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so many darn choices.

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jmpiwonka, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    pretty soon i'm gonna spring for some new strings on my newly acquired shen sb200. I want to get some recommendations as i have searched and searched through the archives and pretty much narrowed it down. i have a few questions still though.

    the bass has dominants of unkown age on it. the g string seems to be way way off from the rest of the set. it is raspy sounding with the bow no matter what pressure or bow speed i use, and definately way brighter than the rest of the set when playing pizz.

    my bass has just been setup with an unadjustable bridge and the string heights are 5,7,9,11 from g to e and the nut slots are just right for dominants.

    the bass could use a little more growl on the A and E strings, the D is nice, and the G is way off from the rest. i want a woody tone with lots of overtones but not metallic sounding, the G and D need to be smooth and organic sounding (think LaFaro).

    I am thinking of going with some superflexibles, how much brighter are they than dominants and how much darker than spirocores.
    the bass i used to play had flexocors (i think) on it for the three years (violet top and bottoms) i played it and probably much longer than that too, and were nice and thick, i am used to playing those, tension on the dominants is fine.

    any other ideas of where to start?
    flatchromesteel? the g string on the dominants is the thinnest i want to go for now (i'm used to thick strings).
    i was also considering some of the brighter flexocors ('92's) for the G and D and then something like a superflexible for the A and E....but i think i want to start off with a full set to see how that works.

    the dominants have probably been off atleast five times since they were on it when it was setup so is that possibly why the g string sounds so raspy?????

    i'm really thinking some Eudoxa's would be nice but....i just had my setup done for the dominants, would nut slots need to be opened up for these....and there is that fact that i think i might lose some volume.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    5-11mm seems an odd spread from the G to the E. Most I know of vary only by 3 or 4 mm from one side to another. Your G string likely sounds weaker and kind of buzzy than the rest because of the lowered height, and if you lack growl on the A and E, it's likely because they're too high to growl the way you want. I'm not sure that your strings are causing your dissatisfaction here, but maybe someone with a different perspective will chime in. Good luck.
  3. These are the Original Flexocors.
    The '92s have a ruby red silk wrap.
    The Flexocors '92 D & G are warmer than the Originals so you may want the Originals instead. (for the D & G)
    The Flexocors '92 E & A are brighter than the Originals, but I wouldn't call them bright...
  4. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    yeah, i think i'll want something just a bit brighter than the original D and G, the E and A......something a good bit brighter.
    so, other than the originals, the rest of the flexocores are the "'92 variety"?

    as far as the string height, i had him leave it a little high so that he or i could take it down a bit if i desired (no bridge adjusters). the G string sounds way brighter than the rest of the strings.

    i just layed my bass up on my bed and did a better measurement, string height to the middle of the string are 6, 7, 8 and 9 (which is what he told me he set it at :D )

    i do get a little growl from the A and E strings, i would just prefer a little more.
    i wanted to see what some spirocores would sound like but after getting some real playing (practice) time in with it after the new setup that g string is really annoying me and i think the spiro would be the same or worse.
    is the weich set darker than the mittels as far as spirocores go.
  5. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Personally, I'm getting ready to try Dominants.

    Currently I'm using Flat Chromesteels on a plywood Shen. I think the tone is great and work work well for you based on the description of what you're looking for. The only drawback in my mind, and my ear, is that the FCS E is a little weak in volume, and G is a little loud. I imagine that if I had the time to get the bass in to a shop that volume balance could be rectified pretty easily with a soundpost adjustment.

    The FCS's bow very well, for me, and still maintain a decent amount a growl, but not over the top.

    Superflexibles have been on this bass as well. I like them for the same reasons as the FCS's, but I found them to have a little more growl than the FCS's but less than Sprio's.

