I don't have specific advice for you, except for the obvious (Olivs!); but I would say that you should find the string you want from a pizz standpoint and then make the bow work. Spiro weichs, for example, are great for getting that Rabbath bow tone (listen to Renaud Garcia-Fons), and people also sometimes complain about them being "scratchy."
     
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Rufus has been using Animas for a long time and I've heard Clayton with Oblis. I also don't get "stiff and scatchy" from them.
     
  9. Birkerts

    Birkerts

    May 20, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for the helpful feedback! I know that I have had a weird reaction to obligatos. I only know that I much prefer to play on basses where the strings have felt softer. My obligatos are verging on spirocore mittels on some days, as far as stiffness. Does anyone know how the Evah solo set feels at standard pitch? How is the pizz?
     
  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Have you considered Bel Cantos? Some folks think the pizz is a little thumpy, but almost all agree they are great under a bow, and rather soft to the touch.
     
  11. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Hi Birk, you sound pretty good actually. You're young and going down the long and winding tone/strings road, when perhaps your effort might be better spent playing.

    Obligatos are a great arco string for me. Your arco tone sounds brittle and thin, like you need to relax your bow arm and let the arm weight sink into the strings.

    Also, your pizz tone is a bit dark for my liking. Obligatos sound great on my bass, and have just enough brightness and zing for me.

    How old are your Obli's, try a new set, they're about the best low tension string your going to find. You can also try spiro solo gauge tuned down to orchestras pitch.
     
  12. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Instead of changing strings might be time to get your set up checked out if your bass is feeling stiffer/more tension with obligatos than in the past.
     
  13. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Yes -- and maybe not. Read the Evah mega thread ... they get "tight" after a couple of months or so. I have this "getting tight feeling" experience with nearly every string I put on, and two years ago I learned from my new teacher (Greg Garrison) that he gets more life out of his supposed "dead" strings by taking them off, clean with alcohol, coil and let them rest for a while while you put on your other favorite strings -- until they get stiff -- then you rotate again -- until yes -- they all eventually die like my Evah Pirazzi Weichs did last month. That's how I got reacquainted with 15-year-old Obligatos on my bass (G&D over spiro mitt A&E) from my box-o-strings.
     
  14. Birkerts

    Birkerts

    May 20, 2010
    Boston, MA
    You're very good! I'm working on that now, thanks to Rabbath and a cellist named David Finckel. This was my first time doing a "real" recording and being kind of nervous didn't help the tension in my arm. My Obligatos are about two years of heavy playing old now, so its obviously time for new strings. I wasn't thrilled when they were new either, though. I got to try Evah weichs today and I thought they responded much more quickly to the bow and had a nice tone... though at times a little synthetic on the bass I was playing on. I might go for those for the moment and see how I like them - I don't want to change my tone TOO much at the moment since I have college auditions coming up in just a couple of months. I tried Bel Cantos as well, but the pizz seemed a little boomy for my taste.
     
  15. General consensus in the Evah thread is that Evah solos suck for everything at standard pitch, they need the extra tension.
     
  16. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    It's your bass, not the strings... Evah Solos feel nice and sound good pizz at standard tuning, but YOUR bass will determine if it likes them.
     
  17. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Another thought I have to share. In the winter time, my bass seems to harden up and slow down. I noticed over the years, that in a warmer room, that my bass moves great. Here in my home studio, where my winter temperature is around 65 degrees, it's not so good. But bump the heater up to 72 degrees, and in a couple of hours I can practice my bass with satisfaction.

    I know that humudity is talked about alot as a primary factor, but for me, I've noticed that temperature is a bigger factor. So much so, that for my recitals, I ask the venues to set the temperature to between 72-74 degrees (in the winter time).

    What does that mean physically? Well, I think it means that the bass expands a little when it's warmer, and contracts when it's cooler. I can never remember how this affects sound post tightness. I think it gets looser when the wood expands, and tighter when the wood cools. Somebody know any different please chime in. The wood mostly moves parallel to its grain, and less in it's thickness. So as the ribs expand, the distance between the plates gets further apart and the sound post gets looser -- no?
     
