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Oiling Varnished Gut Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by kwd, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I know that oiling is part of the recommened maintenance of plain gut strings. Do varnished gut strings fall into this category? The Efrano varnished gut string have -what appears to be- a synthetic coating. Will the oil penetrate that?

    I put some olive oil on a few nights ago as an experiment. I could not feel any oil residue on the strings the next morning so I assume that is was absorbed, but I'm not sure.
  2. hofner


    Dec 7, 2003
    When i ordered a set of plain guts to Dugolecki, i asked him if the "oiling" maintenance was so necessary...
    he said that "oil does nothing to the strings and could even cause damages if you play arco".
    My luthier have the same opinion.
    maybe oil prevent the string to break or dry(?), but the Lenzner i used for two years were oiled once and it just make my strings become dead sounding for a month !
  3. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    This is odd. A lot of people, especially older guys on the forum, will tell you that you must oil the strings. I've never had a problem oiling them (with baby oil or olive oil).
  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I think in most cases, the people who talk about oiling are not using varnished strings. From what I've seen most people do not use varnished strings or did not in the past but I think it is getting to be more common nowadays. I personally can't see why you wouldn't opt for varnished strings - there is so much less maintenance and there is no downside that I know of. And remember we're talking varnish here not the Tynex coating or anything else that makes arco response worse. The varnish should make arco response better in fact - at least the tone anyway.

    I have had my Gamut Lyons on for quite a while now (perhaps six months) and I haven't oiled them once and they don't look like they need any oiling.
  5. hofner


    Dec 7, 2003
    Alex, i just report what Damian Dugolecki said to me.
    i don't know if its odd or not, the truth or a rule...
    imho, Damian know what he say when he talk about gut... ;)
    btw, some players will probably oil often, some other never, some others rarely and everybody will have a different experience...
  6. Chris Eyde

    Chris Eyde

    May 31, 2016
    whats the difference between varnish and unvarnished?