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  #61  
Old 08-31-2007, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
Paul, Please come by and bring your bow. Play in one of the orchestras for one night and then tell me it's not a problem!

If it was jazz pizz, I don't think it would have been so hard but with the bow, yikes!
What kind of man are you?
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  #62  
Old 08-31-2007, 09:46 PM
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Unhappy what what?

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What kind of man are you?
Paul, please keep the questions simple..
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  #63  
Old 09-01-2007, 08:47 PM
Jeff Tranauskas Jeff Tranauskas is offline
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Default Low b is now gone

Ken,
I am sorry to hear that the mighty 5er is gone for good.
Did you try playing it when it was strung with a high C?
If so, did you feel the high C was any benefit to the style of music that you play?
For me the age old saying "some is good, more is better" applies with regard to string quantity. I've had a Shen Willow previously that I played side by side with the 5er and ended up going with the 5 over the 4.
Of course my skill set ( on a scale of 1-10) is in the negative numbers.
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  #64  
Old 09-02-2007, 12:42 AM
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Cool Hi 'C'..

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Originally Posted by Jeff Tranauskas View Post
Ken,
I am sorry to hear that the mighty 5er is gone for good.
Did you try playing it when it was strung with a high C?
If so, did you feel the high C was any benefit to the style of music that you play?
For me the age old saying "some is good, more is better" applies with regard to string quantity. I've had a Shen Willow previously that I played side by side with the 5er and ended up going with the 5 over the 4.
Of course my skill set ( on a scale of 1-10) is in the negative numbers.
Well Jeff, I did play it for a bit but mostly for the buyer to listen to it from various distances to judge its tone.

I personally would not play it with a high C. By the way, all the Strings put on were older used Spiro Reds and not new strings. My point on the strings was that the Bass sounded great with Spiros and more open than I had ever heard it. Also, the tension was actually loosed than it was with either 2/3 Flex/Perm, 4/1 Flex/Perm and maybe even all 5 Flatchromes. The Reds really sounded good on the Bass and the Spiro 'edge' was gone 10 feet away from the Bass, much to my surprise.

For Jazz, that Bass sounded great with the Reds. For me now that I have been shedding some rapid Extension passages I have decided to stick with a 4/ext or just 4 as needed for orchestra playing. On the other hand, I did a Jazz duo last week in Philly with a great Pianist and used my Bisiach with Ext. The Bisiach has a Thomastic Superflexible/Ropecore Ext E/C string on it and sounds huge for Pizz or bowing but doesn't Bow as well as Flexocor. It's sound makes up for the extra effort with the Bow but I still might go back to Flex on that E/C as it's all I had handy for Jeff when he finished up the Ext job.

The High 'C; to me is more of a musical thing than a string choice. If I were doing only Jazz and playing a 5er (that Bass!), I might use Reds and a low B, just like Uncle Pauly does..
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  #65  
Old 09-04-2007, 10:21 AM
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Well, I'm afraid I've become a 5-er guy for life. I'll just have to put up with the infrequent unintended double stops. I'd really miss the low string and the way it plays just like all the others. Theres just nothing like dropping down that extra octave to C or D or B or even the Eb in the jazz ensembles. I don't know if I would ever go to more than 5, but 5 seems more and more comfortable now that I'm using them on all the basses. I do think it would be quite confusing trying to switch back and forth unless I just spent all day everyday switching basses. Back to practice .....
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  #66  
Old 09-04-2007, 11:15 AM
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Lightbulb 5er vs Ext.. Brand'

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Originally Posted by David Powell View Post
Well, I'm afraid I've become a 5-er guy for life. I'll just have to put up with the infrequent unintended double stops. I'd really miss the low string and the way it plays just like all the others. Theres just nothing like dropping down that extra octave to C or D or B or even the Eb in the jazz ensembles. I don't know if I would ever go to more than 5, but 5 seems more and more comfortable now that I'm using them on all the basses. I do think it would be quite confusing trying to switch back and forth unless I just spent all day everyday switching basses. Back to practice .....
I hear you loud and clear about the double stops. That was a major problem for me and sometimes just a single stop but missing by a string..

Last night I took out one of my Excerpt Books and tried one of the Brandenbergs' using a 4-str w/Ext. It was much easier playing it with only 4 strings and the open 'C' but when I had to quickly hit a D or Eb and jump into a run a string or two up it wasn't so easy. Hitting a shorter sounding quarter note or eighth is not so bad jumping back on the extension but missing the string entirely and playing a completely wrong note is much worse I think.

Now I am working on the Storm parts with a CD to play it up to speed. Again, when not playing below the E, I don't have that 'B' pushing the other strings further away from me of have confusion of which string I'm on or the occasional Dbl Stop mistake.

Also, I've done a few Jazz gigs and playing some Lows on the Extension when wanted is much easier then playing them when written!
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  #67  
Old 09-04-2007, 11:45 AM
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Also, I've done a few Jazz gigs and playing some Lows on the Extension when wanted is much easier then playing them when written!
You always make it sound like jazz players don't have to deal with as many probllems as classical players and I think your right.
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  #68  
Old 09-04-2007, 12:14 PM
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Cool as many?

