Spirocore orch. vs. Pirastro?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Jan 11, 2001.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I was reading the last issue of Double Bassist recently, and it had an article on Pirastro strings. I've been using Spirocore strings ever since I started playing, starting with weichs and then moving up to the (red winding) orchestra gauge to get more sustain & punch. While I love the sound of the Spiros, they are farly high tension and taxing on the right hand. The article mentioned a player named Keith Drosier who switched from Spiros to the Pirastro Jazzer and then to their "Original Flat Chrome" strings, and then helped develop the Obligato line. Does anybody around here know who Drosier is and what his sound is like?

    I like the sound I get from Spiros (though it could be a little darker at times), but if there was something as punchy out there with a little less tension, I'd be interested....Has anybody here in talkbassland AB'd the Thomastiks and any of the above Pirastros? I know there are comparison surveys out there, but I'd like to hear from some folks I'm a litle more familiar with if possible. Thanks!
  2. For me, the Pirastro Obligato is the perfect string. It is lower tension than any steel. I have different basses for jazz and orchestra, and the Obligato gives excellent response to bow and pizz. Pizz sustain on my jazz bass is as long as the Tomastik; however, that bass just rings. Pizz sustain on the orch bass is less, but longer than any orch string. Also, some people don't want too long a sustain.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for the input. Yours has been a voice of reason as long as I've been hearing it. Have you ever had the Thomastic med gauge on your orch bass? If so, how does the sustain compare? I like a lot of sustain - since I don't use a bow (I know, I know...more about that later), I find it useful for "singing" types of lines and would hate to give that up. My new bass sounds good, but I seriously doubt if it is anywhere near in the same league as yours.
  4. Chris: Yes, but just for a few minutes. I'd say the Obligato sustain is 85-95% of the Tomastik Spiro. The difference is, you can bow an Obligato screech-free. D'Addario Helicore pizz had same sustain as the Tomastik; those two are a coin toss.
  5. OK, here´s my two cents.
    I have Spiro weichs ( purple winding ) in my older bass, they sound terriffic and i have no complains. The newer bass was equipped with Spiro Orchs, which have the red winding. They were very harsh in the beginning, the tension in high and at first caused even some pain to my right and wrist. On the other hand they had a sustain and punch so irresitible that I could not change them as much as I would have wanted to, in fear of losing that sustain. After a while they got a bit smoother, and also I lowered the action a little. The result was that now the sustain is now as long as it possibly can be, and they are quite playable. Acoustically, I don´t like their "ringing" quality...which brings me to the question; why on earth those strings are called "Orchesterstimmung" while their sound is very bright, they are almost impossible to bow, and very taxing to the rught hand? Am I missing some masochist point in here?
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Is there a difference in tension/feel between the Heliocore pizz and the Spiro Orchs, or would I just be spending $100 to get the same sound and feel? Just in case I've seen them and didn't know it, what kind of winding do these strings have?
  7. martinc

    martinc Supporting Member

    Sorry for coming in late on this thread but I have been away from this list for a while.

    I have tried reg and weich Spirocores on my Kay ( pizz only) and also Pirastro Permanents and Flat Chromesteels.
    The Pirastro strings are not as ringy as the Spirocore but also do not sustain like the Spirocore. Tension is about the same. It will all depend on your bass though as to which string will work best.

    For me, a much better string than either one of the above is the Corelli 380TX's ( with a Weich E). They are nickel....a bit less tension than Pirastro's or Spirocore Weichs and have all the sustain you will ever need without the ringiness of the Spirocores. They provide a very robust sound which should please jazz players. They are also inexpensive. They need a week or so to settle down though.
    I found the outside surface of the 380's a touch rougher than the Spirocores or Pirastro's but a quick rub with 600 sandpaper makes them feel great.
    Most of the talk about Corelli's is about the 370 tungstens but I find them too thin. The 380's are the same as the Weichs in feel and diameter.
    Just my personal observations......hope they help.

