Information on Gamut Academie Gut Strings

June 5, 2007 at 11:26 PM · So I just ordered a few sets of Gamut Academie gut strings today after much talk on here about them. Apparently they make a replica of the g-string Heifetz used (Tricolore) which I am eager to try. What are your experiences with these strings? What are the similarities and differences between these strings and others like Dlugolecki's or Pirastro's? I'd be interested to hear any comments, thanks.



June 6, 2007 at 12:14 PM · Hi Nate

I tried their whole set of strings.

The silver wound g- string is not good. I have a Tricolore that Dan sent me but I have not tried it yet. Sometimes I just use a dominant G with pure gut and it works well.

The roped D string is very good both in the heavy plus gauge to grittyin the medium plus gauge for my taste.

The A string is divine. Such a full sound.

I also tried the E string Heavy plus tension and the sound is gobsmacking but for practical use it's absolutely impossible.

I have tried pure gut only from Gamut so I can't compare. I will be very interested to know!

By the way Pirastro sent me a set of Passione to try out. I put them on yesterday so I will let you know soon what I think.



June 6, 2007 at 12:31 PM · I tried Academie uncovered A & D and their Tricolore G. I liked the A as well as the Chorda. I liked the D more than the Chorda. I found the G to be, on my violin, nowhere nearly as beautiful as a Eudoxa. I also didn't like the feel of the windings on the Tricolore G as well as Eudoxa.

June 6, 2007 at 12:32 PM · No the G-4 and the Tricolore G are not the same. Dan said he will put the Tricolore on the webpage but until then you can email him to ask.

The strings I have from him are varnished. I will try unvarnished next time I order as I heard they have less "squeek" under the bow.

June 7, 2007 at 05:04 AM · Yes, the unvarnished strings sound better. Quite a bit, in my opinion.

Regarding the G-4: Of the three I have tried, two were bad. They buzzed quite a bit. They also had very little sound. (he replaced them with no hassles) The one that did not buzz was heavy + gauge, and sounds absolutely wonderful. I think Daniel has some quality-control issues with his wound strings. I love the one good one, nicer than Eudoxa, but I have high hopes for a heavy gauge Passione.

I must admit I don't know what the "tri-color" series are, but I know that they are made for period instruments, not modern violins & classical music. FWIW, Daniel told me to only use the G4, Pistoy D, and standard A & E on a modern violin.

The Pistoy D is incredible.

June 7, 2007 at 08:36 AM · The round wound G string really needs 1-2 weeks to break in; wait with judging!

Also interesting:

June 8, 2007 at 01:04 AM · I have used Larsen's strings for a number of years. They are excellent: always true, nice pale yellow to white color, well packaged, and durable. The heavier gauges (I use Medium+ or Heavy) at modern tension exhibit a strong tone of good quality. I have found his gut E's to be quite reliable, and have used them for weeks on end without breaking--something I cannot say for Chordas. The gimped D (a gut D with a copper wire imbedded in it to reduce the diameter and increase the brightness) has the beauty of sound of gut without the airy, too-soft sound I equate with a plain gut, low-twist D like Chorda or Larsen's Lyon gut. On the debit side, I do find the gimped strings are squishy to keep in tune. A plain gut D, once fully stretched, seems very stable by comparison. I have not tried his Academie wound G strings --frankly Pirastro's Olive and Eudoxa are so good I have never seen the need. (The new Pirastro Passione G is great, too, by the way.)

June 8, 2007 at 01:48 AM · Frederick,

That's interesting. I wonder why Daniel didn't recommend my trying the gimped D? I'll have to compare it to his (excellent) Pistoy D. (unless I become a Passione convert)


Nate, regarding Gamut vs Dlug:

I compared two different gauged sets from each company, non-varnished (I dislike the varnished gut) These could be considered "heavy" and "super heavy." I found that the heavier strings actually have less surface noise ( more correctly, their "tone to noise" ratio is better) and they don't seem to have that "chokey" "fisty" midrange that wound synthetics give you in heavy gauges. And so:

They are also noticeably fuller, gauge-for-gauge, but also softer. That works well for my recording needs, and would probably KILL in a quartet setting, but they might be too soft for a darker violin used in an orchestral or solo situation.