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You always make it sound like jazz players don't have to deal with as many problems as classical players and I think your right.
Well Uncle Pauly, I too am a Jazz player as well BUT my whole purpose of getting or rather trying the 5er was for playing Classical Orchestra Music.

I don't know if Classical players have more problems with a 5er like mentioned above but being that we play mainly with the Bow and 100% what's written on the page, I would venture as far as saying that Classical players have different problems..
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  #69  
Old 09-06-2007, 05:55 PM
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As a jazz player and mostly classical listener, I think the classical players have a huge challenge in making the music their own. With jazz it kind of starts as "your own" in the ideal world.

I will admit experiencing a certain sense of satisfaction after having come back from an annual festival that features diverse music and players and out of 4 DB players there, I had the only large 5-string. No-one had extensions. We were covering Chitlins Con Carne and bouncing down to that low C after a couple of choruses in the higher octave and hearing it reverberate across the stage and out to the audience;- no matter what the other players could do, that moment belonged to me. I think it might have scored lowest note played at that festival, unless some keyboard went a step lower. And I played all of Foot Prints arco, again using the lower G on the B string as the pickup to the head instead of the higher G. That's a dark foot print.

Paul, it was you and that Bohmann that did this to me. And I thank you!
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  #70  
Old 09-06-2007, 06:15 PM
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Exclamation

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Originally Posted by David Powell View Post
As a jazz player and mostly classical listener, I think the classical players have a huge challenge in making the music their own. With jazz it kind of starts as "your own" in the ideal world.

I will admit experiencing a certain sense of satisfaction after having come back from an annual festival that features diverse music and players and out of 4 DB players there, I had the only large 5-string. No-one had extensions. We were covering Chitlins Con Carne and bouncing down to that low C after a couple of choruses in the higher octave and hearing it reverberate across the stage and out to the audience;- no matter what the other players could do, that moment belonged to me. I think it might have scored lowest note played at that festival, unless some keyboard went a step lower. And I played all of Foot Prints arco, again using the lower G on the B string as the pickup to the head instead of the higher G. That's a dark foot print.

Paul, it was you and that Bohmann that did this to me. And I thank you!
You're most welcome....due to finances, i'm selling the Bohmman. Any takers, Kenny- Boy?
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  #71  
Old 09-06-2007, 06:42 PM
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Question Hummmm???

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You're most welcome....due to finances, i'm selling the Bohmman. Any takers, Kenny- Boy?
Just when I thought 'me and 5-strings' were 'Oil and Water'.. Ok, ok.. Make me an offer I can't refuse!
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  #72  
Old 07-22-2009, 04:32 PM
Eric Hochberg Eric Hochberg is offline
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Default Just an observation

I have the good fortune to be playing some jazz bass with the Grant Park Symphony here in Chicago tonight and Friday. We are playing Rodrigo's Concierto (Sketches of Spain) Adagio and some Brazilian music, including a Gil Evans arrangement of Corcovado. The concert features the singer Luciana Souza.

I don't have many opportunities to play in an orchestral setting and have been closely checking out the bass section. On the extension front, here's the tally:
3 mechanicals, two fingered (one without extra stops) 1 bass extensionless, and one 5 string Poelmann. I know this has been discussed, but watching the players reaching up on those extensions, I can't help but think the 5 string bass just makes more sense. I'm going to try and talk with Andy Anderson, who plays the 5 stringer, to find out what brought him to it, as extensions seem to be the norm in the states.
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Last edited by Eric Hochberg; 07-23-2009 at 07:55 AM.
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  #73  
Old 07-22-2009, 05:31 PM
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Cool humm..

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Originally Posted by Eric Hochberg View Post
I have the good fortune to be playing some jazz bass with the Grant Park Symphony here in Chicago tonight and Friday. We are playing Rodrigo's Concierto (Sketches of Spain) Adagio and some Brazilian music, including a Gil Evans arrangement of Corcovado. The concert features the singer Luciana Souza.

I don't have many opportunities to play in an orchestral setting and have been closely checking out the bass section. On the extension front, here's the tally:
3 mechanicals, two fingered (without stops I think) 1 bass extensionless, and one 5 string Poelmann. I know this has been discussed, but watching the players reaching up on those extensions, I can't help but think the 5 string bass just makes more sense. I'm going to try and talk with Andy Anderson, who plays the 5 stringer, to find out what brought him to it, as extensions seem to be the norm in the states.
Well, here's my take on it. If playing some moving lines and octaves, the 5er works best. If you have your speed and practice it, the capo extension can do quite a bit. If just a note here and there on the bottom, I think the 5th string is in the way for the majority of the time you don't need it. Also, the entire time you are playing on a bigger and wider neck even when playing the normal 4-strings.

