Steel more expressive than synthetic?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by stefaniw80401, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. I have a full set of Evah P's on my bass now, and have also tried TI Dominants a couple years ago. The bottom sounds big and full. So far the EP is my favorite long-E string.

    Currently, I'm complaining that the G string sounds plasticy and boring in the upper register (arco solo repertoire).

    Do you think that steel strings are more expressive, responsive and more dynamic than synthetic string? Do you think flex/92 on top would match well with EP bottoms?

    - Mark
  2. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    I have to say Im strangely addicted to bowing on spiro solos + a flatchromsteel high C.

    They have complex harmonics which give each note an individual timbre.

    Now getting control over that much freedom....thats the challenge. A fun one too.
  3. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    are you tuning the spiros at orch pitch?
  4. I expect it depends more on the particular string than on a particular construction method.

    But then, I can't really comment... I like steel (spiros) and tungsten (Corelli), I see no reason to try synthetic.
  5. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Yep, A D G are spiro solos tuned to regular pitch.

    E string is a spiro weich I forgot to mention
  6. emilio g

    emilio g

    Jul 16, 2008
    Jersey City, NJ
    That was always my gripe with synthetic strings. Every one I've tried (dominant, obligato, evah) sounds good, but not really that exciting either.
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Inanimate objects are not expressive, humans are.....
  8. +1
  9. True enough, the strings can't make expression for you... but any piece of equipment can get in the way, and it's a real nuisance when that happens.

    However... there's a market for synthetic core strings, so there must be players that like them, for whatever reason.
  10. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Very true, the goal for me is to have an instrument that outputs a sound as diverse as the input touch. Certainly not all instruments are equal in that regard.
  11. Nor are the humans, for that matter...
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  13. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Couldn't have said it better Ed!
  14. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    Chet Atkins gig.
    Listener: Your guitar sounds incredible!
    Chet, after putting guitar on stand: How does it sound now?
  15. Dominants and Evah Pirazzis have more 'edge' (especially Dominants) than Obligatos for sure! I think Dominants and Pirazzis are quite good. But steel strings have superb brilliance that make them very clear and articulate. Spirocores rock and I don't know why they always get a bad wrap about being 'hard' to bow, they are actually pretty easy!
  16. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I'm back to mittels and find them almost as easy to bow as the EP weichs that were on for a very brief time. The EP weichs were way too dark for my bass and just sounded dead. Smittels have got to be the best all around string going and I don't know if expressive is the right word, but I can express more of my ideas on them than any other string I've tried. They have a midrange brilliance and punch that cuts through.
    Animas are the only string I like as well pizz, but I couldn't bow them.
  17. I know what you mean WRT bowing spiro mittles seems easy. I had them on my bass for a year and I thought they bowed pretty good. My bass is kinda brite, and I'm looking for a darker sound. But _unlike_ the mittles, EP's sound to me (the player) almost the same to the listener out in the house -- I like that about EP's. This quality has been discussed in the EP mega thread. I also like the sound of mittles "out in the house", but not so much in my ear as player. The thing I like about mittles and flexocore (92) is that their dynamic range seems more controllable than the EP's. Like for example, listen to Edgar's cadenza in the 1st movement of bottesini 2nd concerto. This range of dynamic I'm able to get with flexo's and spiros even, but not as dramatic with the EP's.

    What is it that I'm trying describe about the "expressive" qualities of EP's versus metal core strings like sprios or flexos? I really love the bottom two EP strings, but the top two just don't do it for me. I'll be putting on an old flexo G and D in a week or so and get back to you all.
  18. You know -- just for grins I raised my bridge adjusters about 1mm, and all of sudden my bass seem livelier. It's been wacky weather here lately.

    So if you're feeling like your strings just aren't happening lately, jack 'em up a tad and see if that helps.
  19. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I think I might do that this weekend. There are some things happening with my strings that I'm not liking at the moment. I'm going to have to raise 'em anyway when I put the guts on... so I think I'll give it a go.
  20. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    +1. Or as one of my mentors puts it "it's the archer not the arrows."