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#1 daflewis

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:12 AM

Hi everyone,

Welcome to this new sub-forum for Innovation double bass strings.

I've been approached by Innovation and asked to host this area, so I'll be around to answer any questions about the company's products, as well as any general questions that people may have - (bass related, that is!). Please allow me a day or so to reply (though, of course, i'll try and be quicker) but I may need to go back to Tony for more in-depth questions. (He's Innovation's chief tech and the guy who actually hand winds many of the strings)

We're hoping to incorporate some special offers along with announcements of new lines, and I'm working on trying to get some kind of trial system going so that people can try out any set of Innovation strings that they might be interested in for a week or so without the usual expense that tends to go with it.

I'm also going to be working with Innovation to both develop the existing range of strings and create some new lines, and to this end, I'm hoping you might help me by giving me your views on any Innovation strings you have tried (especially if you decided they weren't for you!); as well as telling me what you'd like to see in a new string.
I'm currently putting together a questionnaire which I'll post a link to as soon as I've finished testing it - it would be a great help if you could find a few moments to fill it in.

To give you an idea, two things that I personally think could be of interest are; first, a lower tension jazz/classical string (there are a lot of guys new to double bass who are after something a little easier on their hands) and secondly, a string that is guaranteed to work well with a magnetic pick-up. But if you have any other thoughts, please let me know.

As for now, watch this space!

Cheers,
Daf

Edited by daflewis, 22 July 2011 - 09:12 AM.

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#2 PaulKing

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:02 PM

I'll be watching with interest!
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#3 geoffbassist

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:24 PM

Me too Paul!

Its great to see a British company is doing well.
Thanks for hosting Daf. I will be interested in hearing your experience with innovation and which of their strings you are using.
cheers Geoff

#4 oldslapper

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:55 PM

Innovation have chosen a good man in Daf, look forward to seeing how things develop.

John

#5 daflewis

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:38 PM

Thanks for the words of encouragement guys! I have to admit to being a little nervous, but hopefully it will be fun, informative and a useful resource for everyone.
I've taken a step forward today with the idea of a pool of strings to try out - I got the Go-ahead in principle from the company so as soon as I can get hold of some sets we can get them out there!

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#6 Clarky

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:49 PM

Hi, all good! IMHO Innovation should offer.a low tension gut-alike with metal core, akin to the Presto Ultralight but with Silver Slap like tension (I found the Prestos just that bit harder to play than SS's). My tuwo pennorth!
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#7 TPJ

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:37 PM

Subscribed.

I really enjoyed my time with Honeys, they sounded great on my bass. Innovation seem to have a string for just about everyone.

Thanks for taking this on daf.

#8 daflewis

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:57 PM

Great! Thanks Clarky that's exactly the kind of thing we need! PaulKing has told me that he uses the braided core solos tuned to concert as a low tension slap string and wondered about a nylon coat on those; and I'm currently working with a version of the braided core with ferrous metal wraps for mag pickups, so maybe we could try combining the two...

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#9 daflewis

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:14 PM

Hi TPJ, thanks for that, sorry I was writing that reply (and in the middle of my show) when you posted... Yes, innovation do seem to cover most of the basses! (sorry!) though one thing I'd like to see is a more "growly" jazz string....

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#10 daflewis

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:06 PM

Geoff, sorry I missed that bit about which strings I use.
Well:
I have a full size Emmanuel Wilfer strung with braided core solos tuned to concert pitch
An old English bass (1869) strung with honeys
And a german flat back (c.1890) strung with solo obligatos tuned to concert pitch (but don't tell anyone!) :)

Having said that, they're mostly now strung with a weird and wonderful array of prototypes from Tony!

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#11 geoffbassist

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:04 AM

View Postdaflewis, on Jul 22 2011, 11:06 PM, said:

Geoff, sorry I missed that bit about which strings I use.
Well:
I have a full size Emmanuel Wilfer strung with braided core solos tuned to concert pitch
An old English bass (1869) strung with honeys
And a german flat back (c.1890) strung with solo obligatos tuned to concert pitch (but don't tell anyone!) :)

Having said that, they're mostly now strung with a weird and wonderful array of prototypes from Tony!


