Rockabilly REDS - 90140RR Med Tension Red Strings
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Innovation Double Bass Strings have a unique, non-metallic core which provide a gut-like tone without the cost or maintenance of gut upright bass strings. They hold their pitch well in climate and temperature changes, and most of their strings are equally suited for pizzicato (plucking) and arco (bowing).
Innovation Rockabilly Strings were the first offering in their "Slap" line of strings and have a distinctive black outer winding over a synthetic core. These new strings have a brash RED outer winding - and their tension and tone is designed specifically for the needs of rockabilly bassists. They provide warm, dark-ish tone with decent volume, making them a great string for players who play predominantly slap-style. They're similar, but slightly different from the black rockabilly set.
As with the other Innovation strings, their decidedly gut-like tone - and softness - makes them a great alternative to the expense and maintenance requirements of real gut strings.
Players report that the Rockabilly strings are a good synthetic slap-style string - and they have the side benefit that they actually sound quite good for straight pizz playing as well (our own Christopher particularly likes the G-string's pizz tone).
Note: All of the Innovation strings do not contain any ferrous materials; they are not suitable for use with a magnetic pickup, like the Schaller we carry. They will work with all typical piezo-based pickups (like the Realist, Full Circle, and all the K&K pickups and systems).
Innovation designs these 3/4 size bass strings to fit on a standard 3/4 size bass. They may very well fit your bass if it is larger than 3/4. For your reference, the lengths of the string, as measured against the bass tailpiece to the nut is 51.5 inches, plus an additional 17 inches to handle stringing in the headstock.
- Ball end to nut (Afterlength + Playing Length): 51.5 inches/136cm
- Afterlength (Ball end to bridge): 5.5 inches/14cm
- Wound top of string (pegbox): 17 inches/43cm
- G - .074
- D - .085
- A - .100
- E - .121
2014 is the year of the color red, or so I've been told. In commemoration of such a monumental event, Innovation has released a new set of strings: The Rockabilly Reds. All kidding aside, I had the pleasure of trying out a set of these new strings on both my '54 Kay and a month long tour with a carved German shop bass, so we have become mighty fine friends over the past few months, to say the least. My usual set up is Innovation SuperSilvers on the E & A and GoldenSlaps for the G & D, for comparison.
The Rockabilly Reds, much like Innovation's standard Rockabilly strings, lean towards a medium tension string thanks to the nylon "tape" windings, which make the string stiffer than a "wire" winding. Despite that stiffness, they are still quite easy on the fingers (I did thirteen 2 hour gigs back to back and didn't even come close to developing a blister). The pizz sound, especially on the carved bass, is huge, with a great mix of articulation and that gut-like thud that roots players are accustomed to. The E has a good amount of growl and sustain to it, which -- although not my cup of tea -- could be just what some people are looking for. Playing pizz, you really need to "lay into" these strings to get the most out of them... and when you do, they sure do have a lot to give. The carved bass had Spiros on it when it was put in my hands, and the Reds gave them a run for their money as far as overall output.
Playing Slap, I find the tension a little high (maybe I'm a sissy [...I am]) but the sound, especially on the G and D, is very gut-like and organic, with a nice click. The G, especially, which has a slightly different wrap than the other strings, is very close in tone to a gut string, with nice organic-sounding articulation to the front of the note.
The Rockabilly Reds, while not a far departure from Innovation's other offerings, are a great choice for someone who is doing an equal amount of Pizzicato and slap play (they don't bow too badly either, although the arco sound is certainly not going to fit well in an orchestral context... nor would the red color!) But - speaking of which - that red does look mighty fine next to a blonde bass, if I do say so myself.