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String suggestion for my NS Design CR5M tuned E-C

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by MrWalker, Jan 11, 2021.


  1. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    Hello!
    I have searched, but couldn't find a (recent) thread on this topic, so I dare post a new thread.
    I have an NS Design CR5M currently tuned with a high C-string. I'm using NS Design Contemporary strings on my bass currently. However, I feel the C-string is not "blending" well in with the rest of the strings, and in general I feel the strings all over are quite "hard" and "tense" to play. I have a set of Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Weich on my acoustic upright bass, and I love the feel and tension of these strings.

    I know the Evahs have a nylon core and the NS strings have a steel core, which to me is essnential, since I like to use the magnetic pickup and not only the bridge piezo.

    But does it exist a set of steel core strings that could come closer to the feel and sound of the Evah strings? And how could I get the high C-string to become more "blended" with the rest of the strings?

    Thanks for your time :)
     
  2. nbsipics and MrWalker like this.
  3. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
  4. It's also stated on Gollihur's page:
    So you could use Evahs according to that statement.
     
  5. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    Yes, that's true. However, since they don't have a steel core, the magnetic pickup won't work. So og possible, I'd like to find a strong with a steel or metal (magnetic) core
     
  6. Oops, I overlooked that earlier, sorry! :)
    Orchestral strings in the likes of Flexocor Deluxes would give you a warm tone and the benefit of a steel core, at the expense of some sustain.
     
    MrWalker likes this.
  7. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    No worries ;-)
    Flexocor Deluxe! I'll add them to my list of possible options to test out! Thanks!
     
  8. Have a look at my excel file in my Dropbox for tension data on a unified scale. Link in string sticky or in my signature.
    Includes NS strings.
    High C strings often differ a lot from the normal 4-string set. A steel string made for bowing or a synthetic core string usually work best, maybe even for G or G and D too.
    I do not like higher or medium tension high C strings. They are too thin and the small diameter and relatively high tension and low core stretching make them hard to press down (unless your setup is very low). They cut into my finger. Never use solid core steel steel strings for a high C, they even stretch less than braided or spiral cable cores.
    Lighter tension steel core might work, but I like the medium stretch Innovation metal wounds best (but probably not useable for magnetic pickups).
     
    MrWalker likes this.
  9. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    That's a very useful resource, thanks for sharing!
    Looking through your table, I realize that Tension is obviously not the only parameter that matters. I presume there's also something about "stiffness" from steel vs synthetic or gut core. From the advice I'm getting, the NS Traditional should work better than NS Contemporary, however, the string tension is actually higher on the Traditional string-by-string than Contemporary. So I guess just judging by the string tension table is not going to get me to the finishing line :)

    My quest will continue. But I'm not sure I will continue with a high C string... the Contemporary set is "ok-ish" for the bottom four strings, but the C-string is terrible. So will probably string down and go into more well-known bass territory of B-G tuning. It's a shame that these strings are so expensive... better store them for later, at least :)

    But Innovation did not appear in your list of strings?
     
  10. Yes, they haven’t published string data. I have measured my own sets, but these are partially used ones and there is some difference in tension even by the same set type.
    I didn‘t have a Polychrome set yet to measure.
    Braided are similar to Evah Weich with a bit more tension on the E.
    Polychromes might be less tension.
    Honeys have a bit more tension than the Braided, but mostly on the middle strings and except for the G are very dark.
    There is no official high C from Innovation but I got several prototypes when production was in the UK.

    In general the strings on a NS EUB are very low. A higher action gives you a more DB-like sound and more stretchy cores need that Timm to vibrate freely.
     
    MrWalker likes this.
  11. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    Ah, interesting :) I have raised the strings on the NS, it's not as low as from factory. I bought it second-hand, and the previous owner did have other strings on it. However, on arrival the bridge was shattered, so it needed to be replaced by a new bridge. Anyhow, the setup is quite close to my acoustic.
    Got the Pirastro Perpetual and also Spirocores recommended by friends playing acoustic upright, so I might try one of those options, as well. Too many choices :)
     
  12. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    However, it seems all of the strings from Innovation use a non-metallic core, which probably disqualify them from my magentic needs on my EUB :-(
     
  13. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    Duh... Just checked my paperwork. It IS in fact NS Traditional i have on my bass. I think I'll just slap on the low B rather than keeping the high C and see if I can get used to it. Otherwise, I should probably just get a set of Evah's and forget about the magnetics. ☺️
     
  14. hensonbass

    hensonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I went down the “high c” rabbit hole many years ago with upright basses and it was very tricky to get a string that matched. I settled on a worn in Pirastro Flexocore.

    There is something about the frequency of the c string in general that changes the character of the bass sound. You really have to commit to the vibe and just go for it.


     
  15. Yes, that’s correct.
     
  16. I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. Finding some sort of steel core string with similar tonal characteristics of Evah Pirazzi's is kind of like the Holy Grail, for me.
     
    MrWalker likes this.
  17. Noisense

    Noisense

    Nov 17, 2019
    Hi, folks. Related with this issue I wanted to ask something.
    I'm, at the moment, a purely electric bass player looking forward to learning double bass.
    I was thinking of a 5-string with a high-C to be able to bow melodic lines in the cello register.
    Weighing the pros and cons of buying an EUB and/or a DB, at the moment, I'm quite in love with the NSD CR5M.

    My question is, when you are bowing the C-string, do you have to dampen the other strings to prevent them from ringing?

    When I started playing 6-string bass guitar I had to readjust my RH technique, starting with a floating anchor, to stop all that noise. Does it happen with the upright as well?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  18. There is no way to stop lower strings from ringing sympathetically when you play higher strings with the bow.

    When plucking the left hand can stop higher strings and the right hand can stop lower ones from ringing, but as soon as you take the bow (same on DB) you cannot stop the lower ones.

    It can help a bit to use more damped (arco) strings and a DB typical higher setup (NS Instruments have an extremely low setup coming from the factory), which might be a good idea anyway if you want to bow.

    But since we all have to live with it there is nothing you can do except building a mechanical foot pedal yourself to damp these strings :smug:
     
    Noisense likes this.
  19. Noisense

    Noisense

    Nov 17, 2019
    Aagh. Thanks so much.
     
  20. MrWalker

    MrWalker

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    I've played cello for many years and maybe due to the strings, there isn't really any damping issues compared to the situation on a bass guitar. Maybe it's due to the bow adding energy to the string you're playing, and thus that string dominates the sound anyway. Just something I've never really thought about.
     
    Noisense likes this.
  21. 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.

     
    Jan 25, 2021

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