Strings

The Stagg EUB comes with a set of pretty basic steel core strings. For pizzicato they are not that bad. They have pretty low tension and play nice. Under the bow they are not that good. On my new Stagg the quality of the strings was ok but on the old Stagg the strings itself were not completely even making them even harder to bow.

Strings are one of the most personal things on a bass. Some prefer bright and some prefer dark sounding strings. High tension versus low(er) tension is also a matter of taste as is steelcore versus synthetic core… I personally like my basses to sound dark and mellow and the strings should have not too much tension and be bowable. I tried several sets on the Staggs:

StaggEUB_stringsStock strings
As I said these are pretty basic. They do not feel very flexible when off the bass but when on the bass they play pretty nice. They sound not very deep and kind of metallic (which is not strange being steel core strings). They are pretty cheap (about 30 euro) and certainly not the worst string on the market. In fact I think they offer a very decent price-quality ratio.

SpirocoresSpirocore medium
I also tried the well known and loved Spiros (medium) on the Stagg. Firstly, I do NOT like Spiro’s. I think the tension is too high and the sustain way too long. But I thought I would give them a shot on the Stagg. I tried them on the old Stagg and to be honest I was kind of afraid the headstock would not take the tension!!

On the Stagg the strings felt even tighter than on my acoustic double bass. The sound was better however than the stock Stagg strings but also typical Spiro so not to my tasting. Maybe the the low tension Spiros would give a better sound and feel on the Stagg. I quickly took them off again and sold them to another bassist.

PrestoBalanceOrchestraStringsPresto Balance Orchestra
After a lot of searching on the web and Talkbass I decided to give a set of Presto Balance Orchestra strings a try. Especially after I got them cheap (used for a short while by a guy on a quest for the perfect string). These strings are also steel core just like the Stagg and Spiros but should be a lot easier under the bow.

Well, I did not like them. The sound was nicer, darker than the Spiros except the A string that sounded really metallic and quite different from the other strings. I found the Prestos quite horrible to bow. I am a beginner on the bow but I could get a much better sound from the Spiros than from the Prestos! So off they went. They are for sale.

EvahPirazziStringsEvah Pirazzi Weich
The last set I tried was a set of used Evah Pirazzi Weich I bought online. I have a set of Pirazzis on my acoustic double bass and I really like them. But they are pretty expensive, almost as much as the black Stagg bass was! But when I could buy a used set at a reasonable price I decided to take the plunge.

Well, it felt like coming home! A beautiful dark sound, not too much tension and easy to bow. All things I like in a string. This set is a keeper, that is one thing I know for sure! After I decided to keep the string I cut them to the right length as Pirazzis are always pretty long. The headstock now looks nice and tidy.

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4 thoughts on “Strings

  1. Hi Erik, thanks for such a valuable site. It is a truly valuable resource for all of us who are considering a Stagg EUB!

    Just a quick question – I’m looking at buying some used strings along with the Stagg RDL, but I’m a bit confused as to whether I should buy 3/4 length or 4/4 length strings. I saw in the picture of your Spirocores that you got the “S42” variety which seems to be 4/4.

    I tried searching for a manual to clarify the string length, but couldn’t find anything. Your advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for you kind words!

    On this thread in Basschat.co.uk you will find quite some discussion on string length. Conclusion: some 3/4 strings fit and some don’t.

    As the Stagg has a pretty long afterlength it could happen that the silks at the top will be over the nut and on the fingerboard. I know I had that one string in all 4 sets I tried, had a silk that was about 1 cm too long. I regret to say that I do not remember which one exactly but it was one of the Spiros, I think the E or A. It looked a bit odd but did not affect the sound in this case. Both the Pirazzis and Prestos have enough clearance. See pictures below.

    The Prestos

    The Pirazzis

    The picture on the site of the Spiros is just one I picked from the web, to be honest I do not know whether mine were 3/4 or 4/4 as I had bought those used… So if you could get the string of your liking in 4/4 length that would probably be a good idea.

    So I’m afraid I cannot give you a conclusive answer on this question…

    Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for all this info, Erik. Rally useful stuff.

      I’m just looking to upgrade the strings on my Stagg, from the stock strings supplied, and have been considering Spriocores, so I’m interested in your comments on them. I’ve been trying to decide between the medium and lights. I do like a rich, dark sound, so I was leaning towards the medium. Also, I was getting some buzz when I tried to lower the action a bit, because the neck had no profile, I’ve just had it looked at by a local luthier, who slackened the truss rod and bent the neck slightly between wood blocks, and filed down the nut slightly. Now there is just enough of a profile to have a nice action without buzzing. However, he suggests sticking to mediums to keep the tension, as that will help keep the profile on the neck. Plus, as light strings move more, this might re-introduce some buzz, unless I raise the action. But then read what you wrote about the tension. So I’d be really interested in you comments on this,:

      – Is their tension really much higher than the Stagg strings it came with, which are also medium?
      – If I get the 4/4 length, which are meant for a 110 cm scale, presumably they’ll need to be tuned slightly slacker on the 106 cm scale Stagg?
      – Again, with the 4/4/ strings, will they need cutting down? And if so, do they need gluing or similar at the cut end?

      Sorry it’s turned into a bit of an essay!

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      1. Hi Mike,

        Thanks for your comment.

        I’m very curious how your luthier would have been able to “bend” the neck… Mine shaved quite a bit of the fingerboard to get the desired space for the strings to vibrate freely… And the advice to stick to mediums so the added tension will keep the profile of the neck…Mmm…

        But in answer to your question… It has been a while and all I can remember is that the tension with the Spiros felt really high. I don’t know if this was just the feel or if the strings actually had a lot more tension compared to the stock ones. As I wrote, I do not like Spirocore strings and I have never tried the lights. So I’m afraid I cannot be of much help here…

        The Stagg scale length is not that long with 106 cm (it is exactly the same as my normal bass) it is just the large afterlength that could make 4/4 strings a better choice. I remember one of the Spiro strings having a silk winding on top that would come over the top nut.. The 4/4 will have somewhat lower tension and could very well be a good compromise between the 3/4 medium and 3/4 lights.

        Cutting strings is not something I would recommend. It is bad for the resell value and can weaken the string. Just wind the excess on the peg of let it hang loose. I once cut a set of Pirazzi strings and used a dab of superglue on the silk to keep them from unravelling. But again, I would not recommend it…

        I’m sorry I cannot be of more help.

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