LaBella Black Tape Double Bass Strings are noted as being Ron Carter’s “string of choice.”
Months of R&D alongside Ron Carter and Attila Zoller resulted in the formulation of this string set that is soft and playable and has a strong bottom and response. These professional jazz strings are in many ways produced like LaBella Supernil, but LaBella Black Tape Double Bass Strings are constructed with a black nylon tape wrapped around a rope core. Great for jazz pizzicato solos, LaBella Black Tape Double Bass Strings combine the warm tone of gut strings and the sustain of steel, but without the headaches of gut or the metallic sound of chrome. LaBella upright bass strings are made in the USA with American wire.
Gary’s Thoughts: Don’t judge these strings fresh out of the package–once they settle in for a few weeks, they really even up. As does the pitch center and fundamental. LaBella Black Tape Double Bass Strings share a similar tension and feel of Thomastik Spirocore S42’s, but with a smooth black nylon wrap.
- Soft and playable
- Great for jazz pizzicato solos
- Smooth black nylon wrap
JB Hittle –
For those jazz players who swore they would never use anything but Thomastik Spirocore strings, the LaBella Black Tape (Series 7710- Deep Talkin’ Bass) string is a delightful discovery. The strings have the feel and sound of gut, but with the quick response of Thomastik steels strings. And when combined with the David Gage Realist pickup, the sound produced is absolutely a SPOT ON fully natural and woody acoustic bass sound. This is the string of choice for such bass virtuosos as Ron Carter, Buster Williams and Steve Novosel. If you remain skeptical, listen to Ron Carter playing his fine old Juzek bass fitted with this string/pick-up combination on his latest album,
“THE GOLDEN STRYKER,” or hear Steve Novosel playing with the LaBella Black Tapes/Realist combo on “THE JOHN HICKS TRIO WITH STRINGS” or with David ‘Fathead’ Newman on “CHILLIN’. Or with Shirley Horn on “THE MAIN INGREDIENT.” These strings are a little more difficult to control than steel strings, but the feel is georgeous and the sound divine. You can play arco on this string with adjustment for the black tape winding. It takes a good rosin (I use CARLSON’s Swedish) and some extra attention to wrist control. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for professional jazz musicians.
Norris Gaselee (verified owner) –
These replaced a set of Helicore strings which I have been using for 5 years on a 20year old Zeller carved bass. Now they are “played-in” the tone is superb. I play with 16 piece swing band and don’t bother with an amp at rehearsals and with these strings the band leader asked if I could turn it down! Silky smooth, soft onthe fingers and so easy to play. Would reccommend them to anybody. At yesterday’s concert played thro’ my Gallien Kruger amp and Underwood pick-up they sounded even better.
John Kolivas –
I’m the bassist and leader of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, and in the past I’ve used Thomastic Weichs and Piastro Obligato strings. I was pleasantly surprised by the sound and feel of the LaBella Black Tape strings. The tension was higher than I was used to, so I had to lower the action a bit. But the sound is beautiful and resonant on my 1910 Czech bass with the Gage pickup. I especially like the response on the G and D string (nice jazz twang sound) which I wasn’t getting with any other string. I’m finding it easier to play double stops (esp. 10ths and octaves). The feel of the string is silky smooth. I’m working on the arco sound which is a little thin. However, it’s hard to beat that Ron Carter, Buster Williams sound!
Michael Herbert (verified owner) –
Great strings! I put these on a 30-year-old Englehardt M1. The strings have a nice tone, it’s somewhat bright and snappy, but with a warm undertone. I’ve had these strings on for about a month and the tone has just settled into what it’s meant to be ( in my humble opinion). It does take a while before the tone really comes out in these strings. I’d say they are bright but not too bright, warm but I wish they were a little warmer. Overall I’m happy with the LaBella Black tape wound strings. The strings have a very nice feel on the hands, very smooth to the touch. I play Americana, blues, jazz, country, bluegrass and rock-a-billy. These strings are definitely capable for all these styles, but they don’t slap as easily as other strings. Maybe it’s just me liking the pizzicato sound so much that I don’t want to slap them…LOL. Who knows. LOL. You definitely won’t be disappointed with these strings.