The return of Tricolore strings

March 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM ·

Gamut music is now selling facsimiles of the old Tricolore strings that were the favorite strings of Jascha Heifetz; everything about them is supposedly the same, down to the color of the silk wrappings.

I'm really excited to try these out - time to save up!

The A and D strings are sold in both plain gut and aluminum-wound gut.


March 17, 2011 at 07:14 AM ·

I'm surely giving them a try as soon as my Kaplans die. I'll probably go for plain gut D & A. What was the E string Heifets was using? The Goldbrokat brand? I wonder how the "typical Heifetz set" sounds like on my violin. Great news, thanks :)

March 18, 2011 at 12:28 AM ·

 I was also very excited to see their return. I am anxious to see how they compare to my current setup of Passione G and E, with Gamuts's Academie plain gut A and D. 

March 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM ·

 Yes, VERY exciting!

I love Gamut's unwound gut,  but have not been knocked out by their wound G.


Maybe this one will be different,  having a different aging process & winding.  I can't wait to try them.

April 15, 2011 at 03:42 AM ·

 Hi Nate, I have also got the tricolore, I have had them on my violin for a week now and like you like them a lot.

I was 'curious' to try the exact set that Heifetz had so I ordered the gauges Gamut specified as the 'Heifetz' set on their 'triciolore news page' here:  so with a soft gauge G.

I have never played on a soft gauge G, only played on passione solo before so my 'gut strings playing experience' is limited, but I do like the soft G.  As for the plain gut D and A in medium gauge they are nice (bought them unvarnished), easy to play, like you said they stretched very quickly and they are very stable.  They have a quick response I like them a lot.   I have never used a goldbrokat E and I have fallen in love with it!  what a wonderful E string and soooo cheap!  The gut strings are also a very competitive price I must say!  I am very happy.

I might try the heavy gauge G though to compare as you say good things about it.

April 15, 2011 at 04:58 AM ·

 its my birthday and i called and ordered myself a set today. cant wait for them to show up. on a side note: mr. larson the owner took my order answered all my dumb questions and took care of everything  if i like these alot, like i hope i will, this man will have my buisness for life. dude was just awesome. could anyone whos gotten theirs tell me everything about them and what to expect? im so stoked.

April 15, 2011 at 06:25 AM ·

Hi Nate, I bought the unvarnished ones and that's because of what I have read from your reviews from the old 'gamut' thread here on :)

and yes, the first thing I have noticed was also how LOUD they are (and like you said without having to force the bow) so loud!!! my son comes out of his bedroom and says 'OH MY ***** YOU ARE TOO LOUD MUM!!!' LOL  of course now that I also play with no shoulder rest the whole combination has really transformed my playing!!! it's like I have loudspeakers ;)

But also I can make nice soft sounds too, they really have a nice range of colours :)

April 15, 2011 at 01:51 PM ·

Oh boy!

Nate, thanks for this update.  

As you know I'm a huge fan of Gamut pure-gut (Also Aquila)  but never liked his wound G.   I know you felt the same, so this new review is great news.  I am ordering a few sets today.

BTW - I recommend to everyone to use non-varnished strings. They absolutely sound better, esp in the higher positions.   Just keep them lightly coated with olive oil, and they will not only last longer but sound better.    

April 15, 2011 at 02:05 PM ·

 ooooohhhhh Allan thanks for the 'olive oil' tip, being half italian I love olive oil and plain gut strings already remind me of 'spaghetti' I might end up wanting to eat them after I coat them with olive oil HEHEHEHE :)  but obviously I must avoid where the bow goes right?? (silly question?? sorry am new to plain gut strings and am only an intermediate player).

April 15, 2011 at 03:12 PM ·

 Actually, no.  Rub the olive oil everywhere. (what fun!)   It is a historically tried & true way to safely remove rosin.

-just make sure to wipe it dry in that area, more-so than the rest of the string. I usually wait a few minutes for any residual oil to evaporate off, which it sort of does.


Note:  The oil does slightly dampen HF at first, but this seems to come back after a bit of time, and the difference in fullness and timbral-response becomes noticeably better, especially as the string get a little older.

