Passione Upright Bass Strings
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Pirastro released these steel rope-core strings, which are tailor-made for orchestral bow style (arco) players, in 2010. For a metal-based string, they are not "metallic" sounding at all, and have pretty "average" tension and feel.
They're not really aimed at the folks who play pizzicato most of the time - they're intentionally a little "dark" and don't have a lot of definition when plucked, especially the E and A strings. Orchestral/symphonic players love them because they have big, projecting sound under the bow. Nice clarity, with a full, rich tone, and they're reportedly quite easy to bow.
Passione strings are also available (and in stock) in STARK (Heavy) and SOLO Gauges.
The core sound is full, round and warm and has a complex overtone spectrum which results in a deep and noble sound with great projection and power. The sustain characteristics of the string allow a strong, big and warm pizzicato - Bass PASSIONE is a modern and very reliable steel core string suitable for the demanding bassist.
The response is incredibly easy and flexible, the notes are separate and distinctively clean when played in fast passages. No matter whether playing Spiccato or Legato, the sound can be altered as desired independently from the bowing speed. The big advantage of the Passione strings is that the sound does not need to be developed by using excess bow pressure as the strings vibrate freely and easily. The set is extremely well-balanced concerning tension and sound. Immediate playability and exceptional tuning stability are important additional advantages which offer great comfort to the bassist.
- At the tailpiece end:
- Medium Strings: brown spiral on white
- At the peg end: G – brown; D – red; A – black; E – green; H5/Low B – yellow; Extended E – green
4/4 bass? Pirastro designs these 3/4 size bass strings to fit on a standard 3/4 size bass and most 4/4 basses. They may very well fit your bass if it is larger than 3/4. For your reference, the length of a representative string, as measured against the bass tailpiece to the nut is 55.5 inches (51.5" playable, 4" for silk-wrapped afterlength), plus an additional silk-wrapped 11.75 inches to handle stringing in the pegbox.
Overall, decent strings. They have a balanced tone, though less punch on the A and E than I prefer. Pretty good arco response. Decent pizz sound, though subdued, would not be my first choice for jazz.
I put these on my bass in November 2021. They provide a really clear tone, which I like. However, the low strings don't have much of a growl and sound a little subdued. I would pair the G & D strings with A & E (or Long E for extensions in my case!) from a brand that is going to give you a nice punchy sound in the bass. I'm thinking I might replace the low strings with Spirocores.
These strings are very bow (arco) friendly. Perfect for any orchestral setting. Very easy to get used to. Also in my honest opinion they play great for pizz. They are no Spiros not by a long shot, but I was surprised to the nice rich sound they produce even when used with an amp. When played pizz, they remind me in many ways to that Bass sound of the Big Bands from years ago. To be honest, unless I am requested I will use these for both Orchestral as well as some light Jazz. I hope this helps in your string selection.
I read a positive review about these strings deep in the Talkbass forum and, after strongly disliking the Evah Pirazzis, I was nervous to try anything other than my treasured Belcantos. Super happy I tried the Passiones! My teacher was also pleasantly surprised with their sound on my beginner bass. Pros: - Ridiculously easy to play - HUGE sound - Very pleasant thumb position sound - Much cheaper than Belcantos Neutral: - Similar pizz sound to Belcantos (something I was really worried about) Cons: - If you're a heavy bow-er, these may not work for you; this was a frustrating transition from the super-stiff Belcantos - The break-in period is not pleasant. Maybe it was just me, but it was way more frustrating than the Belcantos. - Would not recommend as a jazzer/hybrid string Mileage may vary, but I'm super pleased with these strings so far. Looking forward to seeing how they age!