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metal to gut strings : change of setup?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by perytojie, Aug 29, 2005.


  1. perytojie

    perytojie

    Dec 2, 2004
    Nancy, FRANCE
    Hi everyone. As you might have seen in other posts of mine (check my signature), i'm flat broke at the moment (actually it's been several months). I bought those strings like 6 months ago but can't afford to pay to get them installed. So, if i wanted to install them myself, what should i know, be careful at etc.?

    The strings are Pirastro Eudoxa E & A and Oliv D & G.

    I guess i'll have to widen the nut & bridge slots as my bass was strung with standard Spirocore Weich.

    What is this thing about graphite anyway?

    Finally, what i'm afraid of is the difference of pressure between Spiro and Pirastro. It would mean sound post adjustments, maybe bridge heighth adjustment. Would I have to re-shape the soundpost, or the bridge? Gee, I need to get that money!!

    (for those who've seen this post with another title, i changed it so my problem's more explicit. i actually do know how to install strings myself, it's just that i never got gut strings under my hands.)
     
  2. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    I'm not qualified to answer most of yr qesutions, but Re graphite, it works a s a sort of lubricant to allow the string to moveon the bridge. You can easily apply it by simply "drawing" in the slot with a soft pencil. No idea if you need it with gut strings.
     
  3. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    With a tapered round file, a pencil, and a little patience, you can widen the grooves and avoid the poorhouse. You should not have to do anything to the soundpost, providing it's well-fitted and positioned (switch one string at a time to avoid dropping the post). Make sure you angle the nut grooves down toward the pegbox, and round the sharp bridge groove edges a bit. Use the part of the file that is the corresponding thickness of the string you're seating. Make straight strokes with the file. Dress grooves with pencil...play.
     
    Youngspanion likes this.
  4. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    At one point I switched to that same gut mix, and my friendly luthier did widened nut and bridge slots a bit. It's a quick job, does not require much time and can be done while the old strings are still on, just un-tune them one by one and file the slots to proper diameter. Then you go home and change your strings yourself. Prolly you'll need to raise the bridge height, and, since you don't have adjusters and you're broke, it could be done with shims under the feet. What I understand is that our luthiers used to get some margin on string sales, and would not mind changing them and do a little maintenance in the process, "for free". But that was prior to e-shopping... and talkbass.
     
  5. perytojie

    perytojie

    Dec 2, 2004
    Nancy, FRANCE
    thanx for your advice guys!

    i'm still a bit worried for my bass about string tension change. also, as pirastro strings are quite expensive, i wouldn't like to ruin them by doing something wrong. i heard a lot of stories here at talkbass city about pirastros just falling into pieces (windings problems if i remember well)!

    olivier, i do have adjusters on my bridge but would they change the action enough is the question, and if i need to raise one string in particular i wont have any other choice than reshaping it (which i dont feel like messing around with...)

    i really dont know if i should give it a try and see what happens or settle down and stop thinking about those strings until i have the money to get them on my bass.
     
  6. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    From this answer and your signature, I urge you to forget about it and go to practice.
     
  7. perytojie

    perytojie

    Dec 2, 2004
    Nancy, FRANCE
    olivier, i'm on it!
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I had a couple Eudoxas on my bass for a couple months, and other than the bridge leaving a dent in the string, I have had no problems with the delicate nature of the strings. yes, they're delicate, but they're not so delicate you can't use them. I took off and put my Eudoxas on 3 times and suffered through 2 bridge collapsings and it didn't hurt the strings at all.
     
  9. perytojie

    perytojie

    Dec 2, 2004
    Nancy, FRANCE
    mmm... maybe i'm over worried about losing those strings because they were quite expensive. Anyway, as i'd like to have my neck reshaped, get rid of those adjusters on the bridge & get the soundpost inside my bass looked at ( i read this thread on boomy notes ), i might become patient, get better and let the luthier do the rest! thank you for the answer anyway!
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Why get rid of the adjusters?
     