    Good luck with your search.
  6. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    ha, i just realized that my strings are (well were) pirastro original flat-chromes, :D
    thanks for string charts huh.

    well i tried some well used spirocore mittels, whoaaaa, talk about a difference. sadly they were a little too bright for my bass, the sustain was overabundant as well.
    i went to some new superflexibles and those will probably be a little better once they break in, still alot of sustain but a nice thump from my finger hitting the next string :D. fresh out of the paper they are a little darker than the mittels but the E seems a little weak, wonder if a soundpost tweak may help that out (from the start the soundpost seemed a little close to the bridge foot to me), may have to bug the luthier.

    could anyone comment on how a spirocore weich would compare to the superflexibles, i think i want a thicker sounding (and feeling) G and D string and a stronger E.......i could live with even less sustain too....but the SF's aren't bad.

    man this is gonna get expensive, how are the Eudoxa G and D for jazz, :rolleyes:
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You know, I have this feeling that strings are a conspiracy of the string manufacturers to make sure they have a steady stream of high-dollar purchases in support of every DB sold, because it seems to take years for people to settle on a set of strings. I've had mine for 8 months now and still haven't settled. I've spent about $350 in new sets trying to decide, and I'm sure there's more where that came from. Unfortunately, it looks like my favorite string is going to be plain guts or Pirastro Eudoxas. Why couldn't it have been those $15 steel sets from Ebay?

    BTW, I love Eudoxas on the E, A and G but haven't tried them on the D yet, though I'm finally getting a D so I can try a whole set. But I love how the Eudoxas have a dark sound and a bright sound at the same time. It's like they start off dark but end up bright.
  8. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    well i have some pirastro pizzicatos on my bass now. they are pretty nice but i think my bass could use a higher tension E string so i'm gonna replace that one string and see what it does (i might just replace both E and A).

    i did try some superflexibles but they had too much growl and too much sustain.

    right now i'm trying to decide if i should go with a dominant, permanant, or helicore orchestra medium gauge.

    seriously i'm thinking about a permanant or dominant......which of those would be darker sounding, which is louder?
    i like a stiff E string.
  9. IMO, the Dominant wins on all counts over the Permanent.
    Louder, stiffer and darker.
  10. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    alright, thats the input i needed.
    i'm gonna try out a dominant E (might do an A also if i like the E).
  11. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    But the Permanent E has a quicker "bite" under the bow than the Dominants E, imho.
  12. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    haven't bought yet.
    i think if the permanent is brighter it might be a better match to the pizzicatos (which seem pretty bright for a gut string).
    is the dominant much louder?
    i'm more interested in pizzicato than arco although a nice arco string is fine with me if it has good pizz characteristics.

    i found a superflexible E string to be weak, the spiro mittel E was about perfect as far as tension is concerned, just too bright.
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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

    *this is one of them "ad infinitum's" you've been hearing so much about
  14. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    IMO, the big difference between Spiros and Dominants comes when you hear them in a mix. My Hofner has Spiro Mittels on it and my old teacher's Kay has Dominants and I used to prefer the Spiros because they sounded better solo...the thing is, every time I hear them in a mix, Dominants sound *gorgeous*. Check Chris Fitzgerald's clip that he's posted in many threads for a good idea, and Dave Young's bass-piano duet CDs also feature him using a bass with Dominants.

    By the by, you'll find the Spiros mellow out as time goes on. My bass hasn't had the strings changed in a long time -- I'm friends with the previous owner and in the 2 years since he bought it and right now (I acquired it in July) it still hasn't had the strings changed -- and they're much more mellow than other Spiro-equipped basses I've played (several.) The Dominant E is a little bit stiffer, but not extraordinarily so. I've gotten reccomendations from people to try mixing gut G and D with Dominant A and E, which might be a good idea.

    Also, new Dominants have a really brittle sound on top. That goes away pretty quick (2 weeks?) and you're left with a beautiful, dark tone and a string that responds not only fairly nicely to pizz, but also bows wonderfully.
  15. Who sells them?
  16. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
  17. Yes. Lemur just e-mailed me. I gagged on the price.
    Are you satisfied with the E and A?
    I spoke yesterday to a very good player who does not use the whole set, only D and G.
  18. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    the E seems weak.
    i don't know if i'm happy with this set or not.
    these strings growl on my bass....i replaced superflexibles because of too much growl.....i'm gonna give 'em a good amount of time before i really decide if i like them (see if they mellow out).
    i had my soundpost moved down a little the other day and i did some playing last night and the E is a little better. the superflexible E was kinda weak on my bass too, maybe its not strings.