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New to Guts

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by peterpalmieri, Mar 10, 2008.


  1. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Ok guys I think I've done the necessary reading......

    I have never owned a bass strung with guts and am really ready to give it a try.

    There are so many different strings to choose from and I am not sure what to try first and I'd prefer not to have $1000 worth of string just laying around for testing.

    I currently play a Kolstein Hybrid bass strung with Heritage bass strings. When playing out I mostly play pizz jazz but I'd also like to get involved with a local orchestra which I might do soon. My point being I want a great sounding pizz jazz string but I don't want it to make my orchestral/acro harder or less desirable. At the moment I spend allot of time practicing scales and etudes with the bow and I don't see this changing anytime soon.

    What sparked this? Well I went to see the Ron Carter Nonet over the weekend, suprisingly enough I was super impressed with the bass player in the group, he played a set of Guts and it sounded great and it made me realize how much darker and nicer he sounded especially on the upper strings. Can't say I loved RC's amplified sound but he was still great and that's another story for another day!

    The teacher I am currently with plays Animas but he has a bass specifically set up for jazz playing and didn't seem to love the them for all around playing. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    If you don't want to sacrifice arco sound but still want to use guts, you'd want the kind that are gut core but are flatwound, such as Eudoxas or Olivs (those are the first two I think of). Also, if you don't want to spend a ton of money at first, just get an Oliv or Eudoxa (or whatever) G and see how you like it before spending money on a full set. You might end up just having gut cores on the D and G, and use a hybrid or dark steel string for the E and A.

    Have you tried Dominants or Evah Pirazzi strings? You can get a D and G for either for less than an Olive/Eudoxa G. Velvet also makes the Compas 180 (solo and orch tuning) which are meant for arco work but supposedly still give a somewhat gut-like fat sound (I don't know this from experience).
     
  3. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Phil,

    Thanks. It seems like the Oliv G/D and Eudo E/A are a popular choice here on TB.

    I have not tried "Dominants or Evah Pirazzi".....
     
  4. I have to agree that maybe a step by step process towards guts would be the best approach. Naked guts can be a big adjustment in set-up, sound and overall physical approach. I started on guts and then tried to go steel. Along the way I tried most of the brands out there. I found the Oliv's to be a very nice substitute for the G and D. For the A and E I would go with Dominants, Evah's or the like. The Eudoxa's were not right for me but so many think they are the best all around gut-cores out there. I think I found them to be a higher tension and I'm a slapper of sorts so that was no good. Take a deep breath, it's a whole new bass with gut anything.
     
  5. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Thanks for that information.

    A few questions:

    1. Will I need to have my nut cut for an Oliv D & G?

    2. Can I use my current Heritage E & A is advisable to stick with those?

    Thanks..

    Pete
     
  6. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Answers..

    1. It's likely that the grooves won't be wide enough to fit the Olivs (a common thing for those switching to guts).

    2. Keep the E and A on for now. Decide if you want to keep them or change them once you've heard how they sound with the new gut(s).
     
  7. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    That's something I'm not going to tackle myself.

    I will probably hold off to actually change the strings until I have my spring set up done that way I won't have to give up my bass on more then one occassion.

    Does that make sense?
     
  8. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sure. I don't think it's that big a job to have the slots widened... Probably something a luthier can do while you wait. Check out those EP's and/or Dominants too.
     
  9. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Do you think the Oliv/Eudo is my first best choice for a full set or are the dominants or EPs a better first choice. Maybe even the Animas?
     
  10. You can file or sand your nut yourself. It won't look as professional as a luthier job, but it'll be free and work just as well (if you're careful).
     
  11. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY

    I guess it might not be to difficult but I am only minutes from the Kolstein shop so I would probably go that route...

    Thanks though.
     
  12. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I think it's useful to learn how to groom your own nuts.

    It's never quite the same when someone else does it no matter how professional they are.

    Oliv D and G are fantastic hybrid crossover strings. The Arco is great as is the pizz.

    Plain gut is a whole nuther thing....
     
  13. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Very funny, some how I am not shocked!

    The Oliv DG, Eudo EA seem to be a good start. I don't think I'll jump right to "naked guts". The cheaper easier way to go with is a set of Anima's but I'm not sure if it will be enough of a change.

    I'll continue to keep reading and listening to all your great advice...

    Pete
     
  14. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Can someone chime in on the difference between a full set of Animas vs. Oliv DG and Eudo EA.

    I am narrowing my focus down to something that is going to sound "traditional gut" pizz but bow well.

    My only other concern is maintenence of the strings which will seem to carry a little more resposibility vs steel.

    Thanks again guys...

    Pete
     
  15. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Animas are not like guts. I don't know why everyone thinks they are. They are closer to spirocores than they are to gut. Sort of like a Dominant or Evah Pirrazi with less tension and a weird wrapper.

    Olives are related to guts in that there is a bit of it in them but they are more like a steel string than a gut string.

    There is nothing "like" traditional plain gut on the D and G. Not even close. You want that sound that response you gotta use the real thing.

    ...and thats a pain in the ass.

    The Oliv are fantastic D and G strings. I really like them and might use them again some day. Just because they have gut cores doesn't make them sound like Gut strings though. They sound like Wound Gut strings. Good, but its a different thing.
     
  16. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    That is very good info and I do apreciate it. Noted on the Animas...

    I will admit I am intimidated by the thought of going with plain guts for the intonation issues, lack of bowing abilility and my own lack of knowledge on how to deal with the little knot they put on the end of it versus a traditional ball end. Not to mention concerns with possible failure at the tuning peg, sanding, varnishing and the like.

    Is it as intimidating as it sounds from all the reading I'm doing? I spent some time on the Gamut website and it seems like a whole new world. Uncle toad from what you say the sound of the Pirasto gut wrapped in steel or silver might not be the sound I'm looking for but will it get me closer? Is it to drastic to go from steel to a plain gut?

    Pete
     
  17. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I don't know what to say about that. You have to try plain gut and figure out if they are for you or not. Find sombody that has them on a bass and play them before committing maybe.

    Oliv are great sounding strings. They don't sound like plain gut but they are a whole lot closer than Spirocores. Animas tension feels closer to plain gut than Oliv or other steels but they don't respond the same at all.
     
  18. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Ok. I am going to go for it thanks for the help...

    Ordered the Oliv D and G through Lemur...


    Pete
     
  19. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Peter,
    You say you're playing on Heritages? If I recall from my limited experience with them, they're already more "gut-like" than Animas, Dominants, and Evah Pirazzis (none of which are at all "gut like"--people just say that when all they've played are steel strings and they use their imagination to conjure up an image of guts). I'd just get the Oliv D and G, get the nut slots widened a bit (Kolstein or Bollbach will definitely do that while-u-wait), and forget about the A and E for awhile. You may find that you love the G and that the D is bit dark/thunky for you; but if so, you'll still be in heaven with the bow.
    If you're new to guts, I wouldn't bother with the A and E for some time; those strings are expensive, and it's very tricky to find ones you want. Most of the "gut vibe" comes from the top two strings anyway (although Jason Sypher may disagree with me there).
     
  20. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Thanks Jeremy, I order the Oliv D an Gs and will certainly bring the bass right over to Barrie to put them on for me. I'm leaving my Hertiage's on the E and A....

    Hopefully this will work out well, I really hear the harshness of the stell as I make my way above C on the G string also on the D string up around B moving up from there.

    I've been very happy with my sound in the lower positions both arco and pizz on the A and E, I guess the balance between the two will take some work..

    Pete
     

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