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Seeking alternative hybrid string choices

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by funkythumb, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    Without discussing my entire string history, I'll recap quickly. I'm mostly playing jazz but need something that bows easily for orchestral work. For my taste, Spiro mittels are too bright for pizz and a pain for arco. Finally tried and LOVED Velvet Animas for pizz but arco wasn't happening. Dig the the warmer tone and sustain. Kept them on for a year and killed them. I'm now using a full set of Evahs, weich. Great for arco and mostly dig the pizz tone, but miss the open, sustained growl of the Animas. I don't mind thumpy, but the Evahs sound a bit congested. I can live with them as they're the best compromise I've found yet.
    Any suggestions for something a bit more pizz lively than the Evah but bows just as well?
  2. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    By the way, I'm playing an Upton ply and have an Upton Bresian coming in a few months.
  3. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    I have to give up the ply for the Bresian so I'll only own one DB.
  4. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    This is double tricky, string advice is subjective, and the fact that you are getting a new bass will further complicate things as what works on one may not work on another...

    That said-

    Maybe read up on Pirastro Jazzers? They are kinda supposed to be Pirastro's version of TI's Spiro's, but their arco tone is a lot more warm. Great jazz pizz sound too.

    See if you can find a bass with Pirastro Permanents on it- they absolutely KILL under the bow, and they have (again, imho) a pizz that works great for jazz, especially when they're on the new side.

    The greatest cross over string ever (imho) is Pirastro Eudoxa- but living in Georgia...you might not find them to be too much fun! :)

    Best of luck on your seach!

  5. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    Thanks Joe! I've been reading threads and the Jazzers seem like a strong next choice. As long as they're less bright than the Spiros. There is something that I do like about the Evahs. Warm and thumpy but I totally lost clarity on both my DB gigs this week. Appreciate it!
  6. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Jargars might be an interesting option; steel strings, they bow nice, and have less "brashness" at the top end. They're not too costly, either.
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Also check out Zyex, when my Anima D string broke (after 3 years) a buddy of mine offered to get me a set of Zyex at cost. I'll eventually go back to Animas, becuase these don't have quite the initial fundamental or projection that the Animas have, but they are still have a good projection/volume, solid fundamental and a warm sound pizz. But they sound super sweet under the bow.
  8. dperrott


    Oct 3, 2005
    I would say the Thomastik rope core/superflexibles. I love spiracores and will never play anything else, but if I had to play anything else it would be these. The bow great, they were designed for orchestra, but have nice sustain to them. I was impressed with a friends bass that had them. I think the are a great hybrid string.
  9. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    Thank you guys for all the suggestions. Keep 'em comin'. My Evahs sound so nice at home but at the gig, there was a noticeable loss of highs. I had to really dig to get a nose on the note and they just don't bloom like the Animas. I like them though, I must admit, and will keep them in the drawer just in case.
    Wish I could afford two basses right now (which was the plan) one for orch and one for jazz. I'll be happy to have one really good bass that I can play all my stuff on if I can find that right string.
    Any further opinions on Jazzers? Remember that I'm looking for something that's brighter than the Evahs but not as bright as the Spiros for mostly jazz and some arco.Thanks
  10. What about Velvet Compas 180? Do a search on this forum and convince yourself!
  11. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    I might wait on the new bass, as it could respond quite differently to strings. Maybe the evahs will sound bright and lively on it, or maybe the spiros will have a good arco tone on it.

    That aside, here are a few options for your current dilemma:

    If you mostly liked the spirocores other than being too bright and scratchy, you could try detuned spiro solos. I think this is a great hybrid set, they are darker than the mittels and easier to bow, but I still get great clarity from the strings. Of course, the tension will be much lower. Probably not much different than the animas, but very thin in gauge.

    If you prefer a little more tension, but still like some steel-string brightness, I also enjoyed a mixed set of Pirastro Flat-Chromesteel G and D, with Jazzer A and E. You could also use the Flat-Chromesteel A, but I have heard that the E is a little weak, so I would stick with the Jazzer (or just put your spiro E back on). The FCS is fairly bright with good sustain, but bows well.

    Dominant solos are also a nice low-tension hybrid set, I think the sound is a little more open than the evah weichs on my bass. Maybe a little more clarity. Decent sustain and bow well, but they don't cut through in the same way as steel strings. I've heard that they can sound kind of dead on some basses.
  12. I used to have Animas and liked them a lot. You can bow them but i wasn't realy happy with it.
    Right now i have Evah Weich with Oliv G. They are dark, but on my bass there is enough clarity. I tried a lot of strings but for now i'm happy with this combination.

    I also tried Permanents. I was very impressed by the powerful arco sound. But pizz they don't last very long. I had a set that was 6 month old and the pizz was pretty dead.

    If you are looking for a more brighter sound you may want to try Obligatos or Dominants. Obligato has a nice arco sound and pizz there is growl and sustain.
    Not everybody on TB is positive about Olbligato but i think it is still a good choiche if you want to play both pizz and arco.
  13. Obligato and Dominant might be a good choice, Velvet Compas 180 are a bit difficult to bow, the Velvet Classico are better for arco than the Compas 180 (but check if the A string is well wound).

    A bit lower tension you get with the Innovation Honeys (140H, better for old school sound pizz) and again a bit less tension with Innovation Braided (140B, really good for orchestral arco).
    The Braided set is redeveloped at the moment and may need some changes, the old set (no longer available) was very balanced and had a nice round pizz, but you cannot get aggressive with them.
  14. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    Thanks again. I'm checking everything out and am continuing to read threads based on what everyone is saying.
    Also, string tension is not a huge issue for me. I get used to whatever I've got on. I'm looking for a middle of the road string that's not too bright and not too dark. What I loved about the Animas was the way the notes opened up, growled, but had that old school warmth but with clarity. :) If they were a better candidate for arco, I'd put them back on.
    I'm thinking about Helicores again. I've never had them on this bass. I've had mixed results with them from sounding dead (on other basses) to breaking. They've also sounded very good on some basses.
    People have said that Evahs are what Helicores want to be. :)
    As long as they're brighter and still open, I might give them a try.
    Will read up on the Velvet Compas
  15. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    You could try perms. I went from EP weichs to a full set of perms. The clarity in the upper register is a staggering diff. compared to the EPs both pizz and arco. They sound pretty good pizz and bow great.
  16. dfp


    Sep 28, 2004
    regular or light?
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  18. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    Helicore vs. EP weichs ??? Are Helicore worth a try. I've had mixed results with them on previous basses.
  19. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Innovation is working on a new set of hybrid strings. Contact Daf Lewis at basschat.co.uk
  20. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    I want to echo the suggestion of dominants. Definitely not gut-like as they're advertised as being. However, they do sit very nicely in the goldilox zone of brightness/darkness. Lot's of growl and the articulation is quite impressive - pointed and heavy at the same time. The arco is stupendous, but I don't think I'll ever have anything as nice as Permanets for the upper register. I just have to learn to deal with it.

    They do have some reputation for breakage, but it really depends on the bass and how they're treated. Mine are still going strong at age ~3 months, but that's not enough time to give a definitive report on the longevity.

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