The Pistoy Gamut Gut Thread

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bonaventura, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. I hope this thread will fill an "emerging gap" in the string topics that now seems ripe for full recognition as a topic of its own. Yes, there already are "gut" threads, and threads that include guts, and even a Gamut Gut thread (thanks, Uncle Toad!). But nearly all of the comments there are about guts generally or about Gamut Lyons. There isn't a Pistoy thread here, but Pistoys are starting to grab attention. Gamut Pistoys are a distinctly different weave of gut string: Three strands, woven and finished in a special way. Lately there is quite a bit of interest in the Pistoys, and I for one am really keen to hear about anyone's experiences with the Pistoys:

    • how do Pistoys sound compared to other strings?
    • how do they play and feel?
    • how do they bow?
    • are Pistoys a good pizz string?
    • what styles of music are they good for or... :rollno: not?
    • are Pistoys worth the $$$?
    Wow, :hyper: I am looking forward to your comments, questions, and experiences!
    Ongoing Pistoy experiments great and small are invited to to continue their postings here. But if this thread meets little interest, i will probly just put on a set of Pistoys myself and post impressions in blog reports...:atoz:
  2. Alright, alright. Of course this is new frontier to explore. Unchartered waters. I didn't expect this to start off hot.
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I'm interested too. You and Calivox might be the main players here, but I'll listen.

    I know Dan Larson is probably busy twistin' serosa, but it would be great to hear from him in some of these forums.
  4. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Seriously guys...KNOCK IT OFF! My GAS is reaching critical mass with these gut threads!:help:
  5. AndreasH


    Apr 8, 2005
    Great thread. If somebody has a used pistoy D you want to get rid of, please let me know. :D
  6. I guess I might be the only guy here to use both Pistoy and Lyon guts. I've gone over most of my observations in the other gut thread. Here are the highlights:

    The Pistoys have a less complex sound; more direct with less bloom to the note. While still sounding like a gut string, it has some qualities that we associate with hybrid strings. The G, in particular, sounds a lot like a Helicore on my bass. The texture is rough due to the interweaved strands unlike the Lyon which is smooth.

    Personally, I didn't care for the G. It sounded kind of plastic-y through the amp and after playing through the amp, I heard the plastic-y sound acoustically as well. I missed the complex sound of the Lyon. The Pistoy G lasted about 3 days on my bass (basically through one gig). I put a new Lyon G on and have been MUCH happier.

    The Pistoy D is a different story. I LOVE the Pistoy D. With Lyons, there is a big timbre difference between the G and D. So much so that I was playing the bulk of any melodic material on the G string and going to the D only when I had to or for passing tones. The Pistoy D has a very similar timbre to the Lyon G so I am now able to play melodically the way I used to with steel strings--across the neck instead of always up and down.

  7. Checking in ..... I'm here BV Bill :D . Busy working days, playing a bunch nights and week-ends. Being the current owner of 5 Pistoys and 1 Lyon ... 2 G's (heavy & medium), 3 D's (medium & light Pistoys and medium Lyon), and 1 light plain A .... I will be thinking about your questions and will soon try to formulate some cogent and useful answers from my perspective ;) .
  8. BonerVenture Bill.... Seems like there's too much sunspot activity tonight :D but I will respond anyhow.

    This is Destined to be a Mighty-Slim Thread :p . I'm guessing No Fool But Me has spent muy-mucho-dineros on Pistoys for two (old lame-ass plywood) basses. Good Luck ..... More-useful opinions-than-mine may not be forth-coming ... Rare bunch ... Just like collectors of classic Edsel or Checker automobiles.

    Chris Dammann and Adrian Cho probably have way-more-useful things to say than yers-truly ... especially about arco. I've been thinking about your Swell Questions .... And I have written some-mighty-quackey-stuff in other threads before .... If you want to search.

    As much as I would like to get all-flowery on you in my response about Pistoys .... I will try to summarize.

    I don't bow. Take that up with someone else. I will this Winter to keep me from going Crazy and I will report back in then.

    They pizz like there is no tomorrow (but you can over-play them and make them sound like crap if you are not careful). I really love their sweet elastic pull. They intonate nicely ... Even with me playing them.

