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What do you think of this combination of strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by afroblue, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. afroblue


    Oct 25, 2012
    Hi all,
    so I'm looking to change my strings - the ones on my bass are some kind of Helicore (black with golden spirals at the tailpiece end- hybrid?orchestral?).

    I'm a jazz player mostly (on a 3/4 DB) but play other sorts of music and while bowing isn't my main thing, i'd like to be able to do it comfortably enough. I lowered my action (luthier did some work too on the bass) but have adjusters.

    So, after reading a lot of threads and listening to some audio clips (no substitute for real life I know!), I think I'd like to try out Oliv G, Evah D, and Spiros A + E.

    Question is, which kind of spiros (and Evah) do I go for? Some people go for Spiro E, Evah A+D, oliv G -
    anyone care to comment on the difference the Evah A makes in place of the spiro A?

    The spiro E seems the most popular choice but Mittels?Weich?Orchestral?

    Maybe a spiro Mittel E Weich A, or just 2 of the same?

    I'm not planning to change strings loads so once they are on, they will be given time to settle.
  2. bskts247

    bskts247 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    My 2 cents. Make sure you're ready for the Gut G string. Read up on it and see if you're willing to take on the challenge (trouble keeping it in tune, lasts a year if your lucky etc). I would say that you might want to try this set up: Spiro E A D with Oliv G (lots of people use that)

    My answer to your original question: Spiro Mittel E A Evah Pirazzy Weich D and Oliv G. The reason for the Weich D is because they are closer to the spiro Mittel tension and will cross over nicely to the Oliv and the Spirocores.

    (some people also use the Oliv D)
  3. Lot's of folks love the Spiro mittle E for tone, but for me weich is the way to go. I like the feel of the weich E better and it agrees with my bass more than the mittle E. The tone of the weich E is as good as the mittle IMHO. As far as which Evahs to use, you'll have to decide for yourself. I only used regular Evahs as a set, never mixed and matched. I know both Weich and Mittle Spiros work with Olivs, but again I prefer weichs with the Olivs. Just so you know, both Spiro mittle, and weich are orchestral tuning.
  4. afroblue


    Oct 25, 2012
    Thanks for the replies..

    I have to take my dbass back to my luthier so think I'll get him to install the Oliv G. I play as much as I can every day so that combined with the fact the strings will be staying on the bass leads me to be hopefully that the G will settle in quicker (no slapping either!) I'm in the UK so the temperature won't affect it as much. Just gotta be careful with it I guess...

    Oooh, been reading up on the spiro stark E and wondering if that is another option. Obviously it's thick and requires more effort but on the other hand, an E string is there for its low notes more anyway.... Would the tension be an issue on this setup? Would it be too much of a mismatch (volume, playability, tone) with the others?

    stark E
    mittel A
    Evah Weich D
    Oliv G

    (oh and Michael, what where your other strings when you used Weich E?)
  5. I've used a full set of weichs, weich E and A with plain guts, with Oliv D and G, and now with Superflexible G, D, A. You'll need to try whatever strings on your bass to see if it's a match. Like I said Spiro mittles choke my bass even when I tried the E with Superflexible G, D, A. The only time Mittles were ok on my bass was when I tried them with plain gut, but even then the difference in tension was a little weird. Every set with weichs I also tried with mittles too so I'm pretty confident that they do not work on my bass so well.
  6. afroblue


    Oct 25, 2012
    Thinking now its perhaps a little adventurous to start with the Stark E in combo with the others. Has anyone had to widen their nut/bridge grooves for the Mittels - is this common? If so, it kind of forces you into staying with certain gauges of strings :s

    The spiro weich is easier to bow, yes? What is the A like for pizz compared to the mittel?

    hmm perhaps a Mittel E, weich A to go with Evah weich D, Oliv G... unless..... an Evah A is something to consider?

    so many choices......
  7. walkin


    Jul 31, 2006
    I'm using E/A Weich and D/G Oliv it's a great match for the sound, tension and gauges.
    The E/A strings are very more powerfull with the Olivs than the entire Thomastik set.
  8. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I would stick with a Spirocore Weich E (possibly also A) if I was in your position. They tend to work for almost everyone, where some basses/bassists Mittel doesn't really work. Sometimes it's too challenging to bow, it's too rough on your left or right hand fingers, it chokes the bass etc. Sometimes, it's magical. As for the Stark, take the above negative Mittel possibilities, and increase the probability. If you are transitioning from D'addario strings, (Black with Gold doesn't ring D'addario Helicore bells for me as the orchestra are blue, hybrid are green, pizz are red, solo are purple with gold/yellow stripes) there is a good chance that whatever they are is closer to Weich-Mittel Tension than Stark.

    For your D if you don't want to go with the Oliv D, a Weich Evah makes sense. It will be a better tension match/transition between the bottom strings and the Oliv G. The warnings that you are hearing about mixing a Stark E/A with something else on top are just as much about playability as they are about the health of your instrument. Switching between high tension and low tension strings will feel significantly different for your left and right hands. Having a Spirocore Stark E and an Oliv G would drive me nuts even if it worked on my instrument, because it would be a night and day switch in feel.

    As for altering the width of the slot in your bridge/nut, it isn't going to be a complete game changer. I switched to 5ths, and transitioning from a low E to C involved two small swipes with a fine file. If I was to go back to 4ths, unless I was planning on using a very thin gauge set of strings, I think it would be fine. While they might feel significantly different under your hands, the difference between a Spirocore Weich and Stark string is not going to be insane, and you aren't "married" to a particular tension. A Gut E string or other significant change would potentially mean an alteration, but most basses can change strings within the same tuning without needing surgery.

    Finally, whatever you decide to go with for your bottom strings, Spirocores are going to take a while to adjust to where you will like them, and they aren't going to match your top strings very well for a while. Although less pronounced on lower strings, fresh out of the package they still have a lot more "twang" than most people like. Give it some time. Chances are you will burn through a few Olivs before you need to replace your Spirocores.

    Best of luck!