Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Spirocore Stark

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Feb 11, 2003.


  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Just put a set of these on my bass today, and have been playing on them for the last hour or so. My first reaction: Holy ****, these are some SERIOUS strings, higher tension than I've ever experienced before, and they really get the top of the bass moving. They're thicker than regular Spirocores as well, to the point where I had to file away a bit of my tailpiece to get the E string to fit into the slot.

    What I like: the upper three strings speak more quickly than any other string I've ever played. The E string is a bit slower, perhaps because of the thickness. In general, the sound of these strings is extremely immediate and centered, making it much easier to intonate with more precision when playing pizz. Also, they are LOUD AS HELL. If the drummer can't hear you playing with these on, he's completely deaf, or perhaps deceased. Or both.

    What I don't like: All Spirocore strings make my bass sound like a giant banjo when I put a new set on, and these give that same effect in a very steroidal way. The open "G" sounds especially disgusting at the moment, and the open "D" ain't much better.

    The jury's still out: First, the obvious - these things are murder on the hands. You want bridge cables? This is your string. I've been keeping my action set at 7mm on the G and 10mm on the E. After playing for over an hour at those heights, I am now typing with stumps of hamburger. I'll have to lower the string heights a bit and see if I get used to it. Also, the E string is a bit buzzy on the low F and Ab, probably due to the increased thickness of the string. I'll have to learn to strike it a bit differently to get the desired effect. Time will tell.

    If anybody cares, I'll write some more after a couple of weeks when they've broken in a bit. At the moment, I think I'll go soak my stumps in ice....
     
  2. Seppie

    Seppie

    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    oh yeah....
    i think you can compare the sound only when the strings are broken in...
    but till then there is a whole lot of time...
    so you get used to the sound more and more so you can´t compare the strings without a bias...hmm i think we´ve got a dilemma here...

    gruesze sebastian
     
  3. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I have been thinking about trying a set of Spirocore Stark, however, I hesitate because I don't know if I want to risk putting strings with that much tension on my bass. I don't want to choke it, or put that much pressure on the top. Let us know how they turn out when they are broken in! I am presently using Dominants for the A D G, with a Spirocore Orchestra E. It seems to balance well in volume.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Quick update...



    SOUND: :) :) :)



    FINGERTIPS: #!%$*&^@$#%!!!
     
  5. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    That's pretty funny! Are you going to keep them on then?
     
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Absolutely. Just played a 3 hour rehearsal this morning, and I can barely type...but the same thing happened when I put the Spirocore reds on for the first time and I got over it. FWIW, I'm not experiencing any LH or arm pain at all, just my $@#$%#%!! RH fingertips. The first real test will be Sunday's 4 hour duo brunch gig after a weekend with drummers.

    After that, I may have to type any further posts with my nose.


    P.S. - I'm wondering if these are the highest tension strings that are even made. If not, they ought to be.... Francois?
     
  7. Chris:

    Are the Starks strictly for pizz? I like my Obligatos, but I wouldn't mind something louder.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I can't really answer since I play pizz only. However, my guess is that these are probably the worst arco strings on the planet. Moving up to these from Spirocore Reds was like moving up the the reds from Weich gauge. They'll probably do exactly the same thing to your arco sound that they're doing to my fingers (see above mini-review).
     
  9. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    The one bass I played with the Starks was a really nice $10K Chinese bass set up for orchestral playing. The starls weren't that hard to play, and they sounded incredible.

    I just finished swapping the Helicore hybrids that came on my Romanian bass for Weichs, which I'd had on other basses I'd owned. The Helicores weren't bad, but the Weichs make this bass really sing played pizz.... and despite what people say they're no worse to bow than the hybrids. Or perhaps I've just gotten better at bowing difficult stings ;-)

    Whatever the case, now I'm thinking of trying starks on it. And those hybrids are gonna replace the LaBellas on the upright stick bass.
     
  10. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    The Hybrids sounded really strong on my (now sold) BugBass, which is the EUB you own, if I'm not wrong.
    When I sold it though, I had the following mix:
    Hybrid E
    Orchestrals A, D, G
     
  11. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    That's it. I was thinking of trading up to a more acoustic sound bass but that'll have to wait until I replace my car ;-)

    Friend of mine has an Eminence, and tells me that they use Hybrid E, A and D and an Orchestral G to cut the twang. I've heard of others doing this on various uprights.
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Update after about a month: Still like 'em a lot. My fingers have pretty much gotten used to them, no more real pain - although the side of my left thumb looks like ground beef from TP practice. Accompanying is fine, soloing still feels a bit stiff, but the sound is there. I just recorded on these strings for the first time tonight, and the sound is HUGE and round, best I've gotten out of this bass so far by far.

    Any other masochists out there?
     
  13. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    If you still have those starks on and use the bow on any occasion, do they also sound better for you than the orchestras (or whatever other gauge you were using)?
     
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm not a "Stick O' Pain" user myself, but I'll get Sidney (my teacher) to give 'em a whirl next time we get together and let you know. However, it might not be saying too much if they sound good, since I'm guessing he could make barbed wire sound sweet.
     
  15. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Several months ago, I actually tried a bass with spirocore orchestras and a bow for about an hour or so...the bowed sound was fine. I like the sound of heavy strings too.

    If your teacher uses the bow and you are impressed with his sound, you should give the stick-o-pain a whirl yourself if you are able to acquire one. You won't regret climbing stick mountain in the long run it if you do.

    You'll be using timpani mallets to bow with in no time and impress audiences with your next solo...
     
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Someday, yes. But not today: life is too short as it is. If "arco" does indeed mean - As FOGHORN is so fond of claiming - "the last note of a ballad", I'd rather spend what little time I have at the moment working on making the ballad sound better and let the last note fade too soon than the other way around. :)
     
  17. Chris -
    It's been a few months. Please report on the comparison of Stark v. the basic (killer) Spirocore.
     
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm digging the hell out of the Starks, and plan on playing them as long as my fingers allow. :) They have a "thicker" sound than the regular spiros, and more tension, which to my ears translates into better projection and "oomph". Unlike the regular spiros, I can get a really nice fat "light/old school" vibe by brushing them lightly and dampening slightly with my LH. Played normally, they sustain for days and record BEAUTIFULLY, like no no other string I've ever played. Basically, they are the string which gets me closest to the sound I hear in my head regarding what I want a bass to sound like. But like I said, they are murder on my RH fingers when the action gets too high (I try to keep it at 5-6mm on the G and 8-9mm on the E), and minute string height adjustments cause drastic changes in feel and "stiffness". But in spite of all of that, I'm hooked...every time I pick up a bass with different strings, the sound seems wimpy by comparison (but remember, I'm not a gut string guy, so any comments I make on any gut type strings should be taken with salt).
     
  19. Chris,
    Thomastik sent me a tension chart. The only Stark they show is for 4/4 bass, 110cm (a 3/4 string is 104-106cm). If that's the string yes, the tension is humungous. For example, the red/red A is 75.0 lbs; the red/green (Stark) A is 81.6 lbs.
     
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    After a year, they are still going strong. Twice since I've put them on, I've decided to check what a regular Spiro orcestra set would sound like on the bass. They never last a whole day, as they feel like rubber bands and sound about the same. I may try a raised saddle out this summer and see if I can keep the focused sound while reducing the angle a bit - that way I could keep the action up high, where I like it. Anybody else try these yet?