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Gut D and G strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jazzcat_13, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. I just recently played a bass that is strung with Spirocores on the E and A and plain gut on the D and G. I fell in love with that set up and want to try it out when I have a bass of my own. Now, I only played it pizz, so I wasn't able to judge my opinion on the guts under a bow. I do both jazz and classical, so would it be better to stick with plain guts on the D and G or should I get gut core strings?
  2. Under the bow, plain gut can be reedy or nasal and will not sound anything like the Spiros on the bottom.

    Some people swear by wrapped gut on top, but I'm scared of the windings coming undone. I've had problems with the windings of wrapped gut lower strings breaking, and metal-wrapped gut is extremely unstable as temperature and humidity change.
  3. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Plain and wound gut are very different from each other.

    From a classical standpoint- flatwound gut like Eudoxa are capable of producing a sound that you can use in a contemporary ensemble.

    Round wound/plain gut are probably more suited to "period" music.


    From a jazz point of view- modern flat wound gut don't have the same sound and feel of plain gut tops and the round wound E and A strings. Plain gut (and round wound E and A's) are more suited to that "old school gut" sound.

    Again, mho.

  4. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Concur- they also FEEL different.

    Some people get by fine with this mix, but I can't stand it myself. The feel, and especially the arco response between the different strings is maddening!

    YMMV of course!

  5. Alright. Would it be wise to have a steel D and G string I could swap to if I was called up to do some orchestral work?
  6. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    It wouldn't hurt- but it could be a bit of a PITA.

    You might need to make the nut slots a little bigger to accommodate plain gut too...which could make the slots sloppy for the steels...not necessarily a deal breaker- you could shim the slots with paper if you needed to.

    Oh, and guts tend to need some time to settle in pitch wise- anywhere from a few days to a week or more- so that could be problematic if you were swapping them out a lot.

    I "solved" this problem by having two basses- one strung with Spiros (jazz and classical) and the other with gut (jazz and country)!

  7. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    BTW- playing gut strings will teach you a lot about your playing! You will learn how to pull a very different sound out of your bass- which will in turn affect how you play any kind of string from that point forward. It's a very eye opening experience- both pizz and arco.

    Also, you never know- you might be able to make plain gut work with your classical ensembles. When I was having my C extension made for my classical bass I brought my gut strung bass to all of my ensembles. I checked with the conductors and section leaders first to make sure I wouldn't get keel hauled and everyone was very positive about it! Now dig, these are community orchestras- so the stakes aint the same as they would be at the "serious" university or pro level.

    It was a lot of fun! I even got to draw a crowd of gawkers during the break to marvel at the plain A! lol! :)

  8. Joe, do you use the plain A for pizz? If you do, how's the definition.
  9. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Yup, pizz and arco!

    You definitely lose definition as you go progressively down through the strings, from the G to the D and then the A...

    It works for me though, and I think the A string is plenty usable up to the octave, maybe a little higher, and that's about as high as I would play anyway.

    FWIW- this is a Pistoy I'm talking about.

    I'd love to try a Pistoy E!!!

  10. Would you all think that Spiro's for the E and A and Eudoxa's for the D and G be a good combo. If possible, I'm tempted to test them out before making an impulsive buy.
    dfp likes this.
  11. Or Evah Weichs over Spiros. I've heard that Evahs get most of the sound of Olivs without the fragility and short lifespan.
  12. korotkov

    korotkov Supporting Member

    May 19, 2010
    St. Petersburg, Russia
    Okay gonna ask here, if you please

    What is a better match for the gut g/d : evah, spirocore or superflexible all three being solo gauge? I'm just trying to complete some random strings that I have into string sets. I haven't found a good match for the gut g/d so far all the 3 sounded too metallic

  13. I think Evahs come close. I'm currently using an Evah Weich set with a bit higher tension naked gut high C (Efrano, the normal Efrano set has less tension than the high C).
    I'm not that much of a gut fan, but if the Efrano G and D would have more tension (available from the manufacturer on request) to match the tension of the high C, I would prefer them over the Evahs for G and D.

    So, I think a Evah solo might work well with a bit lower tension gut and a should sound less metallic than the steel core strings. But Spiros need to be played more than a year to get rid of that metalic sound. Never try that mix with brand new steel core strings.