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Potential D and G strings to try with E and A Starks

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Mar 31, 2005.


  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I may end up right back where I started, but I'm getting increasingly annoyed with the nasal whine I'm getting from my Stark D up around the octave between about B and Eb. I'm cool with the G string for the most part, but it makes more sense to try matching the D and G for tone quality purposes. Basically, I'm looking for strings to try and see if they might work.

    Criteria:
    - the starks are pretty thick, and a really thin string would feel bizarre in comparison, so suggestions of strings on the thick side would be my first choice.
    - the starks are absolute bridge cables in terms of tension, so anything that's super loose would likely feel odd...but a little difference wouldn't be a deal breaker.
    - I like sustain, but would like to experiment with something a bit darker. I don't mind losing a little sustain, but nothing gutlike would be likely to fit the bill.

    A generous soul has offered to let me try an old Dominant D to see how it goes. If anybody has other suggestions that might be worth a shot, post 'em here!





    (Just in case anyone's not familiar with the sound of the starks, the two Java Men cuts on the soundclips page of my site were recorded with starks, and illustrate what they sound like on a cheap factory carved Czech bass as played by a balding hillbilly from Podunk, KY) They obviously sound better on said hillbilly's beautiful new LaScala hybrid, but you get the idea. :) )
     
  2. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Chris, I am using and really liking the Stark A and E with the Dominant D and G.
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Original Flexocors D & G.
    Strong warm tone, brighter than '92 Flex's, more volume too.
     
  4. Thomastik Superflexibles? I've got the top three strings Superflexibles, and the bottom E, a Spirocore Mittel ( orchestral-red to red).
    The Superflexibles have a bit of a wider excursion than the Spiros, but the volume is not bad, they bow better, they are slightly lighter tension. Because you may have to increase the string height for them, it seems to balance out the tension though.

    Just a thought ,but if you have just started getting the note imbalance problem with the Starks, it might be worth getting a luthier to check out the soundpost. I have just had a new one fitted to my Dolling bass, and it has improved the sound greatly. It seems because it had had adjustments over the years, there were actually indentations in the front and back of the bass, meaning it was never in proper contact.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for the thoughts, folks...keep 'em coming! I'll start with the Dominant D, and if it seems promising, I'll order a new D and G. If not, I'll start trying the other suggestions.


    Thanks...I had wondered about that as well, but Nnick (my Lluthier) said it was just the way the bass resonates. It's mostly the "open" D now, but before Nnick adjusted the curvature of the strings to bring out more E and G, the D string pretty much dominanted the bass. Now it's just all about trying something a little darker that will hopefully still cut through and sustain without whining at the octave. :)
     
  6. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Chris, I hope you get the pProblem fingered out...
     
  7. delbass

    delbass

    Sep 9, 2003
    Albany, NY
    Chris-
    I just put some helicore heavy gauge "arco" model D and G on my La Scala, and I am getting a nice dark tone(not muddy) with decent sustain. Seems like the helicores get a bad rap, but I actually really like them so far. I've done a few recording sessions and gigs in the last few days, and was pleased with the sound. I remember reading a post here that said either Ray Brown or Milt Hinton used to use the helicore "arco" model.
    -Del
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Didja try Oblongatos yet? I had some concerns about going up the G string - thin sound, cold - and went from Corelli's (which were good and solved the problem) to Oblodees (which sounded really good) to Animas (which sound exactly the way the bass in my head sounds).
     
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Still mulling over the flat chromesteel?
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    OBLIS - Tried 'em, loved 'em until I played with anybody, then hated 'em. Compared to the starks, they just didn't cut through. Haven't tried the animas yet except on Rufus' bass, which I only got to play for a few minutes, and then alone.

    Flat Chromsteel - as I noted in the thread I hijacked, playing on the Flatchromes for about half and hour on Nnick's new bass were what started all of this. The FC's are certainly still in the running.
     
  11. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I have FC D & G with Regular Spiros (I hate the 'Mittel' thing -- just sounds snotty to me for some reason...) and the balance is pretty good in all respects. Not sure how they'd match the Spiro Brooklyn Bridge flavored ones.
     
  12. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Had a set of Starks on my old German Plywood for a couple weeks. Went to my lesson and my teacher pointed out that I was working way to hard on them and that he thought they were choking my bass.

