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My bass hates gut D strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by transition, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Hey gang - long time, no post...

    My bass doesn't seem to like gut D strings, and I'm wondering what the answer is.

    About a year ago, I went from Evah Pirazzi weichs to a mixed set of Anima E and A and Gamut Lyon medium D and G.

    The D string just never settled in. It was dead and didn't have a good pitch center.

    A few weeks ago, I finally had enough and bit the bullet to try a Pistoy light. Initially, it seemed like things were going to be great - after just two days, it already sounded better than the Lyon. But... it didn't continue to get any better than that.

    It's been almost two weeks now, and it really hasn't changed much. The intonation has stabilized, so I think it's pretty much all stretched out now. But it's still very quiet, fuzzy sounding, and fairly dead.

    I thought it was possible that my Lyon medium was just a dud, but the chances of getting another dud seem slim.

    I never really had any problems with the D string when I was using Evah Pirazzis.

    Is this possibly a sound post issue?
    Is there another thing that could be done to the bass?
    Should I just consider another string?
    If so, what would work well with the other three I've got?

    I absolutely love the other three strings, so I don't really want to give up on this type of setup.

    I'm just sick of having a dead sounding D string.

  2. bskts247

    bskts247 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I dont have any experience with any of these strings (other than Evah's briefly) but you may want to try a full set of Animas or get get an Anima D string

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    That's life with a plain gut D, on your bass, my bass, everybody's bass.

    Anima Ds are nice next to a Lyon G, as are Garbo Light Ds.
  4. HateyMcAmp


    Apr 13, 2006
  5. bopit01


    Mar 5, 2014
    Many of those brands I've not heard of. I started another thread on gut strings, because I am looking to try other brands or at least source a reputable supplier and a good price without compromising on quality.
    Have you taken your bass to a bass luthier? He may have some suggestions.
    My D is dull also, but when I change to a fresh set of strings it seems to bring the notes back to life (at least for a while)
    If you do figure out why - please share as I'm sure we'd all love to know.
  6. What about repositioning the soundpost? At least worth a try if you want to stay with gut. But naked gut D (and A!) strings are thick and I doubt you get a better one than a Pistoy light D. You can probably try metal wound gut for the D (they are thinner and should sound better than naked Ds). Or stay with a downtuned Evah Solo E string for the D.
  7. tito mangialajo

    tito mangialajo

    Feb 1, 2006
    I have a Pistoy D light. Great string!
  8. lcdck

    lcdck Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    New York, NY
    Gut D's don't work on some basses. Neal Miner says his bass never worked with natural gut so he plays an oliv D. Have you tried the backwards threading at the tailpiece? It may give you a little more tension and bring some life to your D.

    Gauge may be another factor. I use a heavy Pistoy D and it speaks well on my bass but every bass is different.
  9. Thanks to all of you!!

    I never realized that gut Ds were often problematic. I love the sounds of the other three strings, so I'm a bit hesitant to start mucking around with soundpost adjustments. I think I'll try an Anima.

    So... anyone want to buy a less than one month old Pistoy light D?

  10. I just thought the problem might not be the strings but the soundpost position, so trying other strings might not help too much in that case. And adjusting the soundpost (even if done by a luthier) might be cheaper than a few more D strings or complete string sets ...
  11. Gut D's are something you either love or hate.

    Personally, I love the sound of a fat, thumpy D string, and so does my bass! It's just so flabby and round :)

  12. It wasn't so much that it was "thumpy" - I want thump. It was just dead dead dead and had no pitch center. As in, it had lots of different pitch centers and sounded almost like some kind of multiphonic.

    Got an Anima D. Tonewise, it sits nicely between the Anima A and the Lyon med G, so: perfect!

    Thanks, all!
  13. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    I have had the same problem with D gut strings for the past 3 years. I have tried different D guts, tried more tension. And nothing. Though it didn't sound as dead, but definitely had weird pitch problems. Sometimes I would play a note, and it would be a bunch of notes together. This would occur mostly in the middle area of the fingerboard, just before the thumb position. I now switched to steel strings, and although I miss the thumpy sound of gut, at least now I can hear my notes clearly. Maybe I'll go back after a while but who knows. Like others have said, it's love or hate thing.
  14. Nathan Peck

    Nathan Peck

    Sep 8, 2010
    New York City
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar,Sadowsky,SeymourDuncan,KalaUBass,AudioTechnica,Focusrite
    Transition- I'll buy that Pistoy light D if you have it still.
    Pm me
  15. AndreasH


    Apr 8, 2005
    Haha, yes it seems like that's the case!

    Currently I have the same problem with a nylonwound gut D, Labella Goldentone Red Label.

    I recently used a Garbo light D next to a Gamut Lyon G and later Labella Goldentone G.
    It was nice and all but I sure missed the meaty gut feel.

    Anyway, is there some way to fix this? I tried to pull it the "wrong way" through the tailpiece to gain some extra tension, but I'm not sure it worked. Any suggestions?

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    I didn't like the Goldentone D. Too thin. It felt like overcooked spaghetti. Have you tried the Chorda Carlos D? It's meaty and fairly articulate.

    I may have a use for those Goldentones if you don't like them.
  17. AndreasH


    Apr 8, 2005
    I do have a Carlos Chorda D, but I kind of had the same problem as any other gut D...

    I really like the overall sound and feel of the Goldentone D/G, but the D is WAY too floppy.

    Have you ever tried the Lenzner Supersolo "Jazz" D?
  18. lrhbass

    lrhbass Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Having the same problem with Gut on theD,I tried the Olive which did the trick.

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Olivs scare me. Expensive and prone to unwinding? Not for me.

    I have not tried Lenzer Supersolos. I did have one of their plain gut Es and it was a good quality string.
  20. AndreasH


    Apr 8, 2005

    I tend to dig in pretty hard and wouldn't be able to trust the Olivs, eventhough they sound great!

    Garbo light D is reliable, makes a good transition from the gut G and it has a great pizz sound. And then you pick up the bow... :meh: