So, I recently changed to guts; wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hah, they're a blast; nice tone & due to their softness, my buggered left pinky isn't screaming within a minute of playing.
I'm running the Emerson D & G with wound Clef E & A (thanks Steve!); although they're still stabilising pitch-wise, my impression is that the Emerson's are surprisingly good sounding strings, particularly for the money ($25AUD incl. postage!). Pretty darn good on arco. On pizz, however, the tiniest bit 'fuzzy' sounding; perhaps I've gotten used to the clean attack of steels, but the Emerson's sound... well, fuzzy is the only way to put it. Kinda like a faint fingerboard buzz on the decay, but even on open strings. I've checked the nut & bridge, but the sound is coming from the strings themselves. But overall still pretty good; mildly thumpy but not over the top, LOUD, plenty of overtones, none of the plastickiness of synthetics & nice but not overpowering sustain.
Interestingly, the D was a LOT lighter & less-dense feeling than the G when they arrived (about half the density & weight); initially this meant that the D sounded vague & indistinct, but as it's stretched up (and compacted down in the process) it's much better now, although the G, which had a head-start on the density and remains-so, still sounds clearer. It's like the greater density helps provide better focus to the core of the sound.
So, an encouraging start into the world of guts. Now... Gamuts...
Just a last thought, though; there's been suggestion on TB that the Emerson's are beef gut, not sheep. I'm not sure that this is true: in India, the cow is a sacred animal to Hindus (the vast religious majority of India; about a billion (ie, the majority) of the Indian population are Hindu). And I don't mean just slightly; the slaughter of cows (including oxen, bulls and calves) is considered a heinous sin in mainstream Orthodox Hinduism and is forbidden by law in almost all the states of the Indian Union (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle#Hindu_tradition
When McDonald's was found to be frying their fries in beef tallow in their Indian restaurants (in spite of the rest of the menu being beef-free), the Indians went *a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y* bonkers over it (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...nch-fries.html
). I therefore can't imagine them allowing an Indian company to be killing them to make strings out of their guts.
So, perhaps their gut strings are
indeed sheep based, but what *may*
be true is that they are possibly (i) not as high quality material or (ii) not as well crafted as European versions.
I like 'em, though.