The Gamut have MUCH less "squawk." (my term for the noise when you start your bow-stroke, not to be confused with the constant "surface noise" that the Dlug's provide.) This is probably connected to their softness. Damian specifically makes his strings to be extra-soft, as he believes this is how strings were made in the old days. He has done a LOT of research on this, and his arguments are convincing.

The Gamut seem to take a bit longer to settle in.(neither take more than a few days even for 5th position to open up) ) The Gamut also stretches more days later, always needing a tweak, whereas the Dlug's pitch-stabilize after a few days. (in constant-humidity conditions)

The Gamut E-string is the clear winner for me. but it is pretty dead in fifth position (at least on the first day) whereas the (2 weeks old) Dlugliecki is considerably more open. The Dlugliecki might be a better choice for someone looking for a fairly modern sound, since it cuts a little better. Both are lovely, though again I prefer the fat smooth tone of the Gamut. By far.

For the D & A strings, so far I am on the fence. The Gammas are possibly a bit TOO round & mellow. The Dlug's might be better for all-around classical music, if you can stand the scratchiness and don't need maximum fullness.

- I say this in all fairness, since I had two VERY bad experiences with Damian regarding customer service. I won't elaborate here, but he has lost my business for life, even though he makes a good string. Enough said on that. PM me if you want details.

I found the Dlug D & A (unvarnished) to mate well with a Dominant and/or Vision (plain) heavy-gauge G. The softer, warmer Gamut D & A mated well with the Dominant G, but also with the Gamut heavy+ G. Again, the Dlug G was abysmal.

For pure-gut, there is also Aquila, of course. I have tried those, and would love to hear opinions on them from others (in comparison to the Dlug & Gamut)

One last thought: I am very, VERY fond of the Gamut unvarnished E -string. However, I like what a steel E (Heavy gauge Tzigane works well) does for the sound of the other three strings. I guess it has something to do with harmonics, because the G through A seem to wake up a little, which really works with the Gamuts. I am seriously on the fence For really exciting music, a gut E might hold you back. Still, for romantic music, & big broad bow-strokes, that Gamut heavy-gauge pure-gut E is pure Heaven. I am seriously on the fence

June 8, 2007 at 01:49 AM · Just another heads-up to those reading this and trying pure-gut for the first time:

As I have written before, pure gut reacts VERY differently with your bow, compared to wound synthetic. I mean TONALLY.

I was lucky to have over ten nice bows here when doing all my string tests, and three quite acceptable violins. I found that virtually every "best bow - violin" combination I had picked with synthetic strings went right out the window with pure gut. On all three violins.

the point? I you were wise enough to pick a bow that best suited you violin, when it was strung with synthetics, that same bow may cause you to dislike pure-gut. Seriously, I found the differences to be quite significant. Keep this in mind during any tests, and try to have access to other bows.

June 8, 2007 at 05:38 AM · Yes Allan I had the same experience with bows. Many bows that work well on synthetics are not the best on gut.

My bowmaker explained to me that for gut strings it's better to have a high density in the pernambuco where as on synthetics you can have fine results with medium to low density.

June 8, 2007 at 10:38 PM · In reading this thread, it is interesting how heavier gauges are liked because they have less surface noise that the player hears. That's true, but the audience doesn't hear that noise; only you, the player, will, unless your listener is about 5 feet away. I LIKE that buzz uner the bow. If I want strings to sound like metal wrapped strings, that's what I buy!

Speaking of Larsen's Pistoy (double twisted) strings, they have superior overtones (brightness) compared to a traditional gut D. I like them a lot. But I do prefer the gimped (embedded wire) string just a bit more; because they are thinner, they don't roll as much under the bow pressure and you can really attack them if you want without their sounding false.

June 8, 2007 at 11:54 PM · Well, I'll counter Allan and vouch for Damian Dlugolecki's fine customer service.

June 9, 2007 at 07:31 AM · Guys,

you speak about different strings, gauche, stringmakers and bows, but personally I am struggeling with about ten different types of rosin. I didn't figure out yet what is the best for my plain guts. Hard or soft, light or dark, often a bit or sometimes a lot..

What are your experiences?

June 9, 2007 at 01:10 PM · One question for you Gamut veterans, when you receive a double length d or a-string what is your method of cutting the strings? Do you eyeball the measurements, or do you use a tape measure to calculate the exact length in which to cut?

June 10, 2007 at 01:56 PM · Allan:

Did you try any CF bows on gut strings?