I think that every 5-string player says they prefer it to the extension. Every capo extension player says the same about their choice as well.
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  #74  
Old 07-23-2009, 06:34 AM
Joel Larsson Joel Larsson is offline
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For me, an extension is a great way to bring a four-stringer down low, without converting it to a fiver. I know a few people who actually say that their bass has sounded better with the E/C than it did as a regular four-string. I think 'more open' was what they said. While on the other hand, a fifth string might choke the bass, plus it gets über difficult to set it up properly, so as to avoid playing on three strings at the same time without having to reach a mile for the G, and it also has to be able to carry those low notes. Big enough, basically... which in itself might restrict playability. A fiver that really works is dang hard to find and usually costs a lot. But yes, there are times when a fiver is simply priceless. Most of the really great ones are owned by the wealthier orchestras. A newer fiver is of course affordable, but if you already have eight Panormo-class basses in the section, people just won't ever get really satisfied with the sound that it produces. In which case, of course, it's basically a luxury problem.
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  #75  
Old 07-23-2009, 07:52 AM
Eric Hochberg Eric Hochberg is offline
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I spoke with Andy last night and to quote him, the 5 string seemed "a more elegant solution" than the extension. I played his bass and it is very easy to get around on. I assumed all 5 stringers would have massive feeling necks and fingerboards but this isn't the case with his at all. The spacing at the nut felt almost BG like. He told me he worked very hard to get the setup just right for him. An interesting thing he mentioned is the approach German players use with fingerboards relatively flat. To compensate, they lighten up so as not to play adjacent strings and use a very fast bow arm to get the volume they need.
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  #76  
Old 06-19-2010, 09:11 PM
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Cool my latest..

Even though I don't really play a 5er, I like having one around. Here's a not so old one I got a few months back. It's a Hofner from 1977 but looks new.



It has Permanents on 4 strings and the Low B a very old 'Thomastic Precision' solid core string. Maybe it needs different strings, I can't tell because it's not what I normally play.
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  #77  
Old 08-25-2011, 05:08 PM
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Question Low 'B' to match Perm's..

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Even though I don't really play a 5er, I like having one around. Here's a not so old one I got a few months back. It's a Hofner from 1977 but looks new.



It has Permanents on 4 strings and the Low B a very old 'Thomastic Precision' solid core string. Maybe it needs different strings, I can't tell because it's not what I normally play.
I posted this in Orchestra strings a few days ago but didn't get any replies. Now I see that I mentioned this a year ago here on this thread. Now that the bass is back and fully set-up I would like to hear a few opinions concerning the 'B' String.

I started a thread on 'Which 'B'?' some time ago but that was for a different bass which is long gone now.

I just got my *Hofner 5er (*old pics) back from Mike Magee in Pittsburgh and she's beautiful, the Bass, NOT Mike.. lol

It needed a full set-up so I had the Board pulled and replaced, a CF Rod put in the neck to stiffen it, the neck re-carved with the fake flame removed (shows some nice figure now), new bridge with adjusters and new Permanent strings from G to E.

We discussed the Strings and went with Permanents for the G-E but he thinks that the original 'B' a Thomastik 'Precision' solid core is a great sounding string. The previous 4/4 5er I sold ended up with that 'B' as well but a brand new string. The Strings on this bass were the originals from 1977. Although the bass has barely been played, they had been at or near tension for over 30 years now.

So, should I put a Permanent 'B' on there to match or what? The Permanents on there now sound great and Bow nice and smooth.

Also, this bass being a 3/4 Wilfer/Juzek style model (if not an actual Wilfer re-labeled) might be best utilized as a high 'C' 5er rather than an Orchestra 5er with Low 'B' but only time will tell. The bass IS fairly loud so I need to take it out to a rehearsal or two and see what she can do.

With some of the 5s I have had and tried I was able to either move the strings over into wider slots and move the 'B' off to the side to use it as a 4-stringer or just take off the 'B' from the bridge and tighten it back with some foam so it doesn't vibrate and use as a 4 as well. This bass however now has a really wide board and full 27mm spacing each string, same as the average orchestra 4, more or less.

So, keeping it set-up for Orchestra, would a Perm B be the best choice?
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  #78  
Old 08-26-2011, 05:55 AM
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What's the neck angle and bridge height like to get spacing that wide?
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  #79  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:02 AM
Robert J Spear Robert J Spear is offline
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Default Resurrection Thread

Having been in string work most of my life, I think that there are good acoustic and performance reasons why the four-string models prevailed in the violin/viola/cello world. That said, there are compelling reasons for the five-string bass in the modern orchestra. While fivers might be somewhat scarce here in the USA, a quick look at a recent photograph of the bass section of the Berlin Philharmonic will show that they are still a factor and that they still have advantages over the four-stringer with a C extension.

I just finished a five-stringer for Paul Unger of the Fort Worth Symphony, and it was a very rewarding collaboration in rethinking what orchestral bass players might need for the 21st century. If there's any interest in kicking this can down the road a bit longer, count me in. At the rate posts have occurred in this thread, we should all have time to fully contemplate our comments. As Mae West famously said, "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." The bass maker's lament . . .
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  #80  
Old 08-26-2011, 12:40 PM
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Question so..

Tom and Robert who both just posted, can you help me with my question above?

"So, keeping it set-up for Orchestra, would a Perm B be the best choice?"
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