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Gut choices

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by JimmyM, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    After playing my bass with weed whackers on it tonight on a jazz gig and digging the sound for the most part, I think I'm ready to make a commitment to guts. But I have no idea what kind...so I will tell you my requirements and ask about the brands I'm interested in, and maybe you guys and gals can give me some direction. Sorry if this post goes on way too long.

    I really dig the sound of the whackers for the G and D strings. I'm not especially crazy about the A and E strings, though. The A is somewhat passable but the E is just too thuddy for me. So I'm thinking I may want a wound A and E. The E I definitely want wound, but possibly the A, too. And of course, I want to be able to bow them as well.

    I have heard a lot about these Velvet strings. Garbos are out because they don't do arco very well according to what I've read. So I've been checking out the Compas 360 and the Animas. Are they flats or rounds? Are they low enough tension to slap without maiming my hands? I'm not crazy about the winding material being copper, but if they're good sounding strings that are easily slapped, I guess I could get used to the black fingers. But since they're all wound strings, do they sound clanky like steels? And are they real gut cores or an "amazingly gut-like" space age polymer?

    I'm also considering LaBella and Lenzner guts. Is there much of a difference between the two? Are the wound strings roundwound or flatwound? With the Lenzners, does the unwound A get a sound similar to the whackers or does it have more ring and projection that matches up to the G and D?

    The Pirastro strings are a bit rich for my blood, but I've been hearing that a lot of people like to use a mix of Eudoxas and Olives. But do they sound metallic when slapped? Should I be looking exclusively at plains for D and G because of that?

    Here's a general gut question...I've heard that you have to oil them, but you shouldn't oil the section where you'll be bowing because it gets on the bow. Does that mean they're eventually going to dry out and crack where they're not oiled?

    Thank you all for the deluge of info I know I'm about to get!
  3. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
  4. Monte

    Yes I've heard that too. I wasn't recommending those for slap per se. The windings on regular old wirewound guts are probably too delicate for some of today's slap styles as well. In the old days before steel strings were common they apparently got by somehow. I guess it's probably best to use steel or wound synthetics like Dominant for radical slapping on the bottom two given the cost of wound gut strings. That said, I have read about at least two people who swear by Oliv on the A and E for slapping. They must have large wallets or maybe Pirastro is being overly conservative. There is a big difference between the guy doing occasional slappling in say a country or trad. jazz setting, and a guy playing psychobilly or something like that exclusively. Maybe that has something to do with it.

  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've heard of a lot of people using a mix of Eudoxas and Olives for slapping. And this is the first I've heard of the windings being too delicate for it. My slapping needs aren't going to be very extreme...I'll just be doing a little slapping in my oldies band. The majority of gigs I'll be getting are jazz casuals.

    I think I'm going to get plain gut G, D and A strings, and try a wound Pirastro on the E. Thanks for the help everyone!
  6. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    if you want to try Oliv D, and G I have them both for $80 shipped :D
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh dang, wish I'd have seen this earlier. Just about an hour before you posted this, I decided that $160 was a great deal for Clef plain guts so I ordered a set. I ought to get your strings anyway, but my wife will kill me dead. She's already mad that I'm getting new strings when I have a perfectly good set of whackers on there that only cost $15.

  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    You need to look into eurosonic ultra lights...

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