"Spiro free" no more

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bribass, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. bribass


    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    Last night I finally put a Mittel E,A,and D w/ a Superlexible G back on my German a bass after being "Spiro-free" for over 3 years (EP's on the German and SF's on the Prescott). Before the last 3 yrs. I used either Weichs or Mittels for like 25 yrs! Under the fingers they feel like home. In the living room they sound bright.
    Was too late at night to really play much. We'll see....
  2. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I think it was old Uncletoad who said it -- "Spiros are the perfect string for everywhere except your living room". Brilliant!
    Fat bob likes this.
  3. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    Last week a student played my bass and complained about the bright strings. Yes, it sounded a bit like a banjo when he played it. I kept thinking about that when it sounded dark and fat on the weekend gigs.:D
  4. uprightbass.com


    Jul 28, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Is not compensated for endorsements. Does not sell for profit.
    Was the student a BGer trying to learn THE bass? Non-BGer's just assume it's them and just keep working at it until they get the sound that they want, but BGers assume that it's the strings and/or bass. I've had ones repeated blame their bass or strings and were convinced that they needed a better bass or different strings. I'm too blunt at times so I'd tell them that there's "nothing wrong with the bass or strings, it's you". I've always said if a person doing pizz work cannot make a decent bass with Spirocores sound GOOD, then that person should is doing something wrong. Usually they aren't finessing string enough and they're not drawing sound out from the bass.
  5. bribass


    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    Took out the German for a polite background Jazz trio gig. W/ only a couple of hrs practice time on these strings they're already breaking in nicely and of course I was reminded why they are the quintessential pizz string and also why I've held on to this great bass for 24 years.. On the gig they were clear, but round and powerful sounding w/ Full Circle => AI Focus 2R III => EA Wizzy 10. I didn't bother w/ the Baggs PA DI this time. Like the Thomastik ads say, they really DO have superior pitch modulation than just about any other string I can remember trying. This quality comes from the ultra quick response of the spiral core and is what makes them such a joy for Jazz pizz soloing. I warmed up w/ this bass at home w/ some Bach and despite they're brighter arco sound and greater scratch potential (especially when breaking in) the pitch modulation thing was kinda intoxicating even w/ the bow. This makes for less muscling than the 6+ month old set of Superflexibles on my Prescott. Makes me think that longevity may be why a set of SF's cost some $40 less than Spiros. Perhaps the SF's don't last as long. When they were new on the Prescott they felt almost as easy to play as Spiros, but not now.

    On the gig in a medium sized room w/ some level of background noise they weren't too bright sounding at all, so I ventured into an arco solo on the tune "Emily" and any scratch factor was inaudible or non-existant. I was prolly mostly soloing on the SF G, but at the end of some other ballads the low C, G and Ab had some solid core sound to the lower strings as well.

    The SF G really does blend really well w/ the D,A,E Mitts, but w/ the Spiros so new and this SF G more broken in after 3 weeks of touring on a borrowed bass I can hear a little more difference btwn these two type of Thomastik strings, but (at least w/ pizz on a G string) not much.

    I am tempted to put on the dreaded Spiro G as well, but not until I have Arnold get rid of some slight fingerboard buzz in Eb, E and F territory. I think I'll keep these homeboys on the German for awhile. There are better bowing hybrid use strings like SF's and Evahs, but w/ people paying me mostly to tug on strings w/ arco as an added bonus I try to give them, Spiros are just too darn practical not to have on one of my basses.

    That's the report for now...

  6. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I noticed with the Cleveland wearing EP Weichs out on a couple gigs that although they were pretty easy to bow I preferred the sound of Spiros under the bow on my gigs too.

    On the Queen the current spiro G I have on there is singing like crazy too. Or maybe I've gotten used to playing around it's idiosyncrasies.

    Terrible in the practice room, perfect on the gig.
  7. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I'd say they are terrible because they are honest and force you to get your bow s*** straight. So yes, terrible, but in a fruitful way. I am SO in love with my hungarian Old Lady strung with Spiros under the bow.

    But then, maybe it's just that my practice room sounds fantastic:smug:


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