String ID and some advices

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Alberto Wang, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Alberto Wang

    Alberto Wang

    Apr 5, 2018
    I encountered a bass today. At the first glance, I thought it was Original Flexocor but, obviously I was wrong.
    That blue looks quite dark, doesn't seem like Original Flexocor, Jaguar, Prelude, or Superflexible. They sound dark too, with great volume under bow but less focused. Can be very round and mellow. Tension was very heavy, which made them feel really stiff. However I don't know neither how old nor how expensive these strings are.
    Could anyone help me find out what they were? Thanks!
    IMG20180409151907.jpg IMG20180409151813.jpg


    Strings I currently use on my own bass are Spiro Weich. There are really old, so I'm looking for new ones. There're details of my bass. It is a cheap china 5-string bass with an adjustable bridge. Except for loudness, this bass has nothing good. It sounds dark(I like dark sound), bad projection and punch(I hate that) ,and it would be turbid when I play fast passages in low register.
    Here come several kinds of strings that I'm interested in(I play mainly arco), but non of them I have played before, so I need advice.

    My bass tends to speak dark; Permanent may work well on my bass with great power and projection. But I'm concerned about that they may over brighten my bass, accompanied the metallic, throaty, strained, nasal harshness. That's what Original Flatchrom and Flexicor Deluxe tend to do on my bass. I dislike that excessively bright sound in orchestra playing. May my concern come true?

    Oh I love their timbre! However, same concern as what Permanent do, I'm worried that Stark set may over brighten. What I worry about the Mittel set is they may not produce sufficient volume for my bass; though Pirastro emphasizes its "powerful volume" on their web. I've been to Maestro Ettorre's recitals twice. He used solo gauge then; I found it hard to hear clearly under piano accompaniment. That string spoke even quieter than a cheap china bass! He put great pressure on his bow, hence the strings buzzed on fingerboard, and I'm sure that it will happen on my bass as well, because I set my bridge extremely low. Still my bridge is adjustable; if I adjust it higher, would it produce as powerful volume as other Pirastro's strings do?

    Original Flexicor
    I played them once on other bass, love the “chocolate” sound! One thing is that they are stiff under my fingers, which make it difficult to press double stops on high high positions. I love to play Bach, but even Spiro Weich is slightly stiff to me. Another issue is what Jason Heath said in his blog: "They sound great under the ear but may not project well in large spaces". How could that happen? To me it's hard to image. Could anyone describe it concretely?
    BTW I'm curious about what strings he used. I can't see clearly on his video, maybe Permanent or Passione I guess. Anyone knows?

    Many folks recommend this. I love its sound through Joel Quarrington's playing. I'm sure that it will work well on my bass. However there're so many discussions about its stiffness and breakage. What does it feel like while playing high positions? Would they hurt fingers? I saw Joel play at ease, but I'm not sure it was that string or his technique made it.

    My bias to these strings may be wrong. Please correct me or describe your experience/opinion.
  2. The strings pictured seem to be old Superflexibles.
    So you want a string that's easy to play, dark and powerful?
    I'd give regular Passiones a try.
    Your bass may react differently to a given set than another bass.
    There's only way to find out, unfortunately...
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Or Kaplan may be good.
  4. Alberto Wang

    Alberto Wang

    Apr 5, 2018
    Do Superflexibles become darker blue while aging? If they do, that matches!
    Definitely. Thank you!
  5. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    I think those are cheep Chinese strings cuz the G at the peg box is gray while the others are blue. I don't think those are superflexibles. If Franco's noticed the grey g string and still identified them I'm inclined to listen to him though.
  6. Yes, I noticed that but thought it was dirt.
    The bass seems very dirty and the strings very old.

    The best way to verify if they are SF is to check the sides of the strings balls.
    If they are SF, one side should have an "O" embossed, and the other side the string ID: "I", "II", "III", "IV".

    I can't vouch they are SF, but that's what I believe so far.
  7. Alberto Wang

    Alberto Wang

    Apr 5, 2018
    There's nothing embossed on every ball.
    I found a thread that had discussed this before. They were said to be old SFs too, but now I'm not sure about the answer....
    Help me ID two string sets
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  8. The shape of the ball ends is the Thomastik shape. But I have seen once red silk (Spiro type) strings with smaller ball ends of the same shape that were cheap Asian strings.
    But it looks like the size of your ball ends meets the Thomastik ball end size.

    But I have once played on a bass with really old and often played Superflexibles and it was a pain compared to my two decade old occasionally played Spiros (which I very seldom play nowadays).