strings that are like golden spirals

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by neal davis, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    I had a chance to play a friends bass that had the old set up I used for years with Spiro Mittle E and A and golden spiral D G and I forgot how much I loved this set up and how crappy it was that they stopped making the Golden Spirals, does anyone know of a string brand that is very similar to the Goldens in feel and tone?
  2. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    La Bella Golden Tone

    Pirastro Pizzicato nylon/gut G&D

    These are probably as close as you will get.
    There have been reports of quality issues with the Pirastros though (The "Mighty Quinn" quit selling them).
  3. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Those are the closest strings -- gut core, nylon wound. The Goldentones are a bit looser tension than the Spirals and the Pizzicatos are a stiffer. The Pizzicato D is very thick in diameter.

    I wish that Gamut or Dlugolecki would make a string like the Golden Spiral. There's a luthier in Nashville named George Chestnut and years ago he was able to get R. Cocco to custom make a Spiral-like string for him and he sold them at his shop. They were very good but eventually Cocco wouldn't make them for George anymore. Not enough sales volume.

    I'd probably go with the Labellas, but they're pretty loose in tension.
  4. martinc

    martinc In Memoriam

    To borrow from Victor Borge....the good Mr Chestnut sounds like the guy who invented a soft drink and called it 6 -UP. It didn't sell so he quit making it...but you can see how close he was to success.
    Maybe if if started selling those Spiral-like strings today he would do OK! :D
  5. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN

    Actually he sold a quite lot of them, but George had a small shop and he probably only wanted to order a dozen or so Ds and Gs at at time -- wasn't enough for Mr. Cocco to keep making them for him, but George always sold out of them.

    Now it seems these custom makers wind gut strings to order. How hard would it be to wind them with the Tynex stuff?
  6. martinc

    martinc In Memoriam

    Bobby. Not hard to wind them with Tynex I would think. But if he could find a way to keep the stuff from that would be a home run.:hyper:
  7. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    thanks for the info guys, i've also done some searching, has anyone tried the aquila pizz strings which are apparently like goldens?
  8. basstef


    Dec 18, 2004
    Bologna, Italy
    About one year ago me and my friend Mimmo Peruffo of Aquila Corde ( were working on a possible replica of the old Golden Spirals. The prototypes we obtained were very good. We found a very nice quality gut and the same tynex filament as the Kaplans to put over the gut core. Unfortunately Mimmo is so busy he can't deal with them as a big production...He would need someone to take care of this deal entirely.
    Anyone looking for a job in a musical string factory :D ?
  9. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Can I just fly over there and learn and then come back home and make them in my Garage?

    How long to make a string and what kind of equipment do you need?

  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    paging Paul Warburton.
  11. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I like Golden Spirals a lot, but after playing a D and G of each of the above types of strings I came to the conclusion that there's no reason to lament the loss of Spirals. The Pirastros and La Bellas are basically the same thing as the Spirals, and if you use a Pirastro G and a La Bella D (like Bobby King had) then you're all set.
  12. wendell

    wendell Guest

    Jun 6, 2007
    I'm curious about the La Bella golden tones...can anyone comment how they compare to, in one direction, the high end guts (DD, Gamut) and in another, to the synthetics like Innovation Super Silvers, for example? I am interested in rich, old-school gut tone as well as durability issues, to be specific.
  13. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The Labella Goldentones were good sounding strings, but quite low in tension. The can be a little hard to find (Lemur and Quinn were frequently out of stock). I also liked the Pirastro Pizzicatos but the nylon-wrapped D was extremely thick in diameter (why is it always like this?) I'm glad Jeremy likes those two he bought from me, I found the Goldentone D too loose next to the Pizzicato G.

    I wrote a fairly long review of the Super Silvers in the strings threads you can check out. Verdict is mixed.

    As far as tynex wrapped strings, sometimes they can last a long time if handled carefully, but the windings can also unravel.

    All of the nylon wrapped strings wind up sounding a little "puffier" than plain gut IMO. They can have a little more sustain and a bit of a brighter edge when you initially hit the note but in the end I prefer plain gut, the note seems to have more "spine" to it. Plus,with strings like Gamut (and a small fortune in the bank) you can experiment to find your preference in gauge and tension. But the Spirals/Pizzicatos/Goldentones are fun strings to try.

    BTW, does anyone have any of the silver wound Pizzicatos used that they want to sell? I really like those strings but they seemed to have a lot quality-control issues.
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    If these are the ones with the nylon over the gut like the old Golden Spirals then they are still available. I called Labella earlier this week to talk about some Guts for Orchestra and with an Extension E/C string. Richard Cocco, a long time friend of mine asked if I wanted the Golden Spiral type G/D strings. It wasn't what I was looking for but they do still make them.

    My suggestion is that if you need information about a company's products, go to the source and not a retailer. The company will tell you what they still make or don't make and suggest the best way to obtain them if available.
  15. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    Ken I have went to D'addario and have been told that they don't make Golden Spirals anymore and won't, maybe you friend has some NOS strings, the labelas seem interesting, I guess I'll try some more stuff out when I get off the road