    About a dozen local players have tried the Epi with Pistoys G/D & Anima A/E. No denigrating .... "Where's My Spiros" comments .... Mostly "It Plays Like Butta". Some of those players (better than me) have hung out between 5 and 12 (and even higher) and have been amazed at the play-ability and woody-ness of the bass and guts/animas .... What Ever.

    I have never found the Pistoys (G and/or D) to sound "plastic" through either of my Plywoodys .... The '40 Kay with Solo Rev II or the Epi with Full-Circle going into a Coda III and Wizzer M-Line.

    Now for ..... The Big Question :D .... Are The Pistoys Worth It ???

    Hell I don't know .... Never tried a Gamut Lyon G but I did try a Lyon D and like the Pistoy D better.

    It All Depends ... On your point of view, flavor of upright bass, playing style, depth of wallet, and how many beers you had before you logged on to Gamut Dan's website ;) .

    For Now .... I will answer "No" .... They Suck Big-Time. I'm a friggin' fool for buying 5 Pistoys .... And I would do it all-over-again :D .

    So far ... No hairs, no sanding, no oiling, and no problems after 18 months under all-kinds of adverse conditions on some strings. My old-guy fingertips, carpel tunnels, wrists, elbows, shoulders are just-fine after hours of playing (but my technique still is Bad).

    Oops .... I got all-flowery :p ... BonerBill ... Just buy some Pistoys ... Since whatever any of us Rare-Pistoyers say is .... A Damn Lie to justify our expeditures and Our Crap only applies to our personal basses and genres.

    You can't take a ride on The Big Bus by asking someone else how the ride was and without paying the fare :bassist: . I won't laugh at you for spending too-much money on bass strings. I just saw a nice used Gibson guitar at a local pawn-shop that I could buy for the same price as ONE Gamut Pistoy D String :eek: :help::p ! But it was a guitar and not a nice double-bass D-string.

    She is Gone-Gone-Gone ... Crying won't bring her back :crying: :crying:

    Sorry ... Had a good bluegrass jam tonite ..... Tunes in the brain :p .
  9. Tscheeeesh! You got GAS? Whew! :eek: I been playing gut for years and don't have that problem with them.
  10. Gee, BonerBob, :D thanks for them flowery comments. Glad to hear you are still swingin and groovin. Seems the level of interest here is really low, like no boat floating. This is turning out to be a turd of a thread, a real limp duck. Even you, Boner Bob, Mister Pistoy 2008/09, seem to have lost the ebullient enthusiasm and poetry you once had for Pistoys. Maybe Pistoys aren't new and exciting, not sexy like Evaahhh Piratsy Weich-Ei's. However, the sound of the Gamut Lyons on my bass beats anything plastic, I don't even need to go there or convince anyone. Still I can't explain the lack of curiosity out there. All total there must be three guys out there, maybe four, who are even vaguely interested in exploring Pistoys. Others guys get gas from even thinking about them, or maybe it was the burrito. So I guess I'll just have to put on the Pistoys and start a personal blog... soon... so stay tuned... all... three of you... :cool:
  11. I'm not going to recopy Big Bob's Dada Magnum Opus again but, in reference to one of his lines, I might have been unfair to the Pistoy G when I called it "plastic-y". After I took it off, I did some adjustment work on the bridge and the whole bass sounded a bit better. The Lyon G just happened to be on there to get the credit. I still think I'll be leaning toward preferring the Lyon G though. It is an amazing string.

    The Pistoy D though is something special. After about a month of use, it is just smokin'. The Lyon D has a great sound to it but there is a major timbre difference between the Lyon G, the Lyon D and the wound A. The upshot (or -chuck) of which is a reliance on playing vertically up and down the G string for tonal reasons. While the Lyon D has a great sound to it, it isn't a string you want to try to play melodically on. The Pistoy D, on the other hand, has very similar timbre to the Lyon G and the wound A so you can play the gut bass across the neck like you can play a steel string bass. The string is also much more useable for melodic playing. You can hang on thumb position F on the D string and it sounds nice. You really don't want to use the thumb position F on the Lyon D string for anything other than a passing note.

