Author Topic: Oh No! Another Strings Thread! But this time it is about my Series 1 :)  (Read 241 times)

Deltaphoenix

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No worries, I love a good thread hijack.

Are you familiar with Steve Chick? He invented a midi control system where the bass is a midi controller rather than notes being interpreted. Each fret is split into four sensors, one for each string and that sends the note information. Piezo pickups in the saddle send the velocity information. All of this is sent to a converter box via a special cord and that box outputs the midi information. Once dialed in got a players playing style we are talking ~5ms latency which is phenomenal. In the late 80s/early 90s Steve did small runs with Wal, Moon, Maton and maybe another builder or two.

At some point in the early 90s Peavey gained exclusivity for this system and they built the Midi Base, MidiBass and then CyberBass. In the late 90s Peavey haulted production and Steve’s system went out of production until sometime in the last 10 years or so. Steve and his son have a company called Industrial Radio which produces The latest version of his invention.

I currently have a Peavey CyberBass and it works well. There a few differences between it and the latest versions. I almost purchased an IR bass from Justin Medal-Johnson last week but I just can’t the cash together after buying this Series 1 so I decided to put off upgrading my Midi Bass solution for awhile.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 09:59:13 AM by Deltaphoenix »

keith_h

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My suggestion is you start with strings you have liked in the past. The Series bass isn't going to majorly change their characteristics just fine tune them. Doing this gives a decent chance of saving you some money by starting with a known quantity. That being said for my fretted basses with the exception of my Jazz Bass I generally stick with nickel plated steel round wounds. While they aren't quite as bright as stainless steel strings to me they have less fret clack which for me is more important. On my short scales I use Alembic strings and on long scales Dean Markley Roundcore. DM no longer makes the Roundcore so I will probably try GHS Round Core NPS once I've used my last set. As to my Jazz Bass I've used GHS Brite Flats, ground round wound, on it forever and have always been happy with the tone so see no reason to go hunting for something else. 

One other thing. I notice your Series has a maple top. This will give the bass a brighter tone than say one with a walnut top. So you might find the strings you have historically used are too bright for your tastes. As you say you can always turn it down but you might also want to consider a nickel plated string if the situation arises. I still believe that you will be best served by starting with a string you have liked in the past as it will give you a better frame of reference to work from. 

Edit: fix typos
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 09:36:14 AM by keith_h »

mario_farufyno

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I typically like a decent amount of zing/brightness in my tone,... I have mostly been into steel roundwound strings before I got into Dingwalls (and used special strings) I mostly used Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky strings - I like the slightly thicker lower strings. I also experimented with a few coated strings as well.

On here, I see a lot of discussion about Rotosounds - never tried them but I have heard they are pretty bright strings. I haven't tried the Alembic strings but I am open to them - I haven't read a lot about them but I do understand there is a different core. What are the benefits of these strings compared to others (they are definitely a bit more expensive)?


I don't give a try to Roto for years now, but remember them as being duller sounding then my current nickel GHS set.

Alembics are kind of rollerwound (or pressurewound depending on brand) with eliptical outer wire, a compromise between regular rounds and flats. I've tried once the GHS pressurewound and felt them a little duller then rounds, kind like the coated ones, but they're not as silent under finger as they claim. Don't know if Alembic's are the same, though.
Not just a bass, this is an Alembic!

mario_farufyno

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A few other thoughts/questions:
Anybody have Ernie Ball Slinkys on their Alembic and liking it? I have a pack or two of their Hybrid  Cobalt strings (45-105) in my music junk drawer. I have to come to wonder if the cobalt strings would work with or against the Alembic philosphy, that I am going to kind of butcher, around less magnetic interference from the pickups which we all know leads to additional sustain and a more natural string sound.

Have any prior steel rounds players moved to flats with a Series bass because of being able to use the Q to add some brightness back into the sound? I have only played/used flats a couple of times in my life. Obviously their is decent change in how the strings feel but I could see a benefit to having a string the settles into a sound/set harmonic response that is consistent for a long period of time.

