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What Strings do the GODS use?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by powermans, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. Has anybody on this site ever listed what strings our "Heroes" use on their Double Basses.
    I for one would like to hear WHAT strings and WHY they use a particular string.... taking into account that most of the top players would obviously be sponsored by a particular company.

    The people I'd like to know about include :-
    To name just a few.Not forgetting The great Late Ray Brown I believe he was a Thomastik user.

    Can anyone out there fill in the others for me?


    Mick :rolleyes:
  2. Bromberg is a known LaBella endorser.
    Pattitucci uses heavy-gauge Helicore Hybrids.
    NHOP uses Spirocore bottom and Corelli top I think.
    Carter uses 7710 black-nylon LaBellas.
    Mraz and Gomez both uses Spirocores I think. (Mraz uses Weich I think)
    Haden uses Spirocore bottom, D'Addario Golden Spirals top. (discontinued now)
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    And you claim that you are NOT TB's resident string guru? :)

    Do you know what kind of LaBella strings Bromberg uses?
  4. For Bromberg, the LaBella site states:

    The Deep Talkin' set is the black-nylon 7710 which is used by Ron Carter and Buster Williams.
    However, my opinion is that Bromberg uses the 7720 metal set, like Miroslav Vitous.
    However, I don't know if it's the light or medium gauge set...
  5. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Some additional from bassists I've seen recently:

    Peter Washington: Velvet Anima
    John Webber: Pirastro Chorda
    Curtis Lundy: Spirocore
    Richard Davis: Spirocore (Helicore Orch. E)
    Ray Drummond: Helicore Orch.
    Rufus Reid: Velvet Anima
    Lynn Seaton: Corelli (370 TX I think)
    Larry Grenadier: some sort of Velvet's

  6. Thanks to francois and Monte for the GREAT info on the Players and the Strings they use.I've taken notes and intend to give the list some serious consideration prior to my NEXT purchase of Strings.

    Just to kick around another idea....I note that the guage is often mentioned!
    What are we getting out of using different string guages????
    I know that some of us maybe (Pizz) a little harder than an other and , from that point of view a heavier guage may be a wiser purchase.

    But let's hear the reasons for different guage strings and the advantages and disadvantages!

    Mick :oops:
  7. A lighter gauge string is easier to play, BUT has less volume, and may sound a little darker.
    Spirocore Weich are a popular choice for jazz bassists.
    Heavier gauges are often hard to play, BUT have more volume. Their stiffness can also make them speak less clearly.
    You'll have to find what is comfortable to YOU.
  8. That's not necessarily true. A lot depends on the individual bass and the thickness of it's top. My bass is louder with Spiro weichs than with regular Spiro orchs, for example. The heavier strings inhibited vibration of the top rather than making it vibrate more.
  9. You're right, David.
    Not always true, but most of the time, methinks.

    I'm surprised you didn't give a test drive to Jargar strings before you abruptly move from gut to Spiros. I thought you liked them.
    (although I like them for the G and D, I still find them too muddy for the lower strings though)

    The biggest problem I have with strings is the balance between warmth and clarity of speaking.

    But if you found your string with the Weichs, I'm glad for you!
  10. Point taken on String Guage, can you really get more speed by using light guage! interesting.

    Anyway, the reason for THIS thread ....as you've answered all my earlier questions regarding players and strings ( thanks again) Do you know what strings John Clayton uses. I recently picked up the "Diana Krall Live in Paris" DVD. And to listen to the sound that Clayton gets.... Well it's a beautiful velvet sound... Like laying on satin sheets! Have you seen the DVD? if so, the track "S'Wonderful" is one that comes to mind. Really his sound is to kill for!


  11. No, sorry.
    Anyway, I think that Ed really gave you the right answer...
    If you want to experiment with strings, you'll need to try them on your bass.
    The same set won't sound the same on another instrument, and played by a different person...
    There are general rules, but ultimately, there's no universal answer.
  12. At the time I did. But in the mean time I heard Spiros on some different basses and dug the sound. Additionally, things in my head and hands have been evolving; plus I was curious.

    I wouldn't say that I'll be using these forever, but one never knows. There are some other strings I'm curious about too.
  13. Ed,
    You speak good logic with your comments regarding Players and String used by the Gods!

