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Which strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jackmurray, Nov 15, 2005.


  1. I know that this is a newby question and really annoying for the pros around. I know that this general question gets asked all the time and that I should use the search tool. I have. I didn't find quite what I needed. So I appologise in advance for a very boring question.

    I'm interested in getting some weed-whackers but my teacher seems to have a prejudice against them. He suggested "D'Adario helicore hybrids" but from what I can tell (which is very little) they seem to be the same as weed-whackers. I may be wrong, but if he is suggesting the hybrids, how different are they from weed-whackers?

    Weed-whackers are about $100 Aus cheaper for me to get and they seem to have a good rep. What should I do? Get the D'Adarios, the whackers or just "shut-up, Newbie?"
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    "Weedwackers", are cheap nylon strings. They supposedly sound similar to gut with a short susatin. We need a lot more information to help you decide on what to get. What style of music do you play/like. What kind of sound do you want to get. I would recommend Helicore Hybrids(in the heavy guage). They have a really nice fundamental, nice sustain, and are really easy to play.
     
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I think we can all agree that Weedwhackers and Helicore Hybrids are not the same thing...or even remotely similar to one another.
     
  4. Ok, I guess that means I don't know anything.

    I'd like to mainly stick to jazz but I'd also like to slap and bow. I know that makes it difficult. I'm basically asking what are the best all-round strings?
     
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Oh, you want the meaning of life question answered.

    From what I have learned, there is no one string that does it all. In fact, there are arguments as to which string will even do two things (pizz and arco) well and here you are asking for the holy grail of strings that will do three things. :(

    Welcome to the club and to your lifelong search for the perfect string. :)

    Follow the advice of your teacher. It's a good place to start.
     
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I don't think there are best all around strings. Seeing that you're budget minded, let's forget about and metal wound gut strings.

    If you want to play jazz and use the bow, you're going to likely want a hybrid string. The standard jazz steel string (not necessarily the best) are Thomastik Spirocores, but they can be tough to bow. Thomastik makes a hybrid called "Superflexible" that is similar, but mellower and easier to bow. Helicore Hybrids are a similar string, people tend to like or hate them, since your instructor likes them, it's something to consider. I assume you are studying with someone you respect. Search archeives on both and also Corelli, Pirastro Permenants.

    There are people who like synthetic core, metal wound strings; Kolstein Heritage, Pirastro Obligatos, Thomastik Dominants, Innovations. You can search archeives on them too. Most of them have some reported durability issues, but some people either don't mind or don't have a problem with them. Personally, for what you said about yourself, I'd stick to steal strings. (former paragraph).

    I've never had the LaBellas you mentioned, but I think they have some kind of nylon winding, which means that you almost definitely won't be able to bow them.

    Some strings are deader (warmer) some have more sustain (brighter) to be very general. It depends on the sound you're going for. It also depends on a ton of other things, like your bass, your set up, etc. Some people play jazz with Orchestra strings which have a much deader tone, because they like that sound.

    It sounds to me like you need to pick a nice, middle of the road string...Superflexibles, Helicore Hybrids, Corellis, Permenants...

    I don't know anything about slapping, so I can't comment on that. You'll also want to look at what is available to you locally.

    Sorry, it's a simple question, with no simple answer. Unless you have a very specific objection or something else that you're going for, I'd consider taking your instructor's advice. That will be your baseline (no pun intended) and you'll compare everything else to that. Over time, you'll play other basses with other strings, start wanted more sustain or something with more fundemental or something and then it's easier to suggest things.

    Or, if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll sting your bass up and then never think about it again. I'll wish that on you. I didn't make it into that lucky elite group.

    Troy
     
  7. Hey, thanks for the long answer. I think I'll get the helicore hybrids and put them on my bass. I'll also order a set of weed-whackers (because they're so cheap) and I can change them over when I feel like slapping. Is this a feasible option or will it not sit well with my bass?

    Thanks again,

    Jack.
     
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I really don't know much about weedwhacker, except that they are made from whatever weedwhacker line is made from. Again, it depends on a lot of things. If your bass is laminate or has a thick top and is really stable, it might not cause too much trouble. If the tension is very different, it could keep you a little off-kilter. The bass kind of has to adjust to whatever tension strings you put on it over some period of time so frequent drastic changes can be problematic.

    Make sure when you change your strings, to do one at a time and watch your bridge to make sure it's not moving around or tilting. The bridge and soundpost are just tensioned in there by the strings, so if you took them all off, both would fall and you'd likely need a luthier to help you put it back together.

    You might try slapping the Helicore before you spend the extra money (although not much) on the second set of strings. They might do the job for you.

    You might search the double bass archeives for "slapping" to see what people have to say about steal strings. Not my bailiwick.
     
  9. Ok, thanks for the advice. I'll get the helicore and see what I think first.
     
  10. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    If you do, get the Heavy guage Helicore Hybrids. They have a stronger fundamental and a much nicer sound IMO than the regular tension. They also are still lower tension than Spirocore Orch.
     
  11. mpoppitt

    mpoppitt

    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    If you plan to slap alot, heavy guage metal strings will tear your hands up bad.

    You might want to try a combo. I've been using wacker D&G (nice low tension), and metal E&A ( nice strong note), and it works well.
     
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Right, but he said that he needed to use the bow. Can you bow weedwhackers?
     
  13. mpoppitt

    mpoppitt

    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    They will bow if you build a bit of rosin up on them, but I'm not an expert in arco tone.
     
  14. Yeah. Neither am I.

    I've quit the teacher so I'm going to go ahead and get some whackers.

    I know that I should learn with a bow and be a well0rounded player, but slappin' is what I really want to do most. Plus, I'm in a rockabilly band and they're getting a bit upset that I don't slap.

    Also, whackers are so cheap, I could buy 3 sets for the price I could get 1 average set for over here.
     
  15. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Let us know how you like them.