These strings are hand-made in Beijing, China, and are surprisingly good for the money. Aimed primarily at Orchestral players, they are similar in feel and vibe to some of the higher-priced arco-specific strings we also carry -- but are priced for the player on a budget! Perfect for early learners (1/4 and 1/2 size sets are available), or college students (every dollar counts, you need money for Ramen!) you'll get a very warm, responsive tone under the bow from these strings. They are definitely a bit stiff, which isn't unusual for an orchestral string, but they "start" easily and don't take a lot of pressure to keep a good tone.
They're really nicely done, with a smooth outer surface, very clean windings, and nice unfrayed silks; you'll likely be impressed. But the proof is in the pudding - they are well-balanced, with lovely nuance and a pleasant "mellow" vibe.
One of our longtime, trusted customers recently weighed in on these strings (he put a set on his bass for a week to give them a test-drive), and he offered the following thoughts:
- He liked their tone in general. The tone is full, somewhat gritty (gravelly?), which gives an interesting tone color.
- The E string, on his bass at least, was a little less prominent -- and a bit stiffer -- than the rest of the set.
- Construction is very good, on par with all the professional grade strings we're already accustomed to.
- The surface of the strings he received had an unusually "oily" feel. He had to wipe them thoroughly when installing them (he used an alchohol wipe followed by a clean cloth, with success).
- He agreed that they were definitely on the stiff side, which might preclude them from being a great beginner string (since that ootentially means an increased difficulty of play).
- The price is nice but then again there are other strings in the same range, or even cheaper, which he'd recommend over them, but many don't have the same fullness of tone than the For-tunes.
Another player offered his take on the strings:
- Round warm ARCO sound
- Quick ARCO response
- Short sustain
- Strong ARCO fundamental sound
- Works with little bow pressure and less bow
- Gauge is "medium stiff"
- For PIZZ compare to old, quiet, not ringy strings
- Good quality, but not high quality
The 3/4-4/4 sets and the 1/4-1/2 size sets are different.
While the sets for 3/4 and 4/4 size basses are a steel core with an alloy winding, the smaller sized (1/4 and 1/2) strings use a tungsten blend of steel for the core. Tungsten steel has a higher mass than regular stainless, and as a result, you can use less of it and still have the same fullness of response. As a result, the strings can be a little thinner and easier to manage on smaller basses (which are commonly played by smaller humans - like kids - so this is a nice advantage). Note that the 1/4 and 1/2 size strings are therefore branded as "Charm Kids" strings. That doesn't mean you have to be a kid to play them! Because of this special blend of tungsten steel, though, the smaller sized strings are a little bit more expensive.