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Weedwacker Strings?

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by grooveguru, Sep 27, 2005.


  1. grooveguru

    grooveguru

    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    Has anyone tried these for slap or bluegrass? For the price I just had to order a set. Another question...Are Gut strings easier for a beginning slapper? Any help would be welcome.
     
  2. buffalobillh

    buffalobillh

    Jul 20, 2005
    Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    Hey groove,

    Weedwhackers are very popular with slap bassists, as are guts. I have just started to learn slap. I play guts, but that's because I want the Bob Moore/Classic Nashville sound. Slapping is something new I want to do. Check this place out, and get into the discussions with the slap community:

    http://www.rockabillybass.com/phpBB/

    Bill
     
  3. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Amazing...a set of upright strings for less than a pack of electric bass strings. I'd sure love to hear more from people using these things...I might just have to order a set to try.

    I tried a set of Labella black nylon tape wound strings (Ron Carter) and really liked them. However, after the end of many a long gig, I found them to have a bit too much tension so I eventually switched back to a lighter metal guage.

    So, will these big honkin' boingers sound good with traditional jazz? I'd love to go gut and try for a Paul Chambers vibe, but I'm afraid to spend a couple hundred bucks on a good set of guts, modify my instrument to fit them, and then discover I might not like them afterall.

    I have a Barbera pickup so I've got plenty of gain to amplify nonmetal strings. In fact, the Labellas sounded pretty darn full with my setup.
     
  4. "So, will these big honkin' boingers sound good with traditional jazz? I'd love to go gut and try for a Paul Chambers vibe, but I'm afraid to spend a couple hundred bucks on a good set of guts, modify my instrument to fit them, and then discover I might not like them afterall."

    You can use them short term without widening the nut or bridge slots without damaging the strings.
    Give them a try. If you don't like them, you have not modified the bass & it didn't cost much.
    I love the A, D & G strings. Much like guts, E string does not have enough tone or sustain for my tastes.
     
  5. mpoppitt

    mpoppitt

    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    I use Barefoot Larry's D & G. on my bass. I play mostly acoustic western swing, about 2/3 slap. I love these things, and can't reccomend them enough. The tension is very low (lower than any other strings I've played), and for slap the sound is truly excellent. the A string sounds good too, I am gonna put it back on eventually. The E sounds a bit dead though, and it's huge! Most players just use another brand E.

    They sound a lot like plain guts to me. one thing to note is that they are absolutely smooth to the touch. If this is a problem, take some 600 grit sandpaper to them, for a bit of texture. I personally like the smooth feel.

    Barefoot gets them in a translucent/clear color, and dyes them black now. He will give you a clear set if you ask him (He has been working on dying and sanding to produce a faux-gut look, but hasn't perfected it yet). If you go to a hardware store to buy the trimmer line, you will end up with a mis-matched, brightly colored set of clown strings. The most common commercial 'wacker clors are neon orange, bright green, dark red, or dark green. They are usually different colors in different guages. Be sure and not get that serrated trimmer line, ouch!

    They amplify well with my Rev Solo, and the volume matches my metal E & A. They will bow if you build up some rosin on them, but my ear isn't really trained for arco tone, so I can't really comment on that.

    It's worth it to try them out, especially if you slap. If your thinking of plain guts, but don't know if they are right for you, these will get you 90% of the sound for 10% of the price. For $20, there is really not a whole lot to lose.

    http://www.traditionmusic.com/stringsfaq.html

    http://www.traditionmusic.com/store.html
     
  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I put a set of Barefoot Larry’s weedwacker strings on my old Cleveland American Standard that I use for jazz only. I’m surprisingly pleased as is our guitar player who loves the sound. Another bassist who sat in with us likes them so much that he’s getting a set.
    Under your ear they sound a little less sustaining than a steel string but not very much. In the audience there is plenty of sustain, warmth, definition and bloom. Previously I was using Spirocores and I don’t think that I will be going back to them. I may try real guts or Animas but for now these are working great for me. Unamplified, I perceive them as quieter than steels but I haven’t tested that out in a large room. For bowing they work well enough using sticky rosin such as Carlsson or Oak. I did use 600 grit sandpaper on them to get rid of the gloss as well as some left hand squeaking. They do stretch a lot but after 5 days they seem to have settled. As they settle the sound and pitch becomes more focused. The E sounded really dead at first but is quite acceptable now. I’ve had them less than a week. I’ll report later on any new developments. That’s the end of my rambling thoughts.
     
  7. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Jallenbass, any new feedback on these strings??
     
  8. hofner

    hofner

    Dec 7, 2003
    france
    depending the treatment theses kind of strings receive, sound could be different.
    i tried Larry's ww and found them a bit unprecises, but very easy to slap for sure. E was too flabby howewer.
    recently, a guy sent me a set of similar strings, here in France, that he treated with thermic method as it seem and they sound surprisingly defined, with nice harmonics and excellent "punch". Even in jazz, its very nice to hear.
    compared to "classic" strings, even gut, theses WW are nice for slap, old school jazz, swing, but lack of sound as soon you play near the end of the fb...
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Do you have an internet site for these French strings? I'd like to find out about them. I don't use weedwhackers now, but I was the one who discovered that dyeing them with powdered dye made them sound better, so I'd like to hear about this thermic method you speak of.
     
