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Recommend some strings for a 5-Stringer?!

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by kontrabass, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. kontrabass


    Sep 29, 2004
    Hey all!
    I have been a lurker for almost a year, and finally decided to drop in and say hello. I can give an introduction in a later post, but for now I have a quick question.

    My 5-String (a christopher) is in need of new strings, for the helicore strings that came with the bass are definately not up to par, especially the E string and D String. The E string is understandable because of the low B, but the D String is extremely metallic sounding, definatley not a plus in orchestral playing.

    So my question is, which strings can you all recommend for a 5-Stringer. I would love a complete set, but I understand if there are certain strings that sound better!
    I hear good things about Obligatos, Flexocors, Permanents, Jargars, Kolstein's strings and of the such, but I would really appreciate some "real world" experiance or advice on some sort.

    My bass is rather bright sounding and I enjoy a "bass sounding instrument" not like a cello, as some people enjoy.
    Sorry about the long post!
  2. Welcome to the Board kontra....You don't mention much about the genre of bass playing you're into, but judging from your profile, you tend to spend some time in orchesral type stuff with a side interest in jazz.
    Being a five string jazz player myself, I use a complete set of Thomastik Spirocores Orchestras. For the low B, I would advise not even bothering with any brand other than the
    Thomastik! That string is so low and you really need a nice thick one to provide what little tension you can bring out for both arco and pizz. As far as the other strings go, please check the archives to find what you would need, depending on what type stuff you're into musically.
  3. kontrabass


    Sep 29, 2004
    Hello Paul!
    Sorry for the miscommunication, just like you said, I play almost 98% orchestral music, with my side interest of jazz. I will definately look into the strings you recommended. Just out of sheer curiosity, how bright are the strings? Is the tension high or low? And is the entire set completely balanced sounding?

    Nice to talk to a fellow 5-Stringer! haha

  4. kontra...take a look at my bass. Look under Basses, then at the top the TalkBasses. It's a killer!!
    The Thomastik Orchestra strings are pretty much the Gold Standard for jazz players. They are a very bright string and on most basses, not very arco friendly. They are high tension. But not as high as their Starks, used by your Moderator Chris (also known as Durrl) Chris doesn't mess with the bow, so the arco unfriendlyness is no problem. The Orchestra have tons of sustain and provide that much loved GROWL on the lower strings in terms of pizz. Some darker sounding basses are fine with Thomastik for bowing, but mostly, forget about it. They also make the Solo Strings made to be be tuned up a tone for solo playing. Some jazzers use these tuned at regular pitch for easier bowing and less tension. Thomastik also makes the Weich Strings that are lower tension period. Good pizz and better bowing. You may want to look through the Newbie links and Archives to get a better idea of what's available for mixing strings for exactly what you're looking for. You AIN'T gonna do any better than Thomastik for that B though!
  5. For a 98% orchestral usage, with a bright-sounding instrument, I'm tempted to suggest Jargar strings.
    They're quite dark, so you may get good results, and they're primarily an orchestral string.
    I heard they bow very well.
    They're available in three gauges, and a low B is also available. (also in three gauges)