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.)
What 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!
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!
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.