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AndyBass

Blast cult lowlifes opinions pls

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I’m after some floppy low tension strings that will work well with a mag pickup. Currently use SBWs on my basses, so ideally I’m after a similar lack of tension. Checked out a video of someone using blast cult’s lowlife strings and they look similarly flexible, anyone with experience of them? Leaning toward them as they’re nice and cheap too

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Cheers Clarky - I have a Presto E I like actually, just hadn’t realised they were mag-able. That could well be an option!

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Andy, Bassico in Germany sells individual strings so you can pick up Presto Ultralight A/D/G for about 90 Euro. Or just the A and D and I have a spare nearly-new G I can sell for £15. Incidentally,  I can assure you my answer was not contrived just to sell you a G string!!!!

https://www.bassico.eu/rockabilly-strings-presto-nylonwound/8834-0-0-8834-0.htm?cat=1089&l=EN

Edited by Clarky

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I use 2 basses and a Stagg EUB. 1 bass and EUB with Presto Ultralights and Blast Cult lowlifes on the other, both double basses fitted with Armstrong magnetic pickups and EUB has piezo. The Blast Cult are slightly thinner and lower tension than the Prestos and are nice under the fingers. The Prestos are nylon wrapped and a little sticky so I get occasional blistering on my right hand where I slide up, the Blast Cult are great for that. Sound wise though, the Blast Cult are a little indistinct on the E and A so you need to get a boost pedal or something to make them zing a bit, the D and G a little bright, whereas the Prestos sound good to me straight into my Ashdown.

But the big killer for the BC strings is availablility. You can get them direct from Blast Cult in the USA but they never have full sets in stock (even though you can still buy single strings) and the shipping is horrendous making it over $250 a set plus import tax, or you can get them from a dealer in Sweden but you can only pay for them in Swedish currency (which the bank will charge £25 to pay) and with the shipping again they cost more than £180 a set. When the Prestos can be bought for just over £100, the Blast Cults seem like a bit of an extravagance. I do slightly prefer playing with the Blast Cults, but the Prestos don't offend me in any way so have chosen not to buy any more BC when they need replacing.

To be clear though, I rarely slap and use more for swing style pizz playing.

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In fact Andy, you can have the Presto Ultralight G for free if you PM me your name/adddress as I am decluttering!

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On 08/08/2019 at 07:36, randythoades said:

I use 2 basses and a Stagg EUB. 1 bass and EUB with Presto Ultralights and Blast Cult lowlifes on the other, both double basses fitted with Armstrong magnetic pickups and EUB has piezo. The Blast Cult are slightly thinner and lower tension than the Prestos and are nice under the fingers. The Prestos are nylon wrapped and a little sticky so I get occasional blistering on my right hand where I slide up, the Blast Cult are great for that. Sound wise though, the Blast Cult are a little indistinct on the E and A so you need to get a boost pedal or something to make them zing a bit, the D and G a little bright, whereas the Prestos sound good to me straight into my Ashdown.

But the big killer for the BC strings is availablility. You can get them direct from Blast Cult in the USA but they never have full sets in stock (even though you can still buy single strings) and the shipping is horrendous making it over $250 a set plus import tax, or you can get them from a dealer in Sweden but you can only pay for them in Swedish currency (which the bank will charge £25 to pay) and with the shipping again they cost more than £180 a set. When the Prestos can be bought for just over £100, the Blast Cults seem like a bit of an extravagance. I do slightly prefer playing with the Blast Cults, but the Prestos don't offend me in any way so have chosen not to buy any more BC when they need replacing.

To be clear though, I rarely slap and use more for swing style pizz playing.

I of course meant occasional LEFT hand blister mainly on my little finger when sliding up  to notes... One of those days.. Doh

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Thanks for the replies to this thread! Though I’m still keen to try the Blast Cults one day, I’m now happily sold on giving Prestos a go. Hadn’t realised when I posted this that Blast Cult had set up their all-new UK store listing a load of stock they don’t have. So yeah, thanks very much to Clarky I’m now two Prestos off a set and I’ll see how that turns out. Cheers all 🤟

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Just a quick follow up to this - Blast Cult now have these in stock within a day of my moaning about them not doing. Clearly I’m more influential than I thought 😁

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On 09/08/2019 at 20:56, AndyBass said:

Thanks for the replies to this thread! Though I’m still keen to try the Blast Cults one day, I’m now happily sold on giving Prestos a go. Hadn’t realised when I posted this that Blast Cult had set up their all-new UK store listing a load of stock they don’t have. So yeah, thanks very much to Clarky I’m now two Prestos off a set and I’ll see how that turns out. Cheers all 🤟

Hadn't realised that they now had a UK supply. That is excellent news!!!

