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Zyex string with a bow.....

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Danimal23, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Danimal23


    Dec 25, 2012
    Hey all. I just put a set of Zyex on my 3/4 a few weeks ago. I switched from Obligatos. Since I play a mix of pizz and arco, mostly in a jazz setting, I've been working with getting used to the different feel and am just finding the A string to be damned difficult to get started cleanly, much more difficult than the Obligatos at least. I love everything else about the tone....but am a bit miffed about this open A SCREECH that I get 50% of the time....that and the fact that they still don't make an Extended E(C) string.
    Thoughts? Suggestions? Other than "go practice more" ... because I am! :p
    Take care
  2. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    I recently played a gig where my stand partner had Zyex strings- I was very impressed with their sound and I thought they bowed well.

    That said, I recently switched from Flex 92 to Spiros on my orchestra bass- I have two observations which may be helpful:

    1- How old are the Zyex strings? They may need to mellow out, wear in, what ever...My arco technique is pretty solid but it still took some time and effort for me to acclimate to the difference, and for the Spiros to mellow. Maybe you just need to wait a while longer?

    2- How old is your bow hair? I just had a rehair done and I found it immediately much easier to get a good sound and quick start. I did switch from black hair to cinnamon though...not sure if that has much to do with it...and maybe that's something for another thread? ;)

    Good luck!

  3. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    Feel your pain, having experienced the exact same circumstances...

    D'Addario's Zyex set are good strings unless you've been playing Pirastro Obligatos. I spend as much time playing pizz as arco, so the "hybrid" label appealed to me, as well as the price (slightly more than half that of Pirastros) but tone and playability simply wasn't there. Not bad for the price, but definitely not as good. There are a couple Thomastik sets out there that come close in tone and bite, but will give you roughly the same sticker shock.

    Have you tried cleaning your old Obligatos? Denatured alcohol on a rag does wonders on a loosened string. Just don't drip any on your bass!
  4. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fishman Transducers, D'Addarrio Strings, Aguilar Amplifiers
    Zyex strings do take a while to settle before they begin to play well under the bow. That A will settle down eventually.

    They do make an extended E string. I have one that is slightly used, but I no longer have a bass with an extension. PM if you're interested.
  5. Danimal23


    Dec 25, 2012
    Thanks for all the comments guys. Gives me hope and support. :)
    The strings are about a month old and have been getting a fair bit of use. Most strings would have chilled out by now. Funny you mention that about the ext E because Lemur said they didn't make one yet. Maybe a few snuck out before getting marketed or there is a change of some sort in their manufacturing to where they aren't currently available?
    I gotta say that tone wise the Obs and the Zyex are really close...it's the feel that differs most...so I think I may try today string the Ob A back on and switching out the Ob ExtE that's been on too long and seeing how that balances. Hopefully it works. I still gotta work out the balance on my Big Juzek and the E/A on my Kay. :p
    Oh strings!!!! :p
    Jeremy, thanks for the add on FB. Lets grab a coffee man. :)
  6. I've got a set of Zyex on my bass that I've had for about a month now, and have noticed the same issue with the A string. I primarily play pizz on gigs but spend a lot of time in the practice room with the bow. Compared to the Spiro's I had on before, the Zyex E responds very nicely, the D and G are comparable, but the A will "scratch" much more readily than my Spiro A unless I'm being careful with my technique. I am really digging them though; the attack isn't quite as immediate as Spiros on my bass, but they seem to have more overall presence, and they amplify well.
  7. Maybe a problem that could be solved by repositioning or shortening the soundpost.
    That the amount of scratching differs with the string tyoe might be a result of the different tension of the strings that results in different pressure on the top.
    Could also be a "sheep note" (an anti-wolf) on the open A.

