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Thomastik Vikes Experience?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Farin, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Ok, so I guess I have a question, well really I'm looking for an explanation...
    The other day, I went down to the Bass Cellar in Cinci (great place), and my friend who also plays upright bass ended up buying a Sam Shen Laminate, and got Thomastik Weichs (Pronounced Vikes) put on it. He's mostly a jazz player, as am I, however I also play in a University Orchestra.
    Now this is where it gets strange...
    While my bass was in the shop, (I have a fully hand carved willow Sam Shen Bass), anyhow, I borrowed my friend's bass for Orchestra rehersal, and to my suprise, the strings sounded great! Very smooth, warm, and rich.
    How can this be explained, seeing as how Vikes are usually said to be even more of a jazz string than the Thomastik Spirocores (which I use on my bass).
    Obviously, it's not the bass, I mean the laminate is nice, but my bass has an overall fuller sound.
    Has anyone had any other expirence with Thomastik Weichs? I'm seriously leaning towards buying a set, since they get more of a jazz growl which I like, while still maintaing a decent (almost exceptable by my classical instructor) classical tone.
  2. Just so you know Weichs are Spirocores. Spiros come in three gauges; weich (weak) being the thinest, mittle (middle) aka. Orchestra, and stark (strong). None of the Spiros are considered classical strings they are maily jazz pizz strings. Although you can hear some great jazz players bowing beautifully with them, Sean Smith comes to my mind first cause he's a teacher of mine. Another way of identifying the type of Spirocore is the silk windings, weich=red at the bridge and purple at the peg box, mittle=red at bridge, red at pegs, stark I'm not positive but I think red at bridge, green at pegs.

    I'd say if you are happy with your Spiros keep them on for now, the weichs may sound good on your friend's bass but may not work for your bass how you want. My teacher Sean is a good example, on his Kay he uses weichs, but when he got his carved bass the weichs weren't cutting it, he went with mittles.
  3. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    the weichs are nice, but if you want a better bowing jazz string you should consider superflexibles or corelli 370s. Even the Pirastro jazzers bow better than the spiros.

  4. dylanjohnson

    dylanjohnson Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    Morro Bay, CA

    Spiros react very differently on different instruments.... In my experience, the Weichs have a more mellow sound with less sustain (although they do not sound like gut!!) than the mittels on my bass. They have less tension and many people seem to agree that they bow better than mittels. Also, when they get old they bow even better because they lose some of the raspiness they have when new. Also, on a ply bass they will probably sound a little darker because of the instrument itself. So, if your bass is on the bright side, (as many newer chinese basses are), a set of Weichs may mellow the sound out a bit (once they are broken in) and bow better than your Mittels. I have only really liked the Mittels on basses with a lower tension feel, where they can let the bass speak. They clammed up my bass with too much tension.

    By the way, how did your Berklee audition go? Did you get an offer?

  5. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Thanks Dylan,
    I'll take your advice. I think I'm going to try them.

    The Berklee Audition went great, Tiger Okoshi was on the panel, and I got to play with him a bit. Man can that guy blow! I'm still awaiting scholarship results, but I'm hopefull that I might get something worth pursuing further. Right now I'm in the process of getting some of the compositions I wrote recorded so I may send them to the jazz composition dept. for another possible scholarship.

    Thanks for the interest! Buy hey, isn't that what the TB community is for? ;-)
  6. dylanjohnson

    dylanjohnson Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    Morro Bay, CA
    Right on, Farin. The more scholarships the better....
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I've read this in an ISB mag too but I haven't tried them

    I'm using corellis now and I like them quite a bit

    I've got some weich spiros too and I really liked them...especially the E and A string they bowed very well right out of the package with no break-in. But the corellis bow better all over from the get-go.
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I fooled around with Weiches this summer and they were just O.K. for me. If you can handle just a little less tension, what I like a lot better was Solo gauge Spirocores tuned to orchestral pitch. There's a thread on that somewhere.

    It's really about your bass, setup and how you play, though. A lot of people use and love Weiches. The only way to know is to try them on your bass. I think Mettiel gauge are far and away the most popular.