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String Advice


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Hi everyone,


Bass guitarist here who plays upright occasionally. I get maybe 1 or 2 gigs ever couple of months. I try and play at least once a week to keep my hand in but mainly focus on electric bass.


I've always used the stock strings that came with my bass (Stentor 3/4). I always quite liked the sound so never really bothered to change them for anything better or just different.


10 years down the line after various dings and repairs the strings have lost their growl that I liked in the first place. Also I'm starting to get more gigs on upright and have found that they are giving my hands a bit of a beating. 


Can anyone recommend a lighter tension string that still gives a decent growly sound?


(Should mention that I don't bow, and play a mix of jazz, folk and blues).


Thanks in advance for any help and thanks for reading this long post!



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I used to have a stentor 1950, great gigging bass. Thomastik: Spirocore Weichs are great strings and last forever, and for extra lightness some people use the solo set instead of orchestra set. I used the orchestra set on my Stentor.
I currently have Presto nylon wounds on, which are really easy on the hands, but have more of a gut-like thud than a growl I’d say.


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I would certainly second the Spirocore recommendation, and Weichs (light) will be easier on your hands than Mittels (medium) if you're playing less frequently and would like lower tension.

There are a lot of options available, but for a string you can put on and then not have to think about for years the Spiros are still hard to beat.

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I'm a recent (about 5 years ago) convert to D'Addario Helicore after playing a friend's bass. They make 3 versions, Orchestral, Hybrid and Pizzicato. If I've understood their blurb correctly, they're the same construction but with more or less damping depending on what kind of playing/sustain you're after. I've just gone from Hybrid - Brill generally- to Pizzicato- all the sustain and growl you could want, in fact I have to keep it under control sometimes! Still grand for bowing, but I'm doing that in a song context rather than Orchestral. I don't do the rockabilly slap, but for the bassline with percussive accents they're spot on.

If anyone fancies a go ill be playing at Norwich, Bristol and Bingham over the next couple of weeks with Steve Tilston. 

Edited by hubrad
Edit: if it was of interest, I'm not going to be at Dorking or Hedingham now.
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On 13/11/2023 at 22:15, Paddy Morris said:

3rd vote for Spiro weichs. Growly sound, easy on the fingers.


For some bizarre reason they're cheaper on Thomann than anywhere else to buy in the UK.  No good for slapping though.

Incidentally I looked at Thomann and the Spiros say Light on the packet instead of Weich.  I know Weich means Light but wasn't sure why they've translated the weight, do you think they're exactly the same?.

Looked elsewhere and most UK places are out of stock.


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