  11. perytojie

    perytojie

    Dec 2, 2004
    Nancy, FRANCE
    well, first of all the guy who put the adjusters on for me to did not do a great work in that when he drilled the legs of the bridge he *****ed up one of them. He didn't manage to get it straight so he had to do it again and he just left a hole in the middle of the bass side foot caused by his first attempt.

    the other reason is that i'd like to have a bridge in one piece for the sake of better sound transmission and as i don't really see the point in having those on my bridge... they were first installed to allow me to change string heighth between classical & jazz/pizz sessions but i ended up not using them and feeling fine that way. actually i rarely use a bow in so-called classical situation as i'm not studying it anymore. so whenever i use it it's at home practicing or in a gig situation and i guess i should practice in the same conditions as gig (i.e not lower the strings to play the bow).

    by the way, i decided to put those strings on!!! Feels great, even if i'm sure now that'll switch to plain gut one day and that i need to find a more precise and articulate sounding instrument, or could it be the sound post???

    i heard as well that there was something about the nut implicated in sound precision but i can't remember what...
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I tested a full set of Olivs eariler this year on one of my Basses. They are thicker so I widened the slots at both ends. I have been setting up my own Basses since the 70s and have done repairs so I am pretty good at it. After testing them, I went back to Flexocors (reg. and then Orig.) and stuck with them. I had no problem switching back as I just tweaked the bottom of each groove so it grabbed the string better..

    ARNOLD? Check my Grooves as you fit my EXT. and let us know if they are useable after my 'Oliv Martini'-Mod. Arnold has my Martini, the Bass I did this with.

    I had to play an Opera so to get a bigger sound with the Olivs, I raised the Bridge way up. The A and especially the E needed more height than regular steel string to be audible with Pizz. It was LaBoheme and had quite a bit of Pizz in it.. Old Italian Opera style 'Pizza'..

    I hear that the Eudoxa E and A solve this Problem and should be much better especially for Pizz on the bottom 2 strings..

    Follow Arnolds instruction and you should be fine...
     
  13. 1. Your concern about string tension change is ill founded. Aside from how they feel under your fingers, the differences are inconsequential. You can find the tensions of most strings on the maker's website.
    2. Pirastro is a fine string maker. The only problem reported around here concerned one string of the many that they make, namely, the Obligato. The problem is that once they are brought up to tension, if you have to take them off for any reason, they typically lose their life.
    3. The point of adjusters includes being able to compensate for seasonal weather and temperature changes which cause the top to rise and fall, affecting the string height from the fingerboard. If you go to a solid bridge, you're going to need two of them. This is the common practice among bassists in the orchestras all around you in Europe.
    4. If you "need to raise one string in particular," your bridge is improperly made to begin with, and you might as well throw it out.
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Not true for me with the Obligatos. I had a set on and off 4 times within 2 different Basses. they were fine for Pizz but the E did not Bow as well after the 2nd time on and off.
     
  15. lilolejay

    lilolejay

    Jul 25, 2005
    i bought a brand-spanking new bass and switched from the stock steel strings to gut. that was about 6 months ago...

    i noticed that my strings never stay tuned at all so i took a look underneath (you know, that place you never, ever think to look) and noticed that the tightening of the gut strings have pulled the end pin to the point of cracking the wood and breaking the joint apart :bawl:

    i had thought about making some changes anyways (stripping the paint off and going with a light-colored varnish) so i wasnt too upset about what i found.

    so, ive been reading about the different kinds of glue to use for my repairs and im not even so sure ill be sticking with the gut strings.

    do you reckon it would be better to use a good nylon set or (if i can find it here in germany) should i trust hide or PVC glue to do the trick?

    i dont really want to stick to steel because they really muss up the fingers...
     
  16. Little Old Jay,
    It sounds as if the string grooves in the bridge are too narrow and also in need of some graphite. If you're going to do this yourself, don't make the grooves deeper; only wider. As for other repairs, wait for a luthier's input.
     
  17. lilolejay

    lilolejay

    Jul 25, 2005

    Thanks for that, Don! Great info!

    i dont plan on doing more than sealing the bottom and refinishing the bass. something very, very light. since the bass is so new, i dont suppose i could do it any more harm than is already done...

    tell you what, i wish i had found this when i was in the market:
    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7349937093
     
  18. err Lilo and Don - what are we talking about here? I thought it was the end-pin cracking he bottom block or is it the saddle or were the solts in the bridge not widened out to accomodate the thicker gut strings and the bridge warped or what? If lower tension guts caused the endpin to crack its a bit of a lost cause swapping strings is it not?

    If this is a new bass does it have a guarantee?
     
  19. What I said was
    I'm not going to speculate.
     
  20. lilolejay

    lilolejay

    Jul 25, 2005

    Roger that, Don. I'm taking your advice and will hold off...