    I must admit that there is certainly something in the sound produced by OUR fingers. I generally use the First /Index/and Ring finger on the right hand and,it's TRUE that I can pluck the SAME string at the SAME intensity at exactly the SAME point by the Right hand using THREE different fingers and get THREE different tones.( Have you NOTED the same?) Further, I don't appear to be able to change the individual tone of a particular finger(By Position) to make the tone from one finger the same as the the other TWO fingers..... Maybe this is why some players use the FIRST finger on the right hand .... eg :- Ray Brown (RIP). I have him on Video doing "Reunion Blues" the riff moves along at a fair rate and , I note Ray powering along with just the FIRST finger doing ALL the work on the Right hand! ANY THOUGHTS Gentleman!

    Also one more, if you're correct Ed regarding the player MAKING the sound! What if we we're to get the likes of Bromberg & Company to use some heap of Sh*T Bass complete with strings that had been on the mother since Jimmy Blanton was a young lad. Do you think these Guys could still get a sound out of the box????


  14. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Just an addendum to illustrate Ed's point:
    I'm told that before Miles hired Dave Holland, Dave was to meet Miles after a concert, in which Jimmy Garrison played with Coltrane, and Ron Carter played with Miles. Dave watched, duly noting the unique sounds of Garrison vs Carter. It was afterward that he learned that Garrison's bass had been damaged, and that he was using Carter's bass.

    To answer the last question, it's all relative, of course, but absolutely yes, these players can make a crap bass sound good. Not as good as a Haden's Vuillaume, but good.

    So, your choices are: 1) eat your heart out, or 2) practice, practive, practice. That's what they did.
    You might not be the next Holland, but who is? However, every little bit helps.
  15. DONOSAUR said it right, as usual.
    Practise, practise, practise. And go on living with
    your own sound, it´s likely to develope and alter the more you play, think and practise. Not to mention that when You have to break in a new set of same brand strings, they sound different than the old se, etc. etc.
    Each bass has an individual tone, depending VERY much who is playin´it. Listening records and live performances trying to lurk what kind of TOOLS any player uses to get his individual sound is not gonna help You in the long run. Just think how many combinations there are just for recording /micing/ amplifying/mixing etc. Getting exactly the same gear is no use, since Your bass is different and so is your playing.
    It´s the question of regocnizing WHAT KIND of features You like in that particular sound which You find appealing to Your ears....and the more you think about it, You´ll notice the tools are minor question.

  16. Thanks for the GREAT INFO gentlemen, You've made ME think different about what I was trying to achive out MY bass playing by copying my Heroes.

    It would appear that the aim is to create the "God Icon Bassist" within ourselves!

    Thanks again,

    my only aim is to learn to play the Bass....
    but You got the point right

  18. Buddy Lee

    Buddy Lee

    May 5, 2002
    I remember, when I was searching for "MY" strings, someone here told me: "I read who your influences are. They all have played (or still play) gut strings. Go for gut!"
    Someone else said: "You should give Jargars a try."

    Now, I'm stuck with Corelli 390TX pitched down to orchestra tuning and I really LOVE them.
    Almost no one recommended Corellis for Rockabilly. I wouldn't go for any other string.

    Just my 2 cent.
  19. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    It'll be a while before I get any for free though. Sounds to me there's great potential for a cyberspace swap-meet where I can swap my old set of thomastik red-ends for someone else's crusty corellis just "to see what happens" ...

    Only half kidding ;-) I get a lovely mellow sound above bottom A all the way up the neck but the E string just goes thump. Can't help wondering whether or not another string would help, given that "the sound is in the hands". It would be cheaper than flying Ron Carter over here to see if his hands can make my bass sing down low ... but there again I only just forked out for a new set.

    Yeah, Ok ... I'll go talk to my luthier.
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    You may well just have a worn-out or dead Spirocore E. I mention this for two reasons:

    1) Spirocore reds are some of the most "live" strings out there, so if it's going "thump", there's a good chance that it's not a "healthy" Spirocore E.

    2) I read a thread awhile back about a new set of Spirocores arriving with a dead E string. It happens. Maybe you could try getting a new one? There's a thread around here somewhere about how long strings last, and it seems to vary with the player. If your skin is oily or has a certain ph balance, you can kill your strings very quickly....for instance, Ray "SLOBBERFINGER" Parker (one of our regular TB members) says that his Spiros only last a matter of months before they die, but I've had mine on for a couple of years now (I have dry skin) and they still sound fine. YMMV.

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