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String problems and what to choose for EUB?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    OK - two things as a result of my recent purchase of an NS CR5 EUB, with which I hope somebody can help me out, as I am now a "newbie" to all this - treat me gently! ;)

    So firstly, the G string looks and feels different to the others and has a blue "binding" which actually extends over the bridge - is this a bad thing? Should I take it up with the shop were I bought it?

    Secondly, I do quite like the sound of the other four strings and from the website it says they are D'Addario Flatwound double bass strings - but nothing more specific?

    But I would like to ask what sets of strings I should be looking at buying - I mean I got the piezo-only version - no magnetic pickups; but are there particular sets for EUB that sound better or can I go for any set?

    I have looked at Web Sites and have seen D'Addario Helicores, but would they be OK for my EUB? ( I will be looking for good pizz sound only really.) Or will only certain sorts of set sound any good?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Choosing EUB strings is the same as choosing conventional upright strings. It's a matter of trying a few kinds and deciding what matches the sound and feel you're after. The biggest challenge is finding strings with windings that stay off the bridge and that can wind on the tuners well if you have a shortened headstock.

    The D'Addarios are a good choice for many basses (the threads shouldn't come over the bridge, though...trim them back with a razor and then put on a dab of clear nail polish to keep them from unwinding).

    I've settled on Corelli FTX strings for my BugBass. They're comfortable to play and sound smooth, especially on the G string, which is a little too bright on the stock strings. I also tried Thomastik Weichs, but thought the E string was too growly without enough bottom.

    If possible, look around for some used strings to try. But I have a feeling you're doing fine with the D'Addarios your bass came with.

  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the D'Addarios are OK, but I am a cautious sort of person and feel I ought to have a spare set, just in case.

    I have looked on various websites for buying strings on-line and was a bit bemused by the variety - so there seem to be a huge number of helicores!

    I have also just spoken to Chris at the Bass Centre and he explained that they have had trouble getting the D'Addarios and that the G string on my bass must be another type that they have - he mentioned "Ambassadors" that's what it sounded like on the phone anyway - they have now realised that these are essentially unsuitable.

    So my bass has 4 original strings (D'Addarios) and must have lost one at some time. The Bass Centre are chasing their supplier and hopefully will send me a replacement string.

    I'd still like any advice on which D'addario set is best for an EUB like this..
  4. The Helicores are available in three kinds:

    orchestral - darkest sound, less sustain
    hybrid - less dampening than orchestrals, middle
    pizzicato - brightest, longest sustain

    Each is available in three gauges; light, medium and heavy.
    The orchestrals are also available in solo-tuning, which can be used at orchestra pitch in extra-thin gauge.
    The orchestrals can be played pizz, you get a warmer tone.

    Hope this helps!
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But which should I get for EUB? I saw these descriptions on the website, but how do I know what gauge/type would suit? If I knew what was "stock" on the NS basses then maybe I could judge, but at the moment I have no comparison available.
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    My guess would be something on the 'deader' side since a good acoustic sound isn't an issue. A darker string/sound will amplify more easily. I play acoustically about 90% of the time and so use Spirocores. When I get this setup into an amp with the Underwood I might as well be playing fretless Slab. Thuddy strings, acoustically, get a sustain shape more like a real Bass after you get it amplified. It depends on what you're hearing.

    No one can really tell you what kind of strings to buy, though. That would be like having someone tell you what kind of underwear to purchase. All that you can get here are some ideas and then do what we all have to do: Blow some cash experimenting.
  7. Also my opinion.
    I've found that orchestral strings give me the best tone on my EUBs.
    These instruments usually give a clearer, brighter tone, so using darker strings is advisable.
    One can also buy slightly used strings for cheap.
    Look in the DB-for sale forum and also on Acousticbass.com.
    Bruce, if you're a Yahoo EUB_list member, you can post your query there too!
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks for the replies - but I am confused now - so, of the Helicores the "darker" ones are the "Orchestral" - but this sounds like completely the wrong string from the description?

    As I was trying to explain - I have no reference points yet - I was trying to find out what the stock strings are - I emailed NS, but haven't had a reply yet. But I will no doubt try several types eventually.

    Also a big thanks to the Bass Centre in London - they were having trouble getting supplies of suitable strings, but took a G string off a CR4 they had in stock and sent it to me - got it this morning and it does really feel better to have a complete matched set! The G string also plays much better without the wrapping going over the bridge - I can really tell the difference - it was "choking" before and not really keeping in tune. Having installed the "new" string - all the problems have gone away"! ;)
  9. The color at the tailpiece for the Helicores:
    navy blue - orchestrals
    dark green - hybrids
    purple - pizzicato
    There's a yellow strip over that one on all models.
    So you're ok with these strings now?
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - I will probably get a "spare" set very soon though. Looking at the Orchestral sets though - only the Medium gauge has a B string; so this is probably the set to go for as far as I can see.

    Although I can't imagine ever needing to replace the B string -I'll probably just buy 4 string sets and leave the B alone. ;)

    I searched on the web and a 4 string set costs over £120 in shops in the UK (add on half as much again for $ ! ) - any ideas for good online DB string sellers who ship to Europe?
  11. According to the colors I gave you (by the way, the pizzicatos are ruby, not purple), which kind do you have on your bass?
    Of course, Lemur Music ships worldwide.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Errmmm - no colour at all! :confused:

    Thanks very much for your help anyway - I think I will start with some medium orchestral Helicores and take it from there - see what they are like.

    I just had a thought (brainwave!) that "Gard" who posts around the BG side has the same bass and works in a music shop - I will PM him to ask about this and may even order the strings from his shop!
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have solved my confusion around these strings now as I PM'd Gard and he told me that D'Addario make a special (custom) length set of Helicores just for the NS EUBs - but it means I have no reference point as to what the strings on the bass sound like - i.e. whether they are closer to Orchestral Helicores or Pizz etc. ?