    He was right. I put on a full set of Dominants and played Tuesday and Thursday's gigs with them. Sound huge, round, and gutlike but pitch stable. Easy to play. I think the Starks were really busting up my touch. Not much volume change from the starks though. Kind of miss that Stark E though. Very macho.

    I really like the D and G. Feel very similar in size to the Stark D and G but more flexable. Sound very different than Spirocores. Fat. Way fatter than the Starks. Very little highs and high mids. Starks might be closer if they had some miles on them. I'm mixed on the E and A as they are quite a bit lighter feeling. I may put the Stark E and perhaps the A back on at some point but I promised my teacher I'd leave the Dominants on long enough to get used to them.

    He also talked me into practicing with a bow and working through Simandl with the bow instead of Pizz. Bastard.

    I'm sure the Dominants bow better.
     
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You guys rule - I love this place! As I said, I'm married to the Stark E. Everything else is open for experiment. Ray - what's the girth of the FC G and D like? If they souded great I could probably get used to them, but it would be better if they weren't thin.

    FWIW, I think that part of what's going on with me at the moment is that I may finally have gotten enough better with my acoustic sound production that I'm willing to try venturing away from the most macho of strings. The hope is that I'll be able to learn to pull some of that "weight" and "power" out of some different strings if I work at it.
     
  14. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    You can just about get a sound out of any setup after you rise above the level of 'suck' with your equipment.

    The FC D and G seem to match the Regular Spiros pretty well. I can't really say how well they compare to the Spiro D and G as this current setup is replacing the Solo Spiros that I've been using for the last year or better. I wouls say they feel a little lighter than orig. Flexocor D and G just by a bit, but just a bit. The FC D and G were too thick with Solo E and A. I thought that they were naturally a little nasty with the bow at first, but they've settled in nicely after a couple of weeks.

    With the action up a bit, you can get a very Ray Brown-sh kinda sound with the Spiro/FC combo, but they were a little too stiff 'n mean that way to pull off all my pyrotechnics, so lowered them a bit and now have a lighter, open and looser sound.
     
  15. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    So that's why I sound like a small tortured farm animal playing bass.
     
  16. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    That's interesting, as it's just what I'm finding with the Obli's...they sound great at home, and I like the size and tension, but they disapear when playing with others. Also the G is a little nasal and weak (just a Francois warned me :meh: ).

    I have just received a FlatChrome G which I will try. Depending on the result I will either get a set of FC, a set of Superflexible, or some of each. I'd try spirocores on the bottom, but I need something that bows better than they do, hence the SuperF's.

    Where are you all buying strings from? I've been using Quinns, since their price and free delivery is very attractive, but they take a long time to ship stuff out. If I buy from BobG then it arrives within two days, but anything from Quinns takes a week or more.
     
  17. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have used Concord Musical Supplies for the last couple of string orders. They are very price competitive. I think even a little better than Quinn. They ship a string or two for only a $1.50 which is really nice.

    I have gotten the order within the week both times. For cheap shipping, most places use USPS. Quinn is in Minneapolis. Concord is in NJ. So, it depends on who is closer as to who will be quicker I guess. So, Concord might be great for you.

    FWIW, I ordered a bow case from Quinn this week and it shipped next day.
     
  18. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    That is a possibility although I am not sure that there are a whole lot of NS basses in Canada yet! Besides, there are a couple basses I am eyeing(including a Pollmann) right now.

    Back on topic....I think the Dominants are going to work well for you. They have a really huge sound and match up well with Spirocores.
     
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    The volume went UP on my bass when I switched from Corelli's to Obli's.
     
  20. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    This thread is a very good illustration of how differently basses sound and respond with the same strings.

    Previous to my Obli's I also had Correllis, but my bass didn't lose volume - I just traded the sweeter, but more 'fretless-bass' sound for the thunky-thud of the Obli's.

    My bass had Helicore arco mediums when I got it and they were very heavy on the fingers and very dull for pizz. And I'm finding the Obli's have settled down to be too much thump and too little tone.

    My bass is loud and boomy, and I'm finding that I need a more articulate string, with not too low or high tension to bring out the best in it. The Flatchrome G I put on last night seems to be a move in the right direction - feel/tension is good and it's considerably louder and brighter than the Obli's without being nasal. I'll give it a few days to settle down and if I still like it I'll change the whole set.