Musings on Pirastro Strings

My bass recently went under some reconstruction to reset the neck joint. Since it was getting a whole new setup I thought this would be a good time to try some new strings. My search ended with a set of Pirastro Flexocor Deluxe strings.

I’ve always been a fan of Pirastro Flat-Chromesteel and Pirastro Obligato strings. I liked the Flat-Chromesteels a little more but my current set was at least 5 years old. My loaner bass came with Evah Pirazzi Weich strings which worked really well on that bass. I also had a student whose bass had Evah Pirazzi strings and we both liked the Evahs. They responded well, weren’t too stiff, and had a great pizzicato sound. But rather than buy a whole set I bought an Evah Pirazzi A Weich and an Evah D orchestra string so I could try both variations. They are very similar but I liked the orchestra D string a little more. However I wanted more clarity to the pitch and a better bow response.

I perused the string descriptions on the Pirastro website. But they weren’t all that helpful. They seemed to say almost every string had great bow response and stability.

Flexocor Deluxe

Description of Flexocor Deluxe from Pirastro website:
-suitable for solo passages of orchestral performance, classical orchestral repertoire and pizzicato passages
-A string which likes to be challenged to translate every minute impulse from bow or finger into brilliantly clear or voluminously dark sounds with lightning speed.
-Great wealth of tone colors: a brilliant and bright or a dark and big sound – everything is possible.
-full resonance and unmatched projection
-outstandingly easy playability at all dynamic levels
-Intonation: The strings offer the performer a perfect sense of control and security at all times.
-immediately playable and outstanding stability
-instantaneous response

Hmmm.. Seemed a bit better than the other strings descriptions. I remember not really caring for the regular Flexocor strings but the Flexocor Deluxes sounded intriguing and exactly what I was looking for – bow response and pitch clarity. So I ordered a G string to try out from Bob’s House of Bass / Prodigy Strings due to their great prices and it’s always good to support a small business.

After setting up the G string my initial reactions were mixed. I just wasn’t sure how I felt about them. But the broke in quickly and noticed that any tiny changes in my bowing were immediately apparent in the sound. I found the G to be interesting and complex. I don’t think I’ve ever played a string that responded so quickly. The pitch and sound is extremely clear and focused. The bow response is amazing.

This was what I was looking for and after just one day with the string I purchased the rest of the set.

After the initial tuning they were instantly stable and stayed right on pitch.
The pizzicato is a good orchestral pizz. It doesn’t sustain or resonate as much as the Flat-Chromesteels or Obligatos but it’s not as dead as some orchestral strings I’ve played. The arco sound is warm and rich. They’re not as loud as the Flat-Chromes but I think they’ll project just fine due to their clarity and focus.


Flat-Chromesteels

from Pirastro:

-very clear and brilliant sound
-especially suited for arco and soloistic playing
-great projection and a sound that stands out
-A precise bowing technique is essential.
-instantly playable and absolutely stable
-very quick response

I completely agree about their projection with a sound that stands out!
These are loud and clear with a pizzicato that rings and sustains. A great solo string but I also used it in ensemble settings. I liked their long sustain when I played in a rock band.
These are a great string when you need a solo sound or to really project. They can be a bit raucous at first but they break in nicely and retain the volume.


Pirastro Obligato

Pirastro description:

-Obligato strings have a core made from a modern synthetic multifilament fibre which is wound with chrome steel.
-bright, brilliant and focused sound
-growly tone especially true for the E-string
-very quick response
-suitable for arco and pizzicato
-exceptional well-balanced set
-completely impervious to changes in temperature and humidity

I find them very warm after they break in.
Low tension. They do take a while to settle in both for sound and tuning stability. Easy to bow but don’t have the fast response of a higher tension string with a metal core.
Amazing pizzicato. Could easily be used for jazz. The pizz definitely was a beautifully warm growl.
I probably wouldn’t use them for a solo but in an ensemble their warm sounds really blends well.
The problem with Obligatos is the E string. It rolls when bowed and really slows down the response. I have a C extension on my bass and when I played Obligatos I would use a different string for the low C.

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