    But this is only guessing. Ask a luthier or(/and) repost your problem in the setup & repair forum.
  8. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fishman Transducers, D'Addarrio Strings, Aguilar Amplifiers
    Sure, hit me up on facebook.
  9. I've noticed the exact same thing.
    I don't think that used to be the issue.
  10. Frits


    Sep 21, 2007
    Belgium (Europe)
    Same here: the A does not respond quite as well as the other strings do. I like the overall feel of the Zyex strings though.
  11. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    I tried them about a year ago and they were fine, but not recently though. I don't remember anything strange about the A string under the bow.
    I thought they were a great set of strings and slightly better suited to pizz than arco. The sounded like a cross between sprios and obligatos to me.
  12. Hmm...
    Threw an old zyex A on last night.
    No problem. Easy start with the bow. I'm going to give them a call.
  13. Vigilantelove


    Aug 14, 2013
    Resurrecting with a reply.. I just put a set of zyex on for the first time and I'm wondering if the set has mellowed for everyone else? I'm finding them a bit rough sounding on my bass. The A has a funky, almost metallic bell sound. The rest of the set sounds good along the neck until I get into thumb position. In the upper register, the notes seem to lose clarity. I'm having similar troubles with bowing, the A is giving me a helluva lot of trouble getting started under the bow, giving me a screech unless I'm incredibly careful. The rest of the set sounds nice, dark and booming pizz and easily Bowed on the D and G. I'm just a little underwhelmed and I'm hoping they settle in to become a good sounding set. Any thoughts?
  14. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I would give it some time. They do, as people have said, get better with age. Having said that, I have used a Superflexible A in place of the Zyex A with good results. It's not a perfect match but it's acceptable. I swapped it out because the A was yielding a rattle when pizz'd hard -that was probably more of an issue with my bass than the string.

    I agree with other members that the Zyex strings don't have clarity when bowed in the upper register. I think that's a pretty common shortcoming of larger diameter strings. The light gauge set is a little better than the medium gauge if you're interested in upper register arco. For me the light gauge E and A just don't cut it for jazz, not enough presence.
  15. Vigilantelove


    Aug 14, 2013
    I've got the light set on, put em on yesterday. The lower register sounds good pizz, the A is rough bowed though. Upper register loses clarity both pizz and arco on the EAD, but the G sounds decent enough. They're very loud, and they get decent depth through most of the notes to the heel, that A string just makes me cringe. It's so metallic! I'm hoping they develop a bit after being played in, but right now I'm regretting not spending the extra $70 for Evahs. Like I said, I'll give it a week or so to see how they sound and if they get any better. I'm pretty underwhelmed right now.
  16. Vigilantelove


    Aug 14, 2013
    Day 3 with Zyex, and I'm still uncertain. I'm thinking there's too much growl on the EA hiding the notes a bit, the A has definitely grown less metallic sounding over the past two days with a few hours a day of practice. I still find myself shying away from the upper register because I'm not happy with the sound there. I've raised my action to try to get a good bow sound, but no dice... still getting some pffft to each bow pull.

    Here's a clip of a short simple riff, new zyex strings, good setup, but they're still rattling a bit and giving some weirdness to my sound that I can't pin down. Thoughts, ideas? (please excuse the rough playing, I pulled my shoulder shoveling snow these past two days!)

  17. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Is it possible your sound post moved or your bridge moved when you changed the strings? Zyex on my bass sound pretty dark, nothing like that.
  18. Vigilantelove


    Aug 14, 2013
    No sound post movement, I checked for that. I only change one string at a time and I made sure of all the normal tweaks afterwards; bridge, soundpost, adjusters, etc.... My shoulder is rough these past two days, so I know my timing is screwy, but my LH is just fine. That rattle and weirdness shouldn't be there. My bass is a hybrid, action is 8 9 10 12mm G-E, I had Obligatos on previously and didn't have this problem. I wanted to try Evahs this time around but they just weren't in my budget, so I went with these. It's funny, they're OK, but that's it... Just -OK-. I know that my bass has sounded a helluva lot better with other strings. I may just ask D'Addario to take them back. Well, I'll keep updating if they change any. If they improve, I'll do another clip, hopefully without any more flubs on my part! :)
  19. Bummer!
    It's not you....
    The A string is somehow different from previous batches.
    Hard to start with the bow.
    Some strings seem to choke in upper positions.
    Did not used to be this way.
    I called them about a month or two back regarding this very issue.
    They sent me a new set.
    No difference!
    Give them a call and let them know what's going on.
    I'm calling them again this next week.

    I really love these strings
    And hope they get this problem fixed soon!
  20. D'Addario United States
    Monday - Friday
    8:30am - 5pm EST

    D'Addario Canada
    Monday - Friday
    9:00am - 5pm EST.....

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