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Upright bass strings


jnewcomer

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Your choices are enormous. What kind of bass is it? Ply, solid wood, or hybrid?

Are the strings on it steel? Do you want to stick with metal, or go towards a gut sound? Do you want to primarily pluck or use a bow?

 

The time honored standard for steel strings is Tomastick Spirocores. Light ga are called Weich. You can bow them, but they are lots better choices for bow work. They are great jazz strings.

 

For a more gut-like sound in a modern string, look into Eurosonics or Super Silvers.

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Here's the string shopping I've done while having my URB (an early '90's Englehardt that has a bit of work done to it).

 

Not a fan of the Spirocores. They are very metallic sounding, even when broken in. Good for a jazz pizzicato, but not a lot else.

 

Give the D'Addario Helicores a shot. I've used the Orchestral gauge ones for ten years, and they were always really good, albeit a very tight feeling string (as they're meant to be bowed more than pizz'd).

 

Corelli always has a nice string. If you want really low tension, you can always buy a set of solo tuning strings (that are meant to be tuned to AEBF#) and tune them to GDAE. You will lose some sound that way, however. But, if you're playing with an amp, it becomes a non-issue.

 

The ones I really dig right now are the Kolstein Heritage strings ($130 or so through Gollihur music, if I recall). They have the durability of steel with the feel (low low tension) of gut. I put a set of those on before the run of "Ragtime," and those things are the bee's knees. The bowing sound is awesome, and the pizzicato is great too. Definitely a set of strings that I'll buy again and again.

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Hey... thanks for all the info. To answer some of your questions: while I do have a bow, I'm a plucker (jazz, acoustic rock, etc.). Maybe someday I'll use the bow (long pipe dream). It's 60 years old, made in Romania, plywood, has Underwood pickups on the bridge, and it came with the bow and a soft case when I bought it used from the previous owner. It has gut (not metal) on it now, and I think I'll stick with that.

 

... and now, back to our regularly scheduled programs:

-Has HCBF gone downhill?

-Where's C7 when you need to laugh at a good smackdown?

-YTOTD

-DAOTD

-lug sucks

;)

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