Pistoy, Lyon, Silver and Copper Wound Natural Gut Upright Bass Strings by Gamut
Pricing will update when you choose the strings you want in the options list below.
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We have several gut string options from several different manufacturers. We're proud to now include Gamut Music in our list of fine manufacturers of gut strings. Why gut? There is an organic sound and a soft feel that only guts can truly provide - while many synthetic strings come pretty close in their emulation, there's just nothing quite like that real gut softness and tone.
Plain gut strings do require a little maintenance, it is advisable to gently clip any "hairs" (hair-like little strands of gut that that develop with play). You may also want to oil them (walnut oil, most pure vegetable oils can do, and we sell string oil, too) for the longest life, especially if you are in a dry climate or go through dry periods.
Gamut makes different varieties of their gut strings.
The "Lyon" gut strings are natural gut strings (plain gut) that have been hand-rubbed with a light oil to provide a layer of protection. Pretty common construction techniques, with a classic plain gut feel and sound.
The "Pistoy" is also a natural gut, hand-rubbed with oil, but it is a unique development of Daniel Larson at Gamut Strings. It is a reproduction of a string orginally made in (and it is subsequently named for) the town in Italy which was famous for producing the best string for basses, being "flexible, smooth, and well twisted". It has three strands of gut twisted in one direction and then the three combined together by twisting in the other direction in rope fashion. When dry, the string is polished down to the specific gauge required by the instrument. The results are a very flexible string with a quick response and a full, round sound. The Pistoy is expensive to make because it takes a lot of time to sort the gut into small bundles to twist and retwist. The gain is in the flexibility. Even in thick strings the string remains supple and responsive. The string is characterized by a noticeable twist and flexible feel.
Gamut's "Silverplate" strings are a single length gut core string with a silver wire wrap. However, there is a thin silk layer wound onto the core between the gut and wire. Because of the plating, the wire is left round so that you can feel the texture of the tops of the wire. The tone is quick and bright. The end of the string that goes into the tailpiece is knotted with a loop of gut on the end.
The "Copper Wound" strings are single-length gut core contrabass strings with a copper wire wound onto the gut in tandem with a thin silk layer wound onto the core between the gut and wire. Because the wire is round, the surface of the wire is polished so that the string has a smooth, “half-wound” feel, helping the tone to be quick and bright.
The Academie set puts together several of the Gamut strings into a convenient package.
Gamut's "standard" set has the Lyon G string, the Pistoy D string, along with the silver-plate A and E strings. Those are the strings that most players purchase, and the medium gauge is the most common. Dan Larson at Gamut suggests those as almost universally usable to any player.