Gut String Setup

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Eric Hochberg, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. ditto to the above.

    + raised string height to about G @ 8mm, E @ 11mm. for me this is a very comfortable level with guts, which could be played even higher. their low tension and bouncy feel lets you play for hours without getting that raw feeling in the fingers. playing unamped, i think guts need more room to get the desired volume, but as noted the added string height also affects the overall sound and string response, the snap.
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Thanks again for all the advice and comments! Thanks to Jeremy I played my first gut gig last night (G & D with spiro weichs) and really enjoyed it. What a sound, the guts seemed to overpower the steels. A little unusual to get around on at first but I'm getting the hang of it. And arco was scratchy and fun, too. The bass seemed to like them, too. It felt looser all the way around. Raised the bridge up about half a turn and that's it. I think the slots are ok, but I may get them checked out.

    Do you know the sizes of these strings, Jeremy? If I do decide to get my own, I'm thinking a little smaller diameter, especially the D. Recommendations on sizes for jazz? Does thinner change the tension and feel? Maybe less thuddy sounding on the D?
     
  3. ethnotime

    ethnotime

    Sep 24, 2006
    K&K works well with guts? Curious if anyone else feels the same way. I've been using a realist for eleven years and I think it's time to move on. Does anyone have any other recommendations for pickups for use with gut strings?
     
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I've had good luck with my K&K DBT and guts.
     
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    My Schertler Stat-B sounded nice.
     
  6. if you order a Gamut D, i'd recommend getting the Pistoy light D. Also the medium or light G. the Lyons are great too, but check out the thread on Pistoys and the comments there.

    a new D will be thuddy, but thuddiness fades and is replaced by bloom after a few days or weeks.
     
  7. I going to second this recommendation. Gamut Light Pistoy D will be much more defined while still having all of the gut mojo. As a rule thinner gut strings tend to be more defined. And the strings will get noticeably more defined as they stretch out and that process can take weeks to months to complete. The biggest changes will occur during the first week or so but they'll still change for a while.

    Play around up in thumb position. Notice that it stays honkin' fat up there and doesn't have that whiny thin sound that steel has.

    mark
     
  8. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I bought these second-hand, so I don't know the diameters unfortunately. Based on my experience with guts, though, I don't think that the D is particularly large; so you may really want to go with the thinner versions of whichever type you choose.
     
  9. uncle Bob

    uncle Bob

    Sep 16, 2010
    Drector of Sales LaBella Strings
    Good Guts are not easily found and unfortunately many players as well as vendors do not advise players of the necessary cautions and care they require.
    Many years ago Ron Carter realizing this was involved in developing a Black Nylon Set, together with Richard Cocco jr., Pres of LaBella.
    This set afforded him a gut sound that would not be affected by the weather. Consistantly STABLE and DEPENDABLE...Just what a woking MUSICIAN needs to count on.
    Gut still a wonderful material for any stringed instrument, but so tempramental.
    This is not to say in a stable enviroment it would not work well......Thats the operative word. Care and stability renders proper performance.
     
  10. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    -1
    (respectfully submitted)
     
  11. Forget the weather, do you really think Ron Carter sounds like he's getting a gut sound out of those LaBella Black Nylons? Really? Seriously? No fooling?

    And I don't find my plain gut strings to be tempermental at all even in extreme weather conditions. The wrapped gut was another story but once good plain gut strings stretch out, they are quite stable.

    mark
     
  12. +1
    They sound nothing like gut.
     
  13. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Well, if you guys are just going to come out and say it, then I won't tip-toe around as much. Labella black tape nylons are as far from sounding like gut as I can imagine.
     
  14. I don't tip toe around NOTHIN'! Just for clarity, Ron sounds great playing those strings. They just sound about as gut-like as Spiros do.

    mark
     
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Yup to all of the above.... they are the polar opposite of guts in my playing and listening experience.
     
  16. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    I do and I love it...
    2 caveats- I only use it through a PA & I don't usually play with a drummer. What this means is that the sound on the bandstand is mostly acoustic with minimal monitor support.
    -J
     
  17. M Ramsey

    M Ramsey

    Mar 12, 2005
    North Carolina
    I bought a used Realist several years ago. It's still installed on my gut string bass (to lazy to remove it). But, for the past 3-4 years, if it's a pickup, it'll be the K & K bass Max for me.

    That bass is strung with guts. I loved the sound so much, I bought another Bass Max which my son "borrowed" for his carved bass strung with Spiros. Oh, BTW, the carved bass came with a Realist installed. Aaron removed it when he had a new setup.

    So, I found a THIRD Bass Max, so I could install IT on my other bass (both of mine are American Standards). My second bass is strung with Garbos and I prefer the sound of this pickup to the Realist.

    But, that's just MY take.

    YMMV
     
  18. M Ramsey

    M Ramsey

    Mar 12, 2005
    North Carolina
    Marshall Wilborn plays guts on the top end of his old American Standard bass on every show. Most of his work is in the bluegrass field and most of THAT work is in fields and festival grounds in the humidity laden summer months, much of it in the Southeastern US. He probably plays 150-175 dates a year. Sometimes he will use an Eminence bass, but that's when travel calls for him to fly, rather than drive. I can assure you most of his gigs involve driving, rather than flying.

    Marshall knows his stuff. He's been doing this for the past 30 years and actually did some training at Julliard, if I'm not mistaken.

    He's highly respected within this genre of music, actually earning the 2009 Bass Player of the Year honors at last fall's International Bluegrass Music Association's awards show, held in Nashville, TN.

    He's also a finalist for this year's awards as well. Marshall has been at this for the past 30 years or so.

    And if you need more evidence, check out Dennis Crouch, a good old country boy from Strawberry, Arkansas, who traveled around the world with folks like Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Most recently he recorded and traveled with Elvis Costello, which included a tour through Europe.

    Talk about brave, he flew HIS bass, strung with 30-40 year old guts. That's ALL you'll ever hear him play. Anywhere. He cuts bass recordings in the three major cities known for recording, NY, LA and Nashville, where he makes his home.
     
  19. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Strung up a D and G Dogal plain gut I got from a TB member. They are stretching and sounding better after a few days. (I'll send yours back, Jeremy). I think the strings Jeremy lent me (Dlugolecki?) may be better quality than these as the Dogal G is kind of rough feeling and there are hairs poppin out. But they sound nice. I'm playing the Hot Mikado this month and the gut thing really is the sound for the old-time jazz stuff...