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endorka

Innovation string for jazz and arco?

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Hi Daf,

For some time I've been looking for a double bass string that is good for both jazz pizz and classical type arco playing. Previous experiments with hybrid strings have not been that great, so I've contemplated getting two instruments with ideal strings for each type of playing. However, quite often I'm in the situation where both types are required - the Horse tours are like this - and taking two double basses as well as bass guitar etc. is not really practical.

One of my students has a double bass with the Innovation SIlver Slaps, and I was really impressed with the sound and playability of these strings. They don't seem great for bowing however.

I wonder if there is a string set from Innovation that will address this requirement? The Honey's seem to be quite close, but of course it is quite tricky to judge from just reading about them. Have you any experience of them in this regard?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Jennifer

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Honeys do a decent job on this front. The Pizz sound is softer in the attack than Spirocores but has a fair amount of sustain and growl available, and the bowed response is good. They don't feel too low tension either - a little lighter than Spiro mittels but not floppy.

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If you're swinging by W.Yorkshire you're welcome to have a play on mine, usually strung with Honeys. I've also tried the Orchestral Braided, which are slightly better under the bow but softer attack pizz. On balance as a general string I am in favour of Honey Jazz

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I will also speak for the honeys. I have spent a LONG time looking for a decent hybrid. None of them actually do both, but honeys are the closest I have found.

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Thanks everyone, I think I'm a bit redundant here! :)

Jennifer, I'm curious as to what it is you don't like about any hybrids that you've tried, so i can get an idea of what you're after (and thanks for filling in my questionnaire btw). I notice you mentioned the flexocore pizz sound being too dark (and the tension too high); is that basically the problem? (pretty standard issue for orch strings)...

Cheers,
Daf

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Thanks for all the advice everyone, useful indeed.

I've tried D'addario Helicore Hybrid strings, which had a "twangy" aspect to the sound I didn't like, in particular I found getting good intonation more difficult than usual with these. I also briefly tried Eva Pirazzi but was a little underwhelmed by them.

Yup, the dark / high tension aspect is more of a feature than a bug with orchestra strings. I like the Flexocores for bowing, but for jazz pizz I find the sound lacks character and "mwah", for want of a better word, and that I have to work very hard to get expression from them when playing jazz.

Jennifer

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Yes, don't get me wrong, dark sound and higher tension are only an issue if you want to play jazz - it's an integral part of the setup for a good bowed string, and therein lies the problem - the one kind of precludes the other and we get the classic search for the perfect hybrid....

I too have tried the helicores and the evahs - the first stayed on my bass for about 10 mins!... as for the evahs, i know what you mean - there's nothing really wrong with them that you can put your finger on, "underwhelmed" pretty much sums it up.... i think for me it was a mix of the "stretchiness" and the slightly darker sound.

It's worth trying the honeys, though a work of caution, they are designed to sound like gut, so they aren't the most growly and sustaining string in my experience - though Beer seems happy with that side of things.

I've currently got some prototypes of a new hybrid on my main working bass and have to admit that they're very promising - a bit higher tension, but really responsive under the bow with a lovely thud at the beginning of a pizz note and a brighter sustain (they'll even work with a magnetic pickup) - i actually don't want to take them off, which is a good sign! :) Edited by daflewis

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[quote name='daflewis' timestamp='1320924933' post='1433155']
I've currently got some prototypes of a new hybrid on my main working bass and have to admit that they're very promising - a bit higher tension, but really responsive under the bow with a lovely thud at the beginning of a pizz note and a brighter sustain (they'll even work with a magnetic pickup) - i actually don't want to take them off, which is a good sign! :)
[/quote]

You are teasing us!

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[quote name='owen' timestamp='1320926285' post='1433195']
Sorry, I came over all "MB1" there.
[/quote]

You'll be needing your coat then.. :)

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[quote name='daflewis' timestamp='1320924933' post='1433155']

It's worth trying the honeys, though a work of caution, they are designed to sound like gut, so they aren't the most growly and sustaining string in my experience - though Beer seems happy with that side of things.

