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Thomastik-Infeld specs, etc.

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Thomguy, May 22, 2002.


  1. Thomguy

    Thomguy

    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    Just to make sure it got to the most people, I have posted this on a few T-I related threads. I hope it's of use to the T-I users here.

    It looks like some clarification is needed here. I feel for you because even when you have the (old) catalog in front of you it can be confusing! here's the skinny, though:

    The Spirocore's are available in Orchestral Tuning (most popular) and Solo tuning and range from 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4 sizes. Solo tuning is only available in Mittle (medium) tension in all sizes and is tuned a step up; A, E, B, F# while Orchestral tuning is G,D,A,E. Spirocore Orchestral strings are available in Stark, Mittle and Weich (pronounced vike) in 4/4 size, Mittle & Weich in 3/4 & 1/2 sizes and Mittle only in 1/4 size.

    Although the solo tuning is a bit heavier in tension on full size (by 6.7lbs total) it is not as dramatic a difference as it is between Weich, Mittle, and Stark tensions. Weich is German for weak, so those are the soft (257.80lbs) Mittle means, well, middle or medium (286.60lbs) and Stark, means strong, or hard (324.20lbs) There are even a few who get the solo set and tune it orchestral. The resultant tension is a bit lower than even the Spirocore Weich!

    The Weich's have purple silk wrap at the peg head end, the Mittle's have red silk, the Stark's have green silk and the Solo tuning strings have yellow silk. They all have red silk at the ball end.

    I hope this helps. If anyone here would like a catalog for further clarification, feel free to call or email directly and I'll send one out right away. Although I have more knowledge and practical experience with the fretted string line, I am available anytime via email or toll free should anyone have any other questions and don't feel like typing them.

    Best regards,
    Kevin Reynolds
    Connolly & Co.
    Exclusive US Importers of Thomastik-Infeld Strings
    1-800-644-5268
    kevinr@connollyandco.com
     
  2. Blaine

    Blaine

    Aug 4, 2001
    new york area
    Hey there mister Thomastic guy. Why don't they make a Weich Dominant set. They're great strings but too much tension.
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    While we're talking of TI strings:

    About three years ago, I contacted Thomastik and told them that their Dominant line was great but unusable on my Electric Upright because they're a little too long.
    (Dominant strings are difficult because the metal wound part must not reach the peg or they'll break)

    I got an answer: they told me that they were going to announce a new product for electric uprights a few months later. Great!

    So, a few months later I contacted them again, asking about that new product.
    No response.

    I emailed again a few times, directly to Peter Infeld, with carbon copies to several other persons of the TI Admin.
    No response.

    Three years later nothing has been announced and they never replied to my emails.

    So talk about TI's support and service!
     
  4. Thomguy

    Thomguy

    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    Blaine:

    Thanks for your inquiry. Although they don't make Dominant in Weich tension, you can tune the solo set (A,E,B,F#) to orchestral tuning (G,D,A,E) and the resultant tension will be significantly lower.

    francois:

    I can't say for sure why your inquiries went ignored. I have had great results with Thomastik-Infeld service & support, so I can only speak from my own experience. Although I'm not the manufacturer, I try to provide support and service as the US importer that matches the level of quality of their strings and have received enough accolades over the years to support this claim. I'd be happy to step in and help in any way I can. Aside from the time difference (I'm in NY) I can promise prompt, informative, professional service to you and anyone else in this forum. Although I mainly deal with their fretted instrument strings, I have sufficient knowledge of the bowed line and enough support here to find the answers to questions I may not know immediately.

    Concerning your electric upright: Does it have a magnetic or piezo type pickup? What is the scale length? And finally, what type of music are you playing? The Spirocore series is usually best suited for electric upright basses and comes in a variety of sizes and tensions. The Precision series is also effective on electric upright's and is mainly used in bluegrass or folk where a louder, more cutting tone is desired. The Precision are also a great practice or student string as they are very hardy! Have you tried the Spirocore series before? I highly recommend these for most musical styles.

    Thanks again for your inquiry and please feel free to post here or email directly if I can ever be of assistance.

    Best regards,
    Kevin Reynolds
    Connolly & Co.
    Exclusive US Importers of Thomastik-Infeld Strings
    1-800-644-5268
    kevinr@connollyandco.com
     
  5. Blaine

    Blaine

    Aug 4, 2001
    new york area
    Thanks for the reply. The problem with the solo set tuned down is I believe even at solo pitch the tension is less than the orch set and when you tune them down the tension is way too lose for me and others that have tried it. I'm telling you ,if they could split the difference and offer a Weich set they would sell three times what they are now.
     
  6. Thomguy

    Thomguy

    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    Perhaps. Dominant bass sales are a fraction of what the Spirocore sales have been for years, but, having more choices and supporting them can make a marketing program very successful. At least in the US. I agree that if they had more choices they might ultimately sell more of a given SKU. I once suggested that they make the Dominant series in 110cm to 115cm in length. This way, 3/4 scale players installing the full sized set would get less tension but not as dramatic as tuning down a solo set. Any new developments I'll be sure to post here.

