Gold Springs Classic Upright Bass Strings (Gut or Synthetic)
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The "Gold Springs" are a part of Aquila's "Modern Music Strings" lineup for upright basses. According to Mimmo at Aquila, the Vintage version of these strings is an exhaustively re-created version of the legendary gut core strings, covered with flat Nylon monofilament, that were used by Scott LaFaro, Charlie Haden and many others back in the day. You know, those strings that gave them a tone that was truly Golden thanks to their Spiral nylon windings.
The D and G strings are available in a couple of options, which we break down below. The E and A strings are the same with either set - they are synthetic core strings that are wound in flat copper wire.
The "Regular" version are an reformulated replica of those strings, substituting the gut core of the "Vintage" D and G with a synthetic core (a blend of two bioplastics and an elastomer, calibrated to match the sound of gut) covered with a flat nylon wire, following the exact measurements of the original samples of the strings they're designed to emulate. These are a less costly alternative to the gut version, which is even more accurate to the originals - and we also carry those!
These strings are exclusively recommended for pizzicato; they're not well-suited for arco due to their outer surface. Their color is beige, which has a gut-like look to it, especially from more than a couple feet away.
Aquila strings are made in Italy.
We offer these strings in two different sets of four. The "Vintage" set has the real gut D and G, while the standard set has the synthetic D and G. The same synthetic E and A are included with either set.
You can also individually purchase the top and bottom strings as matched pairs (D/G or E/A). Why no single strings? Aquila are currently only offering their strings packaged as pairs; each individual string does not have its own packaging, and they do not approve of us "splitting up" the pairs at this time, as it would require us to remove them from their envelopes and repackaging them.
|Synthetic G-1||2.35mm ( .092”)||21.9 kg / 48.29 lb|
|Synthetic D-2||3.00mm (.118”)||21.1 kg / 46.53 lb|
|Vintage (Gut) G-1||2.30mm ( .090”)||22.3 kg / 49.17 lb|
|Vintage (Gut) D-2||2.95mm (.116”)||21.2 kg / 46.75 lb|
|Synthetic/Copper A-3||2.23mm (.088")||24.5 kg / 54.02 lb|
|Synthetic/Copper E-4||2.60mm (.102")||23.6 kg / 52.04 lb|
The perfect string if you’re going for that 60s Scott Lafaro/Mingus pizz bass sound. I’ve always found plain guts to be a bit too dark. The gold springs have just enough bite on top while retaining that deep punchy fundamental guts are known for. Acoustic-wise I would say they are just as loud as real gut as well. They also play comfortably like guts, Aquila did a fantastic job with the synthetic core. If you told me they were real gut core I would believe you. I currently have the D&G synthetic paired with spiro light E&A and they blend fairly well, although the tension matching is definitely something to get used to. The only downside is that it’s true these strings are completely unbowable. I play pizz exclusively so this isn’t a problem, but I have heard that the real gut version is much easier to bow if that’s a problem for you.
I played the golden spiro strings on my bass in the late 80’s and used them till stopped making them. These strings are the best and closest sound of the original strings. I have also tried the synthetic metal strings Aquila makes and highly recommend them if that is the sound you are looking for.