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.
The strings from Gamut are currently only offered as complete sets (four string, EADG), as they have many string options. It can get pretty complicated! So for right now, we're sticking to their most popular (and carefully curated) set designs. Here's what we've got:
Red Diamond Set
Over the last thirty years Gamut Music has been very successful in bringing quality gut strings to contrabass players all over the world playing all kinds of music, making high quality gut strings available in many gauges for the needs for diverse musical styles.
Gamut Music is pleased to announce that we are expanding our catalog with the addition of the Red Diamond line of bass strings. These strings are designed to satisfy the needs of the active, professional musician who needs that real gut sound for jazz, bluegrass, blues, rockabilly and other musical forms that require a strong bottom end to the sound and the stylistic stage presence of an upright bass.
Active, professional bass players require a full-gauged string with plenty of tension for a full tone that can carry through a small club or a stadium and the durability of strings that they can put on the instrument and not worry about, whatever the conditions of the performance situation. The Red Diamond strings are the solution.
The G-1 and D-2 strings are made of the finest beef serosa from the green fields of Ireland, twisted in our famous Lyon gut style, then wrapped with nylon to protect the string from adverse environmental conditions. The nylon is polished smooth for slick playing action and long life. The A-3 and E-4 strings have high-twist gut cores for flexibility and long sustain, seasoned carefully and then wound with round copper wire for a rich low register. The wires are left round.
Red Diamond string gauges are based on the popular medium range from our famous Academie line of bass strings with the following specifications:
|G-1||2.50mm ( .098”) (50PM)||23Kg (52.9Lb)||Plain Gut|
|D-2||3.34mm (.131”) (67PM)||22Kg (48.5Lb)||Plain Gut|
|A-3||2.60mm (.102”) (52PM)||20Kg (44Lb)||Copper Wire Wound|
|E-4||3.10mm (.122”) (62PM)||18Kg (39.6Lb)||Copper Wire Wound|
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.
Finally, 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 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.
We are currently only offering Gamut strings as full sets, as described above. If we get enough demand to start stocking single Gamut strings, we will certainly consider it!