Spiro 5th tuning set for small bass

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by salcott, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I have a colleague who plays a 38" string length bass and is interested in trying the Red Mitchell set. She's arco only, but willing to thrash them into submission. Mittel or Weich is the question.
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Both sets are gonna be naturally lower tension than normal because of the smaller scale. I assmue you'd get the 4/4 marketed strings and just throw them on there. My first response is to get the mediums and if it's too much then go weich. Smaller chance of error
    salcott likes this.
  3. Co.


    Sep 10, 2006
    I once tried the 3/4 Mittel Set on a bass with 36'' scale. I worked pretty well. The low C wasn't spectacular, but the pitch was actually pretty clear. Now this bass is converted to a G violone.
    I wouldn't take the 4/4 set. The 3/4 Mittel set is already low in tension, so you don't want to get any lower for normal, orchestral arco playing, especially on a shorter scale. Also it can be a problem to have too many windings on the tuner.
    bskts247, MikeCanada and DoubleMIDI like this.
  4. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I will echo that the 3/4 Mittel is where to go, especially on a shorter string length. If she/you have experience with Spirocores in 4ths and what Weich and Mittel feel like either on her instrument or yours, that can stay in the folder in your brains dealing with 4ths, and a new folder can be opened up for 5ths. The tension numbers for the Red Mitchell Mittels are more in line with Weich than Mittel numbers if you are comparing them to what you are used to in 4ths, and the Weich are quite low tension. On my instrument that is around 41.5" string length, I have the 3/4 Mittel C and G on the bottom because I found the 3/4 Weich to be too much of a wet noodle, particularly the C. I couldn't imagine them on a 38" scale, let alone the 4/4 Weich.
    salcott and bskts247 like this.
  5. My Excel sheet on my Talkbass Dropbox folder might help you with string tensions on non-standard scales. Enter your scale in cm or inches on top and search for the strings you know and you are interested in.
    Only strings with factory published data included, but there are a lot after Pirastro decided to publish tension data.

    Have a look over here: Dropbox - Talkbass

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