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Gut tuning problem

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by NickyBass, Feb 9, 2006.


  1. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Just put a fresh set of guts on my bass, and they keep going out of tune. Do they need to stretch out for a few days before they start to stay? Or is there some other problem? Never had the problem before.
     
  2. chipsas

    chipsas

    Feb 28, 2005
    Europe, Lithuania
    i don't know what strings exactly you're talkin about, but for egz. eudoxa or oliv (wound gut) stay in tune just after about a week or 2..
    calm down :)
     
  3. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    For the first week they will go out of tune constantly. You will need to tweak them every tune or so. Keep in mind that while gut does become more stable, they will always be affected by humidity and temperature changes. It is a trade off for the tone.
     
  4. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I just put on a set of Labella guts on and the same thing is happening.

    I'll let you know in a couple of weeks if they stop going out of tune.

    I'm also having some trouble with the E string.l Tension wise its a little loose and I'm getting some string buzz in first position. I tried raising the bridge but it only helped a little.

    Any thoughts?
     
  5. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    If you just put the strings on, it will take some time for them to finish stretching and reach full tension. That alone may help. The Labella gut E, as I remember, is a pretty thick roundwound string and needs a lot of clearance. If raising the bridge doesn't work, you may need to have a luthier put a bit of scoop in your fingerboard.
    Guts can be all kinds of trouble, but I sure do love 'em.
     
  6. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Thanks CTX for the info.

    I may end up changing the string if time doesn't solve the problem. I've got a Spirocore Mittel E I can put on it instead.

    I'm not to keen on adding scoop to my fingerboard.
     
  7. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    what kind of guts are they?

    the pizzicato's i had for a while stayed in tune prety well after a few weeks.
    i played a bass that had plain gut g and d and i looked at how high the strings were and was like good gawd.....then i played it and it actually played real easy. my point is if you really want to play guts you might have to make the required setup adjustments to fully realize the potential of the strings (i.e. add some scoop to your FB).

    i'm pretty sure the guts will be somewhat stable after a few weeks, they will still be humidity sensitive though.
     
  8. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Still having problems with the E string.

    They are LaBella guts although I'm not sure about the E string.

    The color of the winding at the tailpiece is not the same color as the A string, which is a light lime green. The color is a brown and white pattern.

    I have an appointment to see a luthier this Saturday. I'm taking a fresh set of spirocores with me depending on how fustrated I get with these guts:help:
     
  9. When Pirastro first brought out their pizzicato strings i tried them on my little 3/4 size Dolling bass, left them on for a couple of weeks as you are supposed to and used them gigging for a couple of weeks, before deciding that they were going out of tune too much to be my working string. I put metal strings back on.
    A few months later, my big German bass (19th century no name) was back from the repairers . It had had a new front put on(major stuff) by Bridgewood and Neitzert, here in London, as the front had collapsed twice in as many years.
    I thought i would try the gut strings again, just to see what the bass sounded like. It sounded amazing. I've had them on for a couple of months now, and they just seem to get better and better. The tuning problem went away after a few days, and I can take it out of the case for the gig and it is still in tune from the last gig. It was the other bass that didn't work with the strings. I play quite a bit with singers, so tuning is a priority, and it has not been a problem with this bass. I do tend to check my tuning more regularly and they need an occasional tweak more than metal strings, but not after every number, and not at all as much as they did with the other bass. The Dolling is a good workhorse, a good bass, but prefers metal strings .
    You might be in the same position. There is not one definitive bass sound, different things work for different basses and different people, which I am sure you know. I will still use my Dolling, Although I think I play differently on each bass.
     
  10. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I'm going to a luthier on Sat. I'll pass along your experience.

    There may be some structural issues going on with the bass that I have the guts on right now.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  11. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I find that guts need a lot of tuning for the first few days they're on a bass while they're stretching. After that, they usually need to be tuned at the start of a playing session and particularly after undergoing any temperature change. That may be high maintenance for some, but I've adjusted to it.

    Glivanos, I've pretty much given up on those roundwound low gut stings unless you get boutique brands like Larson or Dlugolecki. I also had the best luck with thinner gauges (the LaBellas in particular are very thick). These days I like to mix plain gut uppers with a flat or semi-flat wound gut string like Pizzicato, Eudoxa or Olive. Much better quality and performance all around.

    I guess you just have to suffer a bit for that funky gut sound and feel, but I love it anyway. :)
     
  12. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Thanks Bobby. I'm thinking about putting on Spirocore Mittel E ad A strings instead of the wound E and A guts.

    I'll let you know how I make out.
     
  13. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    On my 7/8 bass with 42 1/4" string length I use gut strings, Pfitzner brand with an unwrapped A. I get these from Gotz in Germany. I haven't gotten the kind of response from them on my 3/4 bass with a 41" string from the same maker. There isn't quite enough focus to the note with the shorter string length. The other day I tried the Pirastro Pizzicato set and loved it. I wanted to warm up the G string sound, though, and the Golden Spiral G makes the set more tonally balanced to my ear. This 3/4 bass really sings in an old-fashioned gut string way now. I'm really enjoying playing the smaller bass now for groups with a lighter sound or when I need a quicker response than I get from the big, loud 7/8 mama. These strings have a little more tension than the traditional guts, so the feel is surprisingly similar on the two basses now. They seem to stay in tune a little easier than the traditional gut as well, especially that big fat unwrapped A!

    Steve Swan
    Retailer for Gill, Mastri, Paesold, Kolstein, Shen, etc.
     
  14. I'm currently playing La Bella pure gut on the D&G, and Innovation Super Silvers on the E&A on my 1946 Kay.

    As I wrote in another thread, I am really happy with the combination. The Super Silvers match the guts amazingly well, sound as well as playability.

    I tried spirocores on the E&A with the gut D&G, they did not match well at all.

    For a while I had a full set of the La Bella guts. The E&A are guts with a fine metal winding, basically a roundwound string. Really harsh on the fingertips and the fingerboard. The sound wasn't that great either. The E did want to buzz more, especially when I used a strong attack (hard pizz or slap).

    Ironically, the sound of the E&A Super Silvers match the pure gut Labella D&G better than the metal wound gut E&A Labella includes in the full sets.
     
  15. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Just an update. The tuning issues went away like a lot of you predicted. However, I decided that I need more precision out of the strings with the bow. I don't bow much, but enough on my current gig to look for alternatives. I just ordered a set of Obligatos and am hoping these will give me the best of both worlds. I will give an update after a few weeks with them.
     
  16. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    NickyBass,

    Another good "gut-like" string that bow very well are the Innovation 140B and 140H sets. The B is a braided core and is a little darker and thicker than the H. The B has a very nice arco tone and response. They're not terribly expensive either.
     
  17. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Thanks for the info. I am really digging the Obligatos. Very smooth sound and very easy to bow. It's a shame that finding the right strings is so difficult and expensive. I've only bought 4 sets in my 15 years of playing. I've played basses that sound good with certain strings that don't sound good on my bass.
     
  18. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Man, I've spent hundreds of $$ trying out strings over the years. But, you can usually get back at least 50% of your money selling them here or on ebay if the strings are only used briefly. A lot of us are in the same boat and will buy used sets to experiment with. And it's really true that certain strings sound good on one bass and not on another.