Gut strings research data

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Adrian Cho, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I spent this morning doing a summary of gut string options - Pirastro, Labella and some of the smaller manufacturers. Summary info on the options from the lesser-known guys is below followed by price data:

    Damian Dlugolecki, Troutdale, OR

    A and E are silver round-wound
    Can't make C extension

    Dan Larson, Duluth, MN

    Dan Larson says that Lyon is a little stiffer than Pistoy and would be better for pizz as it has a quicker response

    Copper wound strings are polished a little so they are slightly flat on the outside and the sound is thus a little warmer. Also have silverplate wound which are a little brighter.

    Not clear if they can make C extension - 165 cm is the limit on winding length with their machinery

    Aquila, Portland, OR (strings made in Italy)

    Curtis Daily says to use high twist G and D for pizz
    A and E are silver round-wound
    Can't make C extension

    Price comparison

    Chorda G (Quinn) - $52
    Oliv G (Quinn) - $65
    Eudoxa G (Quinn) - $71
    Labella G (Quinn) - $56
    Dlugolecki G - $65
    Aquila High Twist G Medium - $57
    Gamut Lyon G - $72

    Chorda D (Quinn) - $94
    Oliv D (Quinn) - $68
    Eudoxa D (Quinn) - $80
    Labella D (Quinn) - $60
    Dlugolecki D - $109
    Aquila High Twist D Medium - $72
    Gamut Lyon D - $95

    Chorda A (Quinn) - $63
    Oliv A (Quinn) - $74
    Eudoxa A (Quinn) - $89
    Labella Plain Gut or Silver Wound A (Quinn) - $71
    Dlugolecki A - $112
    Aquila Silver Wound A Medium - $106
    Gamut Copper or Silver A - $95

    Chorda E (Quinn) - $144
    Oliv E (Quinn) - $102
    Eudoxa E (Quinn) - $95
    Labella E (Quinn) - $81
    Dlugolecki E - $136
    Aquila Silver Wound E Medium - $112
    Gamut Copper or Silver E - $120

    Oliv E extended (Quinn) - $199
    Eudoxa E extended (Quinn) - $189
    Labella E extended (Quinn) - $92

    Gamut does rewinding for $45
  2. Handy info man, good work. I use Lenzners from Bob Gollihur. I cant compare them to any other guts as they are my first gut set.
  3. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    Great work indeed Adrian, im currently using G and D plain gut from Lemur and A and E Pirastro Olive... but i would love to give a try to a plain G and D from either Dan Larson or Damian Dlugolecky .... i've heard nothing but good things...
    I used to have a old Aquila G , but cant say much about it, it was old and i just hated the sound, even after i sanded it and oiled it like i do when i find old gut strings.

  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Nuno. I think you may be able to answer a big question for me. I am thinking about changing to an Oliv E. I've only heard of a couple of people that have tried it and I think in both cases they said the pizz was really dead and the pitch was not very discernible. I currently have an Efrano (Lemur) G, an Oliv D and Eudoxa A and E. I am very sure I will change the A to an Oliv (which is what I was using on my previous bass) and I think the E may need to change too but it's an expensive experiment.

    I really hate the Efrano G. I was using the Chorda G on my previous bass and it was a lot nicer and less maintenance. I find the Efrano G sounds crappier under the bow and crappy in thumb position pizz.
  5. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    I've been using the Efrano G's for quite a while and i like the strings, however a year ago i sent one back because the quality was not the best, bad tone, dry, however Lemur imediately replaced it.. i would like to try the chorda G , i guess its gonna be my next G. In the past i used a G plain gut string that a luthier gave to me, AND THAT WAS THE STRING, never ever had a plain gut string like that , sweet and mellow tone, great with the arco.
    I dont know the brand, the string was in a plastic envelope without any id. Ok, about the Olive E, its a very dark string , and the pizz indeed is a little dead, however i raised the action of my bass and the string started to ring a little better,but is still very dark, i always heard that the Eudoxa E is a little brighter and i would like to try it... What dont you like about the Eudoxa E?
    The problem with gut strings, is that is such an expensive experiment, trying a new E means at least $100 , and maybe after you dont like it :rolleyes: . But i cant stay away from gut, thats the sound i have in my head and nothing except gut can give me that sound... try to get an used Olive E , thats what i did.. at least i had an idea about how it sounded... And to think that i have friends that in the 70's just put bags of gut strings in the trash since the sound they liked was the never ending ringin' bass notes :crying: .

  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I still don't really understand this long sustain thing. I played a bass at a jam session the other night. It was setup with really low action - my fingers on the right hand kept slipping off the strings - and some super long sustaining string. I found it really annoying. I pizz any of the gut strings I play on and the sustain seems plenty long enough for me, even for long notes on ballads, etc.

    I'm not sure my current bass works well with gut on the bottom - at least on the E. I think it needs a little higher tension to drive it. It had Spirocores when I first got it and I put the guts on and they were surprisingly weak. However I got a soundpost adjustment and I'll give it another week. I'm also finding the Eudoxas a little problematic for faster arco work - the lower tension is a little hard to work with and the Olivs would be a bit stiffer.

    I may have to go with a Spirocore Weich or something else on the E. Would be a lot cheaper too. I had a Eudoxa C extension string that I just returned to Quinn. It was $180 US for the string. I ended up not using it since I never got round to getting the extension on. I was glad he gave me a full refund for it (and an unused Eudoxa A as well).

    The Chorda G is a little thicker than the Efrano and it's coated in something that seems to make it bow better and makes it pretty much maintenance free - no hairs, etc. I've only had that Efrano G on for while (someone sent it to me but it was pretty new when they gave it to me) and the surface is already pretty icky. I never had that problem with the Chorda.

    I love the gut too but I have to say that I still don't know about plain gut on the D. I tried the Chorda D for a very short while (I really didn't give it enough time) and I found it quite unplayable because it was so thick.
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Maybe you'd like an Original Flexocor E.
    It's thick and dark, but still half the price of an Oliv E.
    I think it'd fit nicely with an Oliv A and D.
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks for the tip Francois. I was hoping someone might have some other alternatives to suggest. I was considering a Dominant E at one time but I've heard that while Dominants are a little gut like in tone, they are much stiffer than gut. The Spiro Weich was the only other thing I had in mind but while it's loud, I figured it might be too bright to mix with the Olivs.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Adrian, one thing you might not like about the Weich E is that the diameter is going to be quite a bit smaller than the Olive A(if you get around to putting one on). The Dominants are a nice string...I second Francois idea though. That may end up working really well.
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I've always gotten gobs of sustain out of Weichs on all of my basses. So, if you're trying to avoid that, you might want to look elsewhere.
  11. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    If you're worried about the tension, you might also consider trying a solo Dominant tuned to orchestral pitch.
  12. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    The thing is that I'm quite sure this new bass of mine needs a higher tension string at least on E and perhaps the A and perhaps the whole set. I am unwilling to move away from gut on the top but on the E I certainly think I can get away with something else. However of course it's a matter of finding that will match the gut strings in sound, gauge, and approximate feel - not too high tension but not too low either.
  13. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I have a solo Dominant F# here and at orchestra pitch, my opinion is that it's much too floppy, but YMMV!