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Review: Kolstein Heritage

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Monte, Sep 16, 2004.


  1. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Got a slightly used set of these for my friend who bought my Juzek. After a
    trial putting them on with Don Munday, when all 3 of us forgot to watch the
    bridge tilting up which made for an impressive noise and a cracked bridge, I
    picked it up yesterday.

    While they need to settle, I like them fairly well. They really feel like
    gut, but don't sound like them. They seem much brighter than the Obligatos,
    but may settle down. I've never played a brand new set of the Obligatos, so
    they may be similar when first installed. They feel looser than the
    Obligatos.

    The A and D are really nice, but the G is pretty snarly. Hopefully, it will
    calm down. Sounds like a Spirocore right now. The E has a lot of growl, a
    little too much for my taste. Lots of sustain throughout, although I
    wouldn't call them very balanced. Seems the G is a lot louder.

    They bow pretty well, considering my limited arco chops. Not as easy as the
    Velvet 180's. In fact, most strings I've played lately tend to fall short of
    the 180's for me.

    I had considered these as a cheaper alternative to the Velvet 180's, but
    while I think they are a good hybrid string, I like the gut characteristics
    of the Velvet more. Still, a good string for what they are. If they truly
    have solved the rolling problem of the Obligatos, it would be worth
    investigating for those users.

    Monte
     
  2. I have Kolstein Heritage strings on both of my basses (plywood and carved). They are the best of all worlds. They feel very much like gut, stay in tune, plenty of sustain, strong fundamental and very comfortable thickness (if you are gut user).
     
  3. I've had my Kolstein Heritages on now for about about 6 weeks. The G-string WILL settle in -- it was pretty obnoxious for the first couple of weeks, and it still sticks out a bit, soundwise.

    Monte, on my bass, they felt tighter than the Obligatos, especially the A and E -- no rolling at all on the Heritage. Thinking back, though, they did feel looser when I first installed them. They probably tighten up a little as part of the break-in process. They feel really nice under the fingers, though. I like the string to push back a little bit, and the Heritage accomplish this well -- better than the Oblis. I also notice they seem to respond a bit more quickly than the Oblis -- when I try get all Pattituci-ish during a solo, the sixteenth notes sound pretty clean ('course, there's a remote possibility that my practicing is paying off).

    Arco also sounds quite decent now that they are settled in. Not near as good as the Varicors for the bow, but that's a whole nuther animal. But I could play an orch gig with these strings no problem.

    The only drawback so far in the Obli/Heritage shootout is that I'm missing the big, fat fundamental that the Oblis provided. One of my students has the exact same bass and setup that I do except that he still has the Oblis, so I was able to A/B them. Conclusion: From the standpoint of playability, I prefer the Heritage, but soundwise, I prefer the Oblis for their deeper, warmer sound. They're closer to what I'm hearing.

    Jury's still out whether I'll switch back -- I may Frankenstein a Obli/Heritage set and see what happens.
     
  4. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    My impression without trying them was that they were going to be pretty much the same as the Dominants. Can anyone verify this? I am using Dominants on the D and G right now(E and A Spirocore), and they sound great. My bass responds the best with this setup.
     
  5. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I have not tried Dominants, but to me, the pizz on the Heritage strings sound much like spirocores. They also seem to bow much better than the helicores, especially the E and A. Haven't tried any other strings on this bass yet, so I can't make a true A/B comparison.

    I have had them on for about 3 weeks and they have settled in nicely. Not nearly as twangy as the the first week.

    Previously, I preferred the sound of Corellis to most other strings. I may try a set of those next.

    -Ben
     
  6. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Just got my new set of Heritage strings in the mail last week. I'll probably wait until after next week to install them (recording session on the 30th... don't want to have twangy strings), so after I get them on I'll give a review as well. I'm nervous about the switch from Obligatos, as I don't want to lose my bottom or my thump, but I can always go back.

    Question... I play with pretty high string height, and am wondering if those of you who have tested these strings play with the same. I don't go for a lot of sustain, so I'm wondering what the sustain with these strings is like with them up high.
     
  7. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I don't know if I would consider my set up high...it's high by Lynn Seaton standards, but low by orchestra standards. Certainly not a "manly" setup.

    I still get a fair amount of sustain and I wouldn't characterize these strings as "thumpy", but YMMV. Looking at your profile, I don't think they are very "Haden-esque". Take this with a grain of salt since what I'm shooting for is tonally very different.
     
