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Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by gomez hacienda, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. A while ago I asked what I could do to get more 'thump' for my Upton Hawkes. All the suggestions were good, and after experimenting with various steel and synthetics, Oblis, 7710s, Heli, I decided to go gut and see what happens. I got some Clefs (the price was the main reason) and put them on yesterday, and well all I can say is...yeah man! Move over Mr PC. :) I'm hooked on gut. The sound is what I've been hearing in my head all along, but never could seem to find with anything else. The quality seems to be very good overall.

    Now that I've got the gut bug bad, in the future I'd like to try some of the primo guts out there. However, my bass is just a ply, after all, and maybe Dlugoleckis or some such would be overkill. The only exception might be the E string. I'm wondering about using a flat-wrapped gut or perhaps something else. I know there were a few recent threads on that same topic. Any users of high-end gut E strings out there? What's your take?

  2. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    I say give it three weeks and then see how you feel.:)
  3. Are you saying I'll change my mind? About these, or guts in general? Or what....

  4. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Usually people's frustrations with gut increase as you move to the lower strings. The lower roundwound (or plain) strings in a traditional set are thick, thuddy, and the pitch gets more indistinct as you move up the neck. Many people will use plain gut for the G&D and use flat wound gut on the lowers - Eudoxa, Olive, Pizzicato, or synthetic core - Obligato, Innovation, Dominant, Permanant, or steel - Superflex, Spirocore, Flexicor, Helicore. You'll find that a lot of the gut sound and effect comes from the upper strings anyway,

    I often have this same frustration with a plain gut D. On my bass, the pitch starts getting problematic around A, making it difficult playing in higher registers. I prefer an Olive or Anima D. Also, arco is a whole different ballgame on gut. As much as I love a plain gut G, I've been using Olive because it bows so much better and is also great for pizz.

    Of course, there are the usual gut drawbacks - thickness, need for higher action, tuning stability, expense. This can wear on people after a while.

    I think it's like blending a cocktail, how much gut you want in a set. :) Usually less as you move to lower strings.

    I'd recommend trying Anima, Garbo or Pizzicato. These are well balanced sets that give the punch of gut but without all the same problems. I personally really like the Pizzicatos. They are true gut core, semi flat wound, fairly durable, and good for a lot of styles. Not good for arco though. Also, try the Olive and Eudoxa strings in different combinations. Beware - expensive!

    I think bassame may be alluding to the fact that when you first use gut, there's a novelty factor - the punch, tone, flexibilty - and it's seductive. After a while, the problems become more apparent.

    Still, for certain people, and for certain musical styles, nothing can take the place of a traditonal gut set. If that's what you're looking for, Dlugolecki and Larson make very fine, and expensive :) sets.
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  6. joe_sorren


    Apr 7, 2005
    I have my bass set up with the Gamut medium+ strings for the D & G and find them to be great for thump, and I find that they also sing higher up, no loss of focus up the neck. I highly recommend them. Just my 2 cents.
  7. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Yeah, what he said! No seriously, a day is not enough time to make a considered judgement about your strings, but enthusiasm is great - go for it!:hyper:
  8. much grass...by the way, are they lyon or pistoy? and what the devil does that all mean? :meh:

    what's on your E&A?

  9. I read your loud 'n clear. It's just that sound that I always heard in my head even when I played the slab and could never find.

  10. joe_sorren


    Apr 7, 2005

    I play the Lyon. It bows well too. The medium + is great for a stiffer meater thump, and is still a relaxed string.
  11. I play La Bella 980 pure gut D&G. I believe they are very high quality. They are several years old, and still excellent.

    I keep them swooth with nail clippers and occaisional sanding with 220 and 600 grit sandpaper, and oiled with plain mineral oil. and they are great.

    I do not reccomend the roundwound gut core La Bella 980 E&A. Not to my liking at all.

    I've got Innovation Super Silvers on E&A, they are a great match to the gut D&G.
  12. So far it seems the gut players are using some form of steel or synthetic on the E&A. I can understand that when I see the prices for a really good silver wrapped E, selling for as much as a whole set of Spiros. :eek:

    My concern would be...how well do those high-end wrapped guts hold up?

  13. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I have Eudoxa wrapped guts for my E&A strings. They have held up very well. As long as your nut and bridge are properly prepared and lubed with graphite, the windings should hold up. I have those strings about 14mm off the FB and play pretty hard sometimes. I have heard that the the thin, flat windings don't hold up well to slapping, but that's not an issue for me.

    I prefer the sound of the Olive E&A but i find it difficult to hear the pitch of the E in a band situation. The Olives have a meatier sound and the Eudoxas have more growl.
  14. Regarding metal wrapped gut core strings...You probably know this already, but just in case...

    The La Bella 980 silver wrapped gut E&A strings are roundwound. Tough on fingers and fingerboards. Lots of string noise if you slide your hand along them.

    Eudoxas and Olivs are flatwound.

    Pirastro Pizzicatos are apparently in the middle. I haven't played them, but I guess they are semi-roundwound. I don't know if they are "ground-rounds" or what.

  15. Not hearing the pitch is exactly what I feared from big thumpy gut E strings. I don't slap either, but a nice clean pizz tone is obviously important.

    Wynton's bass player, Carlos Henriquez uses big flat-wound gut E&A. I think they're Gamuts or Dlugoleckis. It looks like his E string is at least .150" or so, but it does have a good live sound. I don't know what he hears tho. :meh:

  16. Thanks for your .02...I've heard nothing but good things about the Lyon gut D&G. One reviewer described them as the best D&G he ever heard, but he was using the light guage.

  17. That combo is talked about alot. Are you a jazz or bluegrass/country player?

  18. I play all sorts of old timey acoustic music: bluegrass, blues, jazz, rockabilly, folk, country, with a bit of gypsy thrown in. The jazz stuff we do is pretty simple pre-WWII stuff.

    I try not to limit myself, but given your arbitrary dichotomy, I guess I'm closer to the bluegrass/country category. When I grow up I want to be a jazz bassist, though.;)

    Mostly pizz with a little slap. No arco whatsoever. 1946 Kay.

  19. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    If You are serious about gut, there is nothing like the Dlugoleckis. Money well spent.
  20. Thanks...people have also mentioned Gamut Lyons as well...ever tried those? They're in the same price range. But I'd really like to know what the main difference is between Dlugoleckis and something like the Clef D&G that's on my bass now? Is there a strength of tone, volume, lifespan...or all of the above?

  21. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    All of the above, really. They have a varnish which makes them great for arco and they almost never produce the "hairs." Haven't tried the Gamuts yet....

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