April 15, 2011 at 03:33 PM ·

 thanks again Allan, will follow your tips :)

April 15, 2011 at 10:07 PM ·

 thanks Nate

I have extremely dry hands/fingertips (they NEVER sweat under any circumstances) and I do not perform on stage or to anyone actually (yet hehehe).  Climate here in the UK is not too humid most of the maybe I should be ok with the unvarnished I bought?

I guess I'll see and in future I can always try the varnished ones too :)

April 15, 2011 at 10:22 PM ·

 Nate,  the oil evaporates off.  You have to apply it every once in a while.



April 15, 2011 at 11:43 PM ·

Jo, I too have dry fingertips and live in a dry climate - unvarnished is the way to go under such circumstances.  I've been using the Gamut Academie plain gut A and D with an Olive G but just ordered the heavy gauge Tricolore A, D and silver wound G on Nate's review (Go, Nate!).  Someday I'd like to try the lighter gauges said to be preferred by Heifetz - my fingers seem to prefer the thicker strings though.  Fun times!

April 16, 2011 at 02:33 AM ·

Well ive read everything about Gamut this site has to offer and heard nothing but good things. i was just wondering about the Tricolore strings in perticular. how they re act. but they should be here any day. and now im starting to regret the choice of the varnished. all though Dan suggested them. Either way im not too worried whats a good way to get a good sound past 5th on the varnished? bow pressure, speed, etc... so excited i almost cant sleep. haha i like being such a dork that i get this excited over violin strings.

April 16, 2011 at 09:17 AM ·

Thanks for your response Anthony.

There you are Erik, you should be alright according to what Nate says (I trust what he says :))

April 16, 2011 at 02:36 PM ·


Almond oil is an interesting idea. - just the fact of trying ANY other type of oil.  (who knows, they may give different qualities, just like different rosins,  hmmm ...)

Probably olive oil was used historically because everyone always  had some in the kitchen.



Erik, don't obsess over the varnish.  The difference is fairly subtle. Plus, by the time you get you bowing technique fully  modified for pure gut, (it takes a little more care to pull a clean tone) it will be time to change them anyway.

April 16, 2011 at 02:52 PM ·

 Re the gauges:

When I first got into pure-gut, I ordered 3 different gauges from all three main suppliers (Gamut, Aquila, and that other guy I can't stand)

I tried them on several different violins, and universally preferred the extra-heavy gauges. I found the thicker gut strings to have these advantages:

1:  A better "tone to scratchiness" ratio

2:  Less pitch-deflection under hard bowing.  

3:  A more complex tone, hence better timbral response.  (even though thinner strings should theoretically give better modulation.)

4:  A better feel under the fingers,  though some folks HATE the feel of a thick string.

However, I will be trying the Tricolor Heifetz gauges instead.  I'm now a much better player, (I finally understand what Menuhin meant about holding the bow as if it were a little bird) so I am hoping that factors #1 & 2 will no longer matter to me.

One major advantage of thinner gauges, if I end up liking them, is spacing between the strings. Heavy+ pure-gut strings are REALLY thick, and I have very large fingers, so clean double-stops can be a problem.  I had a new nut cut on my main violin, to compensate, but my others don't have enough FB meat on the edges.


I no longer can afford expensive experiments (both of my businesses are in the toilet) but I would be THRILLED if someone else could manage to do some tests, complete with recorded results. Tests would include gauges, varnished vs unvarnished, Different G's,  etc etc.  Heck, maybe even different rosins, as gut usually likes a different rosin than synthetics. (and don't forget the almond oil test for Nate ! )

I'm surprised none of the manufacturers have such a resource on the websites.

April 16, 2011 at 08:13 PM ·

 i dont know how they got here so fast but they just came in the mail bout an hour ago. wow.. the g is soo low tension but wonderful. the plain gut a and d are loud and after an hour stayin in tune ok. theyre amazing . i dont think i want anything else. i may put the eudoxa g back on its a little louder but im gonna let the tricolore g settle in see if it doesnt open up and perk up a bit. but worth every penny.

April 16, 2011 at 11:15 PM · Why is the G so lose? Its so lose and quiet and then BAMB! The D and A are the loudest strings ever. Should I wait and see? Or will it just stay all losey goosey?

April 17, 2011 at 12:48 AM ·

 Glad to hear that Erik.  I'd wait 3 or 4 days and re-evaluate the sound.  Your violin is adjusting also to the switch in tension.

