What strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by duke13, May 24, 2005.

  1. duke13


    May 24, 2005
    New bass owner/player here. I recently acquired a '39 Selmer Manhattan bass. My understanding is this is a Kay C-1 built for Selmer. I play almost exclusively bluegrass and traditional music. I have heard that the older basses like this may not hold up to steel strings. Is that true? Any suggestions for string selections?
  2. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    As long as the bass is in good shape [has it gone to a luthier for a checkup yet?], you should be fine tension-wise - unless you're using something like Spirocore Starks. But since you want string suggestions for bluegrass/etc, most likely you'll wanna go with Plain gut strings or Eurosonics or the like. I can vouch for plain gut for that sound. Regarding the other synthetic gut substitutes, we'll have to wait for some other TBers to chime in with their experience.
  3. As Alexi said, if the bass is in decent shape, it really shouldn't matter. Ultimately, string choice depends on your preference. A lot of guys in my area favor Supernil nylons--very low tension, very easy on the fingers.

    Personally, I much prefer steel strings and have tried several different types. If you are looking for a darker, more mellow tone and the thump found in traditional bluegrass, Obligatos work well. I have not tried them on my current bass but on my ES-9 Engelhardt, they were THE string.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I went from Obligatos to weed whacker strings to guts on my bass. I liked the Obligatos but I play a lot of slap in my oldies band and they're tough on the fingers. If you're not playing slap, though, I would second the recommendation for Obligatos, unless you have a magnetic pickup.
  5. mpoppitt


    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    Check out Barefoot Larry's "Hillbilly slap strings". They will give you a taste of the gut sound so you can decide whether you like the gut or steel sound better without laying down big buck$.


    For $20 you can't really go wrong...