Super Sensitive Sensicore Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jon3673, May 21, 2012.

  1. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member

    It's getting close to the time for replacing my current set of Innovation brand Honey strings that I use on my 5 string 7/8 upright. However, I did get some favorable comments last evening from people in the audience regarding the sound of my bass. I must admit that the vast majority of my playing is pizzicato, so that's my main concern regarding the sound.
    My question is . . . . . . Has anyone had experience using the Sensicore Super Sensitive string with the Perlon core?
    I'm especially interested in how the Sensicore brand would compare with the Innovation or Thomastik strings.
  2. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I used them years ago on a German shop bass and liked them alot - they are sort of like Dominant's; I've got a set coming to replace some worn Jargars on my Upton Karr Hybrid.

    I remember them as being low tension and fairly easy on the hands - and pretty easy to bow. We'll see.
  3. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I've used them on my BugBass for a few years. Round tone, good sustain, easier on the fingers than the Helicores I used previously. Nice growl on the low end, too.
  4. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member

    I thank both of you for replying. This is certainly encouraging and makes me think that moving to the Sensicore should be worth the investment.
    I will say that I'm fairly pleased with the growl and sustain that I'm getting with my Innovation Honey strings, and my hands are now in good enough shape that I no longer have to put Crazy Glue on my fingers before each gig; but having a softer string has to be a plus!
    Let me ask this question . . . .
    How long do the Sensicore strings take to settle in? When I last changed my Innovation strings it took almost three weeks for them to settle in to the point that I didn't have to tune strings between songs!
  5. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I've used the Sensicores as well. The E&A were recommended by Dave Roe to use with a plain gut D&G, and that combination worked well. I didn't like the Sensicore D&G as well but I can't remember why. The Sensicores are a Obligato/Evah/Zyex type string. They are fairly durable and didn't go dead after being removed and restrung like some of the other synthetics. They are affordable, worth a try. Dave Roe swears by the E&A, he does a lot of slapping.
  6. Hi Jon,

    I only had a Sensicore high C. Didn't like the tension (much too low) and also not that this string was aluminium wound, never had the standard set. Same happened with Innovation 140H and 140B high C, too less tension (in comparison to the standard set) and also aluminium wound.

    But I can tell you, that Innovation 140B (Braided) has lower tension than the Honeys and is the same type of string than the SuperSensitive Sensicore. I wouldn't go lower in tension, you might get problems if you want to bow a 5-string.

    If you play low B and not high C it might not matter, but Innovation works on chromesteel wound high Cs (for 140H and 140B) and the test strings I got need some additional tension but are fine otherwise.

    I broke my Sensicore high C by tuning it up much to high (4 semitones), thinking the string might need some more tension to sound well.
    I have the impression that the 140B has a more robust core, tuning them two semitnes up was no problem and got a better tension and sound. But I won't swear that it does not break if I tune it up 4 semitones...
  7. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member


    Thanks for your reply. My bass uses a lo B, and I’m currently using the Innovation 140H strings. I was considering trying the Innovation 140B, but was also a little concerned about their aluminum winding. Part of the reason that I opened this inquiry was that I discovered the Super Sensitive Sensicore and wondered if they might actually be a better alternative.

    I mostly work with jazz groups, or backing up a singer, therefore, I only get to use my bow on the last note of a ballad. As a result, the lower string tension is not a concern.

    However, as you brought up the string breakage issue, I must tell you my story . . . . . And, as I see that you play a Clevinger which is set up for a hi C, you may appreciate it.

    Back in the early 70’s I was playing a 1930s 4/4 size Juzek and one of the new 5 string electrics that had just been introduced. I finally got tired of carrying two instruments out on a gig, so I decided to covert my Juzek to a 5 string.

    I purchased tuners that had been on a 60s or 70s era Kay 5 string bass and mounted them on my Juzek. (Facing the bass there were 3 tuners on the left and 2 on the right). I then went thru 3 Thomastik B strings before I realized that I had to move that string to the 2nd key in order to reduce the angle. That was when I discovered that there were different tuning key arrangements, depending on a bass having lo B or hi C.

    Of course, I now have the tuning keys reversed and have not broken a string since that time.

    Isn’t playing bass fun!

