gut string.

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by stanley.stone, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. I got my DB three years ago and I've never changed the strings (theres some kind of steelstring on now). A week ago I had the oppertunity to try a Gut string, and it felt like I had found god. So.. For Jazz.. What kind of gut string should I get?:confused:
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Best gut strings for jazz IMO are the Velvet Garbos.

    They are not as "thumpy" sounding as most guts, have better sustain and are wrapped so you don't have to deal with them "shedding" the way plain gut does.

    Keep in mind gut is pricey, typcially double what you would pay for steel sets.

    More info:
  3. If you play any arco at all, don't consider the Garbo, instead get the Velvet Anima strings. The Pirastro Eudoxa also have great sound for jazz and are very bowable.
  4. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    At this years ISB Convention, I had the priviledge of sitting in on Jeff Cambell's lecture/demo on the "Genius of Jimmy Blanton". Jeff goes to bass shops in whatever town he happens to be in and asks them if they have any old gut strings lying around. He has his bass strung with a hodge podge of gut strings that he has picked up over the course of about a year. Anyway, his goal was to emulate Jimmy's sound, both pizz and arco, as closely as possible. He absolutely knocked me over.

    Anyway, you might not need to drop $250+ on Eudoxas when Jeff seemed to get everything he needed out of these strings that he was picking up second hand.
  5. This just proves that it really does depend on the bass. Before stringing my bass with Velvet Animas I was using Olivs. Arco, the sound of the two strings is comparable, though the Velvets sound more like other gut strings due to the windings they use. But for pizz, the Velvets are much, much better than the Olivs were.
  6. Thank you all for your help.
    I bought the Velvet Garbos, and their great. My bass has come to life again. It must be a little bit of soul left in that gut.
  7. gee


    Nov 16, 2001
    just curious to hear the more experienced players' opinions.

    I'm looking to upgrade my poor man's "gut" strings (La Bella Supernil's) and have picked up some NOS gut strings, a D and G. what i've seen of the E and A, is that they look like TREE TRUNKS!! thick,dude!

    so i'm wondering, if i keep my steel-wrapped nylons on for the E and A, will they sound like night and day when comp'd with a gut D and G ???

  8. These are probably plain gut E and A.
    The bottom strings are also available (and most often are) metal wound, so their gauge is about the same as the D and G.
    That metal winding is usually round, but is also available flat, as with Olivs or Eudoxas.
    That doesn't answer your question, but I just wanted to add that information.
  9. I once tried a bass that had plain gut on D and G, Obligato on A, and a steel E string. It sounded great.
    I don't know about the E nylon, but I think it could work.
  10. bootsaco


    Sep 8, 2001
    Portland, ME
    i've been toying around with trying some gut strings, but was wondering if anyone could offer some experience regarding how long they lasted.
  11. I allways swore by the GUT string for that traditional resounding Woooomph in the bottom end [hence my forum name :)] However if you Like Jazz and are sensitive to the more "rounded" well balanced trend witch means your tone isn't over colored on the bottom, read on these posts, there are dozens of new products that combine GUT and Windings of copper or silver and other materials, and "Loaded Gut" cores that handle different too. I tried the velvet Anima's and sure did appreaceate their ability to be Bowed as well as plucked.
    But Having a Brand New Machine carved all solid wood Bass it is "Tight" sounding and the E note volume was nimble, so I bought the Thickest E and A I could get my hands on , All gut core and thin Silver winding from Lumer music "Uropean" is the Brand. As for the D and G they where out of them :-( So I Bought the Pirastro Eudoxa D and G and boy did I luck out, they blend with the Eruopean E and A from Lemure as though they belonged together. The Eroupean E is .145 in thickness and you will have to widen the Nut and Bridge Groove to fit it.
    Your Bass is different than mine, and your desire for Jazz is different then mine for Celtic "Bowed" and Folk and BlueGrass Pizz. So I may warn you, The Eruopean E and A Bow with extra care needed as not to "screetch" when starting, the have plenty of poop once they get going, a gentle pull with your baby finger of your left hand can overcome this, But The Pirastros Bow like a Dream and Pluck well , with that real Gut Sound plus a tidbit of Treble sustain, but NOT a ROAR!! My Next move will be to Give the Pirastro E and A a wirl once this Bass opens up in time. But meanwile the Eruopean E is LOUD and deep like thunder.

