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Re: best bluegrass strings

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Posted by Bob Gollihur on April 05, 2001 at 10:05:23:

In Reply to: best bluegrass strings posted by Dave Burton on April 05, 2001 at 09:29:10:

: I need help... I,m trying to decide between D'Addario Helicore Pizzicato strings or La Bella Supernil Nylon...I have just purchased an Engelhardt EM1 and play by "plucking" only.. Which do you suggest.. Thanks to all.

Hi Dave -

The LaBellas are sure cheap and have a big and fat sound; I had a set on my Kay, briefly, and they were kinda neat for bluegrass but not flexible enough (not enough attack and virtually unbowable) for other music. I also sensed some finger noise when I used a pickup due to their rough wound surface.

IMHO Helicore Pizz strings are a bit metallic-sounding; at least they were on my bass.

A friend and some net and 2xbass list traffic recently turned me on to the new Pirastro Obligatos, which seem to be making quite a stir in a number of circles, so I got a set and installed them on my Kay about a month ago. They are designed to imitate gut somewhat, and succeed pretty well. They have a metal surface that is very bowable and smooth to the touch, but have a nylon or some non-metallic, synthetic core. They also have a big sound on my Kay, warm and somewhat fat, but are also very bowable and have a nice midrange, enough for most jazz. I did a little acoustic thing last week (me and a couple accoustic guitars, country, bluegrass tunes, etc.) and they fit the gig very well. And they are around the same price as the Helicores.

YMMV, but I'll recommend them as a candidate to meet your bluegrass needs but also have enough dimension for other uses as well. I will probably order in a few sets to have as an alternative choice for the basses I sell.

Good luck in your quest!

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