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Time for Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by gruffpuppy, May 10, 2001.

  1. well as you most of you know I am one of the newbies down in the dark side, today I busted my G-string and I am guessing its time for some a new set. The windings on the stings that are on there, E&G are black, A is orange and D is Dark blue or maybe purple. These strings sound ok to me but I have only been playing about 2 months. I hear lots on TB about Obligatos, and my teacher plays Thomastik solo. I am learning pizz but mostly arco. So push comes to shove I am letting you guys voice your recomedations for me and my new adventures. :) Looking forward to trying to change these :rolleyes:

    Oh yea the bass is a inexpensive Asian Crumora, or however you spell it.

  2. :eek: YOU BUSTED A STRING ALREADY?! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!!! Just Kidding, I'm just surprised cuz I only ever had 2 stings break on me.
    Anyway, I really like the obligatos. They don't have a really bright Pizz sound like the Thomastiks (Which, by the way, I liked better than the helicores..shhh..don't tell anybody ;)) But, on my DB
    they (obligatos) have a gorgeous arco sound and they speak just fine played pizz. being that you have a Crumbora, you probably don't want a really bright string on there anyway, since to my recollection there is not a hell of a lot of low end on those instruments. My fave all-around string for a long time was the Corelli Tungstens, Med. You might like them as well. So, IMHO I can recommend either the Obligatos, if you want a Great arco sound and a bit darker pizz sound, or the Corellis, if you want a good Arco sound and a slightly brighter pizz sound. They both cost about the same, I actually think the Obligatos are a few $ cheaper from Quinn Violins. Disclaimer: YMMV!
  3. Thanks Reedo, yep I broke one already. I had just picked up Fieldy plays DB, threw on a set of Converse and next thing I knew snap. My tailpiece, that I call "Mary" didn't have anything to do with it. The string broke at the tuner. I think what may be the real cause is that it is a cheap bass I probally got a mutant set of strings that were hanging around the shop. I have been trying to adjust the bridge closer to what my teachers is set up as and think the G string got sick of it. I like playing pizz but seeing that I am just getting started I am playing a lot of arco, I didn't think I wanted to play with a bow but as soon as I did it Bang I was hooked. :D
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm getting ready to buy a set of Obligatos (Obligati????) based on everybody's professed love for them. I'm also very happy with the sound of the Thomastic Spirocores (orchestra gauge), but they are pretty tough on the old hands, especially the right. If you did decide to try the Spirocores, be warned that your bass is going to sound like a giant bass banjo for the first couple of weeks. On a happier note, they have the ability to nearly decapitate most drummers who play louder than they should, as if you were using a large high-powered megaphone to scream, HERE'S THE BEAT into whichever of their ears you happen to be sitting closest to. This can come in handy at times....

    Good luck.
  5. thanks so far guys, in response to CF the MarsMusic near me has these two in stock:

    Thomastik Spirocore Bass String Set S42 $124.99
    Thomastik Spirocore Weich (Soft) Bass String Set S42W $124.99

    I don't know if either is the brand you spoke of, even though I am just starting out the obligatos sound like they may be nice for a newbie doing a lot of arco, I am not to worried about beating up my hands they are pretty beat already. I don't know if the above strings are orchestra gauge.

    thanks again gents.
    (gents= not gender specific) :D
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You can tell the difference by the color of the windings by the tailpiece:

    Spiro Orch gauge = red

    Spiro Weich gauge = purple

    If you wanted to try these and plan on doing much bowing, the weichs are better for arco, the orchs better for pizz. Lemur sells both for about $20 cheaper than the prices you mentioned. based on the buzz here at the forum, however, the obligatos sound a hell of a lot better for arco.

    The orchestra gauge Spiros sound like barbed wire when bowed, but can cut through just about anything pizz.
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Hey Gruff, it sounds like your bass came with the same crappy strings as my Strunal...diff colored windings on each string...look like aluminum, and black stuff rubs off on your hands? I imagine that no matter what new strings you buy, you'll hear a massive improvement. I replaced mine with Helicore Pizz Mediums (didn't think I'd be doing any bowing...wrong!), and my tone and volume increased quite a bit. Made a huge difference, even to my DB newbie ears..
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Reedo covered it. I have no experience with Corelli. Obligato is the only string I've found that sounds great both pizz and arco. The only person I know who has used both Corelli and Obligato (one of my teachers) is solidly with Obligato.
    There are people who can get a good arco sound with Tomastik Spirocore, but that's testimony to how good they are as players, not how good the string is. For pizz, Spirocores have been the usual choice up until now, but I think that's changing since Obligato came on the scene. Spirocores, especially when new, seem always to have a metallic sound underneath. Obligatos are warmer, less tension, and for me, the sustain is virtually the same as the Spirocore.
  9. Yes those sound like the same strings, my hands stoped getting black after about a week but I looked like an auto mechanic after playing for a bit.

