Talk to me about Double Bass

Electric, Acoustic, Double Bass, Bassists
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slowlearner
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slowlearner » 11 May 2018, 10:26

I had Helicore hybrids on my bass for years. A couple of sets if IIRC. To be honest I was never in love with them. They seem like a lot of in between things. That is they do everything ok, but nothing really well. I don't know if you've seen the discussions on them, but there's a long running rumour that the E string tends to be pretty dead. My bass hasn't got a super E to begin with and the helicores really killed it. For that reason I'd think twice about them. I was playing about 50/50 arco/pizz on them at the time.

After that, I went over to synthetics, specifically Velvet. I had Garbos first, now I have Animas. I love these strings. So much softer on your hands. Sounded great arco, like old gut strings. For Pizz, not so much sustain, but a big fat punch at the start of each note. I've literally played a set to death. They are roughly double the price of regular steel strings, but I think worth it. As I understand it, Velvet came out with a more affordable option that's very nearly as good. On a related note, these strings are for that oldschool 1940/50s sort of sound. You can playing everything except maybe jazz-fusion on them. They don't do the highly sustained (electric) sound like Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. They're also a little harsh on your hands for heavy slapping, but then most guys doing hardcore slapping use weedwackers or tape their hands. I ended up doing the latter with Leukosilk tape. For relaxed, country or rock-a-billy slapping (ie. not Stray Cats) they're fine.

https://www.chemistwarehouse.com.au/buy ... -25cm-x-5m

I should probably explain about taping some time. Because if you start playing enough, you'll need to know how to do it whether you slap or not. My first teacher told me stories about sitting with his right hand in a cup of metho all day when he was gigging 5 nights a week. Upright does tear up your hands until you work up some proper callouses. Then it's ok. BTW, there's a guy selling bass-tape online. It's Leukosilk from everything I can see. Only Leukosilk is about $20 a roll cheaper. ;)
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vin-tone
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by vin-tone » 11 May 2018, 13:21

^^ How long have you had the Animas for? I hear they need to be replaced every couple of years.
slowlearner wrote:
11 May 2018, 10:26
...As I understand it, Velvet came out with a more affordable option that's very nearly as good. ...
Velvet Blues are their affordable line. Sound good in the demos I've heard.
Warwick SS2, Fender 63AVRI, Eberhard Meinel Upright > Markbass & AI Coda

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slowlearner
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slowlearner » 11 May 2018, 18:13

vin-tone wrote:
11 May 2018, 13:21
^^ How long have you had the Animas for? I hear they need to be replaced every couple of years.
My last set of Animas are about 5yo now I think. They're ok, but they tend to get fragile and frayed after 3 or 4 years. I've had one break before. It was probably older than 5years when it went though.
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slave
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slave » 12 May 2018, 10:37

Thanks guys
BassLine wrote:
10 May 2018, 22:32
The setup HAS to be done with the strings you're intending to use. Looser strings need a higher action, so if you're going to try cheap nylons then now's the time.
LOL, yeah the thought had crossed my mind. ;)
I'm gonna book it in for a setup once I make my mind up, but I think I'll ask them to make up a new bridge for me and keep the old one should I wanna try on some weedwhackers.
vin-tone wrote:
11 May 2018, 09:34
Yeah I used to have Hybrids on mine but they were quite old and a bit dull. A friend has them on his and they sound and feel great. Good for Arco too (when you get into that.)
That's pretty much where I'm at. The strings I received in the deal are very old, very dull. I can get an okay tone out of them, but they sound (acoustically) dead. Great sustain and still have that unmistakable growl in certain parts of the fingerboard, sound pretty woeful when I go waaay up the neck above an octave/"12th fret".
slowlearner wrote:
11 May 2018, 10:26
I had Helicore hybrids on my bass for years. A couple of sets if IIRC. To be honest I was never in love with them. They seem like a lot of in between things.
....
After that, I went over to synthetics, specifically Velvet. I had Garbos first, now I have Animas. I love these strings. So much softer on your hands. Sounded great arco, like old gut strings. For Pizz, not so much sustain, but a big fat punch at the start of each note. I've literally played a set to death. They are roughly double the price of regular steel strings, but I think worth it. As I understand it, Velvet came out with a more affordable option that's very nearly as good. On a related note, these strings are for that oldschool 1940/50s sort of sound.
Interesting... I've read a lot of positive about Anima's over on talkbull.
I looked em up after Vin spruiked them (and Zyex too), and given the tension and sound, I like what I'm hearing.