  18. I am a student of Rabbath. I love his technique and ease of playing with the bow, but my instrument is a larger, darker sounding instrument. During the years that I worked on changing my technique I used the Correlli 370 mediums. Even with Rabbath's approach to bowing and a relatively light and well balanced bow (not too heavy at the tip), the 370M tend to bottom out in orchestral playing, especially on the low strings. My solution at the time, while playing in the orchestra, was to use Correlli Fortes, not TX, but the 370 Forte version on the two low strings and this allowed me to dig a little deeper.

    Since that time I have become a solo player almost exclusively. I work as a Certified Music Practitioner at a cancer center playing solo double bass for patients, families and visitors almost 20 hours a week, every week, for the past 5 years. My main goal to is make a sound with the bow that is easy to listen to, beautiful, smooth, clear and ringing, yet warm and complex. The closest I have come with my 200 year old Tyrolian instrument are the Correlli Tungsten 370 Fortes. I use them on all four strings. There is enough tension to support my off the string playing and more aggressive moments in larger rooms, enough clarity and vibrancy to sustain the bowed melodies and arrangements that I create for myself to play alone, up close and personal.

    I recently puchased a new double bass, a 7/8 size model from New Standard Basses and the Correllis seem a bit too bright for this newer instrument, and maybe even too ringy and strident. I would like to find a string that is almost as lively with a good sustained tone, but warmer and sweeter for this instrument. I have tried the Evah Pirazzi Weich, but it did not sing for me in the mid and upper registers where I spend most of my time. Otherwise a very nice sound. I also tried the Zyex strings and had similar results. The Zyex had a nice pizz sound, but again, did not sing for me where I needed it most.

    If your bass tends toward a darker, rich sound, and you like Rabbath's sound concept, try the Correlli 370 Fortes. Give them a few days before you make up your mind. I have several used sets that I have not discarded. They are less than a year old. I would be happy to send you a set if you like.

    As for the perfect solution for my new bass, I wish I knew! Whatever it is has to be relatively low to medium tension, flexible, beautiful and with a sustained, clear and singing tone in the solo range. Any ideas are welcome!
     
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  19. Birkerts

    Birkerts

    May 20, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Thanks again for the input! I think for now I'm going to try the Evah weichs, but Corellis will surely come up in future experimentation.

    lloydjgoldstein, its great to hear your thoughts! When I play arco it's actually more frequently in a solo context than orchestral. At some point I would love to try Corellis, I will certainly get in touch with you when I'm at a point when I have time to do some experimenting, and a little bit of money (as a student its... hard to come by). I think what you've devoted yourself to is really touching - its one thing to have a gift, and another to do something with it. I hope I have that opportunity! This is totally unrelated, but on the subject of Rabbath: do you use the Laborie endpin? I'm contemplating installing one on my bass. I'm a bassist who likes to sit but in most circumstances can't bring a stool due to space/set up time/travelling. I prefer to sit because of the stability - it lets me focus more on my playing, and frees up my left hand more. I'd love to hear about experiences with the endpin!
     
  20. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    I had the same exact experience with both EP weich and regulars, which is too bad, because do sound great otherwise. For six months I studied my solo repertoire on these strings, and specifically what I found is that you can get them to sing in the mid-upper register if you can precisely control your bow placement. String crossings are a challenge because the sweet spot is in a different place on each string. This made Bach suites unsatisfying for me, and too much like work. Because of this, I probably will not try EP's again.

    I'd like to one day try Corelli 370 tungsten forte, but currently I'm playing on old Obligatos G&D with spiro mitt A&E. Lloyd, you might give Obli's a shot on your new bass. To my ears, they are gut-like, clear and warm with enough complexity, and very bowable up in the solo register. Many players do not like Obli's on the bottom, claiming that they're too soft and roll exessively when pizzed, so you might try Permanents for your bottom two strings -- they more bowable than spiro mitts and still sound good when pizzed. In fact, I might be putting my Permanent A&E back on soon.

    Permanent G&D (what Edgar uses) certainly sing on my bass, but I get tired of that sound after a while.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.