April 17, 2011 at 06:26 PM ·


What gauge G are you using?


-and keep us posted of the Eudoxa comparison. That's the "G" to beat, no question.

April 17, 2011 at 11:26 PM ·

@ Allen -

(picture a dorky guy wearing a baseball cap with a big "Olive G" logo in front)

DORKY GUY:  Hey!  Why isn't the OLIVE G the string to beat?


April 18, 2011 at 12:29 AM ·

 -  because every time I read of someone who uses pure-gut, and has experimented with wound-gut G's,  the Eudoxa is picked over the Olive.  


Reason #2:   IMO, The Eudoxa's sound is a better match.

April 18, 2011 at 01:56 AM ·

Good to know.  I wasn't aware of any sort of consensus on that point.  Not sure it would be true in my personal experience - having tried both I imagined the Olive to have a bit more depth [on my instrument and with my playing technique (or lack thereof)]. For me it's certainly a close call, and again might be totally imagined.

April 18, 2011 at 02:43 PM ·

Well, the Eudoxa is certainly much better priced, so it can be viewed as a more approachable "standard," unlike the $40 Oliv G string (which I absolutely love).

April 18, 2011 at 05:04 PM ·

Higher priced doesn't always mean "better for you," of course.

Pirastro developed the Oliv gut string for soloists, whereas Eudoxa strings are designed (& used) mainly orchestral players, for chamber music and studio takes.   

Eudoxa are thus warmer.  That's probably why they match pure-gut better.
Also note:  





is silver wrapped,  but flat-wound. This contributes to the less-razzy sound. Oddly, the original Gamut wound-G should be a little more alive, being round-wound, but I found it rather dull. I am VERY excited to try his new G.





April 18, 2011 at 05:39 PM ·

 BTW, in case any "pure gut" newbies are about to take the plunge, it's worth oting again that pure-gut strings react quite differently than synthetics, to both bow and rosin choices.

If you have more than one bow, try them all.  I have found that a lighter bow, and with less hair, works best for me.  You get less surface scratchiness, but still lots of volume.  

I have yet to find the perfect rosin, but the softer types seem better than the harder, soloist types. I am looking forward to getting some Bakers rosin this year. (I'm finally on the list)------------------

- And one last thing, concerning gauges.  Again, the thicker gauges increase the "tone to scratchiness" ratio, and will also probably not cause you to have a higher nut cut.  Additionally, thicker gut strings let you play farther from the bridge.  This has two advantages.  

1:  More modulation from bow pressure & speed.  

2:  Better intonation-recognition, as there is more fundamental vs overtones.

Having said all this, I am still trying the "Heifetz" gauges this time. (slightly thinner)  

I am also trying out the beefgut A-string:  I originally preferred the Dlug "A" which is beefgut, as it has a little more HF sizzle, and only stopped using it because the guy screwed me over big time. (I'll never deal with him again. So, I am thrilled that Gamut now offers this as a choice.

April 21, 2011 at 09:05 PM ·

 ok. so it took very little time to get pitch stable still not sold on the g string. i was using med gauge G  i put the heavy Eudoxa G on there and it sounds awesome. very smooth sounding together volume wise. i really like the tricolore G its just too quiet. BUT.... heavy Eudoxa G with med plain gut tricolore D and A and 27. Goldbrokat E is my current set up and my fave  set up ever  

April 22, 2011 at 06:43 AM ·

 Erik, I have the 'soft' Tricolore G and whilst I like the sound of it, I am thinking of changing it as it is still not pitch stable!!!

it misbehaves on me! even after 2 and a half weeks! I think it must be my bowing though, maybe the bow pressure I use is too heavy for soft gauge strings I was thinking.....could that be why?

it tends to go a little flat after a while during my practice session and if I tune it up to pitch then it goes a little sharp as I play on it hence I think it's me with my bow pressure?

I was thinking having heard good things about Eudoxa and Eudoxa mixing well with Gamut plain gut strings to get a Eudoxa G but to go for medium?  I also have the medium plain tricolore D and A and a Goldbrokat E (which I absolutely love!)

April 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM ·

it seems odd that its not pitch stable yet. mine only took around 3 days or so. youre right though, its too soft even though it has a great sound. however, i would put the Eudoxa G on there it sounds awesome combined with the plain gut tricolores.

