Punchy Deep E String to Replace Belcanto for Arco

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by CaseyVancouver, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    I am considering a replacement for my Belcanto E string, arco only. It's a 42" 7/8ths bass. It sounds warm and deep but I have a feeling a deeper punchier sound may be possible with this bass.

    Hopefully I'm not trying to 'fix something that ain't broke'.

    The bass currently has Belcanto E,A,D and medium Passione G. The original Belcanto G started to sound scratchy so Steve at String Emporium recommended the Passione G, which fixed the scratchy issue. My teacher uses Spiro E and Belcanto with his old Italian bass but I know Spiro is not right for this bass.

    I have tried a Spiro E in heavy and medium. Great for piz but way too scratchy for the bow with this arco only bass. Best sounding so far has been the Dominant E, but it is a stiff string that is hard to bow.

    Thinking maybe a Permanent E. Never tried them. Maybe the Flexocor in stark. Any others?
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Maybe try a full set of passone's. It would be weird to me to have more than 2 types of strings on one bass
  3. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    Medium Evah E could work.
    Depends on your bass and your bowarm.
  4. Flexocor Stark can be nice, and the tension is balanced across the set.
  5. elmer


    Oct 1, 2004
    Passione Stark E could be a nice match. It bows easier than Permanent and has a darker sound that may fit well with Belcantos. If you want a brighter sound you could try Flexocor Deluxe E string.
    luisraulmunoz and Selim like this.
  6. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Lots of good options to try, thanks guys.

    I am ok with a mix of strings on my bass as long the bass sounds as good as it can. I won't be able to turn a newer bass into an old Italian with string choices but I can get to it's potential.

    I'm looking for dark and deep for the E. Just about there with the Belcanto or Dominant E.

    If anyone has a used arco E string they want to sell pm me, I'll buy it. I like the idea of trying a few. I ship to Washington 98230. Put it up on tb classifieds. :)
    luisraulmunoz likes this.
  7. +1 for Passionne Stark E
    Even punchier/tighter:Flexocore Deluxe E or Kaplan medium
  8. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    Try an extension E Belcanto. It is slightly heavier than the regular E.
    Hope you have a string winder though..
  9. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Thanks Wathaet, it actually is an extension E/C Belcanto I have on now. Bit thicker than regular as you said. Been thinking I’m trying to fix something not broken. Easy to fall into the string safari trap.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  10. Co.


    Sep 10, 2006
    You might try a sound post adjustment. Might be a better solution and probably less expensive than buying a couple of E strings.
    the_Ryan likes this.
  11. the_Ryan


    Jul 10, 2015
    Bronx, NY

    I got my bass set up back in January and the post adjustment evened out the sound of my bass a lot.

    Also, have you used the regular Bel Canto E?
  12. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Wait if it’s the extension belcanto does that mean you have an extension? If not try the normal E string that may solve it
  13. koricancowboy

    koricancowboy Ausberto Acevedo

    Jun 10, 2003
    Spirocore Stark. I always found the Bel Canto e super weak.
  14. basscleff94010

    basscleff94010 Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    San Diego, CA
  15. basscleff94010

    basscleff94010 Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I have been using Passione strings on my bass for several years. At the suggestion of a teacher, I replaced the C string with a Permanent string. It added a lot more clarity and power to that low string. This combination works great on my bass...also warm and rich sounding.
  16. ouijabird


    Mar 21, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    Belcanto E extended and normal have always sounded week to me.

    I’ve found a Spiro Mittel 4/4 extended E to suit the Belcanto A,D & G nicely. A bit scratchy at first but after a while it mellows.
  17. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Ok, it's good I have a bunch of gigs to help me indulge in all things bass.

    After some research, crystal ball gazing, and consultation, I ordered a Permanent E from my favorite crack dealer Steve at String Emporium. For sure it will sound good.

    Better than Belcanto, Dominant or the Spiro stark E strings that I have tried? We shall find out.
    csrund and Reiska like this.
  18. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    They`re everywhere :D
  19. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Looks like my E string journey is over. Dominant E sounds best bowed on this bass.

    I put on a new Permanent E a few days ago. It is a thinner guage than the E/C Belcanto and was more flexible out of the package. The sound, compared to the Belcanto, was not as deep or warm. Blends very well with A,D. Does not bow as easy as Belcanto, the G and F# notes require surprising muscle. Permanent sounds good, just not as good as Belcanto or Dominant.

    I record the various strings and compare after changing them. It confirms what I hear live.

    May leave the Permanent on for a while, since it's new. The Belcanto may go back on until I get around to ordering a new Dominant.

    So to summarize, this particular bass sounds best bowed with Passione G, Belcanto D,A and Dominant E.

    I know some like a full matching set by the manufacturer. My thinking is every bass is different and a manufacture can't get every string perfect for every bass. I like to use what sounds, in my opinion, best.

    Edit: the Permanent came off today and the Belcanto E/C went back on. I tried for 5 days to make the Permanent work :) I have some classical gigs coming up and this has been bugging me. Soon as I changed back the sound was better.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    Reiska and Sam Dingle like this.