Gary’s Blended Double Bass String Set

(3 customer reviews)



Gary’s Blended Double Bass Strings Set: two popular strings working hand in hand, bringing forth the strength of both string types – Thomastik Spirocore S42 and Pirastro Obligato.



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

Upton Bass is ready to offer advice and answer any questions regarding double basses or related bass topics. Please contact UB at 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.

3 reviews for Gary’s Blended Double Bass String Set

  1. mario sangermano (verified owner)

    I just got Gary’s blended set. I have to agree with him, the Spirocore E and A strings have a great growl played open string, and all the notes growl really well all across the fingerboard. The Obligato D and G strings sound great as well. They do sound really even and match well. Arco they all sound really good and no scratchiness anywhere. I had the A obligato string and it just didn’t have the growl and openness that the Spirocore has. I know a lot has to do with set up and all, but you can tell this string combo makes a difference. Thanks for putting it together.

  2. sergio netto (verified owner)

    I use this set of strings for about 4 years and it was the best combination of strings I’ve ever had to date. The balance between the E and A Thomastik strings and D and G Pirastro strings is the best I’ve got so far. I am very pleased with the result.

  3. W.J. Brier (verified owner)

    I recently restrung my ancient Kay Swingmaster and decided to give this string set a try. I initially had reservations about these strings after tuning and allowing them to stretch. However, after playing a 3-1/2 hour jazz gig that involved a mix of arco and pizzicato, the sound grew on me and I now feel I can recommend them to others.

    The A-string and D-strings are a bit twangy my taste but experience tells me that the twanginess will wear off. The E-string is dark and fat sounding, and really vibrates things. G is bright sounding and stays that way even at or above the octave. All strings bow well using Petz number three rosin.

    I recommend you give this set a try.

Add a review