I will take the opportunity to get another set to try out on my other bass. I would definitely prefer to play them over the Prestos. I will keep the Prestos as a backup, or my second bass may actually prefer the Prestos and I will have the BC as a backup. Once I have swapped them off to try, you are more than welcome to try the Presto set, AndyBass. for a comparison

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5 hours ago, randythoades said:

Hadn't realised that they now had a UK supply. That is excellent news!!!

I will take the opportunity to get another set to try out on my other bass. I would definitely prefer to play them over the Prestos. I will keep the Prestos as a backup, or my second bass may actually prefer the Prestos and I will have the BC as a backup. Once I have swapped them off to try, you are more than welcome to try the Presto set, AndyBass. for a comparison

Thanks mate - appreciate it. I reckon I’ll just get myself the remaining prestos and go with them as the cheapest option (now, thanks to Clarky) and as BC have already sold out if lowlifes. So anyone coincidentally selling a Presto A and D or a Krivo shout up 😁

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I'm currently road-testing a set of Presto Nylon strings on my bass. They're working very well so far, surprisingly loud, even tone & feel across the strings, and feel great & softer under the fingers than steel strings (I've never tried a gut string so can't compare with the real deals). I tried them amplified and had to roll off the gain in the preamp, and the sounds's good, though I haven't tried them in a gig yet. I went for the ultralights, though I probably could've got away with the lights, and finding it really easy to do some stuff that I struggled with previously, like long stretches on the fingerboard where I have to use my little finger without support from the ring finger, and also quick pizz runs where I used to regularly practise to maintain the speed. 

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On 12/08/2019 at 14:45, AndyBass said:

Thanks mate - appreciate it. I reckon I’ll just get myself the remaining prestos and go with them as the cheapest option (now, thanks to Clarky) and as BC have already sold out if lowlifes. So anyone coincidentally selling a Presto A and D or a Krivo shout up 😁

I also have the Krivo pickup as well and I find it great if you want a more natural double bass sound, especially with the Prestos. For my own purposes, I prefer to sound pretty much like a big fretless bass guitar, with a smidge of overdrive, into my Ashdown ABM and I find the Armstrong pickups better in that scenario so have the Krivo as a backup.

Sorry about the BC being out of stock now, I ordered 2 sets just in case because I do slightly prefer the steel strings to the Presto (mainly because that is what I have been used to and I get that slightly longer sustain, without the real brightness that I got from Spirocores)

So, if you were interested, you would be more than welcome to have a loan of both Prestos and Krivo to see if it would suit?

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As an update:

I got my new set of BC strings. This might be an unfair appraisal but they 'seem' more cheaply made than previous sets, even unrolling the fresh strings they don't have that same slippery and sliding like a snake feel that I remember from previously . I put a set on my EUB and they feel a bit lifeless and rattly, no real tone, a real step down from the Prestos that normally reside. Obviously, not an ideal test being a Stagg stick bass and not a 'proper' bass, but even so. They might just not suit that bass which is entirely possible. Prestos going back on. I will try this same set on my other bass too (that also has prestos on) to see how they go before I reserve full judgement.

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Good to hear you managed to grab some Low Lifes in time - no problem for me as I’d already decided to go Presto 😁 That’s really good of you to offer me a try of the whole setup! Unfortunately between family, work, gigs etc I get so little time to play with set ups that I think I’ll just take the plunge and hope for the best. Really appreciate it though. Of course if you decide those spares are taking up too much cupboard space and want to sell strings or pickup just give me a holler 😉

Cheers all!

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Ha, maybe!

It is a little strange though as I REALLY like the set I have on my main bass. But then that bass never got on with the spirocores that everyone else raved about.

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A ‘bumped’ set of lighter steels (using ADG and a High C as your EADG strings) is a great way to get that low tension feel. Works well with obligato and evahs too though no good for mag pickups. 

I think that’s basically what the presto ultralight set is too. 

Edited by headofire

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I like the Presto's, don't get me wrong, I just prefer the feel and silkiness of steels compared to the synthetic or nylon wrapped strings so prefer the feel of the BC on a longer playing session. My favourite actually was the Innovation Honeys but they won't work with mag pickup as not enough metal content and I much prefer the sound of the mag pickup to the various piezo I tried.

I did think of trying the Spirocore Solos and then tuning them back down to standard pitch but not looked at this further as it seemed a lot of cash to splash on another 'maybe' to go with the various sets of Spiros and Prestos that I have in the cupboard that I really ought to sell on!

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