  10. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Two things:

    Thing one - these strings punch through instead of cut through. You really don't need much in the way of highs. Maybe that's the same with real guts? I really like that quality.

    Thing two: I like the sound of the E string as thumpy as it may be but I really have to play it lightly or else it rattles against the fingerboard. I might try a real unwrapped gut or maybe a dolce Jargar.

    Actually three things - Not all of the higher positions are as clear but I don't care because I love the sound everywhere else. And they're $18.85 shipped to my door.
     
  11. hofner

    hofner

    Dec 7, 2003
    france
    Jimmy, check your mp ! :D
     
  12. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    These are my initial impressions:

    They arrived saturday, and I installed them sunday. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I had to use my needlenose pliers to hold the ends through the tuning peg holes, because they would slip out. I put about 4-5 wraps around, and then cut the ends with strong clippers. The clipper on my pliers was not strong enough, which was a good sign! The whole process took about an hour. The strings themselves looked and felt like the top three strings of a nylon acoustic guitar, only much thicker. The same thickness as guts. Once I got them on, they seemed to have the same pitch and tuning problems as guts. No worse. I immediatly started practicing on them in a band situtation, and I was very, very impressed. The tone was almost exactly the same as guts! Warm, deep, even articulate! In fact, my ears could not tell the difference at all. The tension was as low as guts, and the only difference really was the slick feel, which I have heard you can rough up with sandpaper. As far as I am concerned, these are the strings I will use on this bass from now on. Keep in mind that I am using a piezo pickup (K+K bass max) and am not playing classical or modern jazz. I am using these strings for roots music. I would not advise using these for arco, or in an orchestra or baroque setting. My band plays traditional hawaiian, western swing and folk. These strings are the most incredible things I have ever played since guts. I only wish I had made the 20 dollar investment sooner. I just ordered 4 more sets this morning! The value is obscene, as these strings will more then likely last a few years, and by all accounts, only sound better and hold their pitch more in time. Barefoot larry seriously needs to consider selling these things at all the major music chains, as they are perfect!!
    PS, as of this morning, they had only dropped about 1/4 a note in pitch, and only two of them at that. The other two stayed perfectly in tune. I am sick that I payed 140 for metallic sounding Eurosonics, and had thought about other gut substitutes. IMHO, metal will never sound or feel like guts completly, but these things sure do! I will never pay 300 dollars for guts again. I will post if there are any changes soon with the sound, feel or tone!
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    BTW, since you brought it up, I have bowed weedwhackers successfully. They're not quite as easy to bow as guts, but they are bowable.
     
  14. fraublugher

    fraublugher

    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    wow , this is serendipidous , a g**tar player told me about this just last week.
     
  15. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I would jump on them, because Barefoot Larry could sell these things for a LOT more!

    I would pay 40+ for these things...compared to 300 for european guts?? I did the math!!
     
  16. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    By the way, the correct name of this product is "Barefoot larry's hillbilly slap strings"!!!
     
  17. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Lucas - It sounds like you have experience with gut strings. Which ones have you used?
     
  18. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Hi, I am fairly certain they were either Lenzners or Clefts. I know they were not the most expensive guts in the world, and whatever they are, they came standard on the KING DOUBLEBASS, which is the chinese model. They sounded very good, but took about a solid two months of playing to really stretch and then mellow out and stop squeaking. Then, they sounded great.I was very bummed when the g string snapped! I think these HSS strings will do the trick! They have already started holding their pitch better then the guts, (On for two days) and the best thing is that weather changes will more then likely not effect them at all. One thing I have noticed already is that although many people have complained about the flabbiness of the E, and in some cases the A, both these strings so far have more punch and clarity then the gut E and A I had. To be fair though, I have not compared them to the top of the line European guts that sell for 300-400.
     
  19. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    This is my two week update:

    I expected to have tuning problems, but have had none! These strings have held their pitch! The only slight complaint I have are that there is a certain left hand "sqeakiness" that I am not sure will go away. The guts I used before had the same issue, but it went away after a few months. Other then that, these things are excellent for what I need them for! So good, that I ordered 4 un-colored sets, which I got very quickly!
     
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    4 sets? Geez! That's a lot of spares! Well, glad you like them. People argue that they're a joke, but I argue that if it works, it works.

    I too had the squeakiness problem with them, and quite honestly, I don't think it goes away. However, you can just chalk it up to the nature of the instrument and people will buy it. I understand that the E and A open up like guts do after a while, but I never could wait that long so I'm using a full set of Eudoxas right now, but I can easily envision the whackers going back on my bass at some point, because I am what they call a string whore.