    Thanks for the help, I am going to see if I can find a set of Obligato's in Boston this weekend, if not I will order some online. My teacher has the Thomastik Spirocore Solo on his bass and they are nice but they have a real bite to the tone. Sounds like the Obligato's will be warmer.

  10. Never has there been a more true statement. Every Curtis grad I know will only use Tomastik Spirocores and are almost adament that their students use them. They could make barbwire strings sound good. On the rare occasions I can get time for a lesson, my teacher always comments on the even sound of the Obligatos.
  11. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Let me second the recommendation for the Obligatos. Great strings. Buy 'em from Lemur.

    Something else that concerned me when you talked about adjusting your bridge and that possibly contributing to the string breakage: ALWAYS loosen your strings before adjusting the bridge. Depending on how dramatic a change I'm making, I've loosened to the point of going down a fourth in tuning on some occasions.

    And stop by an art supply shop and buy yourself a nice 3B pencil that you can use to load up the grooves on the nut and bridge with graphite when you put the new strings on.

  12. thanks Dh, not to turn this into a chat room but, yea it was when I was tuning the strings back up after the bridge adjustment. They were probally down to a 4th. I always make them very loose and do the adjustments while it lies on its back.
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    www.bobshouseofbasses.com sells obligatos for between $80 and $90. The guy on the phone (I'm assuming he's BOB) is also very helpful and loves to talk about basses and strings.
  14. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    www.quinnviolins.com has 'em for $87. I've been using Corelli 380's (purchased from Quinn) and like them fine but next string change I'll be going to Obligatos based on all the positive comments I've heard here and elsewhere.
  15. Just an update for all of you, I wanted to get the Obligatos because they are the hot topic but I couldn't find any local. I am not really looking to be without my DB for a week waiting for strings, so I will just have to go on the list of the many that want to try them. I went to the store down the street and picked up a set of D'Addario Helicore medium Hybrids. Haven't put them on yet, stil winding down from the day and I want to build up a little patience first. Thanks for the tips. :)
  16. BassBaron


    Jul 20, 2001
    San Jose, CA
    I too have a Cremona and I too broke my G string (yeah, yeah, sounds like a personal problem) within a couple of weeks. When your bass costs as much a couple of sets of good strings, what kind of strings do you expect it to come with? I put Tomastik Spirocores on mine and it sounded like to tin can so I put it in front of my amp for a couple of days (with the three remaining sucky strings) and let it feedback at a low volume...what a difference! I call my patented process "Speed Aging". I must have put the equivalent of a year of playing on it and it lossened up nice. I wonder, if I leave it feeding back for a couple weeks, will it sound like a Stratavarius? Hmmm....
  17. Here is a bump-update.

    I took off my Helicore Hybrids yesterday and put on a set of Corelli 370. The Hybrids were loosing tone and irritating my fingertips. Guess I am allergic to nickel. The gauge seems a lot lighter than the Helicore mediums, which is real nice on the crappy EBay_Bass I have. Normal routine, remove strings, get a new X-Acto knife, modify tailpiece, gash thumb, stain carpet, and hope it is worth the pain. I find these to be a little thin but real nice on the cheap bass. Arco is great, the strings move real nice. The tone seems cleaner and projects nicely. Again these are the views of a DB newbie but I was very pleased.

    You hearing me mchildree?

    Dump the Helicores.
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I don't know about Bum***k, GA, but down here in Kentucky, them'd be fightin' wuhds... be prepared to be verbally assaulted by a barefoot guy in denim overalls with straw sticking out of his pockets. As if the above description doesn't make him stand out enough, he can be further identifed by the fact that he'll be carrying a container of Pops Rosin...which, by the way, is kinda gritty in the summertime.:cool:
  19. Theys might be fightin' wuhds but mchildree and I switched over to real bass pretty much the same week, so I think we have a little newbie bond going.

    Just trying to give my friends updates. :)

    Three things I have found out in my short time on the wooden beast.

    1. I like Kolstein all weather rosin much better than Pops.

    2. It is a lot nicer playing Arco on the Corelli's.

    3. DB is alot harder to play than a BG with a big cut on your thumb. :D


    I am sure this is the guy you were talking about. . .and I don't want to know were he keeps his rosin.
  20. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Thanks Gruff...I'm ready to dump the Helicores as soon as my back-ordered Obligatos arrive. Lemur can't seem to get any in stock for some reason.

    They've been alright for me, except that they sound just a tad metallic for the bluegrass and trad country that I've been playing...on live gigs anyway. Now I'm a bit torn because we've been recording and my bass sounded really, really good on tape. The engineer stuck an AKG C4000 in front of the bass side F-hole and a Neumann of some type on the treble side F-hole, and Bingo...the tone I'd been after (which incidentally was the tone of the Supernyl-strung American Standard I played in Nashvegas a couple of weekends ago).

    This was the tone I was hoping the Obligatos would give me, but it turns out it was there anyway.

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