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Full set of plain guts, Efrano or Lenzner?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Reiska, Sep 13, 2018.


  1. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Hello all gut-heads!!!

    I have a Chorda G with Efrano medium DA and E.P slap E on my bass now and it`s kinda on the trial perioid still but it is looking promising. I like the gauge of these medium Efranos and I hope their tone will open up more as some playing and maintenance is done and some time has passed. They feel less floppy than Lenzners, but doesn`t sound as open and complex, or not yet at least, it`s been only a couple of weeks. I`d like to try a different G and a plain gut E string with higher string height, the Chorda sounds killer but starts to feel uncomfortably tense if set higher. I`d love a uniform sound and feel of similar gauges and twist rates.

    So now, I have these medium Efranos on my bass and a Lenzner supersolo A in the drawer. 150-ish euros would get me both medium Efrano G and E, and 300-ish euros would get me Lenzner supersolo GDE.

    For those of you who have used / tried both Efranos and Lenzners, is there a significant difference in tone after the strings are played in? My comparison between the two goes so far that Efranos are slightly darker than Lenzners, but this is basically only a wild quess as my Efranos aren`t completely played in yet. Which gauge of Efranos you have used / use? I like the feel of med Efranos as they are not as floppy as the Lenzners.

    How is the note definition / clarity of pitch of Efrano plain E? My experience on the A is good so far and I do understand that a plain E is a plain E, but wouldn`t want to throw 100 euros on a string that never would work.

    My bass responds to guts well as it is a big but light carved bass with a wingless adjustable bridge. I play mostly pizz and arco with a little slap here and there.

    Many thanks in advance, Reiska
     
  2. I’m currently running a set of Clef plains on a very early King Mortone. If you’re on a budget, those aren’t bad. If you have cash to spend, go Gamut.
     
    jasonrp, HateyMcAmp and Reiska like this.
  3. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Full set of plain Pistoys would surely be great! In reality, the customs-free Lenzner GDE would be a stretch at the moment.
     
  4. I am listening in here. I started out with a set of Lenzner plain guts. My "dogma" is to use non boutique plain guts. Went through a few different g strings, because I felt the Lenzner g was too high tension/stiff compared to the rest of the set. Ended up with a weich/swach Efrano g. It is slightly lower tension than the Lenzner it replaced. Sounds a bit clearer, brighter than the lower Lenzners, but that might ofcourse be because it is newer, and it is a higher pitch string.
    So my slight dilemma would be, if I am going to replace the A E D, would I choose Efrano weich or Lenzner. So far, I do not see a lot of reason for it, exept for curiosity (reg Efrano), and that a bit more overtones/brightness would not be unwelcome.
    My advice would be to go with the cheaper Efrano solution. I personally would try an all-swach set first, because I think it is the most Paul Chambers etc-ish way to go...
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
    Reiska likes this.
  5. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp

    Apr 13, 2006
    Colorado
    Krivo Pickups - uncompensated endorser
    I know you guys don’t want to hear this, but the gamut pistoys are really the game changer for the unwound low strings. I wish I still had my A, which I actually used with Lyons on top and a Garbo Light E on the bottom. Here’s an old bluegrass recording I did with that setup.
     
    Fat bob and Reiska like this.
  6. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thanks a lot @Povl Carstensen , that`s exactly what I was after. I hear you about the G feeling tense, I have the Chorda G which is pure horsepower, clarity, complexity and projection, but feels very different to Efranos. No change setting it higher than it is now, at 8+ mm`s. I quess this has to do with different twisting rates of the strings. My bridge is shaped to handle a tense and stiff G string, but I quess that I would like a plain E set a little higher than I can go with the Chorda G ( the E.P slap E is at 12-ish mm`s ).

    I think I`m gonna go with Efranos as you say that the difference to Lenzners ain`t that big. Don`t know yet about gauges but the E will be medium anyway as my AD are mediums too.

    @HateyMcAmp , sounds great! I might go all Pistoys at some point but at the moment it`s just PLAIN impossible :)
     
  7. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    ...Pulled the trigger on medium gauge Efranos, E and G to complement my AD. I`ll report on the Guts are so much fun! -thread, thanks for replys!!!
     
