Who makes a good B?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by BassFalcon, Jul 15, 2022.

  1. Evah Pirazzi

    0 vote(s)
  2. Bel Canto

  3. Passione

    0 vote(s)
  4. Obligato

    0 vote(s)
  5. Gut

    0 vote(s)
  6. Something else?

  1. BassFalcon

    BassFalcon Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2020
    I have another thread going now about extensions. The more I thought about it the more I think a 5-string is a better solution for me, probably in 7/8. Which brings me to strings. I was gonna go Evah Pirazzi Weich, I want to try the synthetic gut thing, and those sound like what I want. But maybe BelCanto or Passione (which is steel) Also, pizzicato is of no concern, good arco response is all I want. And flexible and/or low tension which may not be available in a low B.

    But what about B strings? Just wanna get some opinions and hear what the 5-stringers out here are playing and liking or hating. I’d like to hear about all your experiences and thoughts. Thanks in advance.
  2. I would not exclude a Spirocore.
    The lower the string sounds the more higher frequency content is helpful to hear intonation but is as good as well for the sound.
    Spiros low Bs are available from the 4/4 family from Solo (C#) over Weich and Mittel to Stark. The 3/4 sets only have a low C, because they can be made thinner for the shorter scale and are more flexible and the vibrating string length for the same note is a bit longer than for a low B. But if you want you can tune them down for less tension.

    Since A Spiro is very often recommended as an E string for many choices of upper strings, it might even be more valid for a low B. But you need to play it a lot until you like it for arco playing.
    BassFalcon and james condino like this.
  3. Another vote for a Spiro B. It’s worked really well in for me in orchestral playing. Provides plenty of low end and is not scratchy at all. Deep, loud, and powerful are the best way to describe it.
    BassFalcon likes this.
  4. BassFalcon

    BassFalcon Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2020
    I’m very glad I asked! I never even considered a Spiro to be honest, but your points are very convincing!
  5. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    I have played many a low B tuned to C on my bass.
    The B vs C sounds very similar. My bass is around 41”.
    A short scale bass, the same strings will sound very different.
    @paulunger may want to comment.

    Best B in my opinion?
    Spiro RM B, marketed as a C for 5ths tuning.
    It has the clearest notes, and bows very well.
    Bows well in tp. Deep and punchy. Pizz is better than some.

    Joel Quarrington uses the RM C. Take a listen to what he can do with it.

    Others from memory:

    Spiro B from a 5 string set. It is good but the notes not as clear as the RM one.

    Jargar B. Not expensive. Warm sound, not loud, nor deep and punchy.
    It works but not as well as some others.

    I much prefer a bass tuned in 5ths vs a C extension.
    For orchestral, hybrid 5ths work very well, low C,G,D,G.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
    paulunger and BassFalcon like this.
  6. I did not know this. I may have to try this at some point. Is the tension of the RM C tuned to B noticeably different than just a plain Spiro Mittel B? I really do like the Spiro Mittel B I have on, but there are times at least pizz that the notes could use a little extra punch.
  7. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    No, not in my opinion. The tension dif is not noticeable.
    The cost of those low strings are too high for an almost unnoticeable dif in pizz sound too. My comments in post #5 were mostly in relation to arco. Arco wise there is a noticeable dif.

    I actually just took off a new Spiro medium B, when I get back to 5ths probably in the the fall my old RM C will go back on, for arco. I find pizz on every low B/C to be unsatisfactory and is one of the reasons I have a jazz bass tuned in 4ths with Spiros around. Hard to beat that low end growl of Spiros on a 4ths bass for jazz. For me anyways.

    Also about extensions, 5 stringers and 5ths tuning. If you want a pro orchestral job, play what the others play. In North America it’s extensions.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
  8. paulunger

    paulunger Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Best low C, for me, is definitely the Red Mitchell medium. As Casey mentioned, string length makes a HUGE difference on your bottom two strings. My bass has a 40” string length so, when tuned in 4ths, the best low B for me was the Spirocore Stark. If your string length is 41.5-42” than a medium gauge will work. After Spirocore, I like Dominant and Bel Canto. Permanent is a maybe but stay away from all other Pirastro low B strings, they are DOA (IMHO).
    I’m using a Tempera extension C right now and it’s awesome. Not sure if their low B string is as successful.
    CaseyVancouver likes this.
  9. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you are using synthetic GDAE, then I would say Spiro or Jargar B/C -- I would also consider changing the E to match the B/C.
    dhergert likes this.