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The New Innovation Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by sevenyearsdown, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I have played Innovation Slaps off and on for years, sometimes mixed with gut, lamberts, and sometimes full sets. In the past year or so I played a really used set of silver slaps, then an almost new set of silver slaps, then I put a brand new set of goldens on that came out of the new factory. They were supposed to be identical, and made on the same gear with the same material - just relocated to a different factory. However the ends are ball instead of brass rod, and the wrappings are also different at the ball end. OK so that should really affect much.

    Now to the playing. They don't feel the same. My gut told me that I just needed to play them in for a while, since I was used to playing on worn sets. Well I've put some good hours on them and the feeling hasn't changed. Definitely stiffer than the originals. They also don't seem to have the same punch that my old silver slaps did. I'm calling bunk on them being the same product. Close, but no cigar.

    I'm curious if anyone else has had a similar experience.
    Fretless55 likes this.
  2. A few years ago they changed the core because they could no longer get the old one (was no longer manufactured). But they promised that it was not much different and rather better than the old one than worse.
    But I guess it was moving the machines that made the windings tighter to their neighbors which results in a stiffer string.

    I don't know if it works with synthetic wrapped strings too, but the Braided, which have he same core, got more flexible (on A and E) when I bend the string over the tip of my thumb and run the string along a few inches the. Go back rotate the string a bit and do it again until it is evenly flexible in all directions and then go to the nut part of the string. Can take an hour per string and you don't like to play that day after doing this (sore thumb).
    Fretless55 likes this.
  3. Being an Innovation fan myself (Golden Slaps, Super Silvers) I'm interested in your take with the new manufacture.

    As for me I tend to leave strings on for a looong time.
    My worry now is to continue with what I have and hope I can find something similar when it comes time for a change...

    Appreciate your taking the time for a critique.
  4. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I return to gigging next month, so I'll be putting a real coating of funk on the strings. Maybe that will help. I hope it helps....otherwise I might be back to guts again.
  5. jasonrp


    Feb 19, 2015
    Do it...you know you want to
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  6. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    A bit of an update. I lowered my string height a good bit, and they feel a little better. It's worth noting than when I changed from gut to the old set of slaps, I didn't change my string height. They worked fine at gut height.
  7. One thing I've noticed with 3yr Super Silvers is, they're turning greenish at the touch points. Pizz only, no rosin.

    It's a deep I the wrap kind of thing, doesn't clean with alcohol.

    I don't have oily or grubby hands and my understanding is these strings have absolutely no metal, which makes it kinda odd. Doesn't seem to affect their sound.
  8. The core has no metal, but there is some in the outer windings, and then again some synthetic material on the outside wrap.
  9. Hello Talkbass,

    I’m looking to replace the strings on my Strunal plywood bass that’s currently with Obligatos. (I have a carved Sun bass with EP Weighs, used for jazz pizz and some arco. ) I want the setup of the plywood to offer a attractively different sound and feel to the carved bass. My slap playing is non-existent and this is the skill set I want to develop with the plywood bass. (I tried slapping with Spiro Mitts, and then with the Obligatos and it’s quite hard for me to do as a beginner slapper. I did briefly play some Innovation Golden Slaps on a plywood bass, and the instrument almost slapped itself. It was easy.)


    - Is the full set the best choice or should I mainly go for the D and G strings and keep other strings on the E and A (like Obligatos)?

    - Do people actually slap the E and A strings in 50s style rock n roll slap?

    - Is the nut and bridge adjustment necessary to accommodate these strings? Once done, will the wider slots still work fine for steel strings?

    - How long do Innovation Golden Slaps last? 1 year, 2 ?

    - Can they be taken off the bass and re-installed often?

    - Would these also be ok for an Eminence EUB?

    Any feedback is welcome.
  10. Since slapping was usually done on lower tension gut strings, you might use a full set of a similar tension like silver or golden slaps. I would not mix strings with different tension, since you usually want to have a higher setup to better grab the strings.

    Innovation strings could be changed often without degradation of sound because their core is less stretchy than most other synthetic core strings.

    You need to widen the slots for synthetic wound strings. You might be able to use steel core strings with the wider slots, but if not let your luthier make a second nut with narrower slots for your steel core strings.
    You also need to widen the bridge slots. Worst case you need a second bridge with narrower slots for your steel strings, but this is rarely the case.

    For testing you might be able to use the narrow slots without damage to the strings if they are flat synthetic wound like Innovation Slaps. But if you want to keep them, better widen the slots soon.
    longfinger likes this.
  11. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    1. Go with a full set. Innovations balance tension evenly across the set.

