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Experienced gut users: LaBella? Alternative?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jeremy Allen, Apr 20, 2005.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I love that article that Gamut has about the making of gut strings. I would have ordered some except that they are over $400 for a set! I'm just not that good where I need $400 strings. So I ordered a set of Clef guts from Upton Bass for $160. I mostly play pizz but I'm hoping they will bow reasonably well. From what I've heard, Clefs are pretty much the same as the Lenzners and allegedly better than the LaBellas and Efranos. Hope so...my wife already thinks I spend too much on it already!
     
  2. Okay, I'm sold. I love my Chordas so much that I have doubled my practice regimen since I got them, so I'm not regretting a single cent of the (hefty) price tag. But if the Gamuts are even better than the Chordas, it must be gut string heaven indeed! :hyper:

    Yeah, there's the wife factor. But it's a business expense anyway, and I try to save up a few euros per month towards an annual string purchase, so even if the price of a full set is $400, that amounts to $35 a month... I still get clever remarks, but that's about it!

    On an aside note, I put back my Chorda A yesterday. I'd been trying out a Dominant E and A, and the A broke in the middle of the night! Weird, the nut slot was well lubricated and everything, but the string still broke in the pegbox.

    I'm having mixed feelings about that Chorda A. It has nasty metallic overtones up close, but I recently had the opportunity to listen to a recording a friend of mine made from 30 feet away, and that A sounded FAT! I'm wondering if I could get the same fat fundamental without the nastiness using Gamut or Dlugolecki silver wound gut strings... Uh oh, that's a bad thought... :help:
     
  3. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I tried the whole Chorda set and I was really hoping it would be my thing but I was bitterly disappointed. Those strings were just too much for me and I couldn't get acceptable pizz response out of any except the G. Perhaps I'm just a bit wimp. I think most of the gut sound comes from the G and D so by having guts on the top and appropriate strings on the bottom, you can get something close to the classic gut sound but still have a setup that's easier to play and works better for playing more modern stuff too. I love playing old school straightahead stuff and classic stuff like Mingus, etc. but I also have to play "real" gigs and the full Chorda set would never have worked for me.

    The other thing about using guts only on the G and D is that it works out a heck of a lot less expensive.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, I have some of the same concerns about plain guts on the A and E. But I think overall, guts will give a more pleasing tone. I can always put wound guts on the bass if I don't get enough tone out of the lower strings. My bass came with Obligatos, which I thought I liked until I started listening to gut players. Their basses sounded so warm and round with none of those clanky metallic pseudo-reverb overtones.
     
  5. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I used to use wound guts on the bottom - Olivs and Eudoxas and I tried the Pizzicatos for a while. I had to give up on them because the windings never lasted and they were damn expensive strings. Also on my current bass, they never really had enough to speak like I wanted them to. Since going to steel on the bottom, I've also appreciated the greater clarity in pitch and with the a similar benefit on the top strings as a result of going to the Gamuts, I'm much happier. Overall I can intonate a lot better and the sound is not as muddy but still very characteristic of gut.
     
  6. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Red Labellas....do you mean the Red-O-Rays? I tried one recently and I found it too low tension, and I had the sucker at 14mm height
     
  7. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    LaBella made a red gut string, it wasn't a Red-O-Ray. It was a darker color than Red-O-Ray and had a sort of waxy finish. It was just called "LaBella Red Gut". I think someone once told me that they were also used as harp strings? It sounded very good, but it was floppy.

    Speaking of Red-O-Ray, I once found a Red-O-Ray nylon wound A string. It was unused and I never actually tried it, I sold it on ebay. Now I'm wondering what it would have sounded like. Red-O-Ray was made by Kaplan, as was Golden Spiral
     
  8. You know, I looked up close at a friend's harp the other day, and was supprised at how the strings look like Labella gut strings, clear and light colored. Hmm... I wonder if LaBella either gets their strings from harp string manufacturers, or simply sells harp strings with a knot at the bottom. I don't know about gauges, but it seems like harp strings are a possible cheap alternative for gut and are available in red.

    Jon
     
  9. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    So Harpists commonly use gut?
     
  10. My experience has been much more enjoyable, but I don't think that you're a wimp; I think that this is yet another example of how different the same string can sound on a different bass. My bass is very heavy, and quite bright, this may be the reason the Chordas aren't too muddy for me.
     
  11. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I don't know a lot about harps, but I think the coloring of the strings helps visually identify notes for the player. As far as using harp strings for bass, I also wondered about that. If you have a gut string of a certain gauge and length, does it matter what it's used for? What other aspects of a gut string's construction make it more suitable for one instrument than another?
     
  12. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Johono

    Glad to see the strings are working out for you so far. Let us know how they are later on too.
     
  13. Bobby

    Yes the red color on certain strings indicates the octave. As far as I can tell, harp strings are on the average less flexible than bowed strings. Gut is gut, so if you have a plain gut string of a certain diameter with enough length, you can use it.

    Jon
     
  14. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    TimoPretzelmaker

    Did you ever go back to the Dominants?
     
  15. Adrian,

    I have a Dominant E, but my other strings are still Chordas. I'm really happy with them, and I don't plan on changing strings before they die. I'll probably try a full set of Gamuts when that happens.
     

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