    Your tastes and desires are different so your answers are going to be different. If Jazz is your influence then Take note most Popular and successfull Jazz players are NOT in the swamps with tone, Granted they have desires for a full bottom But unlike some of my BlueGrasser friends they are very concious in keeping the top end active and alive and are less willing to Go without the treble for a louder Woooomp on the Bottom. So the New products out there may be your answer, If you lived close by I would let you try the Velvet Anima's for they seem to be smack dab in the Middle with the war on Woooomph versus the demand on Treble like sustain.
    And the tug on Pizz or Arco too is prevalent.

    The Pirastro Guts are amazingly well rounded in these areas , BUT a new ALL wood solid bass has a rep of being top endy so your results may not be the same.

    The best way to ask questions is be UP FRONT with what you own for equipment, A ply bass can blow me away on the bottom end , but when I wip out the Bow, the game is over, I WIN :) :spit:

    So if you have a Ply Bass and want the New Jazz sound, GUT may not work, The Synthetic core of Anima by Velvet or something else may be the answer. Read for severall days and before you buy. I am into my spare string sets for half as much as my Bass in dollars and cents !!! :-( But I like Variety and change. I do Classical, Blue Grass, Folk, Celtic, Big Band Swing at the School I work at, so I need choices. I Need 3 more BASSES is what I realy need LOL!!!
    Some strings DO NOT like to be de tensioned after they break in, so you may not want to do the string swapping that I do,
    I noticed the Anima's do not like being taken off the Bass and put back on, they need another day or two to start sounding right after that.

    I rechecked the link given in another post for it didn't work, the link as of 04 10 2004 I am giving is the same page:
    The have a run down on Strings by Velvet.
    Is another good source to buy Gut Strings and a great place to hang out and read his "Test Drives" on many Products in the Upright world. I learned alot thumbing through his website. He even list some string "Dimensions" that the Makers of the string wont even provide, real usefull in my book. He test trives alot of gear and can save you the headake of buying the wrong stuff sometimes. :bawl:

    Whippet likes this.
  12. jneuman


    Apr 17, 2004
    When I got my new bass, I put gut on my Kay just for kicks. Now I can't stay away from it. There is something organic and satisfying about gut. I use plain G & D. I even like them with the bow, although one realy has to pay attention to bow speed and getting the string going. I personally have found that bowing on plain gut improves my bowing on steel. Gut is a great reality check for bowing technique. By the way, does anyone know what the histroically correct string height for gut is? Currently I'm running about 11mm to 15mm and this seems to work. Any other ideas?
  14. ERIC A

    ERIC A Supporting Member

    I recently put a set of Chorda Gut strings on my 7/8 Plywood Christopher bass. My question is, how long does it take for the strings to settle in. I am not pleased with the sound so far and I have used gut strings in the past. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I think you need to give them at least 3 weeks to really stretch in and settle. Most strings need at least a week and a half to respond the way they were intended to.
  16. ERIC A

    ERIC A Supporting Member

    This is my back up Bass. So, I was wondering if I am not playing it that often, should I expect it to take considerably longer to settle in? Should I keep it tuned to pitch or tune it down a step (I heard you should do that somewhere).

    Thank again!!

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't think you will have to worry about detuning the Chordas initially, but once they are broken in, it may prolong the life span of the strings. I think you really need to play a string in to get it to sound the way you want. It is stretching while you aren't playing, but not even close to the extent as if you are practicing and gigging on them.
  18. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada

    I have been playing guts for a while now (mostly Olivs and Eudoxas). Sometime ago I tried a set of Chordas. I didn't have them on very long but I couldn't work with them. Just way too big and thick and not enough sound. However I did like the G and used it with the Olivs and Eudoxas. There are some guys who play on the full Chorda set (e.g. Ben Wolfe) but not many.

  19. Michael C

    Michael C

    Mar 23, 2006
    Chapel Hill NC
    My gut strings are "shedding" and covered with hairs and fuzzy stuff. What is my best course of action? do I trim them with a razor or torch them off with a cigarette lighter or what?

    Thanks for any advise you may have. I generally play upright between thanksgiving and new years and have been neglecting my upright all summer and just picked it back up and it's all fuzzy and the wrapping is loose on the E and A. I can live with it for Christmas house parties but would rather address the problem.
  20. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Nail clippers work well for that.