Thanks Daf. I think innovation are about the only string manufacturer who's strings I've never played.
My intrest is in string suitable for predominantly jazz. However I usually use a hybrid string and particularly like Evah wiechs and Helicore hybrid lights (which I currently use). I've never tried 'orch tuned' solo strings, but always enjoyed them at solo pitch. I think I would like them as I'm into low tension strings.
Ive also noticed that people who own innovations always seem to rave about them so they must be doing something right!
Let us know how you get on with your new sets/prototypes.
Cheers Geoff

#12 daflewis

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 11:35 AM

View Postgeoffbassist, on Jul 23 2011, 09:04 AM, said:

Thanks Daf. I think innovation are about the only string manufacturer who's strings I've never played.
My intrest is in string suitable for predominantly jazz. However I usually use a hybrid string and particularly like Evah wiechs and Helicore hybrid lights (which I currently use). I've never tried 'orch tuned' solo strings, but always enjoyed them at solo pitch. I think I would like them as I'm into low tension strings.
Ive also noticed that people who own innovations always seem to rave about them so they must be doing something right!
Let us know how you get on with your new sets/prototypes.
Cheers Geoff

Hi Geoff,
Yes, the innovations are loved by many - I think it's because they've pretty much cracked the "gut" sound and feel without the problems of the real thing; the silver slaps particularly are hugely popular with the slap fraternity and I'm hoping to develop one or two ideas on that side as mentioned earlier.
As for the jazz/orchestral side again people looking for a gut sound and feel love them, but my feeling is that there could be a few more versions with a more "modern" sound and a lighter feel, but without losing the essential nature of Innovation...

Edited by daflewis, 23 July 2011 - 11:36 AM.

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#13 owen

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:59 PM

I love my rockabilly strings. I wish I could bow them. I use honeys as a 'nearly there' bodge, and they are also great.
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Posted 25 July 2011 - 08:48 PM

How are silver slaps for pizz?
I need to get a bit slap happy for a new project but, much as I love my Velvet Garbos, I think they're a bit too stiff for slap. I still have my jazz/soul trio on the go so I need strings that will suit both light slappage and jazzy pizz.

Also, what's the difference between the silver and golden slaps? Just the colour?

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#15 daflewis

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 08:54 PM

View Postowen, on Jul 25 2011, 06:59 PM, said:

I love my rockabilly strings. I wish I could bow them. I use honeys as a 'nearly there' bodge, and they are also great.

Hi Owen,
PaulKing uses the braided solos at concert pitch as a slap string and says that apart from a slightly metallic edge to the slap itself he really likes the feel and tone of them - they'd have the advantage over the honeys of being lower tension, a more gutty sound and they bow better too! If you'd like I'll you out a set to try as soon as I get them.
Cheers,
Daf

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#16 daflewis

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:06 AM

View PostTheRev, on Jul 25 2011, 09:48 PM, said:

How are silver slaps for pizz?
I need to get a bit slap happy for a new project but, much as I love my Velvet Garbos, I think they're a bit too stiff for slap. I still have my jazz/soul trio on the go so I need strings that will suit both light slappage and jazzy pizz.

Also, what's the difference between the silver and golden slaps? Just the colour?

Hi Rev,
Well, first the easy question! yes, the colour is the only difference between the golden and silver slaps.

as to pizz on the silver slaps - as a jazz/show player my experience of the silver slaps is a little limited especially compared with some of the other folks round here... - i have played them but not "in anger" so I wonder if someone with more experience could help us out here?

As mentioned before PaulKing slaps the braided solos, but i wonder if there would be enough sustain in them for you; and Owen slaps the honeys (man, that sounds dodgy!) but they would have higher tension than the solos (though, i think, not as high as the garbs?) EDIT - Owen has informed me that he doesn't slap them so please ignore that!

Thank you for mentioning this as it's something else I can look into on the development side - (though i know that doesn't help you right now!) but, again, if there are any current sets that you'd like to try out for a few weeks please let me know and i'll get them out to you as soon as i can.

Cheers,
daf

Edited by daflewis, 26 July 2011 - 09:06 AM.