  8. I mostly play jazz too, but sometimes also orchestra. The 140B works fine for both, the E and A needs some time or bending treatment (and steel wool polishing afterwards) to get a better sustain, the other strings work fine. The 140H is also on the tension border for me but manageable. My bass is a E. Wilfer 4/4 (7/8?) with a 109 cm scale. So probably similar to yours, except for the stringing. I never used a low B in my life but wanted to order one for the orchestra (but didn't need it due to a change in program and so I didn't order it).

    Only the 140B/H high C was aluminium wound, the standard set is chromesteel wound. (The solo A is also aluminium wound, but they work on that too.)

    The Sensicore might be better available for you in the US and the cost won't differ much, so try what you like. I often try the high C first and then decide if I want the other strings too. Maybe you want to try both Gs first before ordering a set?

    BTW, the Clevinger was strung with low B when I got it, but I made a new nut for the thinner strings. Still not completly happy with it. I need some changes in the electronics and at the fingerboard (it was rounded more to get a better string angle for the 5-string, but now the edges are rather thin and make blisters on my thumb). Also not stable enough for bowing, but that might be my fault. I still fight a bit with the Spiro Weich high C (special order from Thomastik) because the steel strings are so thin. The BG tuners are a shame, I need to clip the strings because the tuner pegs are so thin and narrow. They should have used double bass tuners.
  9. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member


    Yes, it appears that our AUBs are similar. I suspect that yours is actually a 4/4 because the string length on my 7/8 is only 105 cm. I do have my bass equipped with a 4/4 fingerboard, which is 55 mm at the nut and 110.5 mm near the bridge. This overlapping fingerboard allows me to have string spacing similar to a 4 string AUB and allowed me to more easily make the mechanical conversion from a 4 string to a 5 string.

    All of that being said, I think that I will go ahead and obtain a set of the Sensicore Jazz Strings and check them out.

  10. With 105 cm scale the tension of the strings will be less than mine, more or less about the same as if I downtune my strings a bit less than a halftone. It might work for your application (bowing just long notes or end tones), but in my opinon they would have been too soft for regular bowing on a 5-string.

    I heard the Sensicores were often used by slappers who want a high action soft tension string for an easy string grab with a softer slap sound than steel.

    My fingerboard is 51mm at the nut (meauring over the curvature) and 106mm at the end (also curvature, straight und the fingerboard is 95mm). For me this is more than wide enough in the higher positions. I played a 4-string before (long ago) and it took me about one year (mostly because of the high C string) to accomodate to the new instrument. Now I miss the high C whenever I got a 4-string in my hands... (I know, I need to practice some more going up and down the neck.)

    I would be interested how the Sensicores work for you.
  11. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member

    Well, I did receive my Sensicore Perlon strings. I placed them on my bass a couple of days ago and was surprised to find that the lo B string is almost twice the size and any other B that I used. Also, it had a different color binding on the end than the rest of the set, even though it was identified on its label as the exact same type.
    However, after I got my bass set up and continued to tune it for over 24 hours, I tried it out this morning. I must report to those who were interested, I found that these strings are Really Horrible! This is the WORST SOUND I have ever experienced with my bass! I have never heard a set of strings on any bass that sounded this bad!
    I took them off this afternoon and have replaced them with a new set of D’Addario Orchestral Series strings that I had on hand. My bass now sounds good and I won’t be ashamed to take it out to my gig this evening, but it isn’t as nice of a sound as the one that I got when I used the Innovation Honey strings. I’m definitely going back there!
  12. So you might want to try the Innovation 140B (Braided). A bit less tension than the Honeys and less mid and more highs (some can get annoyed with the sizzle when bowing, but this is rather normal for me). The bass may need up to two weeks to settle for the new tension. But I never tried the low B, I play high C (but a special chromesteel 140B high C).

    Or you simply stick with the Honeys. Better for a louder band, I think. But the 140B bow a bit better and also have a nice medium soft pizz tone.
  13. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Hi there,

    where most string reviews avoid harsh words in favor of rather mild "they were not for me"-phrases, your report really sticks out. And that leads to curiosity: In what way were they horrible?

    Thanks for enlightenment.

  14. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member


    You, of course, are absolutely correct! I was extremely harsh; however, I was severely disappointed.