  8. jasonrp

    jasonrp

    Feb 19, 2015
    vt
    Like the sheriff, I had a plain set of clefs (upton) on mine. Loved the sound and they worked for what I do but I eventually went with a wound Lezner E just because the plain E kept throwing me out of time on faster stuff.
     
    Reiska likes this.
  9. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    I hear you jasonrp and I can see that there will be serious amount of work to make music with the floppy monster E happen.
     
  10. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp

    Apr 13, 2006
    Colorado
    Krivo Pickups - uncompensated endorser
    @Reiska thanks for the kind words! I hear you, even domestically a full set would cost over $800. That’s pretty rich for my blood, even if they last many years.
     
    Reiska likes this.
  11. I think this thread has made me decide to get myself Efrano swach E-A-D as a christmas gift, so I will have a full set. That way, I will also be able to give a more qualified answer to the original question. Reason is also that I think the Efrano G is the best sounding string on my bass atm, the D is a bit weak, and the A and specially E a bit floppy. A bit more volume on the E would be welcome. If the results are not as hoped after a couple of weeks, I can go back to the Lenzners. Later on, I could also experiment with perhaps getting a medium E.
    For the heck of it, here is a recording of me accompanying my friend Thomas Wivel reciting poetry at a bookrelease. I do not know what he is going to say, and he does not know what I am going to play. The recording is just with a smartphone, and the built-in mic.
     
    Reiska likes this.
  12. anightintunisia

    anightintunisia Supporting Member

    I tried a D&G Efrano last year. Took the D off after about a minute. G was on for a week. Thought they were essentially unusable. I ended up throwing mine in the trash.
     
  13. So now you just play A and E?
     
  14. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Unusable as compared to other gut strings? Were these new or used strings?
     
  15. anightintunisia

    anightintunisia Supporting Member

    Brand new from lemur. The sound was very very poor, especially the D. Unusable in any sort of musical way. I was shocked at the quality.
     
  16. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    My brief but intense experience is that it`s more about the way the strings are made than what`s the name on the package. Worst plain gut string I ever tried is Pirastro Evah slap D, which isn`t nearly as cheap as Efranos are. Efrano weich G is just as good as my Pirastro chorda G is, just different. Some need higher string height than others, some need to be played in longer than others and it`s also about what I mix the guts with. YMMV. @Povl Carstensen , sounds really good! You play well with the spoken word, it`s kinda weird experience to listen as I don`t understand danish too well, I only hear the flow and drama of it :)
     
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  17. A good plain gut D is the hardest thing to find.

    IME not giving gut at least a month to settle before rendering an opinion is an error. The upside is that unless your body chemistry is highly acidic, a good set lasts nearly forever and those sheep hath not died in vain.
     
  18. anightintunisia

    anightintunisia Supporting Member

    Depends on quality of gut string. The lower end quality guts I’ve tried, Efrano & La Bella just didn’t sound good and leaving them on wasn’t going to drastically change the sound. Just like crappy made bass isn’t going to magically open up and sound like a master built bass. The voice of the string is about 80% there when you first string it up, and over a few weeks will ease into it’s sound.

    I put La Bella guts on a back up bass and they sounded just as bad two months later as they did the first day I put them on. Gamut and Artones are in a totally different ball park then lower end gut strings. It sucks having to dish out the money, but there’s no ways around it. You get what you pay for.
     
  19. anightintunisia

    anightintunisia Supporting Member

    Gamut Lyon or Pistroy are both fantastic strings.
     
  20. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland

    With all respect, Gamuts are great strings for sure, just as are Chordas, Gensslers, Dlugoleckis, even a tad cheaper Baldocks. Anyway, I`ve had lightly used plain guts that originally were in the price range of Lenzners etc, those were great strings. Can you define what you mean by quality, well made? I`ve tried some of the high end stuff, but have been truly happy with cheap-a** strings too. My experience is that playability is the first factor, and the strings should produce recoqnizeable pitches everywhere on the fingerboard after initial playing-in. Some notes sustain more than others, but this has been the case with high end and cheap strings both. It also seems that more that I have plain gut strings on the better they work. This is my first attemp going all plain guts anyhow.
     

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