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#17 jakenewmanbass

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:32 AM

Hi Daf
firstly this is great!!
I have used silver slaps on my 1880 and my Stentor (van bass... lives in a van, goes everywhere with little care) for about 3 years.
the van bass is currently strung with E and A Silver slaps and D G super silvers. At first the extra bit of tension on the supers was a bit difficult to handle but a summer season of 100+ sets and it is proving to be a nice mix.
My only concern with silver slaps is that if you really dig in (which I occasionally do) they can choke a bit. I also think they are ok under a bow, but I'm not a serious arco player and can imagine them being a bit scratchy for some.
Overall I think Innovation are great strings and look forward to seeing how they will refine their range... They are very much on the right lines as far as I'm concerned, I'd go so far as to say that they have made my very ordinary stentor sound like an instrument and my rather lovely 1880 blockless wonder sound fab.
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Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:02 AM

Hey Jake. I recently strung my bass with Silver Slaps and while I really like the tension for slapping I'm finding them a little bit loose for pizz. I thought about getting the Super Silvers but nobody here had any opinion of them so I stuck with the Slaps, how much different would you say the tension is?

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:18 AM

Just for clarity, I do not and never have slapped the honeys.
I also do not slap when I play. I like the rockabillys for the low tension and mellow tone.

View Postdaflewis, on Jul 26 2011, 01:06 AM, said:

Hi Rev,
Well, first the easy question! yes, the colour is the only difference between the golden and silver slaps.

as to pizz on the silver slaps - as a jazz/show player my experience of the silver slaps is a little limited especially compared with some of the other folks round here... - i have played them but not "in anger" so I wonder if someone with more experience could help us out here?

As mentioned before PaulKing slaps the braided solos, but i wonder if there would be enough sustain in them for you; and Owen slaps the honeys (man, that sounds dodgy!) but they would have higher tension than the solos (though, i think, not as high as the garbos?)

Thank you for mentioning this as it's something else I can look into on the development side - (though i know that doesn't help you right now!) but, again, if there are any current sets that you'd like to try out for a few weeks please let me know and i'll get them out to you as soon as i can.

Cheers,
daf

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#20 daflewis

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:52 AM

Ah! sorry Owen, my mistake - when you described your strings as "rockabilly strings" i just assumed you meant the style - Thanks for the clarification - I've edited the earlier post.


Hi Jake, thanks for that - and I had no idea you could actually bow the slaps - I thought the nylon coating would preclude that totally. I shall have to give it a try....

Edited by daflewis, 26 July 2011 - 09:08 AM.

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#21 jakenewmanbass

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:20 AM

View Postthisnameistaken, on Jul 26 2011, 08:02 AM, said:

Hey Jake. I recently strung my bass with Silver Slaps and while I really like the tension for slapping I'm finding them a little bit loose for pizz. I thought about getting the Super Silvers but nobody here had any opinion of them so I stuck with the Slaps, how much different would you say the tension is?
Hi Kev, they are probably about 70% along the way of the difference between silvers and Spirocores, definitely looser than most steels I've played, they feel a bit unyielding at first compared to silvers but as I said after a bit of playing in I'm thinking I prefer them, I would be concerned about the extra tension for the E and A (which I don't have) but I'm sure I'd get used to that too in time... any more questions feel free to ask.
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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:37 AM

View Postdaflewis, on Jul 26 2011, 01:06 AM, said:

Hi Rev,


as to pizz on the silver slaps - as a jazz/show player my experience of the silver slaps is a little limited especially compared with some of the other folks round here... - i have played them but not "in anger" so I wonder if someone with more experience could help us out here?

Thank you for mentioning this as it's something else I can look into on the development side - (though i know that doesn't help you right now!) but, again, if there are any current sets that you'd like to try out for a few weeks please let me know and i'll get them out to you as soon as i can.

Cheers,
daf

I have tried the Honeys on my Eminence and though they were warmer than the stock Helicore hybrids, I did miss some of the attack. Having said that, they were a second hand set, so all the attack may have been played out.

If there are trial strings on offer, I'd love to try a set of silver (or golden) slaps and see how they compare to my now ageing set of Velvets. I have 5 gigs over the August bank holiday weekend, which would be an ideal opportunity to give them a trail run and write up a little review?

Dave

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#23 daflewis

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:39 PM

View PostTheRev, on Jul 26 2011, 12:37 PM, said:

I have tried the Honeys on my Eminence and though they were warmer than the stock Helicore hybrids, I did miss some of the attack. Having said that, they were a second hand set, so all the attack may have been played out.

