When it comes to Double Bass Strings, sometimes the best thing to do is mix it up a bit. At Upton Bass we have tested many combinations of upright bass strings on thousands of basses, and here you have one of our favorite sets. Gary’s Blended Double Bass String Set pairs Thomastik Spirocore S42 with Pirastro Obligato. The perfect blend of two popular double bass strings that working hand in hand; bringing forth the strengths of both string types. Featuring Spirocore S42 E and A medium gauge strings and Pirastro Obligato D and G strings for a fantastic double bass string set combination. Gary’s Blended Set is great for pizzicato, works very well arco, and you still have that easy to play growly response.
Gary’s Thoughts: This blended set still achieves that great strong growl of the Spiro’s for the jazz player, but without the plunky thin sound of the Spiro’s D and especially the G. In a blindfold test (plug your ears too) you truly cannot feel that you’re playing two different string types. Furthermore the diameters feel very well matched and step down very evenly. At pitch, with my calipers, I get readings of (metric) E=2.9mm A=2.15mm D=1.75mm G=1.45mm and (imperial) E=.113″ A=.085″ D=.070″ G=.055. What I further enjoy is not having the “roll” of the Obligato E and A. Walking a fast hard bop, I find the Obligato A and especially the E become wishy-washy as the string does not seem to “zero” back to the point in which I started it quickly enough. Problem solved with the Spiro E and A. With the bow I feel the Spiro E and A are very tamable and they also cross over VERY comfortably with the Obligato. The bow start-up speed for all four strings feels very even. I hate bowing the Spiro D and more so the G, once again problem solved with the Obligato’s warmer response and lack of harsh scratchiness. A great combo for the player who needs a string set that can play on Monday night with the Big Band, Tuesday with a Jazz Trio, and Wednesday with the Orchestra. No, this string setup won’t offer the darkness of say a Flexocore or Evah Pirazzi when played with the bow, but it’s a terrific compromise that can truly wear both hats.
- Perfect pairing of Spirocore S42 and Obligato
- Versatile hybrid set for arco or pizz
- Great playability and growl for pizzicato
- Even bowing response
Upton Bass String Instrument Co. specializes in building award-winning custom double basses and offers accessories for the double bass. Upton Bass also services all instruments and bows of the violin family with world class restoration and repair, to view our online restoration portfolio visit stringrepair.com
Upton Bass is ready to offer advice and answer any questions regarding double basses or related bass topics. Please contact UB at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the shop at +1 (860) 535-9399. Hours of operation Tuesday through Saturday 10am – 6pm. The Workshop (The Barn) and showroom are located in Mystic, Connecticut conveniently between Boston and NYC.