White Tapewound Upright Bass Strings
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Do you need a durable alternative to more costly and problematic gut strings, for playing aggressive styles like rockabilly, or acoustic bluegrass - maybe even old-school jazz? Presto! I have your answer.
These strings have developed a cult-like following with many bassists over the last 2+ decades that we've carried them. Their design is what sets them apart, rather than a solid core or steel coating... well, how about I let them tell you about it:
"First is the inner core which is a braided ropewound cord consisting of steel and silk. Silk is the key to the low tension, gut like tones and the steel adds tuning and intonation stability while adding the ability to work with magnetic pickups. This cord is then tightly wrapped with a blend of non-ferrous and noble metals (copper, nickel, zinc, tungsten, etc.). Finally, they are wrapped with a specially shaped and ground polymer with no color additives giving Eurosonic’s a unique, almost translucent look. Eurosonic Bass Strings have a gauge that is comparable to many old gut strings (new gut strings are MUCH thicker as they have not yet stretched)."
Bottom line, they are a nice alternative to gut, and have a thick attack and less pronounced sustain than some other strings. Their Polyamide (what?!?) wrap, whatever that is (it's like nylon), makes for a gentle experience for both hands, and though bowing is far from great, it can be done in a pinch*.
If you play slap rockabilly, or prefer a very low tension string, choose the Ultralights. However, if you play classic jazz, or do a mix of all styles including slap, I'd recommend the Lights, as the Ultralight strings can be a little slack for normal clarity. The Mediums are a higher tension that may not be desirable given this string's basic design goal, but I also carry them for those that prefer a stiffer string with the vintage character of these unique strings.
|Ultra Light||.065 inches,
It's worth noting that these strings, despite their generally lighter tension, are thicker in diameter than most "regular" upright strings. This is due to their multi-layered construction of low-mass materials, and their Polyamide (like Perlon or Nylon) tape outer windings, which are thicker than steel tape windings. This means that some players may have to slightly widen the slots in the nut and/or bridge to properly accommodate these strings without binding or pinching. This is a normal, common thing, and if you have questions or concerns about doing so, let us know. Our (always included) stringing tip sheet has some tips and instructions should make it easy and clear.
* For bowing, we recommend that you gently scuff the bowing area with fine sandpaper, emery cloth, or very fine steel wool. To ease adhesion, you can apply rosin directly on the strings. You may need to experiment with a different grade/viscosity of rosin than you normally use, as well. Ultimately, these strings are kind of tough to bow well, but it can be done if you're resourceful. I've even heard from two different players that wrapping a piece of common invisible tape around the string where the bow contacts it can create a decent bowing surface - strange solution, but those players swore by it!
Silk Winding Color Codes:
- Ultralight: yellow with red stripe at ball end, solid yellow with red band at headstock end
- Light: yellow with aquamarine stripe at ball end, solid aquamarine at headstock end
- Medium: yellow with black stripe at ball end, solid red with black band at headstock end
Rich, booming, buttery sound. Yes! The mediums are loud. But it's Bluegrass Convention season, and now I'm armed for that darn 16 year old, 5 string banjo player with a year of lessons under his belt. "You won't ambush me this year, short stuff. I'm bringing everything I've got."
Five years ago I put these on my first bass. I just bought a second upright and got another set for it. They are smooth to the touch and sound great. Something that I feel is rather extraordinary is the price. Gollihur barely raised the price 10% in five years, and they were already a bargain!
When I bought my first set of Eurosonic strings, I didn't listen to advice and bought the Medium strings. I had to drill out the slots in the tailpiece because the strings are so thick. Then I bought the Light gauge strings and have been very happy with them. I've never played gut strings, but I really like the feel of the Eurosonic. People are always telling me how good my bass sounds and I get really good volume from the strings.
Using the Krivo bass pickup w/Realist Piezo, K&K Stereo preamp and Eurosonic light strings. All mounted on a 1940 Kay. Playing in a rockabilly Elvis tribute band. The Eurosonic are fantastic for the Bill Black Rockabilly style.
I am using the Krivo magnet upright bass pickup with Eurosonic Ultralight strings (with the Ultralight E swapped out to a Light E to tighten things up) into a Darkglass Microtubes 900 V2 and DG212 with a Digital Audio Wireless U2. The upright I am using is a 1977 Engelhardt ES. With this setup I can knock things off of the walls without any feedback! The Krivo and Eurosonic Ultralights are fantastic for Rockabilly Slap style. This is the TONE FOR SLAP in my humble opinion. The Eurosonics also sound pretty good for Pizzicato as well which was a nice surprise. On my other upright basses with lower tension strings I like to swap out the low E for the next gauge heavier as some lower tension E strings get too floppy. I find the slightly heavier E string balances out the tone between all the strings. The Ultralight E string is fine amplified thru the Darkglass with some EQ adjustment but the slightly heavier Light E string edged it out acoustically so I'm using the Light E string. The feel is better and the amp doesn't require as much EQ tweaking on the amp. The reviews on this site really helped me make an informed decision. Thanks y'all! Mark was super helpful on the phone confirming my intentions and letting me know that the Ultralights are not really meant for Pizzicato or Bowing but for meant for mostly Slapping which was perfect as this is my "Slapper". As I mentioned before I'm able to get a nice enough pizzicato sound which is an extra added bonus!