Light and responsive, with singing highs and a remarkably deep low register, these low-tension strings are effortless to play. The polished finish, smooth and fast to the touch, minimizes unwanted finger noise, allowing the player to concentrate on expression rather than technique. They have a rich pizzicato growl that can be made to sound very much like an acoustic upright, yet they can deliver plenty of sustain and drive when you need it. These same strings, custom made by D’Addario™, are perfectly adapted for bowing. They respond much quicker to the bow than traditional bass strings, so expressive bow technique is easier to develop and maintain.
Fan Tao, head designer for bowed strings at D’Addario, worked closely with Ned Steinberger to develop this new type of bowed electric string. The key to string design is to optimize each string to perform within its unique frequency range, keeping the low and high strings in balance. Multiple strand wire rope core, traditional for bowed strings, is used on the lower Bass Cello strings to add flexibility, resulting in deeper lows and extended harmonics for brilliance and clarity. Tungsten wrap, much heavier than steel, is used to keep the lowest strings thin and supple. Like the modern cello, thin solid core wire is combined with multiple wraps on the higher strings to add complexity and drive to the upper register. Damping factors are computer controlled for each string to balance the set through its entire range.
At 34 inches, the Omni Bass scale length is exactly the same as the standard bass guitar, allowing these strings to fit most bass guitars. The construction of these strings is complex, and materials such as tungsten are expensive, so these premium strings cost more than conventional bass guitar strings, but the performance is truly extraordinary. The smooth feel, effortless tension, and depth of tone are unmatched, offering a new level of expression for the bass guitar.
Standard string sets for Omni Bass are tuned in fourths, exactly the same as the bass guitar. Sets designed to be tuned E, A, D, G, C, low to high, are recommended, while sets that start a fourth down, B, E, A, D, G, are also available. The exciting fifth tuning (C, G, D, A, E, from low to high), is a full octave below the conventional cello.