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Kolstein

Heritage Upright Bass Strings (Newly Improved for 2022)

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  • Heritage Upright Bass Strings (Newly Improved for 2022)
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Description

Orchestral/Jazz Perlon Bass Strings

The Kolstein Heritage strings were designed by Kolstein Music, Inc. -- a well-known shop in New York with a long-standing reputation for excellence.

So what are the Heritage Bass Strings all about? They are a Perlon (synthetic) core Bass String that offers the player the wonderful feel and tension of gut strings, but emulates the best arco and pizzicato tonal qualities of the finest steel orchestral or jazz string. Heritage were the first string of its type of construction to not only afford the player the best in jazz quality playing, but remarkably, not "roll" under the bow... thus creating an arco/orchestral quality string that can be utilized under the most demanding bowing requirements. To play on Heritage Bass Strings is to experience the vast quality of this string.

For 2022, Kolstein re-introduced these strings (after a short absence from the market) in a NEW and "Very Improved" formula. The construction and durability of these strings has been vastly improved, and after field-testing with many high-level professional players, they've met the needs and wants of those players - they strongly preferred their sound and feel to the original Heritage strings (which were already popular and well-liked.)

Includes our exclusive Gollihur Music tipsheet to get the most out of your purchaseWhat changed, though? Based on what Barrie Kolstein told me, the updated strings' tone and feel remain mostly unchanged. Put simply, they are using newly improved production techniques, primarily intended to improve the durability and longevity of the strings -- while keeping the character and playability that people know and love. So the tonal differences (compared to the "old" Heritage strings) should be subtle, and the strings are more durable and long-lasting.

Here's what they say on the Kolstein website:

What are the new Heritage Bass Strings all about? Three years of research and development with the highest attention to creating the first Perlon, synthetic core Bass String that offers the player the wonderful feel and tension of gut strings, but also emulates the best arco and pizzicato tonal qualities of the finest steel orchestral or jazz string. Heritage offers the first string of its type to not only afford the player the best in jazz quality playing, but remarkably does not roll under the bow…thus creating an arco/orchestral quality string that can be utilized under the most demanding bowing requirements. To play on Heritage Bass Strings is to experience the vast quality of this string.

As is typical of a synthetic core string, they have a more flexible feel and a warmer tone than steel strings do. Those looking for a more "gut-like" vibe without totally going over to the dark side will probably appreciate their blunter attack and shorter sustain -- but they have good definition and a solid fundamental, so you won't get "lost in the sauce" of a dense stage mix.

The Heritage strings are considered to be "hybrid" strings; meaning that they are intended to be equally suitable for both pizzicato (plucking) and arco (bowing) play. And they don't "roll" under the bow like a lot of synthetic core strings do!

String Gauges:

  • E: .102
  • A: .076
  • D: .065
  • G: .058
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4 Reviews

  • 5

    Truly As Advertised!

    Posted by Adam Cohen on Jan 5th 2024

    As the company promo says, these strings really do provide the experience of the best of both worlds of jazz & classical strings. When I first put them on there was a lot of rattle going on in certain positions. I also noticed the E string seemed a bit tame compared to the others. What I discovered is that these strings have a wide vibrating pattern (part of what I believe contributes to their outstanding tone & playability) so you need to adjust your action/setup accordingly. By allowing for more clearance, the extraneous buzzing went away and the E string was allowed to vibrate freely and really sing. I've had the Heritage strings on my bass for about 10 months now - with a lot of playing time both pizzicato and arco - and they still sound great! Easy on the hands, resonant, and a flexible tension to allow a great deal of freedom of expression. I will not hesitate to purchase these strings again.

  • 5

    Wow!

    Posted by Jonathan Dreyer on Apr 30th 2023

    I had the honor and pleasure of performing recently with the great bassist Harvie S. As bassists do, we got to talking gear. He told me about his new, improved (as of 2022) Kolstein Heritage strings. (Harvie works for Kolstein, but he only endorses what he loves.) Now I've been a citizen of Spirocore Nation ever since the late '70s, when I learned that a lot of my heroes used them. My only dalliances have been the occasional switch from my usual weich to mittel. (Oh, and, out of desperation, one Pirastro Perpetual G stark.) I've always liked a modern jazz sound, and I always thought that meant I was a steel string person. But thinking about Harvie's great sound, I thought that maybe while at least 90% of that sound comes from him, and much of the rest comes from his gorgeous bass, maybe there was a bit of credit due the strings. He let me try his bass and I was intrigued. Those strings are not cheap, and I stewed for about a week, but finally pulled the trigger and bought a set from Gollihur Music. The strings arrived a day before a session, but I had no time that day to install them. I knew it would be nuts to put on new strings right before the session but I couldn't help myself, so I did it. Wow! These are synthetic core strings, but they have a very modern sound with lots of texture and lots of growl in the low end. They are very comfortable to play. Perhaps the best thing about them is the precise attack, compared to the slower bloom of the Spirocores. And they actually stayed pretty well in tune despite having been installed only hours before! Love at first sight isn't always durable, but I have high hopes for this one. I've had them for a week and a half, including two gigs and a few sessions, and I'm hooked

  • 4

    Solid, still have the same sound I remember

    Posted by James on Oct 11th 2022

    These strings were a favorite of mine, but they tended to be a bit fragile back in the day... I recently picked up a set of these new improved versions, and they still have that same warm sound I remember, but they've been on my bass for several months now and show no signs of early decline. I noticed the comment in another review about a dud e string, and I think that's what happened to that customer because my e string sounds full and solid!

  • 4

    Three out of Four

    Posted by John Hunter on Aug 26th 2022

    I've used the Heritage strings for about six weeks. The top three strings are everything I want, warm, powerful, lots of harmonic content without being overly bright, comfortable under the hands. And they are friendlier to the bow than most other "jazz" strings. The E string, on this set anyway, doesn't match the others, being rather dull, not much growl or sustain, maybe a dud string. But I love the top three.

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