  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Are you saying the Corellis sustain as much as the Spiro Orchs, or only as much as the Weichs?
    Anybody else tried these? I'm interested, but have had the Spiros on for a few months now, and they're just gettin good and broken in.
  9. martinc

    martinc Supporting Member

    The Corelli 380 TX's sustain about the same as the Spirocore Weichs. The difference is the tone. To my ears the Corelli's have less thump in the sound and allow my bass to resonate more. The Kay (1949 C-1) has enough thump already with its plywood construction so I like to hear a litle resonance as well. I get that with the Corelli's. A local jazz player loves their sound on the Kay and he has a 150 year old Italian bass. I am also told the Corelli's bow well. You can get a Corelli 380TX D string for around 20 bucks so it might be a cheap way to see if you like the sound.

    Also......from one of your earlier posts.... Keith Rosier (D Rosier is his e mail name) is an LA studio and freelance upright and electric bass player. He has written instructional books for Country and Blues players featuring the styles of the most well known players from the past 50 years or so. He also has a book on studio bass players and examples of their playing. Its very good basic to intermediate level material and he is a good solid player who knows his stuff. However the books are not designed to be at the the level of, for example, your discussions on scale melody playing I have read on this forum.
  10. Hi,
    I've moved on from Pirastro Flatchromesteel to Pyramid Ultraflex, and then again to the new Kolstein Heritage orch. tuning set. I did this because I'm playing acoustic upright 7 hour a day on Thursdays and Fridays at Disney's California Adventure with the band, "The Miner 49ners." Playing that many hours along with my other bass jobs was getting to my hands, so I started using the Heritage for their lower tension. They have a warm, organic sound with surprising sustain for a perlon core string. I'm happy with Heritage, and the tension is very playable- just a bit lighter than Obligato. Thank you martinc for the kind words. My site is keithrosier.com
    Regards, Keith Rosier
  11. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    How are the Pyramid Ultraflex?
    These strings are quite unknown here in North America.
  12. The Pyramid Ultraflex have less sustain than Spirocore weich but more sustain than typical Pirastro sets. They sound brighter than Pirastro and darker than Spirocore. Tension similar to weich. Search the web or contact Pyramid to get them.
  13. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have three Pirastro guts (Chorda, Oliv and Eudoxa) on my bass. The bottom string is a Superflexible. It took a long time to settle in but now that it has, I'm very happy with it. I tried Spiro Weich and Spiro Mittel before but they were too bright. I'm even thinking of using the Superflexible on the A too.
  14. Hi Keith, welcome to TBDB!
    According to that old post by martinc, you sound like the type of guy that might add alot to this forum....how about completing more of your profile so we know a little more about you?
  15. Reviving an old thread... sorry!

    Just got a set of Thomastik Spirocores, says Orchestra on the package. Is this what many consider to be the jazz set? I was worried that I got an arco string rather than a pizz. string. Have no idea, so please forgive my ignorance! I'm pretty sure this is medium tension - the set isn't in front of me, so I can't say for sure. Help! Did I get the wrong set for pop/jazz on a plywood bass?
  16. You got the right set. The Spirocore Orchestra gauge is the medium tension set and is still the standard by which pizz strings are judged. They sound great and last forever (well, almost).

    BTW, while Spiros aren't the most arco friendly strings out there, with a little practice (and some guidance from a teacher) they bow pretty well. Arco bass can be a very beautiful and expressive sound. Think about it ..........

    beedeesmith likes this.
  17. I'd love to - I need to go and get some hands-on guidance with the bow again. May be a while before I can do that - gotta work on what makes me money right now, and when time permits, I can go back and do what I like. Thanks for the quick reply!
  18. Okay - one more question that I haven't found an answer to: Thomastik strings come with a plastic sleeve that I assume goes over the string at the bridge. Is this best for arco, pizz, or does it fall under personal preference? Lemme know!
  19. I suppose it might be used at the bridge to dampen the sound a little for arco playing. I've never actually used it myself. I just take it off when installing a new set (I guess that would fall under personal preference).
  20. Cool. There was only one sleeve in the whole set anyways. Dunno why. But I slid it to the bottom of the string where the silk wrap is - it ought to be fine there, right?

    Got 'em on - they're a little darker than I expected them to be, but I'm sure I'll get used to making them sound great. Thanks for the help everyone!