April 22, 2011 at 07:02 PM ·

 Well, that's two votes for the well established Eudoxa G, and one vote for the new Gamut wound C.

Can we get more comparisons?  (preferrably with the gauges noted)


I'm also wondering if the Gamut G is sheepgut (probably) or beefgut.   If the former, perhaps he will consider making a wound beefgut. (even a wound beef C, for my 5-string)   I just haven't had time to call him.

April 22, 2011 at 07:29 PM ·

 I do wonder though if it's just because it's a SOFT tricolore G I have that it does not 'suit me'....

I have never used a soft gauge string before, always medium gauges......

but as I cannot wait to get more strings from America (am London based) I will get a Eudoxa G medium gauge tomorrow and see how I like that one.... if I don't like it I will order a medium gauge tricolore G....but from what I have heard I might like it!


ps I do like the sound of the tricolore G, I really think it may be the soft gauge that's the wrong gauge...

April 22, 2011 at 10:57 PM ·

 Jo, you're making things too confusing.  There are no "soft" gauges, only light-med-heavy, or actual numbers. (in this case, 80mm - 84mm)     "Soft" describes sound quality.

It would be very helpful if you could describe exactly what you didn't like, and specifically why.  Tone?  Volume?   Modulation?  Flexibility (resistance to bow pressure) ?  Feel under the fingers?

April 23, 2011 at 06:01 AM ·

 sorry about the confusion, I meant Light Gauge .78/.80

I thought at the end it would have been 'obvious' anyway I was talking about gauge anyway as I then said I was going to buy a Eudoxa medium gauge but yeah so sorry,don't know why I kept saying 'soft' LOL I guess it's because I never bought the 'light gauge' in my life before probably that's why LOL

I really think it's my bowing that does not agree with the gauge.

Today after my violin lesson I am off to central London to buy a Eudoxa but Guivier (my favorite shop) is closed for Easter Holidays, will try another couple of shops but they are not 'string instrument specific' so they may not have Eudoxa in stock.

April 23, 2011 at 01:22 PM ·

 Thank you for that John but I have used medium gauge wound gut G strings before and the one I have now on is a light gauge and I will be exchanging it back to a medium gauge...therefore no risk to have the 'wrong' nut groove there :) 

thank you for giving it a thought and warning me though :)

I have just got back from central London and I have a Eudoxa medium gauge here ready to put on, I am going to have a drink and a snack and proceed :) of course it may take a couple of days for it to settle though...

May 4, 2011 at 08:34 PM ·

Has anybody tried the wound gut G and D with a steel A and E?

(My current combo is Passione medium G and D, Helicore light A, and Jargar heavy E. It works surprisingly well!)

May 6, 2011 at 12:27 AM ·

 I am old enough (early 60s) to have used the original Tricolore strings from the 1960's until they were discontinued around 1978.   They were excellent sounding strings, very durable, and with a strong tone.  I generally used a plain gut A, the aluminum D and the silver G.  Sometimes--usually after listening to a Heifetz record : - ) -- I'd use a plain gut D.  

I am a big admirer of the products of both Aquila and Gamut,  Both companies make excellent plain gut strings.   I generally have used Eudoxa G's because they are excellent and a little less expensive than Aquila/Gamut.  Silver wrapped G strings seem to be a bit of a challenge for Gamut.  Over the years I have bought two silver G's, and both were somewhat dead sounding.  About a month ago I read about the "new" Tricolores and bought one of the reproduction G's from Gamut.  It was a bit dead sounding when new but has livened up with use.  It's a good string.  I do not think it is as lively sounding as the original Tricolore G.

A Eudoxa "Brilliant" G in 15 3/4 or 16 gauge is very close in sound to the original Tricolore and is a bit less expensive than Gamut's version, for what's worth.


May 7, 2011 at 04:10 AM ·

Hello, fellow fiddlers (actually i'm more of a guitarist) ....haven't been on this website for at least 3 years!!

Landed back here doing a search for dehydrated fingertips.

.... well, i also have this "dry fingertip" syndrome. Today a friend made me notice i was often licking my fingertips (didn't even realize it!!!) and that in certain places it wouln't be the most acceptable behaviour (mind you, i'm not a very social person) - and this isn't the first time he (or someone else) mentions this to me.

