What are gut strings made of?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jim Coates, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. From what animal do the guts come? Do all of the manufacturers use the same 'raw' materials?

    I was at work today and started thinking about this. Just wondering.
  2. moped10


    Apr 9, 2003
    Wilmington, NC
    Very interesting, francois! Thanks for the links! :D
  3. I apologize for taking so long getting back to this thread. The day after I posted I took my wife to the hospital for an outpatient 'procedure'. A lot of stuff happened that is really off topic, but finally I have some time to reply.

    Thanks, Francois. Your simple search produced a much more interesting answer than the simple answer I was looking for. I was thinking sheep gut but wondered if it was large enough for bass strings, not realizing until I read the Daniel Larson article that the gut is split into strips and twisted together. Larson was talking about violin and cello strings, but the process must be about the same for the bass. I wonder how the manufacturers achieve uniformity of sound batch after batch. The process itself must determine the sound more than the raw materials, as there must be great variation in the unprocessed gut. Another thing is the cost. The next thread questioned why bass strings cost so much, but the guts seem quite reasonable considering the number of steps and the length of time involved to produce them.
  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have heard that Stephan Schertler of the Schertler and Velvet strings company initially used gut with the first Velvet strings and spent huge amounts of money on material that ended up going to waste. He apparently could not get any material that was consistent and ended up switching to a natural fibre core - silk. I have been using gut strings for quite some time now and I have always sworn by them but now I'm thinking twice. I've just ordered a set of the new Velvet Compas 180s and will be eager to see what they're like (I did try the Animas some time ago and liked them initially but turned off them after some time). With the Euro, the Pirastro guts are mega-expensive now and even the locally made strings made by Larson and Dlugolecki are not much lower in price.