1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Best strings for Plywood Bass

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Gregmak, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Hi guys,

    So I’ve been playing with gut strings all my life on my main carved bass. I recently acquired an old czech plywood bass that carries the juzek sign at the back. The string length of this bass is exactly 41 inches, so it’s reslly easy to play an has a beautiful easy neck. It’s not the loydest bass but it has a very focused thick sound.

    Now it came with spiro’s and they respond really well. The bass sounds full and open but it’s too bright for me. I tried putting on some Gamut lyon guts on D & G but it feels like the gut strings are too loose and while the sound became thicker, the bass lost volume. Also seems like mixing different tension strings is not working well on this bass.

    Any ideas what to do? I think the string length is too short for gut strings to really stretch. I was wondering if there is a way around it, and if not what strings I should try. A friend of mine recommended evah pirazzi light. But I would really like to stick with gut strings if possible.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Try heavy tension gamuts so maybe 1 full step up from where your gut strings are at. Same concept if I had a 44 inch scale basss and a 41 inch scale bass I'd put light strings on the 44 and mediums on the 41.

    If not maybe try some innovation strings like the super silvers.
  3. MikeDavis81


    May 24, 2012
    FWIW as someone who played on gut for several years and recently switched them out for Evah Pirazzi Weich's, I'd second your friend's recommendation. I've been extremely happy with the strings. Nice dark, big sound.
  4. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    There is a string tension page on the Gamut website that lets you modify the string length to calculate the tension.
  5. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    I realize you want gut, but here is a 3rd vote for the EP Weich. I put them on my full ply 7/8ths and like the results. I also have them on a 3/4s hybrid, but I did swap the E string for a Spiro mittel E. I have only tried guts one time in 35 years of playing - only lasted for about one day. Just not for me.
  6. Why not raise the bridge before spending money?
    Seanto, james condino and DoubleMIDI like this.
  7. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Thanks for the reply guys. Just to clarify, I want guts because of the arco sound. Pizzicato wise there are many great strings I am happy with.

    I tried raising the bridge, but I raised it to as high as I could before it got uncomfortable and it was still not enough.

    I’ll try a medium gamut G and see. Btw, I put on an A Eudoxa and the tension was fine. Also Oliv D & G sound amazing on the bass. But I need that plain gut. If the guts still don’t workout then I will go for Oliv D & G and EP weich for E & A.

  8. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    If you reverse thread thru the tailpiece (I do this to my plain gut a and d strings) it can give a touch more resistance. It's worth a shot.
    Gregmak and Matt Birtchnell like this.
  9. So your new bass doesn’t like plain gut.

    That’s how it goes.
  10. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Seems like you’re right sir. Thanks everyone, I will try out the Evahs.
    Sam Dingle likes this.
  11. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Sorry for the partial derail. I`m not sure if this is real, but I don`t do that anymore with my plain a and d. Don`t know, somehow the different break angle and slightly tighter feel makes the intonation hairy when moving from g or e string, and it is more emphasized with fatter gauge strings. Luckily I had a new bridge fitted for guts setup on december and have my string heights compensated for even feel across the strings.

    @Gregmak How about something like Animas on top of Spiro or Evah weichs? You get some of bowed guts tone and feel but with a little more tension to fit the shorter mensure.
  12. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    I have heard a lot about Anima's but never tried them. Online I can only find mixed feelings about the arco, so it's unclear how well they bow. The reason I like plain guts is because how sticky the bow feels, and also because of their attack when you play fast passages. I'm reading that Anima's don't bow very well, or at least the G has a tynex wrap which makes it hard to bow.

    On the other hand, I tried multiple basses with Velvet Garbo's. While I love the pizz sound they were way too difficult to bow. If Anima's are anything like that, then they won't be for me.

    Again, this is the only reason I don't want to switch to steel strings. I can deal with the pizz sound, but for arco, they just don't respond as fast as guts.

    But like @KUNGfuSHERIFF said, my bass doesn't like guts it seems, so steel it is!
  13. The only person I ever heard draw a good arco sound out of Garbos is my daughter, back in the days before she devoted her life to ballet.
    Sam Dingle likes this.
  14. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    i would have recommended spiros but you say they are too bright

    i agree to try evah light.

    zyex light is another nice choice if you don't bow too much.

    you should give them a try even if you want to stick with gut, zyex are nice sounding strings and not too much money - especially if you find a used set.

Share This Page