Red Springs Upright Bass Strings (Gut or Synthetic)
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Inspired by the immensely popular (and long-missed) "Red-O-Ray" classic strings, the "Red Springs" are a part of Aquila's "Modern Music Strings" lineup for upright basses. According to Mimmo at Aquila, these strings are carefully designed to emulate the sound and feel of the legendary gut strings. Three different versions of the top two (D and G) strings can be paired with the synthetic core E and A (wound with flat copper wire) to re-create the classic sound we fondly remember.
- The "Plain Gut" version of the G&D are natural gut strings. The original strings for this set were varnished in red, but Aquila decided that the red varnish did not alter the tone in any way and no longer make them with the red varnish (which could sometimes stain fingers and/or fingerboards). They can be comfortably played both pizzicato (plucked) or arco (with a bow.)
- The "Synthetic" model is a 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. They're a less costly alternative to the gut version.
- The E and A strings are called the "16 series" strings, and are also of similar construction to the synthetic G & D, but are wound with flat copper wire. They are included in all three variants when purchased as a full set.
- Starting in early 2024, all the copperwound strings will be varnished (coated with a protective layer of varnish). This operation is done in order to preserve the copper from tarnishing and becoming brown. This is purely a aesthetic measure - despite having no complaints, Aquila is always looking to improve.
All of the strings were carefully designed to follow the measurements of the original samples of the strings they're designed to emulate.
The wound D & G strings are exclusively recommended for pizzicato; they're not well-suited for arco due to their outer surface.
Aquila strings are made in Italy.
(Samples recorded and provided by Aquila)
|Red Springs SYNTH G string pizzicato (plucked)|
|Red Springs SYNTH D string pizzicato (plucked)|
|Red Springs METAL G string pizzicato (plucked)|
|Red Springs METAL D string pizzicato (plucked)|
|Red Springs METAL G string arco (bowed)|
|Red Springs METAL D string arco (bowed)|
|Plain Gut G pizzicato (plucked)|
|Plain Gut D pizzicato (plucked)|
|Plain Gut G arco (bowed)|
|Plain Gut D arco (bowed)|
|Red Springs 16 Series A string pizzicato (plucked)|
|Red Springs 16 Series E string pizzicato (plucked)|
|Red Springs 16 Series A string arco (bowed)|
|Red Springs 16 Series E string arco (bowed)|
We offer these strings in three different sets of four, as described above. 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”)||22.5 kg / 49.61 lb|
|Synthetic D-2||3.00mm (.118”)||20.7 kg / 45.64 lb|
|Vintage (Gut) G-1||2.20mm (.086”)||22.3 kg / 49.17 lb|
|Vintage (Gut) D-2||2.80mm (.110”)||21.2 kg / 46.75 lb|
|Plain Gut G-1 (not red)||2.20mm (.086”)||TBD/varies|
|Plain Gut D-2 (not red)||2.84mm (.111”)||TBD/varies|
|"Metal" wound G-1||1.58mm (.062")||20.9 kg / 46.08 lb|
|"Metal" wound D-2||1.80mm (.071")||24.2 kg / 53.36 lb|
| Synthetic A-3
|2.05mm (.081")||24.4 kg / 53.8 lb|
| Synthetic E-4
|2.40mm (.094")||21.1 kg / 46.53 lb|
These strings remind me a little of the no-longer-made Velvet Blues or Animas. I put the “metal” D-G (top two) on my bass to try them out and while I thought they sounded a little bright, tinny right at first (as some strings do), after a bit of playing they have a soft, easy feel under the hands and a solid, full, punchy output. I had been pretty sure I’d be back to spiros within a month, but the Springs are still on there! They are a bit raspy under the bow, but that’s as-advertised. I’m hoping to try a full set eventually since I have a spiro stark E and an Evah A on my 104cm mensure carved bass — kindof a weird combination but it works surprisingly well!