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Zyex, Obligato, or Spiro?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by FritzM, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    I have a Wan Bernadel carved bass from String Emporium. Pretty decent bass, i guess. I play in a "fully" acoustic setting with classical guitar and double bass. No amplification! You can pretty much carry on a conversation sitting directly in front of us. We also perform in concert auditoriums quite a bit.
    I have been using Spiro Reds lately and my bass sings nicely. Arco however, is a struggle, especially playing pianissimo. I am about 50/50 arco and pizz. I like a slightly different sound than most on this forum, I think?
    I solo on almost every piece, so I need a string that sustains nicely while playing pizz. And, a string that starts really easily with the bow. I can absolutely kill the classical guitar in volume with a bow. lol (payback for my rock and roll days.)
    My bass doesn't like Spiro weichs. Spiro solos are wimpy on E string. Zyex medium were pretty good, but arco was not great on A and E. HH mediums were good, but arco was iffy. I was thinking of trying Obligatos, as I have heard no one say they didn't bow well. Also, maybe Zyex lights would be good. Maybe Obligatos on top of Spiro mediums.
    Anyway, the rabbit hole can be very deep! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Obligato won't make you happy, too less tension and too less sustain in thumb position.
    Obligato on top of Spiros won't make you happy bowing.

    My recommendation for the tension you are happy with and bowability is either Innovation Braided or Presto Balance Hybrid Medium. You need to search for sources and might need to order them overseas, but this is the closest I know.
    Dominants might be another option.
  3. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with DoubleMidi that you won't likely be happy with the Obligatos, which don't have much sustain and that Dominants might be a good option for you. I've tried the Zyrex Lights, Evah Parazzi Weich, Obligatos, and Spirocores. I love the sound of the Obligatos on my Eminence travel bass because with their shorter sustain, it helps the Eminence sound more like an upright and less like a FBG, IMO. I love the tone of the Evahs arco and pizz with a rich, dark tone, but TP pizz, the sustain was so short on my upright that it wasn't working because the note was so short it was tough for me to clearly hear the pitch. The Zyex lights are working best for me. I also play half arco/half pizz, jazz, but mostly amplified - loud drummers. The Zyex, on my upright, are fairly bright, with a generally clear fundamental, and an in-your-face violin-like arco in TP that really cuts through and might overwhelm your guitarist. They do do a good job of making the audience sit-up and pay attention when I play the melody and solo in TP. Still, more experienced folks will likely chime in, but I'd suggest you try the Zyex Lights and Evah Parazzi Weich. They're all great strings for the right application/bass/bassist but given your criteria...
    geoffbassist likes this.
  4. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I haven't played Dominants on my bass but a bass at my school as the dominant E/A. They sound clear and you can hear the center of the note, but no spirocore wah. I have recently gone back to evah Weich and that's the sound I'm hearing. Clear but thumpy and nice arco sound. Give those a try before obligatos
  5. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    What about helicore hybrids? They bow better than Spiros and still have the sustain of the Spiros.
    rickwolff likes this.
  6. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    Thanks for all of the responses. It is good to find out that Obligatos have a short decay time while playing pizz. I definitely wouldn't like that. I'm thinking the Zyex light, Helicore Hybrid light, or trying a Dom or Perm on top of the spiro reds.
  7. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    Velvet Compas 180 are my favorite string. Very warm pizz with just the right sustain and nice under the bow, though not ballsy enough for a serious orchestra section player.
  8. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Why the helicore medium lights? I would choose the mediums. They have about the same tension as the Spirocore weichs. Maybe even less.
  9. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Same goes for the Zyex.
  10. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I know this is is just going to confuse everyone, but my teacher puts obligatos on his 7/8ths bass because of the softer feel they have. They sound quite good pizzicato and I haven't seen any sustain issues. Only thing I dont like about them is that the E/A strings have that rolling.
    DC Bass likes this.
  11. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC

    FWIW: I didn't find the Obligato "rolling" to be a big deal when I used them- YMMV.

    TomB likes this.
  12. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Zyex are okay for arco as long as you are being assertive. I find it difficult to play a quiet passage with them. I think that a conventional metal string is going to be more predictable for arco. I use Superflexibles. They're roughly equivalent to Helicore Hybrid Medium. Having said that, Zyex have more of a vibe. They're more fun to play pizz. It always seems to get down to a "pick your poison" thing with strings. Best of luck to you.
  13. Compas 180 are nice for pizz, but a bit more difficult with the bow. Not really easier than the Spiros. If bowability wouldn't be important that would have been my first choice.
  14. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    Hey bskts247, do you still have those used Obligatos?
    bskts247 likes this.
  15. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    yes i do. send me a message
  16. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I'm going to assume that you're talking about 4/4 Spiros from your comments.

    Spirocore Weichs in the 3/4 size have much of the pizz virtues of the 4/4 Mittels with an arco aptitude that the Mittels can't match. They start much more easily and are more open to a softer dynamic approach.
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  17. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    Yes, 4/4 Spiros
  18. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    the zyex are great strings but the A especially bows awfully. the light gague is more of the same, just lighter.

    no votes for evah pirazzi? seems obvious to me for a 50/50 arco pizz player.
    Lee Moses and bskts247 like this.
  19. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    No, not out of the question.
  20. Evah Weich maybe, but the regular Evahs have a short sustain pizzed in thumb position. (Might depend on the bass.)
    I like the Innovation Braided a bit better than the Evah Weich. Better dynamic response when pizzed hard and a more robust string. Otherwise they are quite similar.
    Jake deVilliers and Jon Mush like this.

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