June 10, 2007 at 07:20 PM · Nate,

All you need to do is hold the two ends together and pull the folded string straight so as to locate the loop which is the exact midpoint of the double length string. Cut at this point so you now have two equal length strings. Each is of the correct length to properly install on your violin.

June 11, 2007 at 02:51 AM · Hi Mr. Steiner, thank you very much for your advice. I will use your method next time which is definitely more efficient than using a tape measure!

June 11, 2007 at 04:49 AM · Greetings,

I agree with Nate on his rosin suggestions. Anothe rgood one is AB .



June 13, 2007 at 12:38 PM · Just tried Damien's A gut string. I can get it to G#, but it takes all my strength to try to get it up that last half step and I am quite strong. Back to the Obligato.

July 12, 2007 at 11:37 PM · Hi,

I've been using Damian strings exclusively for 2 years on my violin. I just love them. I've tried Chordas before that, but I prefer Damian's. His wound G string is *fabulous*! I use G silver, D and A varnished, and Goldbrokat E. Also, Damian service is very good.

February 10, 2008 at 04:38 PM · Are Gamut gut strings good for violas as well? Anyone have experience with those?

And why in the world a viola string $2,986??

the Viola G-3 Pistoy Gut...or is it a typo?

February 10, 2008 at 05:10 PM · Probably $29.86 :-).

March 21, 2009 at 09:06 PM ·

So I returned to the violin a few months ago from a 10 year hiatus. Before this period of time, I was using Pirastro Eudoxa exclusively. I had, in the past, tried Dominants, Oliv, Eudoxa. Since restarting the violin again, and seeing the huge price jump in cost on Eudoxas (I remember paying $30 for a set) I have been using Dominants.

Now that I'm back in the swing of things, trying to re-learn on my own and playing with my community orchestra, I have decided to look at using other strings. I did some research and found a lot of info on pure gut, and decided to try it out.

My plan is to switch to pure gut D and A strings, with a Eudoxa G string and some E string TBD. I've almost always solely used the pirastro gold E string, but have tried the Eudoxa woundE  string without much success and the Oliv gold E (again, didn't much like it).

Last week, after much research, I ordered a Heavy guage Eudoxa G (rigid) and Jargar, Hill, Westminster, Goldbrokat E strings. I also ordered the Pistoy D and Lyon A from Gamut in Heavy.

The shipping on the eudoxas and e strings from goStrings was free and I received them 2 days after my order. As for the Gamuts - after waiting a week for the strings to ship, (a long time to wait, if you ask me, after paying $9 for shipping and handling!) I finally received the D and A strings yesterday.

As of day 1:

i) I have missed this Eudoxa G string! sublime on my violin. so much more complex than my violin's response to the Dominant G. I really don't think there's any better G string for my violin than this. I started playing and immediately remembered that rich, full sound. Love it.

ii) the unvarnished Pistoy D is sounding pretty pinched. not very full, nasal. very "scratchy." Hopefully it'll open up. after playing and re-tuning every minute or so for about an hour, it's starting to be less nasal but still not fully there. If it stays this way I'll have to consider switching to the Euxoxa D string. But I do want to give the string a fair shake. 3 weeks at least. 

iii) the unvarnished lyon A - already sounds wonderful. I don't remember how the Eudoxa A sounded, but this is very nice. I think it'll even continue to open up as the days pass. at $7.50 (after shipping, roughly) a string, it's a very nice string for sure.

iv) Jargar forte - not bad. I do like this string, seems to whistle less than the wondetone gold. The goldbrokat will be next. to try


I'll keep trying to tune these strings up and play them as much as possible before my vacation next week, and I'll be periodically posting on this thread to let you guys know how it goes.

Thanks to everyone on this thread (and others) who've posted about these strings in the past; extremely helpful in making this decision to try out pure gut!


March 22, 2009 at 12:21 AM ·

As far as the scratchiness and nasality of the d string goes, that is the most difficult string to get to work. (Actually a plain gut G would be even worse...but that seems uncommon). In my experience the a always works pretty well, but a plain gut e is the best of all. Unless you try it, you are really missing out on the plain gut experience. That is the string that makes it all worthwhile in my opinion. It is a sound that is so beautifully matched to the a string. By comparison, even the great violinists, when you hear them play, the steel e string always twangs in a way that is totally out of character with the rest of the fiddle. It always sounds to me like having a steel e string on a nylon string guitar...


