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String advice-- again

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by drurb, Nov 16, 2005.


  1. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Okay, I wouldn't even ask without having done my homework first. I have read more relevant threads and posts than I can count. I'd appreciate it if some of you would weigh in on this. I'm asking for a string recommendation-- but this is not an open-ended request. I'll try to nail down the parameters.

    I play traditional jazz on a fully-carved bass. The VAST majority of my playing is pizz. I currently use Obligatos and I really do like the somewhat "dark" rich tone they produce on my bass. In addition, I like the feel of the Obligatos. I'm looking for something that will provide a somewhat more powerful, "gutsier" tone-- a string I can dig into a bit more.

    I have had Sprirocores and like the Obligatos better for their sound. Helicore Hybrids are not what I am looking for either. The Corelli's I've tried are just too wimpy for me and my style of playing.

    I do not want to make a large sacrifice in terms of playability for sound. Specifically, I do not want a string that is a finger/hand killer. For reference, I never had any problem in this regard with any of the strings I've mentioned here.

    From everything I've read, it seems that the Dominants might be my string of choice-- or, at least, the next one to try.

    Sorry for all the details but I didn't want to be one of those who says, "Hey, I play bass, what string should I use?"

    Although I realize it would be a great deal of work, it would really be nice if one (or a group) of you string experts created some kind of table of strings and their characteristics/uses that would capture your collective knowledge. Okay, I can dream... ;)

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Definitely look into Dominants, or Innovation 140H. The Innovations sound a little darker than Dominants IMO. They both have a very warm full tone with a lot of volume.
     
  3. I vote for Velvet Animas.

    I went from a Chorda plain gut/Permanent combo to a set of Animas two weeks ago and I'm really, really loving those strings. They're low tension but you can dig in like crazy, projection is great and the sound is very open. Every morning, when I play the first note of the day, I'm almost surprised that they sound so good.

    There have been reports that they're hard on the fingers, but I have found the contrary to be true for me. They have a weird surface... but playing them is a bit like getting a finger massage, IMHO. Very stimulating.

    I also had Obligatos a few years ago and I liked the feel, too, but the Animas are giving me what I liked in the Obligatos---tenfold. I kind of miss the real plain gut sound of he Chordas, but the increased projection makes up for that.
     
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm in the middle of trying some Velvet Anima's, based on so many good experiences here. I didn't realize it was more gutlike than metal strings. I had Spiro's on briefly before then... sounded ok but the tension was too high for me. With the Anima's, I've jacked the string height way up to get some volume and to increase the tension - it can get a little floppy. But because the strings are so thick it doesn't affect the playability.

    I'm not sure if the Anima's are my style yet it turned my very small and polite bass into a bully. :eek: What was once bright and smooth is now dark and thumpy. If I dig in a bit I can get a nice PC-like tone. If you want dark, rich, and gut-sy, I think there's more than plenty to go round on these strings.

    EDIT: I guess Tim and I were posting at the same time. Coincidence?!?! I think so!!!
     
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Are the Innovations metal wound on exterior? Is the gague similar to Obligatos?

    Thanks
     
  6. jazzbassnerd

    jazzbassnerd

    Aug 26, 2002
    You also may want to check out Kolstein's new string: Heritage. They are really nice. I love the sound and the jazz professor at my college even got a set and put them on his bass because he was interested. I have used all the strings you mention on my bass and I have settled (for now at least) with the Heritage G, D, A and Spiro Orch E.

    I had the Heritage E on for about 3 months but playing in the orchestra and jazz ensembles here I felt I wanted more presence on the bottom. Maybe worth a shot.
     
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah, that Heritage E is a bit floppy. I loved the growl I got out of it during the beginning but I lost it along the way. The Spiro E is alot more tension tho. I've never tried weichs, but that would be a cool experiement since the Heritages are low tension.

    FYI: When I took my Heritages off, it looked like the metal winding on the A or D (I forget which) broke near the ball end under all the silk windings. Glad I got the strings off my axe before the broke under tension. Something to be aware of. I liked the heritages alot... might go back to them if other strings don't pan out.
     
  8. jazzbassnerd

    jazzbassnerd

    Aug 26, 2002
    Thanks for the warning on the Heritages. How long had you had them on for.

    Yeah, the spiro E is growing on me. I first put it on just to get some more fundamental, but I think the bass is settling in with them. Maybe the instrument is a little higher tension and the spiro is less than usual. It might just fit my playing well because I tend to be a bit heavy handed on my E strings.
     
  9. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I had them for about a year I think. I think I could've gone longer with them but I was really loving that growly sound they gave and wasn't so enamored with them once that went away. They were really easy to play. My favorite string unless my Animas don't beat them out or if I end up liking Superflexibles for Dominants more once I try them.

    I'm bad at cleaning the strings after I play and washing my hands beforehand. I bet you can get more time out of them if you were more diligent than I am. Also, I detensioned the strings about 4-5 times. Since it's a perlon core (same as Obligatos I think) I would think it would affect the strings after a while. Who knows.
     
  10. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Innovation 140H is Chrome wound with a VERY smooth wrap. They are super easy to bow, and sound great pizz.