Should I go gut?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by FredH, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. I just scored a pollmann gamba 1969, yaaaa, got it for a song ;). I love this bass, I practice, rehearse and gig with it (fully insured). I'm very pleased with the sound and easy of it, its very strong in low and mid ranges.

    The thing is when I got it, it was strung with Obligato. I like Obli's and have used them in the past, but they get thuddy fast. I find that they start to lose all the richness and overtones after about 4 months of heavy playing. I need new strings and I'm thinking about gut.

    My other bass I usually had strung with Spyrocores orchestrals so I have no experience with gut other than playing someone else’s bass for a short time.

    Does anyone have any thoughts of what would be a set to string up?
  2. jneuman


    Apr 17, 2004
    Hey Fred

    To find out if you can hang with gut, I recommend the European (Efrano brand, from Germany) gut strings from Lemur music. These are a good starting point. After wearing these out, you can step up to Pirastro Chorda which are bigger with a darker sound. You might consider at first just buying the European G and D strings which should work well with the Obligato A and E. This is cheaper than buying the whole set and gets you 75% of the way to the gut jazz sound. If you like those you can try the wound strings, but beware the wound gut E which will not give you much sustain. I like them personally, but many folks opt for a steel or synthetic E instead. Just my $.02.

  3. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    If you are not sure if you want to take the plunge into gut strings, I would suggest the Pirastro Pizzicato strings. They are gut wrapped in silver with an option of gut with a nylon wrap on the D & G. The diameter of the silver wrapped strings is not much greater than the obligato. They have a punchy sound that still has the gut flavor to it. I would recommend the gut/nylon G because I feel it balances better with the rest of the set.

    Also, be warned that it will take a few weeks for any gut strings to 'settle in.'
  4. I think only the G is offered as silver or nylon wrap.
  5. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I have a D sitting right here.
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    That's interesting. When Pirastro sent me Pizzicatos for testing, only the G was available as nylon. Personally I found it uninteresting and would rather have unwound gut.
  7. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Congrats on the Pollmann Fred. There's lots of good advice here. One important thing to realise is that whilst there's nothing like gut, there is a lot of variance in gut strings out there. Some of the cheaper brands don't sound as good. And there is a big difference in the windings of some strings - unwound, Silver, Chrome-Steel, Nylon, etc. The Pizzicatos (as the name suggests) are brighter than some others and also no good for arco whereas some of the other Pirastro guts (Chordas, Olivs, Eudoxas) are very nice with the bow.
  8. Thanks for the info, Jazzman!
    I see they have put it on Lemur's on-line catalog.
    Pirastro's own website doesn't state it yet!
  9. Thanks for the information, sounds like you guys have good experiance with gut. I was going to go ahead and order the Pirastro Pizzicato's (ouch, that's a lot of money) from Lemur then I spoke with a friend of mine who has some lightly used g's and d's that he'll let me try. I'll put them on and see how work. I'll post my results.

    Again thanks much
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