If there are trial strings on offer, I'd love to try a set of silver (or golden) slaps and see how they compare to my now ageing set of Velvets. I have 5 gigs over the August bank holiday weekend, which would be an ideal opportunity to give them a trail run and write up a little review?

Dave

Hi Dave,
The honeys won't have as much attack due to the gutty nature of the sound (i wouldn't have thought it was just their being dead) which is why I was looking at developing a new string with a bit more growl, sustain and attack to it.

As for trying out the slaps, PM me your address and I'll do my best to sort something in time for your gigs - and a review would be Really great! Thanks.

Cheers,
Daf

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#24 Beer of the Bass

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:42 PM

Regarding the sustain and growl potential of the Honeys, I've recently changed from Spiro Mittels to Honeys. At first I was a bit concerned by the softer attack, but the sustain is still very good, and I can get a gut-like snappiness to the attack on the G-string when i dig in, which is nice. With the bow, they're much warmer sounding and more controllable than the spiros, though occasionally i'll get a slightly dry, reedy tone from the upper strings, which is also a gut-like property, I guess. I've not found them to be easily slappable, but that's not a priority for me.
I wonder how much brighter sounding you could go with a synthetic core string while keeping their desirable properties? It strikes me that people looking for maximum growl, sustain and attack are already quite well served elsewhere and might not be the obvious market for Innovations.
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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:43 PM

View PostClarky, on Jul 22 2011, 08:49 PM, said:

Hi, all good! IMHO Innovation should offer.a low tension gut-alike with metal core, akin to the Presto Ultralight but with Silver Slap like tension (I found the Prestos just that bit harder to play than SS's). My tuwo pennorth!

Exactly what I'm after too!
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#26 daflewis

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 02:19 PM

View PostBeer of the Bass, on Jul 26 2011, 01:42 PM, said:

I wonder how much brighter sounding you could go with a synthetic core string while keeping their desirable properties? It strikes me that people looking for maximum growl, sustain and attack are already quite well served elsewhere and might not be the obvious market for Innovations.

Hi Beer, I think you misunderstand me, We're not talking about creating a spiro clone here - the essential nature of the synthetic core is important, but I personally have found that, particularly on the lower two strings that I would like a bit more definition and I think that there is room, especially on the jazz/classical side for a couple more string types that may have a wider appeal.

Edited by daflewis, 26 July 2011 - 03:15 PM.

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#27 Beer of the Bass

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:31 PM

Certainly, I'd be interested to check out anything that is developed in that direction. I keep switching back and forth between the Spiros and Honeys as both have certain things I like, so something in between could be perfect. I feel like the Honey G string gives me exactly what I need for pizz, but there is a softness to the attack on the lower strings which isn't always what I'm after.
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#28 daflewis

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

View PostBeer of the Bass, on Jul 26 2011, 06:31 PM, said:

Certainly, I'd be interested to check out anything that is developed in that direction. I keep switching back and forth between the Spiros and Honeys as both have certain things I like, so something in between could be perfect. I feel like the Honey G string gives me exactly what I need for pizz, but there is a softness to the attack on the lower strings which isn't always what I'm after.

I'm totally with you there.... Hopefully We can come up with something! :)

Edited by daflewis, 26 July 2011 - 07:01 PM.

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#29 thisnameistaken

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:30 PM

View Postjakesbass, on Jul 26 2011, 11:20 AM, said:

Hi Kev, they are probably about 70% along the way of the difference between silvers and Spirocores, definitely looser than most steels I've played, they feel a bit unyielding at first compared to silvers but as I said after a bit of playing in I'm thinking I prefer them, I would be concerned about the extra tension for the E and A (which I don't have) but I'm sure I'd get used to that too in time... any more questions feel free to ask.

Cheers Jake I might give them a try if I struggle to get used to the Slaps. I was going to get them instead but I wasn't sure what the tension was going to be like, I didn't want anything too taut.

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:58 PM

View Postowen, on Jul 25 2011, 06:59 PM, said:

I love my rockabilly strings. I wish I could bow them. I use honeys as a 'nearly there' bodge, and they are also great.
Me too.
Cheers, Richard.

TheRubberDucks.co.uk - Funkie Punk Originals
BadFaith.org.uk - Blues, Rock 'n' Roll Covers
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