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Spiro vs Superflex Solos

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Bobby King, Dec 5, 2017.


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  1. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Hey there! Anyone with experience with these: Can you compare the two? Which has a darker tone, which have a thicker diameter, which has higher tension? Thanks!
     
  2. I think the Superflexibles are darker (at least after playing them for a while).
    Diameters could be found in the copy of the baen.tamu.edu table in my Dropbox (link at the end of one of the string stickies).
     
    Bobby King likes this.
  3. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    Hi Bobby,
    I hope you're well! In my experience the Spiro solos excluding the E (F#) string feel slightly smaller, however that may be a tactile response to accompany their more focused, clear tone. The super flexibles start off very metallic pizz and gritty with the bow, but over time, will darken into a smooth, deep string. The spirocores, while darker than the other gauges of spiros, remain more bright for years. Spiro solos have a beautiful Arco tone, however the slight scrap at the beginning of the stroke is a real thing. I had improved success with harder rosins.
    A compelling set, provided the tension is right for your instrument, (in orchestra tuning) is Spirocore solo E, super flexible solo A&D with a belcanto solo or dominant solo G. Acoustic Pizzicato power in my experience is greatly diminished, and it takes a refined touch to keep those skinny little strings happy. That being said, the openness, sweetness and projection of the Arco is compelling, and as an amplified Jazz string, or in isolated recordings, can provide a big, cozy, warm pizz tone. Ultimately, I get to play acoustically quite often, and was missing some of the low mid-range that helps keep me in the mix without an amp.

    Best Wishes, Bobby!
    Chris
     
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  4. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    Hey @Bobby King couldn’t help but notice you bought and are already selling the SF solos....impressions?
     
    bskts247 likes this.
  5. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Hey there!

    Well, I liked the feel of them - they sounded good both pizz and arco, but still too sustainy and metal sounding for me. I went back to my gut setup. I play a lot of blues, swing and bluegrass professionally. At home I like to practice my arco, and gut is always a little frustrating for that. I also like the pitch definition of steel. But I don’t like too much sustain or getting that “mwah” sound. I’d like to find a steel that is lower tension like gut, but still dark and punchy. The problem with some of the darker, orchestral-type steels is that they’re higher tension, and the lower strings can be just too thuddy for pizz.
    And man, you can go broke trying out different sets! Any steel suggestions for what I’m describing? Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    lrhbass and HateyMcAmp like this.
  6. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    Has anyone tried Kaplan lights? I’m kind of looking for something similar, Bobby.
     
  7. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    How about Jargars? TB`r Earl had a recording from a gig with mediums? and sounded freaking fantastic. Dolces are lower tension if i recall.
     
    Earl likes this.
  8. elmer

    elmer

    Oct 1, 2004
    Finland
    Well Hatey and Bobby, that´s a difficult combination but I think Pirastro Passiones could be something like what you described. I have Passione starks with Flexocor Deluxe E on my classical bass. Arco is as sweet as it can get and I also like their oldschoolish pizz sound with some nice punch. Is it enough for the roots music? - I don´t know.
    Although they are starks they have quite light tension if your mensur is somewhere near 105cm. You might even like the regular Passiones for even lighter tension, but on my bass they were too weak. They are also quite thin.
    Kaplan lights could also be something you are looking for. I tried Kaplan mediums which already felt lightish tension but I didn´t like their pizz tone on my bass. It was too dull and thuddy.
    Are synthetic strings out of question? I have Innovation Polychromes coming. They could be just what you were describing...
     
  9. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    The superflexible solos really tame down in a couple weeks of Arco play, and then stay nice for a year or more. I currently have the polychromes on my American Standard. I think they're a little one-dimensional sounding especially coming from guts or evahs. They do take the bow very well, and have a clear yet puffy pizz tone with decent volume and attenuated treble. Don't expect the pure thump of gut or the spring of the other synthetics. For Better or Worse they sound very polite but possess a nice broad Dynamic capability. That's probably your next stop.
     
    Selim and lrhbass like this.
  10. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I’ve heard Jargars mentioned. Some people report that the low strings are very thuddy however. Can anyone comment about that?
     
  11. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    Are the SFs darker than the spiro solos? Which set has more
    tension?
     
  12. elmer

    elmer

    Oct 1, 2004
    Finland
    If you want a low tension steel string with less sustain it will always sound more or less thuddy with the low strings. But you can compensate by adding for example stark Passione E to the regular set and still have a lowish tension.
    Maybe you could try Flexocor Deluxe solos? They are darker than Spiro or Superflexible solos.
    I´ve tried Jargar solos which were too quiet and thuddy for pizz playing. Dolces could work but I´m afraid E and A are too weak and thuddy for roots music. I have a Forte G which is ok but too stiff for your purposes I think.
    Maybe you can find some used Kaplans there to try out.
     
    Bobby King likes this.
  13. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    In my experience, right out of the package they are equally bright...painfully so. In just a few weeks, the superflexibles will tame down on the wierd overtones, the sustain will diminish a bit, which I prefer, a more full fundamental will appear and they really age quite gracefully(especially with Arco play). I perceive the tension and guage being slightly greater on the superflexibles (excluding the E string). All that being said... In the grand scheme of things they are very similar strings. I currently do not have either of them on any of my basses, but of the two I prefer Superflexibles as a great all-around string that excels at Amplified Pizzicato play, while retaining a pleasing Arco response all in a light tension string with great longevity.

    Unless you only play amplified, or you and/or your bass require the light tension, more often than not, most basses tend to have a stronger overall sound with strings that are a bit more substantial that either of these offerings.
    There is something very compelling about the tone, but I find that they don't always hold up in the mix to my liking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    HateyMcAmp likes this.

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