Also don't give up the D without also trying different thicknesses, and different contstructions, as well as different makers (Dlugolecki for instance). You might think heavier is better but that may or may not be so.  You can also use mersenne's law to calculate the tension--and if there is a non-gut system that sounds good, you can always choose the gage of the gut to produce the same tension.

March 22, 2009 at 02:24 AM ·

 I believe you on the gut E... I am not sure I want to deal with the hassle of having it break all the time. I should try it out though. it's cheap enough, next time I order strings.


March 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM ·

At least Gamut gut E's do not break easily. For me, they go false before they break, so there is ample warning of impending doom. I tune down the E string a quarter tone when putting the violin away, I think this increases the lifetime but I don't have statistics. Also, check the nut, bridge and tailpiece for sharp corners and lubricate with pencil lead to make sure the string slides freely over the contact points.

Pistory gut isn't necessary for violin strings, so use  Lyon gut D,  and sometime try thinner strings(light +).

March 22, 2009 at 11:42 AM ·

Joe you were right about thinner strings. They are must more resonant and clear. I think the super heavies were choking my instrument. As for the gut e, I hated it. First of all the knot did not fit in the tail piece and I had three snap on me. It was so hard to get it to pitch and when i finally got it to pitch it  didn't make a sound.

As for the D give it time. When I first started using plain gut i thought it was scratchy too. But i learned to be more precise  with my bowing and now its is best d string in the world...imo

March 22, 2009 at 12:28 PM ·

If the knot doesn't fit, you feed the string through the loop made by the knot so it goes around the hole in the tailpiece, like a lasso. Do not use a fine tuner in the tailpiece, BTW, a gut E is easily tuned by the peg. Be assured there is nothing mystical about a gut E, if it doesn't sound, stabilize within a day or two, or snaps quickly there is a technique or mechanical problem that can be fixed.

March 22, 2009 at 01:10 PM ·


Finding the right balance of gauges is important, and one has to experiment with gut strings.  The classic blend according to Carl Flesch was a 16 1/2 wound G, a 21 or 22 plain gut D, a 16 1/2 plain gut A and a 13 1/ 2 E.  With a steel E, I would go for a medium gauge.  This seems to be a good basic for all violins, though most require individual gauging.  The key is balance of tensions on an instrument more than particular strings.


March 22, 2009 at 06:34 PM ·

There must have been a mechanical  problem because I didn't use the E with fine tuners and trying to get to pitch was so hard that i thought the peg might break. Anyway when i put the goldbrokat medium back on the other strings seemed to wake up. Seems like my violin just didn't like Gut Es

March 23, 2009 at 03:35 PM ·

Too late for me to edit my original post but I should say - the A is not Lyon, it's a regular treble gut A.

Christian: thanks for that guage info - converting from Gamut's mm, my current setup is:

G String - 16.25
D String - 21.6
A String - 16

I'll try some medium E strings and see how that goes. Interesting that there's no consensus about what's "medium" for Goldbrokat, that's 27, for westminster: 26 (goldbrokat's "light") then wondertone gold and Jargar just call it "medium"

Joe: several people on this site had mentioned how much they loved the pistoy D so I started with that one first...

March 23, 2009 at 03:11 PM ·

For the past year I've been using heavy gauge Passiones with a Jargar forte E and liking the result. But I've always wanted to try a plain gut string just for the heck of it. In my hands (i.e., instrument, bow, rosin, and playing quirks) I sometimes found the Passione A to be slightly less wonderful than the other strings, so I decided to experiment with Gamut plain gut. I bought the unvarnished A in heavy gauge and heavy gauge +. The heavy + gauge sounded good but I couldn't get used to it being so much thicker than all the other strings. I tried the heavy gauge next and it seemed a better match. The string sounds fabulous and seems to enhance the sound of the other strings as well – my violin seems to resonate better on all strings. I recall one of Christian Vachon's posts from long ago stating that the E string can change the sound of the other strings (e.g., the Jargar forte E can make Dominants sound less metallic and more gut-like). I was wondering if this same sort of effect has been noted by others when adding a single plain gut string other than the E.


