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Low twist rate plain guts?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Reiska, May 16, 2018.


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  1. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Hello all. I`m looking for a stiff and tense plain gut A to coplement my Pirastro GD ( reqular Chorda and unwound nylon wrapped Pizzicato ). My lenzner is just too floppy even at 13mm`s height and so I put my 3,7mm Efrano on tonight after rehearsals, but didn`t have the change to actually try it yet. What is there on worldwide market? Kuerschner, boutique makers doing low twist strings?

    Many thanks in advance, Reiska
     
  2. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    IME you're always going to have a love/hate relationship with plain gut A strings.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  3. Grant the Canuk

    Grant the Canuk Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Ottawa, ON. Canada
    I'm pretty sure that Gamut will make you a custom Lyon A. I remember seeing one in the overstock once and was pretty tempted to grab it. Not sure how stiff it would be, they are definitely lower twist and stiffer than the pistoys. I have a pistoy A of medium guage and I love it. Maybe a varnished Lyon is what you're looking for.
     
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  4. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Many thanks, I`ll check out the Gamut offerings.
     
  5. Grant the Canuk

    Grant the Canuk Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Ottawa, ON. Canada
    You wont see a Lyon A on the Gamut site. Send Dan an email and ask for one special order.
     
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  6. Grant the Canuk

    Grant the Canuk Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Ottawa, ON. Canada
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  7. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp

    Apr 13, 2006
    Colorado
    Krivo Pickups - uncompensated endorser
    Damian Dlugolecki makes a traditional plain gut A, but I’ve never used one. I used a pistoy A with Gamut Lyon D and G, and it worked as well as a plain gut can work, I think.
     
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  8. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Dlugolecki also makes a killin' plain A but it's not even close to cheap...
     
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  9. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thank you all! I thought about Dlugolecki as well. Price ain`t no issue as I`m looking for a very specific feel and tone, and a fat plain gut string lasts forever if maintained well. Lenzners and Efranos aren`t bad strings at all IMO, but I`m spoiled by my Pirastro guts. They have this stiffer feel and more projection and clarity in their tone than any plain guts I ever tried. Ease of playing time too as I don`t have to overdo things with my right hand.
     
  10. Co.

    Co.

    Sep 10, 2006
    Germany
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  11. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thanks Co. I`ve had a couple of Baldock`s strings and thought about dropping him a mail too. I might be looking for something little stiffer than his Kathedral -line strings are. Gotta check the Pure Cordes too!
     
  12. Co.

    Co.

    Sep 10, 2006
    Germany
    The Pure Corde lower strings come in two versions: high twist and triple, and in all possible gauges.
    I have a 4,6mm high twist A string, that I like very much.
    The name "high twist" might suggest, that it is a very flexible string, wich it is, but it comes in a much larger gauge than many other strings, so it doesn't feel floppy at all. It is a very powerful string!
    Your 3.7mm Efrano has a tension of 19kg, while a 4.6mm Pure Corde has 29kg, while still being very playable and articulate. That makes a huge difference.
    But I have to admit, that I am using it purely arco at the moment on a baroque bass with frets. Playing pizz on gut strings is a sound I love, but for my own pizz/jazz/improv playing, I need steel strings, so I can't tell you much about how the pure corde works in that context.
     
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  13. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and experiences Co.! 4,6mm A string, that`s a serious bastard!!! :)
     
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  14. What would the E be..?
     
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  15. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Another vote for Dlugolecki strings. If there is one thing that is a common fault for a plain A, it is a flabby tone and tendency to unravel. Dlugolecki's strings are bright and complex by comparison. It is well worth the extra $$$.
     
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  16. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    @Povl , E string is, and will be Evah w, Spiro w, or godforgiveme Oliv or Eudoxa. My bass bag is a mess and I play a lot acoustically outside this summer, and wrapped gut might be too much of a headache. I need the tension though and Evah w is great with Efrano medium I have now on my bass. However, I`ll propably take @Steve Swan`s recommendation seriously as it sounds like a Dlugolecki would fit the bill. My Efrano hasn`t been played fully in and it propably opens up more via playing, but it`s powerful beast, like a 18" calf skin bass drum tuned to A. Sustain comes with correct intonation and symphatetic vibrations, pythagoras s**t. Still, it`s very dark and thuddy comparing to Pirastros I have for DG. Anyway, it gives me time to collect the dough for a serious boutique string.

    Many thanks for sharing the knowledge!!!

    Reiska
     
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  17. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    I played Spiro weichs with Pirastro low twist plain guts until now, and it`s fantastic for many reasons. I dropped the piezo after a horrible gig with loaner amp and decicided to go mic only to house, if not acoustic which I do 97% of time anyway, be there drummers horns and whathave you. It`s VERY loud and projecting when played with heavy right hand pizz. Arco, however is a serious challenge, the tension difference between spiro w A and plain gut D. While I absolutely love sounds of Haden and Ben Street it`s just not going anywhere, no matter how much I practise with that in mind. I also noticed that the fantastic growl of the E string becomes lyrical mwahh on the A string, and for that I very much prefer completely another instrument, a ftretless BG, which I play even more badly than DB, if at all.

    For me, the arco heaven is about plain guts on top of the E string. There`s no substitude existing. The feel, depht of tone, powerful arcaic quality of tone. That`s enough to deal with at this stage with pizz. I didn`t change my pizz approach, just play the strings by the arch of the fingerboard, sideways, not snapping against it. This way I get most of pop to the front end and all sustain the string has to give. At the very end of the fingerboard, or even under it.

    I play rootsyfolky stuff and lots of so called improvised music. Plain guts work like a charm in these contexts. And, it`s the doghouse bull fiddle tone I hear in my head, love and keep searching for.

    This all is why I came back to plain gut A, but it definently is a love / hate relationship, as is just about everything else about double bass. However, it`s very addictive to be able to pull and draw THAT SOUND to at least some extent. My bandmates keep saying that nah, your stuff comes audible enough allready. That`s very satisfying.
     

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