I am sure I will have some more thoughts but this should kick us off. Thanks!

Not sure if lower impedance PUs like Alembic's affects string vibration as regular PUs do.

I'm one of those who can't get used to flats because I really like the zing, too (despite really liking their feel to touch...). I don't even like the coated for the same reason. To me Rotosound dies too quickly.

ps.: I own a Rogue and know that Series are a tottaly different beast.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 12:12:44 PM by mario_farufyno »
Not just a bass, this is an Alembic!

StephenR

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Keith makes a good point about starting with strings you are familiar with and already like. If you normally use roundwound strings start with those, if they sound as expected and sit well when you set up the bass for them you could just stick with the brand you have been using. Flats will give you a very different sound, if that is what you want all the suggestions for brands have been good. Unfortunately some of the flats i,e. TI and Pyramid Gold tend to be expensive making experimenting stressful on the wallet. I haven't tried the TI flats but based on my experience with TI Jazz Rounds imagine that they are great strings. I really liked the feel of the wraps and sound of the TI Jazz Rounds but the low string tension that TI strings have doesn't work for me. I wish it did, the strings sound great and despite being expensive last a long time.

My go-to roundwounds for over 30 years has been the Markley Blue Steels. A couple of years ago I started using the Blue Steel Nickle instead of the stainless ones. I put Chromes on my 78 Series five-string as an experiment and like the feel under my fingers and the sound when playing at home but wasn't able to hear what I like to hear on stage and our FOH guy said he was having a hard time getting much punch out of my bass. I am going to keep them on for now to use when playing acoustic music, they sounded better onstage during our acoustic sets than the electric sets.

David Houck

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Thanks for the reply on the midi system.  It sounds quite similar to the FretTraX system Victor Wooten has been using.  http://frettrax.com/

Deltaphoenix

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I emailed with the designer of the frettrax and felt there were quite a few compromises compared to Steve Chick’s design. It doesn’t do open notes, string bends and I think it doesn’t do velocity.

My impression was that it would be a cool tool for someone that was a tapping ace ala Wooten.

Deltaphoenix

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I just remembered why I thought the frettrax was more limited - since it doesn’t do velocity you have to take your fingers off of fret and press again in order to retrigger a note. Imagine playing 32nd notes and having to press on the fret and release and press and so on. I felt that takes a lot away from using a bass to play synthesizers and would have to impact the experience a lot...unless someone was a master tapper ala Wooten.

There is a mode on my bass midi controller that is similar and I do see a use case but not my typical one.

David Houck

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Ah, yes that would be a significant difference.

http://industrialradio.com.au/

cntrabssn

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Your bass is long-scale, right?

If so, then whatever brand of strings you decide to use, I think it’s a good idea to measure your existing strings to make sure the new ones will fit.
You can check the required string length by measuring the string from just inside the ball-end to where the string passes over the nut.


I have a long-scale Series bass constructed similarly to yours, and depending on the string brand, I need to have extra long scale strings. This has been the case with GHS and D’Addario strings. I think most of the brands other members recommend will fit, but I’d definitely double check for TI, and Pyramid too.  Long scale strings from Fodera, DR, Dunlop and SIT fit this instrument fine. I haven’t tried Ernie Ball strings on this particular bass, but I tried placing a spare Slinky against it and it just barely fits. Actually, it’s a bit too close for me, and I only checked one string.


I’ve used Ernie Ball Slinky strings on my other Alembics, and they’re OK, but it seems like they lack depth. I tried the Cobalts once, and they were pretty cool (took a while for that smell to go away), but my next set had a bad string, so I gave up on the Cobalt round wounds. I plan on trying the Cobalt flats real soon.
I haven’t found one string that I like on all basses, but I’m always exploring. I also tend to gravitate toward nickel round wound strings, but it really depends on the bass. DR Sunbeams, SIT Foundations and D'Addario NYXLs have worked well for me recently.

Good luck with your search.
 
-nate.