    We'll see...
     
  7. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    Do the solo gage spirocores tuned to orch. pitch bow any better than the weich? Does any one know how the wiechs compare in playing ease to the corelli 370 fortes. are the weichs much easier than the orch gage? those seemed to be way to stiff.
     
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I notice that the Stark set is listed only for 4/4 size basses. Does this mean that you can't put them on 3/4 basses, or that the tension would be different if you did? If so, how would this affect tension?
     
  9. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    If you put a string designed for a 110cm scale on a 105 cm scale instrument, you'll loose a little tension.
    So using Stark Spiros (4/4) on a 3/4 size bass will give you higher tension than mediums, but less than if your instrument had a 4/4 scale.
    BTW, the regular Spiros that are sold here in Canada are medium 4/4s. (I guess it's the same in the US)
    True 3/4 size Spiros have a small added label on the envelope to indicate they're 3/4.
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    So you're saying that:

    1) The 4/4 Starks will likely have more tension than the 3/4 Spiro Orchestra anyway, and

    2) I may well have 4/4 Spiro Orchestra on my bass already (they were put on my bass by my luthier)?

    Thanks.
     
  11. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I think so.

    Most probably, yes.
    True 3/4 Spiros are more a special order.
    I once ordered a (true) 3/4 medium Spiro E from Quinnviolins and received a regular (4/4) one.
    Chris told me its distributor told him they were 3/4 but it wasn't the case.
    True 3/4 have a little sticker added on the sleeve.
    Ask your luthier to show you his Spiros sets.
    I bet they won't have the 3/4 stickers.
     
  12. mesmithnm

    mesmithnm Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Layton, UT
    I would appreciate some of your collective knowledge - I just got a set of Spirocores, S36 - S39. From the Thomastik website, I understand these to be 4/4 scale - Before I break these out of the package and render them unreturnable, is this the appropriate set for use on my 3/4 size bass? I am hoping to get about the same tension as I have using D'addario Helicore hybrid mediums.

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
  13. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    No problem.
    You'll get a tad lower tension than if your bass was a full scale, but that's not a big deal.
     
  14. brooklynDbass

    brooklynDbass

    Dec 22, 2005
    Does anyone know the difference in tension between the Spirocore Solo strings tuned to orchestra tuning (less than the 288.9lbs reported at solo tension) and the Weich tuned to standard orchestra tuning? Or the other way around where the Weich is tuned to solo tuning.
     
  15. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, they do. Very nice, in fact. If you and your bass can adjust to that tension, it can be a good choice. There are a couple of large threads on it that I posted my experience on while it was fresh in my mind.

    I don't have the stats, but from my hands on experience, there is some difference in tension, but a lot of difference in character. In my experience, the solos are much more arco friendly and had a really nice round tone, whereas the weichs were brighter and more spirocoreish. I think the solo tuned to orch tension is probably similar to Animas. It can probably be accomodated with some set up.

    I don't know much about solo tuning, but this sounds like a bad idea to me.
     
  16. jsbarber

    jsbarber Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    If I'm remembering things correctly: To tune a string down by one whole tone multiply the frequency by 0.5*2^(10/12). Frequency varies with the square root of the tension, so the corresponding tension would change by the square of the ratio of the frequencies: To = Ts * [0.5*2^(10/12)]^2. (Where To is orchestral tension, and Ts is solo tension.)

    So the 288.9 lbs. at solo tuning would become 229.3 lbs. at orchestral tuning. (This is for 3/4 medium/Mittle solo strings)

    For 3/4 Weich orchestral tuning Thomastik lists the tension as 252.3 lbs., see:

    http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/strings/index.html


    Hope this helps,

    Jim
     
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Exactly! That's what I meant.
     
  18. jsbarber

    jsbarber Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    The faint echo of a technical education in the distant past.

    One comment though. Over and over again people speak about tension when they really seem to be concerned with the ply-ability, suppleness or ease of play of a string. The tension is the amount of force that the string is applying at each end (and every point in between). But the concept they are refering to has more to do with how elastic the string is, because when you press the string to finger a note you are stretching the string. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so when you press down on the string you are now lengthening the string slightly. "Stretching" the string is the force that you have to overcome, and it is not necessarilly linked to the tension. This is especially true when you compare strings of different design.

    This point has been made elsewhere on this forum, but I consistently see people talk about higher and lower tension when that is not what they are refering to at all.

    Jim
     
  19. rdwhit

    rdwhit

    Mar 18, 2006
    Louisville ky
    1) It's been a long time, but I seem to remember solo spiros tuned to orch bowing with a little less scratch than weichs. They lose volume that way and may play too lose for You.
    2) all corellis are lower tension than weichs and bow smoother, but have less pizz sustain and volume. The compromise works well for many people.
    3)Weichs are lower tension than orch and easier to play. The volume is less than orch.
    IMHO
     
  20. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Exactly!
    That's called stiffness, and is very often confused with tension.
    Tension is a factor for the stiffness, coupled with elasticity.