  8. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Hey all,
    Finally got the Heritage strings on today. I haven't yet gigged/rehearsed with them, so I can post a more thorough review in a day or two. My first impression? WOW! :hyper: Coming from Obligatos, I find these to be a lot louder, with more fundamental in the lower register. They sound incredibly balanced and smooth, and out of the box (bag?) mine were a lot less metallic and bright than I remember my Obligatos being when I first put them on. I can't wait to hear how they sound after they settle a bit.

    I have a high setup and am getting the same amount of sustain out of these as I did with the Oblis, with maybe a bit more here and there depending on my technique. I've heard it here and there that these strings aren't very thumpy. With my setup they seem to be. Arco is near orgasmic. Very loud, very responsive, even with my cheap bow (German).

    Again, these are first impressions after having them on and monking around for the afternoon in my rehearsal room, but at this point they get two thumbs up!

    edit: spelling :eyebrow:
     
  9. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Hi guys,

    Does the gauge of the Heritage's require you to file down and make room at the nut? Howzit compare to Spiro Red's gauge?

    Thanks.
     
  10. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    in terms of gauge, etc., they're in the same ballpark as spiros, oblis, etc. no need to file or do any modifications.
     
  11. Any more comments on the Heritage strings? From the few reviews, they seem like great strings. But I'm curious to hear more, if anyone else has used them.
     
  12. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I still like the strings, but my G-String is a little thin sounding. This may be due to an uneven setup, so I'm reserving final judgement until I re-arc my bridge.
     
  13. How would you compare them to say, Spiro Weichs? That's what I have on now, and the G and D strings are really what's making me want to try something else. They have that bright, ringy quality with the bow. Would the heritages be better in that respect?
     
  14. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I haven't bowed on Spirocores, just pizz, so I don't think I can give an informed opinion on that. The Heritage strings are bright at first, but mellow after a few weeks.

    I'm not sure about the G-string yet. I will get some set-up work done in the next few weeks and should be able to give more of an answer as to the g-string sound.

    My D sounds fine. No complaints.
     
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Well I went nuts and took the plunge. Not only did I dump my Spirocores for some Heritages last night, but I also put on an MPM tailpiece that I got from Adrian Juras as well as install a Full Circle pickup. So I don't know what kind of a comparison I can make, but assuming that the bass doesn't sound too much different with a new tailpiece, I like the Heritages.

    They're definitely lower tension than Spiros and not as dark. Bowing's def better than spiros and has a nice tone. The G was a little tinny at first but seems like it's calmed down. Big difference was that the E has loads of growly growl. Maybe more than a Spiro E, but the other strings don't have as much as Spiro's do. They remind me of the Corelli's I had on... not as bright but had the same kind of feel and def more tension. The strings also seem to have an even volume, something I noticed I didn't get with spiros. I can't say if it's cuz of the new tailpiece or the strings makes it so. Arco's good with my newbie hands. Not as easy as Corelli's but it's not bad as spirochores. I think I'll adapt to them right quick.

    I think these puppies are going to stay on quite a long time. :) I'll update my experiences once they've been on and broken in.
     
  16. I've had the Heritage strings on since July. They just seem to get better and better. I have a 5 year old Romanian carved flatback, and the lower tension of the strings (I had Varicores on before) seems to have opened the bass up and the tone has become much warmer and fuller. The e has the right amount of growl for my purposes. The g was overly bright at first but it settled down and now is as nice a g as I have used on this instrument (which tends to be rather bright). I think they are friendlier to the bow than the Varicores were. They seem to be an excellent match for my instrument, and I will probably continue to use them. I 'll probably try them out on my plywood next time I need to change strings on it.
     
  17. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Well, I've had mine on for about a month now. A little while ago it was super nasal and kinda getting to me but since then it's chilled out (if strings can chill out). Sounds great pizz & arco. Nice and rich, and complements my Chrissy well (which I think is on the mid or bright side). I dig the big growly growl on the E & A. I think my search has ended... at least for now. :)
     
  18. I finally got a set of Heritages also. I've had them on for a couple of weeks, and I really like them. They sound very warm and open on my Kay, and it's true about the growl on the E string. It is a bit much at first, but I think it will mellow out. Arco is great. I'm really happy with them.
     
  19. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    An update:

    Got my old Juzek back from a student in Arlington, TX that was thinking about buying it (he went w/ a new Italian from Kansas City).

    The Heritages have now been played on for a few weeks and they sound much better. Less nasal and they feel great. Not gut but similar in feel, with a deep vocal quality to them. Better than the Obligatos that I remember.

    I haven't bowed on them yet, but I think the windings feel rougher.

    Still like the Velvet 180's better, but these are very good.

    Monte
     
  20. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    What is the thickness of these strings like?