December 30, 2009 at 01:38 PM ·

Hello all,

I am new here but just wanted to add to the discussion some observations to see if anyone else has had similar results with pure gut strings. I should start by saying that I am not an experienced player but a fiddler in the other sense of the word. I am a cabinetmaker that loves music and sound dynamics in particular.I have spent a good deal of time adjusting plate thicknesses etc. My comment here as it relates to pure gut violin strings would focus on the unwound G that I put on about 9 months ago. At first it was difficult to grab and I thought it might be a bad idea based on what I read here. After a month or so it seemed to "break in" for lack of a better term and now it seems to me to be capable of producing a huge serious sound. there are a number of variables involved and I am wondering if anyone has any similar or other experience?

March 22, 2011 at 07:04 PM ·

 I am reviving this thread to say I found it MOST interesting as I am looking for a totally new string experience and I think I'll be 'brave' and go over to bare gut strings after reading this thread when my current strings (obligatos) are ready to part with my violin (in 2 to 3 months from now).

It was very educational to read, thank you and I might love it or hate it to switch to plain gut but I really really want to try now :)

March 23, 2011 at 07:14 PM ·

 well, couldn't resist, they seem value for money anyway (compared to oliv and eudoxa they are!) I ordered them already! I bought a G/D/A of the 'tricolore' strings from Gamut, even with shipping costs and import tax they will still be cheaper than buying oliv G/D/A and same price than buying Eudoxa G/D/A in UK so I can't really go wrong! :)

Can't wait for the experience ;) whether I love them or hate them am looking forward to try them but from what I've read in this thread there is a chance I will like them :)

March 30, 2011 at 11:09 PM ·

I have been a gut string aficionado for many years, even before the "historically informed" movement even existed.  I have tried every brand I can get in the USA, except for Dlugolecki.  I have used Eudoxa, Olive, and synthetic G's so I will not comment on those.  

1.   Gamut and Aquila.

Both companies offer strings that are good sounding, durable, and true.  Both have outstanding service and FAST delivery.  Aquila leans a little more, I think, to making strings that would be very similar, if not identical, to what a 19th century musician would recognize.  Their "half-rectified"  strings (go to to see what that means) have a slightly rough surface, and are remarkably durable.  Larsen's strings are smoother and also durable.  Both companies offer various high-twist and braided strings that are waaayyyy better for a violin D than an ordinary low-twist string (e.g. Chorda), because of the superior overtones they yield.  Seriously, look at Larsen's and Aquila's very informative sites to get your PhD in gut strings!

3.  Pirastro Chorda.

For years before around 1990 these were about all you could get with any regularity.  They are well polished, true, and the quality is consistent.  I have not had good luck with Chorda E's.  On several occasions I had one that--no kidding--could not be brought up to pitch when brand new without snapping.  Aaargh.  The A's are excellent.  The D's are a low twist string and not especially good-sounding because of weak overtones.  Before Pirastro adopted the "Chorda" brand name, their plain gut strings used to be sold as Eudoxa.  The typical gauge was 14 1/2 for the A and 19 1/2 for the D.  They still are.  These are a little bit low tension, in my opinion.  A 15 gauge A and a 20 or 21 gauge D sounds better, and has less of an issue with deflection when you attack it with a strong bow. 

4.  La Bella

These were actually quite nice -- like Chorda -- but hard to obtain.  The quality was good.  I believe they have now been discontinued.  They were very clear and well polished. 

5.  Kürschner (Germany)

True, well made and pretty durable.  They are absolutely clear as glass, colorless, astoundlingly smooth and look like nylon guitar strings when new.  The sound is comparable to Gamut.  You can order them directly from Germany and they service was quick the one time I did this.






March 30, 2011 at 11:37 PM ·

We would love to hear what you would think of Dlugolecki. Will you try some? I

April 6, 2011 at 02:28 PM ·

 Ok, I just received today my Gamut Tricolore stings (yay!!!) BUT meeting up with someone tomorrow to play violin (thursday) and have a lesson on I think I will wait until after my lesson on Saturday to put them on, then I don't have to meet anyone/have any lessons for a week and I'll have plenty of 'playing hours' to stretch them and play them in!  

I am so scared to break them or do something wrong with them!!!  I waited 2 weeks for them to arrive from the USA as in London they are not on sale yet (until end of May) and they look so fragile (to me anyway that I have never glanced to a plain gut string!!!  will I be alright?? what should I do apart from putting graphite to the nut and the bridge and winding them slowly to pitch?

can't wait to try them!!! saturday will come by sooooo slow!!!