I've currently got some prototypes of a new hybrid on my main working bass and have to admit that they're very promising - a bit higher tension, but really responsive under the bow with a lovely thud at the beginning of a pizz note and a brighter sustain (they'll even work with a magnetic pickup) - i actually don't want to take them off, which is a good sign! :)
[/quote]

Yeah, I like the Honeys for pizz, but they're more Charlie Haden-ish then Dave Holland-ish, if that makes sense.
The new hybrids sound intriguing - do keep us posted!

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Certainly will!


[quote name='hubrad' timestamp='1320932911' post='1433366']
You'll be needing your coat then.. :)
[/quote]

A nice leopard skin one perhaps... :) Edited by daflewis

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[quote name='daflewis' timestamp='1320962043' post='1433913']
Certainly will!




A nice leopard skin one perhaps... :)
[/quote]

Now that's what I call tasty!

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Thanks Daf, my preference for walking basslines is more "old school", i.e. a shorter, punchier note as opposed to the more sustained types, so the Honeys sound like a good bet.

I'll get a set and let you know how they work out. Any recommendations as to the best (cheapest :-) place to buy them? String Express have a set for £75, with free delivery, which seems like a good deal.

Jennifer

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Hi Jennifer,

I must admit that I've not found them any cheaper than that, and on the innovation site they're a tenner more - can anyone else beat £75?

I'm sorry that I haven't been able to get the string trial thing sorted yet - it would have been ideal for you.... soon, i hope.... but when i get these prototypes sorted i shall be on to you guys to beta test them for me anyway, if that's ok.... :) Edited by daflewis

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I'd just like to get my name on the beta testing list!!
If you do get round to taking your proto set off.... :)

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Hi Daf,

Sorry it's taken me so long to get round to posting this!! Had to catch up on sleep after that Bus journey from London to Edinburgh!!!!

After some thought, my comments on the strings are pretty much exactly the same as what I said when I was down with you. They had a nice ping in the lower register but, this may be due to the lower string hight, I think a little bit of the projection was lost - It also might be just because I'm used to a lathering of pops before I play!! I'm sure you wouldn't really notice that in the pit, especially as you are mic'd before any resonance is really taken into account (Contact mic rather than a DPA job wan't it?)

Good job so far!

I'll PM you regarding the other details we were talking about :)

Hope its all going well, I'm going to be down again for new year so I might give you a shout if your about for a quick coffee? I owe you one!

Thanks,

Dara

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[quote name='hubrad' timestamp='1322584377' post='1453124']
I'd just like to get my name on the beta testing list!!
If you do get round to taking your proto set off.... :)
[/quote]

Noted! :)

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Dara,

The lack of volume may be down to the bass - it's not that loud an instrument, and the protos are significantly louder than the 140Bs on it... (i've had to turn the preamp input gain down by about 20% to prevent clipping).

[quote]I'm sure you wouldn't really notice that in the pit, especially as you are mic'd before any resonance is really taken into account (Contact mic rather than a DPA job wan't it?) [/quote]

The bass has both a contact pickup and a normal mic on it, but of course, these aren't just for me, so projection is still important.

Daf :)

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I've just bought a second hand Eminence DB, had INOVATION black RockaBilly strings fitted - previously unknown to me: was knocked out by them and pleased to find INNOVATION represented at the Bass Show: 3 different sets I have now tried. All deliver and extremely comfortable to play. Crispy sizzling bowing response as well. Steel strings were starting to p** me off: so happy now! Way to go....!

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Hi Sbasstraveller,

Welcome to the site! and sorry I haven't replied, I've been on holiday for the last 2 weeks... B)

I'm glad you're enjoying the Innovations - which other sets have you tried? - the bowed response is certainly better on the black wound sets than the silver/golden slaps, but i think the breathy sound can put some people off - not a problem with the H/B140s of course. I guess it depends on priorities...

Did we speak at the bass show? - I was there on the Saturday (just before leaving on hols :happy: )

Cheers,
Daf

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