Well, after reading and rereading as much as I could find on strings here and elsewhere, I finally took the plunge and tried some new strings. I have been a Spiro Mittel user for 15 years, and have recently become attracted to a somewhat more old school sound. To cite one example, it would be Scotty's sound on Hampton Hawes' record For Real! As was discussed in another thread, he's got that gut sound, but with growl and sustain to boot. Some of that has to do with the setup and bass, and the player, of course. Anyway, to take a step in that direction, I thought I'd try an Oliv G. In addition, I knew I'd want a steel E of some kind, but maybe with less tension than a Spiro. So I decided on the Jazzer, based on comments about a rounder tone. So far I am happy with the G and E. To "bridge the gap", I was not sure what to get for the D and A. I based my decision partly on string tension, as it seems logical to have a gradual increase in tension from G to E. Is there any validity to this concern? It seems there are some sets where the D and G have the same tension, or some where the D is lower tension than the G, for example. Why is that? Here is what I ended up with: Oliv G Obligato D Jazzer A Jazzer E I think the loser of the bunch is the Obligato. It has less volume, clarity and sustain, and tone than the Oliv. I guess for a third of the price, what should I expect? It's also thinner and floppier feeling, despite supposedly being higher tension. I'll definately want to change that, and possibly the Jazzer A, which is so far too bright and stiff. Granted they have only been on for a day, but if the Obligato is this dead now I can't imagine what it will sound like in 6 months. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. In theory, I am looking for a gradual transition in tone from the Oliv to the Jazzer, as well as a gradual increase in guage and tension. Thanks!