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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
    I am going to try to try to get a replacement/refund but it doesn't seem likely.
  2. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY

    Write Pirastro about what happened. They're actually pretty good about replacing strings that have experienced malfunctioning (at least IME).
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Email Adrian Mueller at Pirastro - he's very serious about taking care of their customers.
  4. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    You are entitled to your opinion Mr. Toadman, but I have been continuously happy with my Pirastro Pizzicato E&A. Probably I've had them on for over 4 months now. No separations, nothing unwinding, they sound and feel great. Caveat - not good for bowing, but if you can bow comfortably on a Spiro/Gamut combo, my hat's off to you.

    I agree that Olive and Eudoxa E&As are a risky proposition, and I don't care that much for the sound and feel anyway, but the Pizzicato seems to made of tougher stuff, and the sound is more lively and blends better with plain gut uppers. IMO, anyway.

    I also don't think that all roundwound gut A&Es suck, but you have to stay in the lower positions to get a clear pitch.

    Not trying to be provacative or argumentative, but I can't say that I like steel and gut combos. For me, the feel and sound is unbalanced and it gets worse amplified. But -- I know some of you feel differently.

    In the words of David Brinkley: "Everyone is entitled to my opinion."
  5. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    To me not having clear pitches above second position on any given string sucks.

    I hear lots of great sounds from all gut players. I just can't use it myself.
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I think that playing Gut strings requires slightly different technique than playing on steels. This applies to both Pizz and Arco playing. I have a set (Chordas) on one of my Basses now for about a month. They play quite differently than steel strings and on this Bass at least requires a lighter touch with the Bow and Pizz.
  7. dfp


    Sep 28, 2004
    isn't it true that playing "across the bass" was not as common back in the Gut Old Days.... more up and down the high strings, like the fingerings you get from Simandl book....?
  8. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Although I didn't come up in the Gut Old Days, I imagine this to definitely be the case. The nature of gut strings does not lend itself to "across the bass". Video that I've seen of bassists in the old days also supports this. The Rabbath method and strings like Corelli 370s can facilitate an entirely different approach. Gut keeps you in Simandland, but that's not always such a bad thing.

    I also understand that the style of fingerboard that has the sharp sloped-off ridge at the E (I'm not sure if there's another name for this) is to accomodate the large gut E.
  9. Pirastro sez Olivs are gut core with chrome winding. But what is the Oliv composed of really? Is there a steel part to the core? Or is Oliv gut with steel over it? I've had an Oliv G on for about 6 months, and it is different from the other gut strings (Pirastro Pizzicato) on my bass in terms of stretching, and also the Oliv is not as sensitive to changes in humidity. It made me wonder what how the Oliv is made. Any ideas out there?
  10. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I contacted Pirastro and they were very accomodating. They are sending me a new string and asked that I return the broken one. Lemur was not as accomodating.

  11. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I don't think that there is any steel in the core of Olive, Eudoxa or Pizzicato, they have an all gut core. The thickness of the core may vary and the windings may differ in terms of the composition of the metal and the winding method. Olive is the darkest and Pizzicato brightest, Eudoxa is closer to Olive but brighter. Pizzicato's winding is less smooth, sort of semi-flatwound, and they are not very arco friendly. Pizzicato G and Ds are also available in gut-core, nylon wound.

    In my experience, gut strings go through an initial period of stretching, but they don't ever completely stabilize. Remember, gut is a material rather like leather or skin. Gut strings will always react to changes in temperature and humidity and they are constantly stretching and contracting. They go sharp as well as flat (bring your bass in from the car on a hot day and go into an air conditioned venue). Most mornings the bass is out of tune, but that's because the temperature in your house is usually different overnight. Any time I'm going to play on my gut bass I'll tune up, play a bit, tune again and then usually the bass will be more or less stable for a while if the environment remains the same. On gigs I check my tuning frequently. You begin to anticipate how the bass will react. If possible, leave your bass on stage or right where you're going to be playing for at least 15 minutes before starting a set or show. Avoid going from cold backstage room to hot stage lights, etc. I currently have plain gut on my G&D and 4 month old Pizzicatos on the E&A. For whatever reason, the plain gut is generally a little more stable than the wound strings, but the Pizzicatos will stabilize once tuned up.

    This is just what goes with the territory when using guts and it's a reason that some people wont use them. If you love gut you have to learn to adapt.

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