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 "Vintage" version of the G&D take the natural gut and wind it in nylon filament - just like the original Red-O-Ray strings. The classic formula!
  • 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 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.

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.

Includes our exclusive Gollihur Music tipsheet to get the most out of your purchase


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.

String Gauges/Tensions

 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



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