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Replace my Spiro G... and D (maybe)

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Tom Baldwin, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. I am beginning research in the event that I remain dissatisfied with the Spiro G on my brand new New Standard La Scala laminate. After using an Oliv G on my other bass, I have come to love its THICK feel and attack, and how that thickness is consistent all the way up the FB. However I don't think an Oliv G is right for what I'm after on this bass. I'm looking for a G (and maybe D) that might lean in that direction. Here's what else I want:

    Something to compliment Spiro E & A
    Darker, rounder tone, but not "old-school"
    can be steel or synthetic, as long as pitch is stable
    Mainly for pizz
    Smooth windings (flatwound)

    What might be some likely candidates - Dominants, Permanents, Flexocores, Flat Chromesteels, make me an offer.
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Labella 7710's. Black tapewound strings. Sounds great.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    If you like This kind of sound, then Dominants...this is a dominant set on a LaScala. The strings were only a few weeks old at that point.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Pirastro Olives are a good bet. You know exactly what you are getting with them, and the G is one of the nicest sounding strings you will ever play!

    I disagree about the Labellas. They are IMO brighter than Spirocores.
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    They're not bright on my bass. In fact, I think I have your old set that I got from Chef.

    But my new teacher has recommended Dominants b/c of the bowing issues with the 7710's. Otherwise, he likes the sound of the Labella's too.
  6. Thanks for the suggestions, and keep 'em comin'! Meanwhile I'm reviewing the archives...so many choices :bawl:
  7. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    It really depends on the bass. After years of experimenting I found Spiros to be best on this German Ply bass I have. Conversely I recently picked up a Shen Willow and have hated the way most steel strings (Spiros, D'Addarios) sound on it. For that bass I have nothing but good things to say about the Pirastro Obligatos. Nice warm sound with a little bite.
  8. JonB


    May 27, 2003
    Really nice, Chris.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks! I suspect Tom had already heard that cut, but I really like the thick sound the Dominants produce, and I bet they'd sound great on his new axe.
  10. I swapped my G for a Dominant the other day. It's interesting how stiff the string is, even before you put it on the bass. It didn't take long to get used to the feel of it. Like Ray says, I think you should find the string that has the sound you want, and then get used to the feel if necessary. It does have a darker tone than the Spiro, but not extremely, and just a hint of the gut flavor. Somehow, there is still a brittle edge to it, and it's screechy with the bow. Does this wear off as the string ages? Also, what kind of life expectancy do the Dominants have? I'm not overly impressed with the tone, but I don't hate it either.

    There may be other factors contributing to the twanginess - one being the fact that there are some buzzes on the fingerboard, and another being the Full Circle (coming from Realist on other bass). I guess the search continues, as I am looking for still darker with more thunk on the attack.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Mine settled in and darkened nicely in a couple of weeks. Funny you should mention the bow thing: Sid King (L.O. bassist for 25 years) bought a set for his Hachez because he LIKED the brightness, and got bummed when it wore off, so he's back to Spiros. About the string life: if you're a secreter like Ray ([​IMG]), they'll probably not last long. If, on the other hand, you're a dry skinned chap like myself (which comes with its own set of problems, let me tellya...), they'll probably last for years. Mine haven't changed much since about two weeks after I put 'em on.

    With the FC, I always roll the two treble controls on the Focus almost completely off. How do you set yours with the Spiros?
  12. Does he have a dark sounding bass?

    Nice smilie! No, I'm probably closer to dry skin side.

    Haven't really used it enough to say. I'm usually chicken to try a more Drastic eq like that for fear of perverting the sound, losing clarity, or whatever. But, I might. For now I'm not going to mess with any more string experiments until I get the buzzes dealt with.
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Sid's Hachez is pretty bright and "modern" sounding. It's also (IMO, of course) the most gorgeous instrument I've ever laid eyes on. I think it absolutely smokes his old Testore, and 9 days out of 10, Sid does too.
  14. OK, got rid of my buzzes about a month and a half ago. Left the Dominant G on, but never could get with the tone. Couple weeks ago, I put the original Spiro G back, but it still is too twangy/nasally and especially in thumb position, where it also lacks volume. So the search is on again.

    Based on my Dominant experience, I think I will stick to steel this time around. So essentially I want:

    1. Darker tone
    2. Volume comparable to Spiro mediums
    3. Strong pizz response up into thumb position
    4. Realizing I will have to sacrifice some sustain, but hoping not too much.
    5. Smooth winding

    Any thoughts? I'm thinking along the lines of one of the Pirastro arco strings, or Helicore Orchestra.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    You could try Pirastro Flatchromes. They have a really thick tone all the way up and are similar in tension to Spirocore Orch. I also really like the Helicore Hybrid Heavy gauge strings.
  16. Which do you think might be a darker version of the Spiro tone?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Hard to say. They are actually fairly similar in tone. I think you might like the Flatchrome a little better. They are nice strings with a strong fundamental but with good clarity. Similar tonally to Spirocores but without the "twang".
  18. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I've never tried them (I'm partial to gut) but I seem to remember something about Pirastro Jazzers being similar to, and a bit darker than Spiros .
  19. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    I've been using Spirocore E and E with Pirastro Eudoxa D ang G.

    pros: defination comparable to spirocore, bigger sound, much thicker, lower tension, great arco response, very very loud and fat as hell

    cons: expensive, kind of hard to play, largely instable depending on weather (but if you baby them, its ok), lower tension causes a few necessary adjustments on the bass (for me).

    I dig them....but I also have a plywood bass with Spiros/Dominants set up for outdoor gigs when it's humid.
  20. Sounds like a winner.

    Ctx - I've got Jazzer E&A on my other bass, and I think that's accurate. However, I have read accounts of the G being more on the banjo side of things.

    Brian - I am sticking to steel for this particular quest. You are right about the Eudoxa, but I'm looking for stable.

    Thanks for the ideas!