What strings do you use and why?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by LeifTheBeef, Jan 25, 2022.

  1. Hey folks,

    I'm always interested in strings and what people use and their thought process behind them. Figured I'd spark up a discussion just for the fun of it!

    My strings change depending on what I'm mainly doing- during the summer I play a lot more jazz and during school I'm pretty much just doing orchestras with the occasional jazz gig.

    Currently running Spirocore Weich E with Belcanto ADG (may switch to Permanent E and original flatchrome ADG this fall!), and in the summer I like to go full Evah Pirazzi Weich.
  2. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    For jazz Spiro mediums, tuned in 4ths.
    Growly boom tinkle sound. Last forever. Maybe longer.

    Orchestral C Spiro RM, G Dominant solo f#, D Belcanto, A solo Belcanto.
    Why? Deep pure arco sound, goes to low C without an extension and much less top pressure. Works for orchestral and solo repertoire.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Flexocor Deluxe is my current choice. Works great for jazz or classical.
  4. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    Spiro S42’s, ‘cause Rufus said to!
    dhm and zootsaxes like this.
  5. sean_on_bass

    sean_on_bass Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Spirocore's are what i have used the most consistently. Various tensions depending on the bass and my mood. I like them as a focused pizz string that cuts through a mix and allows me to hear whether i am in tune pretty well. They can also be played arco to amazing result with a high amount of expressiveness. They also feel good under the hands and last many years.
    dhm and Keith Rawlings like this.
  6. Spiro mediums = 'the voice of God herself' when I hit it correctly.
    unbrokenchain, Seanto and Sam Reese like this.
  7. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Oh, man ...
    I own - and have tried - dozens of kinds of strings, but as I have only three basses, I can only use a few of them!

    Right now - and it could change at any moment -

    Bass 1: Full set of Tempera strings. Loud, full timbre, easy to play. Arco.
    Bass 2: Gamut G/D/A, Spirocore weich E. Pizz but bowable. Great for "roots" music.
    Bass 3: Oliv G/D, Bel Canto A, Spirocore weich E. Loud, full timbre, easy to play. I'm still looking for the magic formula for this bass, though... maybe I'll go back to the Pirazzi weich it came with.

    My overindulgence stems from the fact that I kinda suck with the bow, and I keep looking for strings that will magically make me sound better.
  8. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    On the carved 1810 Tyrolean bass: Goetz plain gut GDA with a Jazzer E/C (I had a Jarger Forte E/C previously, which was a better match but the string was a hundred years old with winding issues; the Jazzer was in the drawer. Surprisingly good bowing string. I use the bass as strung in two full community orchestras;

    Carved 1880s 5/8th German has Dominant GDA with Spiro weich E/C.

    My reasons are that I want as round, dark, full sound as possible; and as much ease on hands as I can get.
    Sam Reese likes this.
  9. Both my basses wear Spirocore mediums. They were sensible for me when I was about to graduate from undergrad. Get a string that can last for several years to save me money, and most importantly just focus on playing and finding my sound rather than experiment with a lot of strings in search of my sound.
    They're a great pizz string that ages well like wine. Loud, focused, and full. The low end is thunderous, which is always how I gauge if I like a string for pizz or not. And I've found them to be surprisingly great for arco. They make you really focus in on your bowing technique and have a wide variety of colors available. I primarily use them in improvised music and folk music settings, but I've been playing in a local orchestra recently and have had no complaints from my sections mates and the other strings about using Spirocores.
  10. @Sean Riddle I know what you mean about experimenting! I try new strings whenever I change them but I don't really experiment much. I put on some strings and I spend the year playing them out so I get a sense of how they sound with age while being played. When I played Kaplans for a year, I found after about 6-7 months they felt kind of dead, not necessarily in a bad way, but lost a lot of tone. With Belcantos I feel like they haven't changed much since they first broke in, but that could change in the next five or so months.
    AGCurry likes this.
  11. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Krivo Pickups
    Evah Weich on my Shen Hybrid because they seem to sound and feel the best out of the string sets I’ve tried on this bass.

    Superflexible solo downtuned to orchestra pitch on my Eminence EUB because they feel good, amplify evenly with a magnetic pickup, and the price is right.
  12. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I’m still searching but I’ve had the most luck with Spiro 3885 Weich E & A with Obligato D & G.
  13. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Pirastro Perpetual, currently stark DG but I liked the normal DG as well. Because they sound like spiros plus something i like, and the tension is right for my bass. They're loose normally but on my 43.5 inch scale Juzek they feel just right.
    Bar Star and bassfiddlesteve like this.
  14. Full perms. Why not? Cheap and play well.
  15. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    All of them. I use all of them.

    This year, Spirocores.
  16. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    Temperas on my "dark one"... used mainly for arco, but they also sound very fine in an "old-fashioned way" when pizzed.. and on the "new" one a set of Perpetuals with a Stark D and G... used also for arco and pizz... and they sound and play so well, that I can't decide to check out a set of Temperas, which is also still lying around here...:p
    dhm, AGCurry and Jmilitsc like this.
  17. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    Velvet Compass 180 Orch. on mine; great for pizz, and work good for arco as well.
    (I do think I'll have to search for an alternative at one point though...)
  18. Papageno


    Nov 16, 2015
    On my carved Italian bass, I have Perpetual (with D and G stark). Very happy with them. Pizz is really nice, loud and articulate. They bow very well in spite of my sub-par bowing skills.
    LaFaro01 likes this.
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Innovation Super Silvers on my no-name German plywood (used for blues, folk, honky-tonk, bluegrass, etc.)

    This is the bass seen in my avatar. Have been using various synthetic guts and steel since I got the bass in 1981, prior to these I used Velvet Garbos but they kept breaking and were really expensive (and now no longer made) so switched to the Super Silvers 12 years ago. I just replaced them with a new set this week and was startled at how much better the bass sounds...way louder, more punch. Should change them more often :laugh:

    Helicore Pizzicato medium on my plywood Juzek (used for anything high volume, arco practice, fake jazz)

    This bass has both a Full Circle piezo and a String Charger magnetic pickup. The mag is for controlling feedback when I must crank to loud rock levels and requires steel strings. I can't believe it but my records show I bought these strings in 1998 :jawdrop: so I guess they are due for a switch, too...time to call up Mark G! They were new to the market at the time. Chose them because they bow better than the Spiros I had on before and are cheaper as well. Obviously they last a long time :whistle:

    EDIT: I forgot about my Azola Minibass. That's also got Helicore Pizz strings.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
    marcox likes this.
  20. bassfiddlesteve

    bassfiddlesteve Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    I use Pirastro Perpetual because they have the sustain, growl and clarity of a still string coupled with a nice left hand feel and good arco response. This set is the best hybrid string I've tried.

    - Steve
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