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Why D & G with different strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Samie, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Why did people used to to this specially when using spiros? Is this still a common practice? why would you want have D and G with a different string now days? What strings would complement spiro mids?

    I am happy with te acoustic sound of my spiros mids, what would I gain changing the G, or both D&G?

    :eyebrow: just wondering
  2. I think the Spiros D&G can be quite twangy on some basses.
    Some players are looking for a fatter tone in this register.
    Charlie Haden is a well known Spiro bottom / gut top player.

    You're happy with your sound?
    Don't change anything! :)
    (unless you find the D or G too stiff, which could be another reason to try something else...)
  3. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain

    So what should I go for, flexcores? I will start with the G only and try it. It does get thin sounding, besides I study with an arco only teacher and I am getting sort of lazy with the bow. I think its because its so hard to get a nice tone on the G with the spiros, it still is posible, but pretty hard.

    Now that you mention it, I am going to the US this summer..lol.

    I moved to a nice town on the outskirts north of Madrid, at about a 35 minute bus ride, by the mountains. Come over any time you want, we will fit you in somewhere. I am afraid the music scene is not anywhere close to NYC. :scowl: Unless you play mostly arco...

    I have some flamenco guitar friends and I play along with them, although mainly on the electric. I also played along with the bow on the DB, which was interesting.
  4. I play spiro e and a and Golden Spiral g and d. This gives me some volume and growl down low and some snap up high. It's also easier on the fingers for those nights when alot of slapping is reqired. Less bloodshed 'round sunrise...
  5. Back in the old days before the advent of the best steel strings......Lycon and a little later, Thomastik, it was standard to use the gut G and D and the A and E steel.
    If I remember, we made the full change to all steel about 1958. Some guys would substitute nylon for the guts.
  6. Thanks for the great info, Paul!
    Since I was born in 1959, I miss a lot of all the historic view!
    Much appreciated!
  7. Francois, I did what amounted to a whole thread on the change over to steel from gut/steel.
    I mentioned that Red Mitchell was, to my knowledge, the first jazz bassist to switch to all steel and that that Lycon Co. made a lighter gauge steel set in Ray Browns name. They came in a special plastic envelope with an autographed picture of Ray. Bob Branstetter remembered this.......any other OLDSTERS remember? The original Lycons had the longest sustain of any string ever made. Including Thomastik.
    Unfortunately, they were just as much of a pain in the ass to bow.
    That record: Hear Ye, Hear Ye- The Red Mitchell-Harold Land Quintet has a great cover shot of Red with a big Tyrolean five stringer with the blue thread ends of the Lycons on it.
    That bass also had a set of machines by the maker of my bass....Joseph Bohmann!
    I just remembered.....the Ray Brown Packet was green as were the threads.
  8. JC Mags

    JC Mags

    Jan 2, 2002
    i have the same problem with my Helicore Hybrid D and G string... thin and twangy. i play both arco and pizz hence the reason why i tried the Hybrids. any recommendations on changing the quality of my sound? (higher tension HYBRIDS? i use light gage. or change to ORCHESTRA high tension HYBRIDS? or change to another brand of strings?)..... hope my post doesn't sound stupid. :)
  9. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain

    Yeah I am happy with the sound, but as always I want to keep looking, just in case. If the D and G were a little less stiff and better for arco it wouldnt hurt at all.

    I am just going to test it, so I am open to any suggestion. Eventually I will be testing a bunch in the next 20 years or so..lol. Just need a place to start.

    I had been thinking flexocors? is that a good match? or a obligatos a better choice? I would'nt mind a warmer G, I guess.

    Which is cheaper?
  10. Spiros are also available in soft gauge (weich).
    I don't think Flexocors D&G would make a good match with Spiros.
    You'd loose volume in the top, I think. (that's just my opinion)
    (okay, okay, Edgar Meyer uses that mix, but he's tuning EBEB and his bass is outstanding...)
    Oblis would fit better, and are cheaper than Flexocors.
    They also have a much shorter lifespan though!
  11. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain

    That is fair enough, I will try a g obligato if I like it I will get another. In time I will try spiro weichs and flexcores, probably used from someone as they seem to be used by many.
    Thanks, I will let you know.
  12. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    could it be that Edgar Meyer's top strings are actually Flexocore Originals? of course we could just call him and ask....

    the reason I suggest it, my college teacher studied with Ed Meyer Sr., the famous bassist's father, during the 70's. He (my college teacher) uses the Original Flex G/D and Spiro A/E setup. his fave luthier swears by it, who used to also be Ed Meyer Sr's fave luthier. It's a small world, and Tennessee is an even smaller state!

    also, since "flexocore" was a new string in 1992, I bet Edgar Jr. at least at one time (pre-92) used "original flexocore" G and D. not to put too fine a point on it...

    hey, here's a good "small world" story: I'm doing a musical theater gig at UT Knoxville. walking out one night after the show, with my bass on my back, I pass an older lady who greets me with "ah, you must be the bass player! I enjoyed the music." me, tired and in a hurry: "thanks very much" her: "my son's a bass player!" me, over my shoulder: "oh, really, that's nice" thinking yeah, so what, aren't we all... her: "He's Edgar Meyer!"

    I instantly became very respectful and attentive as she told me about Edgar's then-unreleased Bottesini record and his busy touring schedule.... :smug:
  13. mburd


    Aug 20, 2004
    Maybe this should be directed to the EUB trench, or it's own thread altogether..but here goes:
    I have a NSCR4M EUB that is strung with TI Spiros S42's. I'm happy with all but the G, which is somewhat darker and weaker than the rest. Consequently any higher solo passages completely dissapear from the mix when performing live with my little trio. I can bring the G alive by dialing in more of the magnetics, but totally lose the wonderful thumpy bottom from the piezos. The mags also make the lower strings thin and boxy. The symptom is consistent using several different amp/cab combinations. How does one arrive at choosing strings from different sets that work well together.. besides a bottomless checkbook and the summer off..
    There must be a balance..
    Any suggestions/observations?
  14. In 1992, Pirastro launched a new Flexocor string.
    The Flexocor they were making before was renamed Original Flexocor.
    But before 1992 it was called Flexocor.
    It's like the Classic Coke thing...
    Mr. Meyer uses solo-tuning D&G for his EB tuning.
    Original Flexocors are not available in solo-tuning.
    Original FlatChromes are, but the silk colours are different. (at the tailpiece)
    Solid purple for the Original Flexocors.
    Purple twist on white for the Original FlatChromes.

    I think Mr. Meyers' D&G are ruby red, thus Flexocor '92s.

    The Original Flexocor/Original FlatChrome D&G are brighter and louder than Flexocor '92. (so they could match better with Spiros)
  15. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    :eek: Did you check if you can play better now? who knows..subliminal genetic transfer.

    So the obligatos are louder than the flexcores? I played flexcores yesterday with my teacher, same bass as mine. They sure sound nice with arco, sort of quiet playing pizz(not much chance to play pizz, most classical trained teacher give that :eyebrow: eyebrow look as soon you start with the thump).