    The one thing I miss about the Lyon D is the fat puffy bloom of the note. It just booms out there. The Pistoy D is much more focused and doesn't have the boom of the Lyon. Walking an F blues is a bit more fun with the Lyon. Soloing on the F blues is MUCH more fun with the Pistoy. Alas, it is a trade off.

  12. Was playing on the Lyons with my bluegrass trio last night. The acoustic volume of the all four strings is just tremendous. The G has a clarity that the D doesn't (you are right Mark). But playing on the G in thumb position, say A-B-C one octave up, i can still touch down on the D string for the octave D with a clear note. And loud. Evahs, Spiro, Oblis, etc don't do that. And all four strings have a wonderful bloom and huge projection, even in 5th position. Don't often play the E string above C, but that C is a big note that booms out from the whole top surface. Pwaahhh!

    I will be reporting on my impressions of the Pistoys here as soon as I can. I think I will start with the D, much as I hate to take off the Lyon, which is only 10 months old now.

    Mark, thanks for chiming in. Just when I thought this thread was a total and complete futz. Say, did you try the Pistoy G again -- put it back on -- after doing your nut work?
  13. Not yet. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. The Lyon G is really nice.

    As far as the Lyon D in thumb position not being clear, it IS clear and big and puffy but a very different timbre than the Pistoy, Lyon G or Lyon wound A. The Pistoy is big and wide like a gut but much more focused than the Lyon and the timbre is closer to that of the Lyon G. The Lyon D is a little more old school, maybe. The Pistoy D allows you to play a little more like you have steel strings on but still sounding and feeling like gut.

    Try it, you'll see.

  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    It sounds as though Dan Larson has hit on something with that discounted combination set (Lyon G, Pistoy D, etc) he offers. "Discounted" being a relative term. :D
  15. Yeah. It is a good set. It's what I have on now although I didn't get it through the discount all-in-one-set kind of way. I did the let's-get-them-one-at-a-time-at-the-full-price kind of way.

  16. Yes, Mark, I agree. The Lyon D has that Oscar Pettiford sound. Fat, almost flute-like, like a breathing kind of sound, puffy. Am very curious about how the Pistoy D will sound but cannot change the strings yet until after two bluegrass gigs later this month. Will do it then.

    Marcus, good insight. I saw that "special deal" too and thought it was some sort of "sampler" set, you know, all kinds of chocolates and you never know waht youre gonna get. But there is a method to that sampler. Dan Larson based it on his own knowledge of his strings. I certainly would go for the discount if i were buying a new set now.
  17. oscar pettiford

    oscar pettiford

    Jun 28, 2007
    hi Mark, after reading all the good things you have to say a bout the Gamuts , i'm eager to give them a go.
    Can you please tell me what they are , eg Lyon G , what is the gauge ?..... and the Pistoy D , what is is the gauge ?

    thanks , i am only interested in these at the moment , but might try the A and E later on .
    all information shared is much appreciated .


  18. I use the medium Gamut Lyon G and the Light Gamut Pistoy D. I'm kind of conflicted with the D. The light Lyon D that I used before was great as well and had a bigger sound. The Pistoy is a little better for soloing as it is a little more focused but the big bloom around the Lyon is quite alluring for walking lines. If I were on a limited budget, I'd probably get the Lyon instead of the Pistoy. I use a light D because it is thinner, fits in the bridge and nut slots with less modification and most importantly, is more focused than the heavier versions.

    Any gut string you get will be a bit thumpy at first. They get more focused as they stretch out and stabilize which can take a couple of weeks.

  19. I still have the Lyons on. Oscar, if I were you I would try the medium Lyons, varnished. They are pretty much the standard. If you wanted lighter or heavier you can go from there, the differences are really microscopic, like 0.1mm, but they do make a difference. Varnishing makes them more stable and resistant to wear.
  20. but then again, if I were you, i wouldn't take my advice. take mark's advice cuz he has experimented more that i.

    but then, again, i am a real happy camper with the Lyon mediums, love that D and G (and mark has got a real bad, even severe case of :eek: string-sickness! :D and he already misses the Lyon D).

    i think you'll be happy with the Gamuts if you like gut, no matter which mix you go with. the Dan Larson special mix has got to be good. once you get to get their sound in your ear, it's bliss. and let them settle in... takes a few weeks.