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Tone of Jazzer Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Shmelbee, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Shmelbee


    Mar 28, 2005
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Hey guys,

    I was listening to that string comparison matrix sticky thread, and the Pirastro Jazzer strings sound to me like they could deliver that real fat, nasty sustain sound that I'm looking for. Do any of you agree/have suggestions for other strings? I really focus on jazz, but still have to study classical and play concertos, and stuff like that. I suppose I should have asked for recommendations after the last sentence...:rolleyes:
  2. I had a set of Jazzers on a carved Shen that sounded incredibly horrible. A friend, who is a bassist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, couldn't even get a decent arco sound or play them without wincing; they were that bad. So at least on that bass they sucked. Medium Spirocores sounded far better on that bass.

    FWIW I currently have E and A Thomastik Spirocore weichs (light tension) and D and G Thomastik Belcanto strings on my 7/8 flatback, which seems to be a good compromise overall. All four strings match up reasonably well in volume and tension, and the D and G Belcanto are much nicer for arco while still having good response for pizz.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'm A chronic string swapper and I've had Jazzers on my bass for an unprecidented year. Good clarity and attack, LOUD, fat and much warmer than I ever expected. The G is a little bright for me, but most G's are. I'm not an arco guy, but practice with the bow and they work fine for me.

    Their character has changed very little over the year. They may have mellowed a little, but no suggestion that they're going to die anytime soon.

    Go for it.

  4. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Sounds like they may be bad for arco, I've never used
    them. I have BelCantos on my bass and have been doing
    the ususal symphonic arco/pizz thing. A week ago I
    started playing with a big band, so doing jazz pizz,
    and so far I'm still fairly happy. I also have a set of
    Dominants that would be my fallback choice, they
    have more pizz sustain but arent as sweet arco as
  5. bluegreenturtle


    Mar 15, 2003
    Jazzers are tough for me - they do have a somewhat unique tone - mostly like a spiro weich but there is something else there, and they feel different, too - but the weird thing is their sound comes from a different place on the instrument than most strings. I know that sounds strange - it's like the output is centered lower physically than where you would describe it coming from in other strings - very much bridge or lower. It's a little disconcerting - but they don't sound bad at all.
  6. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I'm a classical player -- very little pizz, almost all arco.

    A year or two back I was struggling to find low B and E strings that worked well on my 5-string. One of the other classical 5-string players on the list recommended Jazzers for the B and E, and I have to say, THOSE two strings work really well for classical playing. Very good, loud projection, and surprisingly easy to bow.

    By contrast, I've heard nothing but bad things about how the Jazzers bow on the G,D, and A strings, and I'd never consider them for classical playing.

    So if you're willing to consider a mixed set of strings (which has never bothered me at all), the Jazzers are pretty good and quite versatile at the low end of the bass.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I wouldn't recommend them for classical over Flexicores or BelCantos or Helicores, for the matter, Pirastro wouldn't recommend them for classical. But they bow fine for me as a jazz player and sound more natural on my bass the Weichs by a long shot. Just my experience.

    Check out A Sleeping Bee and Cry Me a River here: www.joniwilm.com

    That's me and my bass with Jazzers. Be kind on the playing :)
  8. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I use all of those strings, but for my 5-string, none of them produced enough power on the B and E strings. The Jazzers did, and they bowed surprisingly well.
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Thanks for the link. Your bass playing sounds fine Troika! :)

    How were you recorded at that session?
  10. Shmelbee


    Mar 28, 2005
    Sioux Falls, SD
    It sounds like I'll just try the Belcanto strings. The product description on juststrings.com sounds like they'd be a wise choice. And Troy, you're playing is just fine. Don't change a thing (if only :) )...

    Thanks for the suggestions, boys.
  11. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks to you both. I was talking to my teacher the other day about hating to hear myself recorded and generally, still loving to play and loving the music in the moment, but hating to listen to myself in general. He said "you're just sick of your s***. It's time for some new s***." I think I'm hearing different things that I'm playing and working through it.

    The recording was made at a friend's house, who records professionally and he stuck a mic under my bridge with some foam. No mic or the amp or DI out. We recorded live and only the singer was isolated. I don't know if she used the live track or a different one. The band was live, maybe 2 takes or something.

    So, back on topic, I was kind of missing my jazzer on the G tonight, I like the tone of the Flexicore on there, but it was a cavernous room and I could have used the bite.