What I'm after is a great pizzicato acoustic tone above all else. I may try arco in the future, but I don't own a bow yet. I will definitely get a mic/pickup in future, but for now I just wanna focus on being able to get a great tone and decent volume unplugged.

I'm gonna keep investigating, but given the tension and cheap price, the Zyex might be a good place to start.
The talk of crappy E does have me a little tentative tho....

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vin-tone
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by vin-tone » 29 May 2018, 07:22

slowlearner wrote:
11 May 2018, 18:13
vin-tone wrote:
11 May 2018, 13:21
^^ How long have you had the Animas for? I hear they need to be replaced every couple of years.
My last set of Animas are about 5yo now I think. They're ok, but they tend to get fragile and frayed after 3 or 4 years. I've had one break before. It was probably older than 5years when it went though.
I've sprung for a set of Animas. :partydance: This'll be fun.

It seems they've done a bit of a rejig of production - I believe they've worked out the fraying thing.
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slowlearner
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slowlearner » 29 May 2018, 09:16

That's good to hear. I'm sure you'll enjoy them. I really like them.
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slave
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slave » 29 May 2018, 23:17

Ha ha - yeah I ended up buying a set of Anima's too. :lol: :D :rolf: yolo
From what I read recently on the web, they re-designed the G-string and have worked on their durability.

We'll have to talk optimal Anima string action/heights :hmm How high do you like 'em slowlearner?

I ended up grabbing one of those height adjustable bridges too. Should be fun fiddling with it ;)
https://www.gollihurmusic.com/product/3 ... MODEL.html

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vin-tone
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by vin-tone » 30 May 2018, 09:33

^^ Good plan. Hows your woodworking skills? ;) Taking it to a luthier to shape?
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slowlearner
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slowlearner » 30 May 2018, 17:15

slave wrote:
29 May 2018, 23:17
We'll have to talk optimal Anima string action/heights :hmm How high do you like 'em slowlearner?
I wanted to lower with mine at one stage, but I didn't because they really benefit from medium action. If you go low, you've have issues with them rattling on the board. Remember, they're a large diameter string (the G is the same dia as the E) and they're low tension too. So while they're not weedwackers, they need a little extra height to vibrate properly unlike a lot of skinny jazz strings. You can also afford to lay into them and pluck hard, which also means a little extra height will help you out.

P.s. I bought a set of adjusters off Puglisi years ago and never ended up fitting them. Some of that was the terror of screwing it up, but some of it was also that I found I just didn't need to go lower.
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slave
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slave » 13 Jun 2018, 21:24

I bought a bow, cos curious and that. Yeah it's funny playing the theme to the Godfather for sure.
I tried playing a few full on rock songs too, it's a blast!
I'm getting wrist strain like never before, especially playing up at thumb position with a bow.
Man this is hard, but so much fun.

And I've realised the bridge has been cut for a jazz or slap pizzy style setup. It's not completely flat, but not far from it.

How have you guys got your bridge cut if you're playing a combination of pizz & arco?
And if you cut your bridge for orchestral/arco, does it mean the fingerboard may need addressing also?

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slowlearner
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slowlearner » 14 Jun 2018, 10:01

Bridge profile should be the same. It's just about action. Arco favours a slightly higher action than pizz usually.

P.s. you shouldn't be getting wrist strain with the bow. What sort is it? German or French?
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vin-tone
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by vin-tone » 14 Jun 2018, 11:53

My Animas got lost in transit by USPS :(

Gollihur is sending another set. Great service.
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slave
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slave » 14 Jun 2018, 20:13

slowlearner wrote:
14 Jun 2018, 10:01
P.s. you shouldn't be getting wrist strain with the bow. What sort is it? German or French?
Cheers. Yeah it's my left hand, not my bow hand - I'm trying to get used to the big thick neck, it's taking me a while.
Using different muscles than playing a 6 banger.
My main axe's are a Rick 4003 & Maton JB4, both small fast necks, so it's a learning curve.
vin-tone wrote:
14 Jun 2018, 11:53
My Animas got lost in transit by USPS :(

Gollihur is sending another set. Great service.
Bummer. I haven't received mine yet either. Think it might be a good idea to send them a msg....

packrat
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by packrat » 14 Jun 2018, 20:52

Left hand on a double bass is very different action to a bass guitar if you want to avoid hurting yourself. Force from your arm weight, not fingers.

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slowlearner
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Re: Talk to me about Double Bass

Post by slowlearner » 14 Jun 2018, 22:32

^ this. Pull back with your elbow like you're hanging from a bar with your fingers.
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