Super Sensitive Supremes: A review

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Chasarms, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    OK, so I have a new bass.

    Well, not really, but I spent 4 or 5 hours today and tonight going through the Shen and working on a few things.

    My flamed claro walnut compensated TP from Dr. Mike showed up today. Wow. It is really nice. I also got the nylon string. And, just as I was about to get started, the man in Brown showed up with the Revolution Solo PU that I am to review.

    So, once I had everything down, I got the TP in order and strung the bass up with a new set of Supremes that I had been sitting on for more than a month.

    So, once everything is in order and the bass is up to tension, it was a big challenge to figure exactly what was what, but in just a few minutes, I was playing without issues.

    So, a review of the Supremes:

    The thing that strikes you as unusual right off the bat is how playable they are right out of the package. Once, I got the TP cable stretched out decently as well as the strings, I was pretty much getting a really decent tone right away.

    SS describes these strings as mellow, and I certainly see where they are coming from. The tone is very round. Obligatos came off the bass, so that's what my ears where accustomed to. The pizz tone of these strings is VERY similar. There is plenty of sustain, but no middy growl, like with spiro.

    They are thinner strings, but under the fingers, the stiffness is also pretty much right on with the Obligato.

    Then out came the stick. This is where these strings shine. They bow MUCH sweeter than Obligato, especially in the higher register. They have just enough absence of clarity under the stick to add a little warmth.

    The G string is pretty much exactly what I am looking for. The arco tone is near that of flexocor, but the pizz sustain far superior.

    The D and A are amazingly similar in tone and feel to the Obligato. Which is great, since those have always been the best two in the pack, IMO, as far as Obligatos go. The E is soft and a touch muddy, but not out of character with the other strings. I don't see me subbing the E any time soon. It responds to the bow much better than Obligato E and seems to push back a little better. It is certainly easier to start.

    The pizzed E of the Supremes is better than Obligato, but then again, it doesn't take much for that.

    Overall, I am very happy with these strings. IME, they are a better hybrid string than Obligato.

    The only issue I have with them is that they are pretty quiet. My bass is obviously louder with the Obligatos. With my natural bow pressure, the difference in the volume was pretty noticeable. Although they will get louder with added bow pressure, I couldn't play very long with that approach.

    This is especially troublesome, since I also just added the compensated TP and ultralight tailgut. Isn't the bass supposed to be louder? :confused:

    I think the strings are just quieter. I had the same experience with Flexocors on my bass.

    One other oddity was the lack of distinction between my two bows. With Obligatos, the Meinel bow was MUCH darker and softer than the new Tom Owens bow I just purchased. With these strings, the differences are there, but far more subtle.

    I am a little concerned that the strings are nickel rather than steel. Based on my guitar and EBG experiences, nickel strings are loose the life much faster than stainless. We'll see. If they die, I also have a brand new Flat chromesteel G, D and A that I am itching to try with a spirocore stark E.

    If you are an Olligato lover, you might want to try these. It isn't too much of a risk, they are pretty cheap. You can get a sey online for less than $100.
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Are you still playing them?
    I just put back the D on my EUB and it sounds really great.
    I remember the G was somewhat shrill though.
    Maybe a Flexo G would fit nicely.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    No. I am pretty much struck on the Belcantos. Simply put, they bow better than anything I have ever played. They don't pizz like a Spiro, but I like the dark, tubby pizz. I can't see me going with anything else unless something totally new comes out that I am interested in trying.

    My bass is really settled in and I am digging the sound. I not really in any mood to tinker with my DB right now. Most of my experimentation is with slab.
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Thanks for the feedback, Charles.

    Nice day,
  5. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I tried both Supremes and Pinnacles out for SS - and I agree I found the
    Supremes a little "flat" bowing-wise - they feel good, but don't seem to carry.

    The Pinnacles, however, are, I think, a highly under-rated orchestra string - great sustain, good bow response and pretty easy on the hands. I believe they come in solo gauge as well.

  6. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Actually, I find the Pinnacles more tense than the Supremes.
    I think they're a tad thicker too, but I should measure them with a caliper.
    For jazz, I like the Supremes better.
    Both sets are available in solo-gauge, BTW.

    Best regards,