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Gut Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Mr.Phil, Jun 23, 2005.


  1. Mr.Phil

    Mr.Phil

    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I've decided that if I want the same bass tone present in older jazz and blues recordings, I need to switch to gut... What manufacturers would you recomend and where can I find the best deal? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    By far the best deal is at Upton Bass...Clef guts for $160. I don't know if they're the best gut string or not, but they're the best deal. I like them.

    Be warned...if you like sustain, you will not get it on the E, and you'll just barely get some on the A. The D and G, however, are terrific.
     
  3. Mr.Phil

    Mr.Phil

    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into them.
     
  4. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    I've really been enjoying a combination of Eudoxa E & A with Labella Goldentone D & G. All strings are wrapped guts (Silver on the Eudoxas, nylon on the GTs), giving more volume, more sustain, and much more articulation than plain gut - without compromising "that sound." The biggest drawback is the cost - around $350 for this combo. I have to agree with Jimmy - for straight pizz players (assuming that's your thang), an all-plain gut set might not give you the clarity and volume you're looking for.
     
  5. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    The Clef guts are a good deal, but you might find the unwound E&A
    strings unsuitable. It might be better to try plain gut D&G with your current E&A to see if you like the feel. I've been happy with Pirastro guts, but these might be worth a try:

    http://www.urbbob.com/strings.html#lenzner
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I almost forgot...Mr. Phil, if you're unsure if you'll like guts or not, I totally recommend going to www.traditionmusic.com, click on "Tradition Music Store" and checking out Barefoot Larry's Hillbilly Slap Strings. They're made out of weed eater line, and they sound nearly identical to guts. They're lower tension than guts and don't have the same textured feel, but they do sound and respond like guts. And they're somewhat bowable, if that's important to you. And at $15, it beats buying guts and deciding you don't like them.

    BTW, I can vouch for what Brent says about the Eudoxas. I currently have Eudoxa E and A on my bass as well, and the tone is amazing and almost identically matches up with the plain guts (you have to use the A to get them to match up...the E is a little too ringy to use by itself). The drawbacks, though, are the price (I bought mine used so I didn't suffer too badly), and they're pretty tough on the fingers if you slap. But I'm trying to get used to them because the sound is to die for, and if you don't slap, it's a non-issue.
     
  7. Mr.Phil

    Mr.Phil

    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I've played a few basses with gut and decided its what I want. I appreciate the weed whacker tip, but I'd rather spend money once, even if its a lot and only have to set up the strings once. Slap isn't super important, but I would like a set that would allow me to do so if needed. Keep the suggestions coming...
     
  8. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    While there ARE similarities between whackers and plain gut, I'd recommend that a gut newbie's first experience be with the real deal. Whackers may be a reasonable imitation, but trying them first might turn a few folks away from gut before ever trying the real thing...

    Yet another option is to run plain A, D & G with an Oliv E, the darker-sounding Oliv making a better match for the plain strings than a (brighter) Eudoxa E.
     
  9. CB3000

    CB3000 Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Madison, wi
    The Efrano plain gut D and G from lemur are great IMHO. Lemur Also has rope core E and A strings that go nicely with the gut. actually plain gut with rope core e and a was used a bunch back in the day. i have a goetz wrapped gut A that i just love. i tried the lenzners but the wrapped strings were lumpy from the inner wire and this caused them to buzz. i also had luck with dominant solo E and A. if you have the dough Eudoxa E and A will be great. I did have a problem with them unraveling. the gut core would stretch and shrink and the metal wrap would come loose. could have been the lack of humidity at the time...i can't remember.
     
  10. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    My 2 cents:

    If you're not concerned about bowing, get an Efrano G and D and a Pirastro Pizzicato A and E. I've used that set up and have loved it (except for arco). The Pizzicatos are pricey, but I think they're superior to roundwound gut A and E's. A setup like that should last at least a year and will work for lots of styles -- rockabilly, blues, swing and jazz.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I can dig how people would have a hard time taking the whacker strings seriously. When I had them on my bass, I had reactions ranging from "Those strings aren't really weed whacker cord, are they?" to "Is this a joke?" But I liked them. I keep them in the bag in case I break a gut.
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    If I ever come to Deltona, I probably won't ask to borrow your bass.

    I think the Animas are a nice approach to gut sound and feel, even if they are silk core...
     
  13. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas

    I started with a full set of Chordas and then replaced the E&A with Olives. The E was lacking clarity so I replaced it with a Eudoxa. The Eudoxa E was much too bright in comparison with the Olive A,so I replaced the A with a Eudoxa. I was surprised at how well the Eudoxas matched with plain gut.

    I've been happy with this set up, but the D is a bit "iffy" at times.


    Hmmmm........
     
  14. That's exactly what I'm using right now and I like it a lot too.
     
  15. Having a several week break from playing gigs, I decided to put the gut strings back on the Kay. This time I bought a plain gut A string just for kicks. I like it...alot. It's big and freaky looking but feels so good on the hands. No harmonics to speak of, but what a thump! The main reason I decided to go this route was for arco. I can't stand the way arco trasitions from the wound A to the plain D. The plain A bows like a dream. It is the sound I was looking for. I would recommend at least trying this setup for anyone serious about gut, but don't expect any kind of sustain. Another plus is that the copper on gut E sound rather bright by comparison!

    Jon
     
  16. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    I too absolutely love bowing a plain gut A. Now, if we could only have a string that had that sound arco, but a great pizz too!!
     
  17. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Alexi, you've played Jargar sometimes, don't they compare?
     
  18. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    I liked the Dolces, but the arco sounds nothing like plain gut

    And I swear, that plain Lenzner A must be 3 times thicker than the dolce :D