April 6, 2011 at 03:21 PM ·

Gut strings stabilize faster for me than do Dominants. (And yes, there is a sound theoretical basis for this. Gut strings are muscle, not elastin!)  One day and they are solid.

Maybe someone else has a different opinion. But if I were you I 'd mount them straightaway.

April 6, 2011 at 03:27 PM ·

 thanks Bill, I might 'go for it' then!  am I being 'silly' in being 'scared' to touch them then? are they not as 'delicate' as they look???

I have bought a silver wound G, a plain gut D and A and I have a goldbrokat E

I can only play 2 hours tonight and tomorrow have to play with someone and don't want to spend stopping every five minutes, I have NO TIME to play tomorrow AT ALL before I meet up with the other person at 6pm.  I only have 2 hours tonight and no other time.....

April 6, 2011 at 03:42 PM ·

Don't be afraid. But do be meticulous. Take a careful look at the grooves at the nut and in the bridge. If these are not large enough, it can pinch the gut strings, which are typically larger diameter. You may have to delicately file them wider using a very small round file.

I assume the ends of the D and the A are already tied. To understand how they should be mounted, take a look at the and even more useful information is at Dlugolecki's website: I recommend reading this.

Typically you treat the loop and the knot as a stopper and you do not wrap the loop through and feed the bitter end through it, though this is sometimes the only way to mount an e string (not applicable to you).



I forgot to put this link up:


April 6, 2011 at 04:42 PM ·

 Thank you Bill.

The new Gamut tricolore string come with a knot already done AND a little leather 'washer' as well in front of the knot so that when mounted on a modern tail-piece the knot will not slip through... see pictures here:

not sure about filing the groove in the nut of my violin.....(that I want to do that I mean...) I know what you mean, but I am not sure if it needs doing...I think I'll just put them on.....erm....

April 6, 2011 at 05:43 PM ·

 thank you for all your help Bill, I just 'stuck them on' at the end and I hope the grooves in nut will be ok (fingers crossed!!!), I rubbed loads of B2 pencil stuff in it!!!  You were right, they are not too bad in slipping out of tune, well, they are but not too much, G is almost settle after half hour and D and A only go a little flat now and again, I might be ok for tomorrow!!

They are LOUD!!! well, maybe my expectations were to find them to be very mellow, I had obligatos on my violin before and I find them to be similar if not a touch louder even! how come? LOL  I have medium gauge and a soft gauge for the G, I bought the set Gamut said Heifetz used as I was 'curious' that's all ;)  obviously they'll take a few hours playing to 'settle' and show their real 'colour' :)

After reading all reviews on how plain gut strings need 'different' bowing technique I have to say so far I don't notice a difference, is that because I am 'just' an 'intermediate' player so I wouldn't know how to tell these differences yet?  or am I just 'lucky' I have adapted immediately?  I have tried to play a slow and a fast piece on them (ie meditation/schindler's list and vivaldi g minor concerto)

thanks again for being so helpful and for all the links

April 6, 2011 at 07:47 PM ·

How long do plain gut strings last for you people? Heifetz changed his D and A every four days, from what I hear. A friend of mine at school just bought a set of Tricolores (wound G and D, plain gut A), and he replaced the A after only a couple days, saying that it had already gone false.

April 6, 2011 at 10:12 PM ·


Because gut strings, esp "pure" (non-wound) gut strings have lower tension than synthetics, it is often necessary to have the fiddle setup with a slightly higher bridge, and sometimes even a higher nut.   -  but only if you get buzzing (check by plucking hard, open strings & all positions up to 4th)    If you want to try a higher nut temporarily, just put a sliver of aluminum foil across the each nut-slot  before re-stringing. 

The other problem is string width, esp with higher-gauge pure-gut strings (my personal preference is for super-heavy gauge) and there is no temporary solution for that. As Bill Platt mentioned, you have to file the slots wider.  - but if you have no tuning problems, and are not seeing fraying at the nut, then don't worry about it.



In my experience (playing pure gut for about 3 years now, on several fiddles) and also from reports by many members here, pure gut strings last a lot longer than wound synthetics. - except for the E string, which few folks use. - and except for the A string if you have very sweaty hands.

Moisture kills gut. If you were having them go false that quickly, either use the varnished ones, or (more to my liking sonically) keep them coated with olive oil.

April 6, 2011 at 10:13 PM ·

There's a story that Heifetz said to someone once something along the lines of "You think you got problems? – I have to be Heifetz every day!"

