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Stanley Clarke Gear on Rite of Strings

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by SirFunk, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. SirFunk

    SirFunk Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Topeka, KS
    Hey, i was just wondering if anyone had any idea what gear Clarke uses on Rite of Strings and any unusuall techniques?

    HIS TONE IS AMAZING. I'd like to know how he does it.. is it really lite strings, a nice pre-amp? It has so much punch and growl the strings almost sound round-wound

    if anyone has any ideas or comments. i'd love to hear them.
  2. According to Bass Player Mag. March 2003 Stanley Clarks Double Bass set up is 120yr old German Flatback with a Fishman BP-100 pickup and he uses Thomastik Spirocore Weich Strings. It also says he uses a French Bow but does not give the Maker..


    Gezz....I always wondered why I keep these old Bass Mags. They come in handy from time to time;)
    As far as his EB gear...well...I dont have the time to type all that crap out. It looks like one of....everydamthing.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You can see him playing Double Bass on the video - "Chick Corea And Band - A Very Special Concert [1990] "


    Well worth having!! :)
  5. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I love Stanley's upright sound and playing but his electric bass work leaves me cold.
  6. dilberto


    Aug 27, 2006
    I spoke with Stanley briefly after a show with Hiromi in 2010 about how he gets such an amazing, fluid sound.

    He told me that he uses "solo strings" designed to be tuned a whole step higher but tunes them to standard pitch, resulting in less tension. I wasn't sure at the time if he meant the "Weich" gauge strings or not and didn't get direct clarification on this at the time, however, if you look at the Lemur catalog, the Spirocore "Weich" strings are not in the "solo" category: they are simply the lightest gauge in "standard" orchestral strings. "solo" strings are, indeed, THE LIGHTEST available.

    Spirocore Solo Tuning Upright Double Bass String

    I have tried "weich" gauge [purple end wrapping] strings and they didn't quite have the punch I was used to. I actually prefer normal Spirocore reds to weich, but I have not tried the "solo" strings which Stanley recommended. I plan on doing so though it isn't easy to do an A-B comparison with two different basses and I have different instruments and electronics now than before.
  7. dilberto


    Aug 27, 2006
    I just found the following, which alleges that not only Stanley, but Brian Bromberg, etc. use solo strings, aka "weich light":

    > Jazz players use the [La Bella] 7720S strings at normal pitch for performing both arco and pizzicato styles. With a longer-life than most bass strings, their amplified tone makes them the number one choice by most professional players including Stanley Clarke, Harvie S. briam Bromberg and Ruben Rodriguez.

    La Bella Double Bass Professional Series Chrome Steel Flat Wound Rope Core Solo Tuning

    I will probably buy these since they are cheaper than any on lemur.
  8. They are even cheaper from Gollihur Music ($148). Let me know how you like them...I use LaBella flats on my electric bass and love them. I’ve never tried their (7720) upright strings, aside from the Supernils which I didn’t like.
  9. dilberto


    Aug 27, 2006
    Thanks very much for the info on Gollihur Music! I've been out of touch with the bass community for about 10 years and hadn't heard of them.

    It appears that La Bella may be misleading customers by claiming endorsements of the 7720S by the players above. I cannot find any verification of these claims on the product web site.

    I have searched for specific mention of any specific brand of upright bass strings by Stanley Clarke and found nothing other than what Bass Player magazine wrote in 2003 and what Stanley told me in 2010 [he didn't mention a brand or 'weich' only 'solo', which suggests to me that either he changed preference or Bass Player got it wrong]

    Brian Bromberg wrote, in a 2013 thread here:
    >Hey Talk Bassers, this is Brian Bromberg. I am looking for input on strings as I have only used Thomastik Spirocore "Weichs" on my bass since I was 16.

    String input for Brian Bromberg

    Bromberg does indeed endorse La Bella strings, in general, so it is possible that, after 2013 he may have tried them on his upright but I haven't found any confirmation of that yet.

    I am working on compiling a more thorough list, including string gauge measurements, where available so that I can make a more informed choice, based on the strings I have already tried. It's is almost overwhelming the amount of choices we have now! I'm 62 and have mostly used Spirocore all my life.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  10. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    Stanley's tone on the first two Return to Forever albums is sublime. I suspect it's in his hands. I'd love to have disposable.money to experiment with strings but sadly I'm barely paying the bills.

    Usually when I try an endorsed product I like still sound like myself.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 6, 2021

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