    One would think that many years of playing and experience with many different basses would teach an old dog to expect the unexpected, but again, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

    With all of that being said, I agree with your analysis. I should have been much more objective and analytical with my report. However, before I readdress the issue, let me give you a little background information.

    As I stated above, my first upright bass, with which I fell in love, was a 1930’s 4/4 Juzek. The experience of listening to this bass being played was what converted me from electric to upright. Its tone and presence was marvelous! I tried many different strings on it, but got the best sound and response using the Thomastik Weich strings. These strings brought out the depth and soul of this instrument better than any that I had tried.

    When I converted this bass to 5 string, I was a little disappointed to find that Thomastik did not have a B string available in the Weich style. Thru the years I tried many different brands, including the D’Addario Helicore, but never experienced as good of a sound until I tried the Innovation Honey strings.

    During this time frame I had also acquired a Christopher 7/8 size 5 string and begun to use it for my “working” bass. I had also been using the Thomastik Weich on this bass until I discovered the Innovation strings. I had gone thru two or three sets of these when I started looking for an alternative, which caused me to open the discussion on this page.

    As I stated, I was expecting, or at least hoping for, a sound similar to what I had experienced on that bass using either the Thomastik Weich or the Innovation Honey strings. But, it was not even close!

    It did not give me the ring and tonality for which I was hoping and I was very displeased to find that it was not a matched set, but rather the same situation that I experienced with Thomastik when I converted to 5 strings; in that, they only offered the B string in the orchestral version and it was physically different in sound and looks to the Weich strings.

    Out of frustration, I grabbed the only unused set of strings that I had on hand and changed them just before departing to my evening gig. I used a set of D’Addario Helicore Orchestral Series strings just to get me thru the evening.

    Well, to my supprise, my Christopher sounded wonderful last evening! I even got some favorable comments from the other players concerning the lively sound of my upright. And applause from the audience after solos. It was great!

    That being said, it just goes to prove that different strings sound different on different instruments. It all depends on how they interact with your ax! So, the Sensicore strings are actually very good, just not on my Christopher bass!

    I am sure that others will find the Sensicore Perlon strings wonderful on their instrument, just as I found the D’Addario strings to be wonderful on my Christopher last evening. Again, these same D’Addario strings were absolutely horrible on my Juzek! It all depends on their environment.

    And one more note just before I close (and then go stand the corner for my penance. . . . . .)

    Question: Do you use a clip on tuner (similar to those used by guitar players) for your bass?

    If so, DO NOT PLACE THIS UNIT IN THE AREA OF YOUR TUNNING KEYS (like the guitar players do)! Last evening I reasoned that it would be less obtrusive if I placed my unit there, but it actually caused me to have to tune my strings almost a half tone higher in order to get the correct meter readings. We won’t go into explaining the physics of having the unit that far away from the source, but rather it’s best to simply state that one should always have the tuning device as close to the sound post as possible. (like on the bridge!)

    Isn’t playing bass fun!
    rknea likes this.
  15. I'm gonna need the Cliff Notes on this.
  16. rjspear

    rjspear Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2011
    Ithaca, New York
    Luthier, owner Singing Woods Violin Shop
    I'm a bit late to the party, but I often use SuperSensitive strings on the instruments I make of the New Violin Family, including basses. I recently received a five-string model of a bass I designed that was made for me by Samuel Shen, and John Cavanaugh of SuperSensitive was kind enough to provide me with a set of Sensicores for evaluation. These strings replaced a set of steel strings, which were actually very good and gave the bass a lot of bite. I'm not one who plays regularly any more, but I began to reconsider when I put on the Sensicore bass set. I just loved the feel of these strings under my fingers. Kind of seductive, in a way. Great tone and a good amount of power, too. I mostly play classical music, and these strings are excellent for bow work.

    The only string I had reservations about was the low B, which I found to be too thick. But it worked OK until I put adjusting wheels on the bridge. This actually opened up the bass even more, but the difference on the low B was the most pronounced. It's back in balance with the rest, and actually speaks pretty quickly under the bow.

    FWIW, I should mention that I have been evaluating strings for SuperSensitive for years, but there are no financial factors involved.
  17. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Does anyone know if Supersensitive changed the formula on these strings recently?

  18. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Don't know, bu they changed them in the past, so it's quite possible.
  19. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks, mon ami. They actually seem to be better strings than I remember them.
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