I just wanted to do a post about an experience I had with La Bella strings. I recently bought an Eastwood Club Bass, a copy of the classic Hofner design. It’s basically the same thing as the famous “Beatle Bass”, The violin shaped bass used by Paul McCartney, except it has a more classic guitar shape.
It’s semi-hollow, and short scale of 30.5″, which makes it a little easier for a guitar player to make the transition to bass. Most basses have a scale length of 34″. Many people who use the club bass like to put flatwound strings on them as it gets you a little closer to that double bass sound that the club bass already is in the territory of.
So after doing some research I found that a lot of people recommended the La Bella “Deep Talking Bass” strings for this. They’re expensive strings, being handwound, so I did some googling to find the best price. I ended up at juststrings.com. I ordered a set of the La Bella “Deep Talking Bass” strings which were listed as being for short scale. Problem is, when I got them, they were too short.
With some flatwound strings, the wound portion doesn’t extend the entire length of the string, but instead is meant to only extend just pass the nut. There is then just the thin inner core that extends farther to wrap around the tuning peg. This is to keep the outer winding from breaking and unraveling. This means the wound portion has to be a fairly precise length. The problem I had was that the club base has a tailpiece that adds another 2″ of required string length which most other basses don’t have.
So I needed to return the strings for something that would fit. I didn’t think this would be a problem as the La Bellas didn’t come in a sealed package. Just a plastic pouch and paper envelopes for each string. I coiled the E string and put it back in the envelope. So essentially, the strings were just as I had received them. But apparently juststrings.com has a strict policy about not accepting string returns that have been opened. They refused to exchange my strings despite me pointing out that the strings were unsealed and still in sellable condition.
I was beginning to give up hope, but decided to send juststrings one more email, pointing out their advertised pride in their great customer service. They got back to me with the suggestion I contact La Bella directly, and gave me the contact info for the sales director there, Robert Archigian. Robert was great, and said I could send them my strings and they’d send me whatever set I needed to fit my bass at no charge.
Once I told him about my club bass, Robert knew exactly what I needed. Apparently La Bella supplies all the strings to Hofner for the Beatle and Club Basses. They’ve even developed a custom lightweight gauge for Sir Paul McCartney.
I quickly got my replacement set, and they fit perfectly and sound fantastic. This bass really does get that McCartney tone. Incidentally, the new strings I received direct from La Bella were in a sealed package. I’m not sure if I’ll order from juststrings again, but I will definitely be buying more La Bella strings.