So, later in the day, i tried to consciously avoid this weird, awkward habit, see how long i could last.... A FEW MINUTES. i kid you not. A - Few - Minutes. And i was going completely.... i was a hair away from turning on the stove-top to maximum heat and burn my fingerprints off for good.

Well, here i am, clunking guitar parts back together, licking my fingers every few seconds / minutes -- which i am APPALLED i've been doing most of my life and never even realized?!??!?

anyone else putting up with this??!?! wtf??


May 7, 2011 at 11:07 AM ·

 Hi Eric, I also have very dry fingertips, but I just put up with it, I don't lick them :) LOL

May 16, 2011 at 12:05 AM ·

I finally got around to trying out my new Tricolore strings – heavy gauge silver wound G, unwound heavy gauge D/A.  I use a Jargar forte E.  This replaced my previous setup of wound heavy Olive G, wound heavy Olive D and plain heavy Gamut Academie A.  I am very impressed with the Tricolores.  They certainly have  as much, if not more volume as my previous set.  They also give me that sizzling “schzzzzt” sound that Perlman talks about in Art of the Violin.  I’ve never had that before and am sort of digging it. Haven’t yet recorded myself to see if it carries to the audience but hope it does.  Also a laserlike quality (check out Nate Robinson’s blog video of I Palpiti) which no doubt would be noted by listeners.  Really liking these strings so far. 

June 2, 2011 at 05:26 PM ·

I got just the G string (heavy gauge), and eagerly put it on last Friday. Then I remembered that I had a performance outdoors on Sunday. "I must be crazy!" I thought. The string settled in a lot on Saturday, and on Sunday I had to adjust it slightly a few times during the first hour of the performance, and then after retuning before the second hour, it was completely stable! This is outdoors, with humidity, and wind blowing. I have to say I'm VERY impressed. The last time I got a G string from Gamut, it was useless outdoors, with constant adjustment needed (this was three years ago or so). I have a set of Passione heavy gauge strings on, with a Jargar Forte E, and the Tricolore matches very well. It's a bit less bright than the Passione G, a bit warmer, just as loud, and a little easier to play in high positions. As someone else mentioned, the Tricolore G was a bit dull at first, but livened up after a few days. Interestingly, I had a bit of a wolf note on high Bb, but with the Tricolore string the wolf is completely gone. Strange; must be some difference in tension or something. There is still the regular wolf around C#, but it's much easier to tame the Tricolore string; I hardly have to adjust bow pressure at all there, compared to the Passione.

Has anyone tried to wound D and/or A Tricolore strings?

June 3, 2011 at 06:24 AM ·

Hi all

I read these posts sometime since and decided it was time to purchase these strings and hear what all the fuss was about.  I live in the UK so sourcing these was a little difficult at first, but after an email from Gamut themselves, they pointed me to a UK shop based in London who were importing them.  They finally arrived early yesterday morning.  My violin is a fine 1885 Markneukirchen (unknown maker) so I thought plain gut would be fine.  The Passione strings on there were definitely ready to be changed hence the Tricolore trial.  The strings I ordered were the same as the Heifetz gauge, medium.  The E string I thought was expensive at £8.15 but I was told that although this was the Goldbrokat version, it was the exactly same string as per Heifetz and was slightly tweaked - so I gave them benefit of the doubt for now. 

Once my violin was strung up, I tried them, yes, the A and D were loud and surprised me, the wound G was softer than my usual G but didn't break under bow pressure.  The E was everything I wanted, easy to play and beautiful sounding.  Through the day, I kept tuning and re-tuning to get them settled in but I'm afraid my violin began to not like the D, which at this time began to squeak awfully, especially richochet, sautille and spiccato bowings.  Then an hour later, the A began to do this but not as bad as the D.  It was enough for me to actually take them off and re-string with the Passiones, but I kept the Goldbrokat string on which still sounds lovely.

In all, maybe not for my violin - incidently, these plain gut, un-varnished strings didn't have the silk wrappings like one poster said above, only the wound G and E had silk wrappings.  Are the D and A meant to be wrapped?

I'll try these on my other spare violin and see what happens.