    2. Yes.

    3. Slaps are larger diameter than the average steel string, but not quite as large as plain gut. You will likely need the slots widened if your bass was setup for steel it's whole life. Steel strings will be fine in the wider slots if you go back to them. The slots should be widened to accommodate the larger diameter, not deepened. I've had plain gut setups on my basses almost since I started playing, and have swapped in all kinds of smaller diameter strings without problems.

    4. That depends on your preference of tone, and how often you play. I prefer the sound of a well worn set, but eventually some of them will start to buzz as they get really beat IME. If you practice daily and gig a lot, then you'll get less mileage out them obviously.

    5. Yes. They stabilize quickly as long as you retune them a few times a day initially.

    6. Check the scale. They will work with any piezo pickup, but not magnetics.
    longfinger likes this.
  12. I'm with you. I'm an occasional upright bassist. I played upright before, but it's was never setup and the strings sucked. 10 years latter I picked a cheap suzuki bass had it set up with a new bridge, tailpiece, and super silvers. I love the strings since It's for personal practice. If I ever need a new set, don't want to get the same set if they are different.
    Keep us updated.
  13. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    I guess I have to add my experience here: Having used Super Silvers in the past I recently ordered a new set from Gollihur. I have to say that the new set is very different in tension, much lighter than the old set. To me they are closer in tension to what I remember the silver slaps being. They are not at all what I was expecting nor what I wanted. I have written to Gollihur and asked for a refund based on this. I have yet to get a reply so we will see.
    sevenyearsdown likes this.
  14. Bigbassguy


    Jun 5, 2017
    I have a carved bass that I used for jazz gigs. Currently I have g , d and a guts, but want to replace my e and a. What suggestions might some of you have for me. Innovation slaps?
  15. Innovation Silver (or Golden) Slaps work fine with most naked gut strings. Similar tension to wound gut (at least similar to my Efrano medium wound gut strings).
  16. I ordered some Golden Slaps and they came in. As soon as I have the slots on the nut and bridge widened I'll put them on.

    (I don't know what the Golden Slaps were like years ago.) The spiros mitts I'm replacing were about 13 years old. (Obligatos have been on only for a few weeks, and they are about 8 years old) I'm sure the Spiro Mitt set on my bass changed in those 13 years and putting on a new set of Spiro mitts would have felt new and different. That is one big reason why we put on new strings right, to get that difference? Isn't it hard to do direct A/B comparisons, and even more so when relying on memory of previous years?
  17. bassfran


    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    Does anyone know if they've changed their whole line since the shake-up? I want to replace the 140b's on my K.Meyer and would be disappointed to drop 2 benjamins and not have the same high tension feel I've grown to love.
  18. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I'm glad someone else has shared their experience. I'm soldiering on with mine because I just can't deal with going back to gut right now, and I don't want to make a wholesale change to something completely unfamiliar.

    Even after playing the snot of mine for a good bit now, I can still say they are not the same product. Lowering my string height has helped some, but that alone tells me that I am not dealing with the same product. I was changing from worn on out Silver Slaps to new Golden Slaps, which in theory is an apples to apples comparison.

    The only other explanation that could explain my issue is it's possible I was using a set that dates back to before they changed core material 5 or 6 years ago. I did buy my last said used. However the person I purchased them from stated that they were put on new, and had very few hours on them. I guess they could have been old stock lying around, though it doesn't seem likely after that many years. It is possible though.

    And just to clarify for others, the strings aren't garbage. They are just different than what I was anticipating based on previous experience. They are as described by the manufacturer.
  19. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Very strange that you feel like the Supersilvers got lighter, and others are saying that the slaps got stiffer. You'd think that if there was a change, at least it would be consistent. Like, if they changed cores or windings, ALL the strings would be either stiffer or lighter. Not a mix of each.

    In any case, I've not received any email from you, unless you maybe sent it directly to Christopher. So I'm not ignoring you, I just don't have an email from you to reply to.
  20. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    This is not a call-out in any way, but I would have to say that comparing 6 year old, well-played strings with brand new ones isn't exactly apples to apples. Certainly, it's closer than comparing Spiros with Silver Slaps, but Innovation strings definitely soften and increase flexibility with use and age. A new set will definitely feel stiffer for a while - and since you bought the last set used, you don't even know what those strings felt like right out of the package.
    longfinger likes this.

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