Where's my E gone?????

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by TenorClef, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. Today my 'Clef Gut strings' arrived, so still feels like the wedding night. Anyway from a relatively newbie's perspective these strings feel whack in comparison to the Thomastik 'Superflexibles'(Steel strings) i had on. I don't know if i hate em or like em yet, i do know my E string is AWOL, although it bows fine, pizz is like a low undiscernable umpth on that string. All the other strings seem ok for arco and pizz. The volume is half of what it was, although it is a much warmer sound. I'd read guts were hard to bow, well i can tell you thats rubbish, these bow just fine and their all plain strings. If my bass had an EQ i'd say some one has turned off the treble and gone crazy with the middle and bass knobs. Thats how it sounds with these gut strings.

    I know others may be considering these strings so i'll reserve judgment until they've settled in over the next few days and do a follow up.
  2. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    To go from steels to plain gut - especially if it's your first time - is quite an adjustment! EVERYTHING is different... Tone, tension, gauge and volume, etc... The experience of the mysterious missing E isn't uncommon for folks new to plain guts, and is a reason many folks will run a wrapped gut E or even low-tension steel with the rest of the plain gut set. Remember too that how guts vs. steels react to your bass has much to do with the bass itself; some instruments prefer the higher tension of steel, while others really sing with low-tension strings. Let 'em settle in for a week or two and go from there. Perhaps you and your luthier can also eek a little more from your E with a soundpost adjustment.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    In my experience you are going to have to let them settle in for at least 2-3 weeks before they start to sound good. They really need to stretch in. Contrary to what most people think, guts strings can and will out last steel if you take care of them. Make sure you oil them when they start to dry out, and clip the little hairs when they form. My Chorda set sounded pretty bad when I first put them on. No pitch definition, and not much volume. I have had them on there for a while now, and they sound GREAT! They sound absolutely huge. More volume than the Spirocores I had on in the first place. They really blend well with drums too. Don't give up on them!
  4. I'm liking these strings more today, they bow really nicely and sound completely different to steel strings, its a nice compromise using Gut, i get the same bow responce i did with the Thomastiks flexs and almost as much bounce as the Euronsonics for pizz i've had on my bass. Still the E string sounds muddy, maybe it will get some more definition once they settle in. They are still a little on the stretchy side as i have to tune them way more than any other string i've had on my bass, still they are growing on me.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I think you will find for the first couple weeks that they are always out when you pick up your bass. They do settle in, but you will always need to make minor adjustments. That is one of the drawbacks with gut. You can't get the same tone with any other string though!
  6. Adriian

    That's been my experience too with the Chordas. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to deal with the D string which seemed false right out of the envelope. Now after playing them for several weeks, they seem to be sounding better. I'll never forget the first time a played with a big band after changing over to gut. The sound was just there. All of a sudden I had fundemental that I couldn't get before with any amount of EQ. The other thing about gut that's weird is that they can seem low volume when you are playing solo, but when you play with a group they sound huge. It's the nature of the harmonic content of their vibrations and psychoacoustics.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I completely agree! You really notice the difference playing in a group setting. Gut strings seem to project better than steel as well.

    I am really starting to like the Chorda D now. It has only started to sound good this past week though. For 2 weeks I couldn't get it to speak well at all. No definition, and weak sound. Now it sounds great. I think I might like the Olive D a bit better, but I have only had the Chorda on for a couple weeks.
  8. I've noticed the E is getting a little more clarity today, this could just be me, but i'm hearing it better and they also are starting to stay in tune a little better too. I phoned my local luthier today as a couple of the strings don't seem to be sitting on the bridge as they should, the E is so large it does'nt fit into the little groove on the bridge, so i reckon he is going to have to do a bit of filing and stuff or whatever luthiers do.
  9. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    You're probably getting better at manipulating the gut strings as well. Quite a switch from Superflexibles. I'd only make that switch if I had at least a couple of weeks of no gigs (fat chance :meh: )

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I made that exact switch...Superflexibles to Chorda. It is quite a stretch. I actually played the E and A strings the same day I put them on, but I didn't dare put on the plain gut. They need 2 full weeks at least to really stretch in. Luckily(and not so lucky;) ) I had 2 weeks without gigs.

    I have a recording up on Talkin bass with the Superflexibles..The Chordas sound much more full and I think it is easier to keep time with them too. They have that classic "bounce" that you can only really get with gut strings.
  11. I did'nt get to make my appointment with my luthier so i've switched back to my Thomastik 'Superflexibles' which in my opinion seem to have more modern definition for some strange reason although i feel the gut stings have a warmer sound. Any way i think because the guts were so big i would likely be damaging them by leaving them on as the bridge and nut clearly need some minor adjustments to cater for the extra thickness of the strings. I think i will try them again but for now i'll plod on with the steel strings as i like the sound and it seems to me my bass prefers steel strings but it may be that it just needs an appropiate set up for gut strings.
  12. Basfidl


    Dec 2, 2004
    Hope Mills NC
    I've recently done the steel to gut swap myself. I've played Thomastik Spirocore's for 10 years. The bass, when i found it, had gut strings on it and were awesome! After about 6 months they started coming apart and there was no amount of oil or trimming that was gonna help. I switched to steel and haven't thought about switching back until recently when the band i've been with for about 4 years decided i should venture out and start some selective slapping. Steels are a bit tough for that as the tension makes it that way. I ordered some guts and have "installed" them. I'm having some reservations about my "E" as well. As of right now, it's just sitting there for decoration because it doesn't have any sound at all. I'm not gonna switch back just yet. I'm gonna give it a bit and see what happens. Tonight is our first gig after the holidays so we'll see what happens when i mic it put it through the system