    In a small, quiet room, who knows?

  12. Troy, you may wish to try an Original Flexocor G!
    I'm presently using a full set of Originals on my EUB.
    I use a small Thomastik piece of plastic tubing to damp the G a bit.

    As for the Belcantos, I really don't like the G.
    It's very nasal and thin on my instrument.
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'm considering trying an Original Flexicore G and a Stark '92. It was in a fact a tough stage sound situation last night. I'm not sure strings would have mattered.

  14. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I just got the new Pablo Aslan CD and there is a close up picture of his bridge under the CD tray. My man uses Jazzers, very clear.

    I would say that he is maybe the only guy in my collection who is honestly close to 50/50% arco/pizz on record. Great tone, which certainly is a testament to the man, his recording engineer, his luthier, his bass, but yes...his choice of strings are Jazzers.

    Take a listen if you're curious. The CD I have is Buenos Aires Tango Standard, but I'm not sure about it. "Avantango" is a sure thing great purchase or download, though.

    I'm putting the G string back on, not necessarily because I'm settled on it, but because I don't want to fool with it right now and I was mostly happy with it for 10 or 11 months. I'm mostly happy with my mixed set now, but if I'm to be mostly happy, I'll choose to do it with a matched set for a while longer.

  15. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California

    I'm mostly a pizz player. My experience with Jazzers has been very positive. I've used Spirocore Weichs, D'Addario's pizz string (the gauge similar to the Weichs) and I now have a set of Obligatos.

    The Jazzers have been the best for overall sound and have had the longest string life, by far, of any string I've used. Perhaps there's a little more tension requiring a bit more energy input to get them moving but my bass took on a whole different character when I had them on the first time. The second Jazzer set was just as good and the sound just as even as the first set.

    I'm trying Obligatos becasue they are supposed to be more arco friendly but so far they have not been noticeably better with the bow and they're not nearly as loud. It's interesting that with different instruments the results can vary but from what I'm reading in this thread other players have similar experience to mine.
  16. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    What is your estimation of string life of Jazzers? Mine have been on a year and there's no real sign of impending death other than my fickle brand of string love.

    Agree with your description, by the way. LOUD and lots of character and fundemental. Great on stage with a band. Mostly good - great in a quiet practice room.

  17. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    My first set of Jazzers were on the instrument for over a year. Same for the second set. It depends, of course, on how much playing there is. I'm playing at least 4 times/week. The Obligatos on my instrument now are showing signs of age. They are approx. 4 months old.
  18. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    I'm a little late to this party and it looks like Shmelbee may have gone ahead and went with the Bel Cantos, but I wanted to put in a plug for a mixed set of Jazzer E and A with Flat Chromesteel (the new ones) on D and G. This way you keep the great growl and clarity down low but get much better arco response on the top two strings. You just lose a small amount of growl and sustain on the top strings. They are still not as arco friendly as, say, the Bel Cantos, but you get a set that blends very well across the strings and can be used very effectively for arco work.

    Another good set that I am using now is Jazzer E with Corelli 370TX on the other three strings. This set up similarly gives me a bright, sustain-y sound for jazz and a very usable arco response.
  19. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    I have a set of Jazzers that I've used on my laminated New Standard Cleveland. The D and G are a bit brighter sounding than the E & A, especially arco. I stretched the D and G a bit by tuning them up a half step several times, and rubbed some nose grease:bag: (from the outside!) on them, which mellowed them out a bit.

    The only time I got an Underwood pickup to really work was with Jazzers on my bass. They had a perfect tension on the bridge so the Underwood elements were not too tight or too loose. Great purring sustain AND the weirdest thing--the phase cancellation between the two piezo elements cut out all the arco scratch I'd otherwise get. I could switch between pizz/arco without changing volume/tone and the amplified sound of both was great.

    Put Spiro Mittels back on and the Underwood sounded scratchy with those so I sold it. Thinking of getting a Full Circle soon, at which time I'm considering putting the Jazzers back on. Supposed to start a weekly 4-hour gig soon and wouldn't mind the lighter gauge.

    Never tried Weichs but it sounds like they're fairly close to Jazzers.
  20. I tried Jazzers for about three months and took them off. They have a big sound, a bite, really bright at first, and I could not bow them, the cat was going like berzerk.

    I actually got a set that I never even opened, new. Unused. If anyone is interested, just send a mail offline and maybe we can work something out...
  21. Primary

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