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Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Alexi David, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Well, I just purchased some old Red-O-Rays. I wanted to know (if anyone knows) - what is the "secret sauce" that they used to cover the strings with? The High C string looks like it has some kind of varnish on it. The D string, however, has an outer wrapping, much like the Kaplan Golden Spirals. In fact, the envelope says Kaplan on it. Anyone know anything about their manufacturing process?

    BTW, the D is still stretching, but it sounds really nice so far. I can kinda see why Scotty LaFaro liked them (sustain-y)
  2. Alexi

    I read somewhere that the coating is a special moisture repellant treatment. Probably some kind of synthetic varnish or something like that. Red-O-Ray was a Kaplan brand. Is your string still red, or has it darkened to a redish brown color?

  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    where did you find them ?
  4. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    they're still nice and red. The D is used a bit, but the high C is new old stock. I wonder what that coating is......

    P.S. They look cool too!
  5. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Hi Don - I got em from GUITARRON
  6. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    What gut strings that are available today are "sustainy?" It would be nice to find a string that has the thickness and low tension of gut, but the sustain, growl, and clarity of steel. So far the Eurosonic Ultra Lights are the closest I've found.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Try Velvet Garbos. They may be what you are looking for...
  8. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    I've tried the Animas. They were pretty nice and I'm still thinking about trying them again. I didn't like how they were eating up my fingerboard though. Also the E and A seemed a bit too floppy. I remember really liking the D and G. Maybe I just didn't let them settle in enough. The Eurosonic Ultra Lights have so far been the best compromise.

    Strings I've tried...

    Thomastic Spirocores (solos, orchestra, and weich)
    Thomastic Superflexibles
    Pirastro Obligatos (regular and solos)
    Pirastro Eudoxa
    Pirastro Permanent solo
    Corelli 370 (med, forte, TX)
    Super Sensitive Sensicore (regular, solo)
    Kolstein Jazz Heritage
    LaBella 7720
    D'Addario Helicore (Arco, Hybrid, Pizz) all light gage
    Velvet Anima
    Eurosonic Ultra Light

    I think I got them all in there. Really the only type of string that I have not experienced, I think, is plain gut. Also I didn't really give the Eudoxas that big of a chance. I have really come to like the thickness of the Eurosonics and I cant go back to a thinner string (especially the G). These have been pretty O.K. - but they only sound good with my magnetic pickup. They are way too boomy with my full circle pickup. I probably will give the Animas another shot soon if I can't find anything else.
  9. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Jargar Dolces are low tension steel, though they're very thin. Very gut-like for a steel string, my first choice for steel (and I'm a fanatic gut user)
  10. But I wouldn't call them "sustainy".
    As a reminder, JAS said:
    It would be nice to find a string that has the thickness and low tension of gut, but the sustain, growl, and clarity of steel.
    As a Jargar string friend myself, I can't see how they could provide the sustain, growl and clarity of steel JAS is asking for.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Garbo are not built like Anima, They are thicker and aren't round like the Anima windings. The windings especially on the E and A are flat.
  12. More string history for you young-uns: Red-O-Ray, back in the days when all bassists used to use the two gut, two steel string set-up, was about the second choice, at least for us jazzers. The number one gut string was ARTONE. The gut strings came in several different gauges, from thin to fairly fat.
    One trick we would use to keep guts fresh and lubricated, was to rub a Brazil nut up and down the strings. The oil from the nut would get on the finger board and even lubricate that, if you tended to have dry skin and were in a low humidity area.
    babaseen likes this.
  13. Ain't it the truth?!
    If you're gonna make wishes like that, Francois, why not include in that wish.....the things you listed above and ALSO they would play equally great with arco and pizz.! :hyper:
  14. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I tried Pirastro Pizzicato strings when they first came out. They are wound gut and have a much more modern sound than I was looking for.

  15. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Paul, did you eat the nut after you finished lubricating the string ?
  16. Paul, if you read my original message again, you'll see I was quoting JAS.
    As for the wish itself, we can always dream! :)
  17. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I still can't make up my mind about these strings. I have them on now, and they do have that big growl to them, kind of like the Chorda A, but I'm not sure I like how the E and A sound...they aren't "bass-ie" enough, if anyone knows what I mean. The sound isn't as full as I would like I guess.

    Speaking of the Jargars, I had put on a set of Mediums and I really liked their sound. They were obviously a little more tense then guts, but the main problem I had with them was that they didn't project anywhere close to how the pizzicatos do, so I had to put them back on, with the nylon wrapped G.

    Another note, the Nyolon wrapped pizzicato D is VERY thick, so beware. Sounds a little too dead for me, and having a D that's thicker than the rest of the strings is a little uncomfortable for me.