I suspect there's an element of this in the (also possibly apocryphal) story about Heifetz changing his strings every fourth day.  He had to be seen and be heard on top form every day (goes with being Heifetz, of course), so it's not surprising that with his practice and performing schedules he would have changed his strings a little more frequently than most of us, even if it wasn't actually every fourth day. To put it in perspective, depending on the violin, I change my strings about every 4-6 months (goes with being Trevor Jennings, of course).


April 6, 2011 at 10:54 PM ·

"Because gut strings, esp "pure" (non-wound) gut strings have lower tension than synthetics"

This is not true. It depends on the gage you select. plain gut is available in a much wider range of gages than any other string type. It is easy to use more rather than less tension with gut.

April 7, 2011 at 03:46 AM ·

 Hello 'all', so far I have not noticed any 'buzzes' from the strings, I have played for 2 hours last night.  I have to say I have not gone out of my way to do anything different from what I usually do with my playing but have played/practice the 1st movement of the Vivaldi G minor concerto, The Schindler's List Theme, Meditation, Tempo di Minuetto and The Dance of the Blessed Spirits Heifetz Transcription, but was so taken in playing/practicing these pieces I 'forgot' to do any technique (shock and horror!!!) so did not do any 3 octave scales or anything else LOL

I did 'pluck' the strings while I first put them on and was tuning them and there was no buzzes then...

I have the opposite problem to 'sweaty' hands and mine are ALWAYS very dry, so hopefully that means I have fingers 'suited' to plain gut strings :)  in fact my fingers are so dry when I go to the grocery store if they have plastic carrier bags I cannot open them up as my fingers cannot get a grip on them!!!

The grooves on the nut of the violin look like they 'might' end up being alright, hopefully they will!  well, I'll see, if they don't snap in the next few days LOL  I'll watch out for any early signs....

The silver wound G I have is soft tension, the D and A plain gut are medium tension...

April 7, 2011 at 09:18 AM ·


IIRC, The very-thickest available beef-gut strings just barely have the same tension as a typical medium gauge synthetic.   - And almost no one uses that Heavy ++ gauge. Sheep-gut has even lower tension, hence its warmer, fuller sound.   (I used to have a graph that shown actual numbers, but I can't find it. ) The practice of changing bridge & nut height to compensate for this is well-established. (As is the opposite for steel-core strings.)

So for me, a different setup is not needed, but for "most" players it might need to be considered.

Also, gut strings do NOT break in quickly, as you suggested above.  They last a long time, and contrary to what some folks think, they are quite pitch-stable once broken in, but they take several days to break in well.  This is the reason some picky players actually keep a set of spare pure-gut strings on an unused violin. The idea is to keep them stretched & ready, so there is no break-in needed.

April 7, 2011 at 12:09 PM ·

April 7, 2011 at 05:30 PM ·

 I put my strings on yesterday (24 hours ago) and by now, 24 hours later they are 'almost' totally stable.  Just thought I'd let people know....I need to re-tune slightly about every hour or so by just a tiny touch :) not bad I think for 24 hours.

January 13, 2013 at 06:38 PM · Hi Everyone,

I ordered a set of Tricolores and a Goldbrokat E from Gamut as a Christmas present for a well-known soloist who was comming for lunch on Christmas Day. The strings ordered on 7th November had not arrived by a week before. Dan kindly mailed another set express delivery to London and they arrived 24th December.

Duly wrapped with a card, he was delighted and strung up his del Gesu with them telling me that he'll give me a good working out on Leclair duets after desert and coffee.

The Tricolores A string snapped when it was around F#, snapping at the point where the small black thingy joins the adjuster loop. What could I do?

I quickly wrapped an unused set of Infeld Reds and presented those.

The Leclair sonatas went well with me on his del Gesu and him on my genuine Strad made by Antonio himself whilst he was living in Bohemia some years before he took up permanemt residence in China.

April 28, 2013 at 04:06 PM · Regarding "pitch stable" there's stable and there's STABLE: My experience with plain gut strings is several hours of more or less continuous stretching. The next day you think they're stretched as they are kind of stable. But then the next day, they're flat again. Fully stretched A's and D's take several days, after which they're pretty much good for life. E's are different because when they're up to pitch they are quite near their tensile breaking point. After a day they're usually good for their (short) life.

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