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weed wackers vs synthetic gut vs gut

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by papachains88, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. papachains88


    Feb 11, 2013
    I have a dilemma I'm facing about strings. While still relatively new to upright bass, there's a lot about how to boost your sound I don't quite know. I have a set of weed wackers on my bass and as I'm sure any of you who have the same know that e and a strings fall pretty flat. I'm all about slap and a tiny bit of pizz, but I want to know how to get a bigger more defined sound out of these strings. I've been thinking about some synthetic guts from innovation, but I don't want to get the same flat sound and just be $140 down when I should've just stuck with weed wackers and then have an extra set of strings for no reason. I've also researched on many of these forums about guts. Do they really help the sound of e and a? Should I invest in them? Or am I gonna bust them up and be $250-350 in the hole and still not get a great acoustic sound? Please, any help would be great concerning a string purchase.
  2. ANYTHING is better than whackers, especially for a new player. The only Innovations I've used are the 140 B, and they were OK, but not gut-like at all. You could keep the whacker D&G and install Silver Slap E&A and have a better sound for less of an outlay.

    That said, a good set of gut strings will be worlds better than what you have now. Imagine the difference between riding a bike with two flat tires and cruising on a Harley. Tons of fundamental and projection, beautiful organic sound, and they can last for years. Guts do require maintenance and attention, especially if you opt for wound E&A, which is my preference.

    Keep an eye on the classifieds and eBay and see what turns up used. Deals can be had.
  3. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Innovation Silver (or Golden) Slaps are really good strings. Tension is appropriately low for slapping and they have a good warm sound and a soft click. I keep my laminate bass strung with them for busking.

    The only downside - for me - is that I could do with a higher tension E string. I bet their Super Silver E would do the job but I don't know if you can buy Innovation strings in singles, I've only ever seen full sets.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't think weed whacker strings are all that bad. I've used them. They're extremely low tension, though, and compared to the sound of actual guts, they sound kind of plastic. That said, I know a lot of pro rockabilly guys who use them. Could be wrong but I'm pretty sure Mark Robertson from the Legendary Shack Shakers and the Dirt Daubers uses them, though they have some fancy French name like Cordes Flambeau or something. Wasn't a fan of the synthetics when I tried them, but I've only tried one set and I can't remember what they are and it was years ago. Had a good sounding E and A, though. I ended up going to Thomastik Superflexibles in the end because I couldn't figure out what to do about the E and A using guts or whackers. Didn't like any of the combinations I tried and didn't like the thud. It does get better over time, but not that much better.
  5. Do you mean Cordes Lambert? Those are great, but you have to know somebody to get a set.

    A while ago I heard Mark was running guts over Silver Slaps, but I think I remember hearing he was liking the newest Lamberts, the Gut Twin set. Those are a whole nother smoke than whackers.
  6. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    I was going to suggest just getting a golden/silver slap e and a. It'll be a big upgrade and you could use the slaps under gut later if you get the itch.
  7. Single Innovation strings could be ordered from UK mail order companies (maybe not everyone but i.e. StringExpress will do that).

    I think the problem with E and A is that they are too stiff, so something with a braided core like the Innovations will do the job. For your use best lower tension with a synthetic winding (like Silver or Golden Slaps), for a higher tension E the Super Silver E.

    Probably also the newest Cordes Lambert will do, but I never tried them, only heard a lot of good reactions to them.
  8. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    I would 2nd (3rd?) the suggestion to just change the E & A to Silver or Golden Slaps. The tension is appropriate and the sound should be worlds better.
    FYI- Gollihur in NJ sells single Innovation strings.

  9. papachains88


    Feb 11, 2013
    Thank you all for the advice, it will be a bit to get them. But I will post on this with some feedback about when I get them. More suggestions are always welcome.
  10. I had a set and they were great, but availability is a problem.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Those Gut Twins look pretty intense to build. Definitely looks like he's taking weed whackers to a new level. But I'm done experimenting with strings unless someone sends me free sets. I spent $500-600 experimenting with strings before I settled and I hated seeing all that money fly out the window. And what's more is compared to some of the folks on here, I totally got off easy.
  12. That's all?

    What he does with the wound strings is take the plastic core, which is specially made on an extruder, wind it in metal, wind that is plastic filament, and wrap the ends in thread. Incredible.
  13. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    i do mostly slap when i play and i've tried the innovation strings but they just weren't what i was looking for. i prefer the much more natural sound that you get with guts. i went gut and never want to go back. i am not fond of the E string as it gets a little flubby but after trying a garbo, innovation, and a weedwacker for an E, i still liked the gut better. i just put a new set of plain lenzner guts on my shen and once they settle in, i know i'll have the sound i'm looking for.
  14. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Being a standup noob, I have started into the try just about everything phase. I tried weedwackers. They were fun, but not quite right. I have Evahs on the bass now and like them a whole lot more. The next experimnt will be some kind of gut strings, but it may be a while before it happens, since the Evahs sound pretty good and are straight forward to play, at least for me at my current minimal skill level. I can slap them a bit, but that's not as important as figuring out intonation and left hand technique for the time being.

    The doghouse makes its public debut this evening. I didn't realize how different it is from bass guitar when signing on to do this a month ago!
  15. Good luck on the gig!
  16. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Thanks. It went very well, with the exception of the singer doing a shot right before going on stage. She was noticeably lit, at least to the band, and her intonation suffered for it. Oh, well. The audience was happy and didn't seem to notice.

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