June 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM ·

 Dear Violinists here,

I am totally interested for this strings here. I am using now Passione Solo A,D,G and Goldbroket E(used already over 20 years..).I also played varnished Damian A String (extra heavy 15 3/4) but I have difficulty to produce good sound easily.. If I am really careful then comes but it shouldn't be like this.. I believe it should come more easily... Anyway, I ordered now varnished and not varnished tricolore A-strings thickness of mid and heavy. 

My question is; what are the difference between Damian strings and this Tricolore strings especially on A? Easier to speak? more loudness? can put more pressure on the bow? or even more stable than Damian strings?My hands are totally not dry (lol) so it must be really stable against humidity... 

I hope to hear soon from you guys your opinions...

Thanks in advance..

p.s. by the way, I am not thinking to change D and G from Passione to others.. maybe I go back to Oliv D and G but not naked gut... sorry.. :p

June 21, 2011 at 04:29 PM ·

OK, so I got the wound D and A strings and put them on, also two days before a performance, also outdoors. It turned out to be a very rainy day, and while the G string stayed pretty well in tune, the D and A strings were all over the place. I had to tune them every 5 minutes. I had another performance a week later, indoors this time, so I thought the strings would be stable by then, but they were not. I still had to do lots of tuning, especially the A string, even after having giving the strings some time to adjust to the environment first, so I thought these strings were going to be very unreliable. The sounded really good, but if tuning was going to be a nightmare during the summer (like with the plain gut A from Gamut I experimented with a few years ago), I just wasn't going to be able to use them. Another week later, at another performance, lo and behold the strings were staying much more in tune, with just some minor tweaking needed, and they sounded just gorgeous. These strings sing like crazy! Since then, it's been just a joy to play on them. The G string took about two weeks to completely settle in; tuning was stable in a few days, but the string steadily gained volume and clarity during the following weeks. I can't imagine using any other G string at this point; the sound is just so rich, noble, and clear all the way up to the tippy top of the fingerboard. I love the Jargar forte E on this violin, and the Tricolore strings match it perfectly; transition from A to E is really nice no matter what position you're in.

August 25, 2011 at 11:22 PM ·

message imported :)

[Day 1 tricolor heavy guage, varnished plain gut A D, heavy guage silver-wound G]  

Well, thats exactly the combination on my violin now (tricolour silver wound G, plain varnished gut D and G, all heavy guage, Gold E (medium guage - I have the heavy but its not on yet, I may leave that as its too loud for my house!) I took the plunge last night.  Thanks for mentioning the silver-wound G delayed development as I was a bit concerned that it sounds mis-matched for the other three. 

I have the heavy guage plain gut (A,D) and it does feel weird playing on these sausages - but what I've already found is that you need a lot less finger pressure than on the synthetic strings to make the note.  Other first impressions (just an hour after stringing): obviously they are still settling in but the stretching is less than the Passiones.  The fingered tone is buttery (amazing with the mute on BTW) but the open string is rather harsh - thats a bit of a worry, one of the features of my violin is that I can play open strings interchangeably with fingered giving me a lot of flexibility.  However, its very early days and I'm obviously not used to bowing gut any more so stay tuned....

August 25, 2011 at 11:23 PM ·

message imported:

Tricolore, Day 2

Wow.  Strings are still stretching (need retuning each 10-15 minutes).  The G is opening up, as promised. The A and D are nothing short of magical.  The tone is sweet and responsive and, as commented above, intonation really IS easier.  I think each note has more overtones so your ear simply has more to go by.  And the open string is getting softer.  I think I'm falling in love.

Not only that but the E string (GoldB regular) is sweeter with the gut strings.  Apparently Heifetz knew what he was doing....

BTW it took a lot of rosin at first (Larsen medium red).

August 25, 2011 at 11:29 PM ·

Day 3

The strings are settling - still requiring tuning each time I play but my fingers are already used to the fatter string and now the buttery sound has intensified and the G is beautifully matched.  The change in the steel E is one of the biggest surprises - sounds like a different string entirely (as for all the earlier posts on dominants and the E match). 

Its quite weird how you can hear the tone - perhaps thats what I was missing when I returned to the violin [I played on a similar combination as a child] and why intonation was such a challenge at first .  What happens when you go from gut to synthetic - do you loose your intonation again?  The other major change is that each note seems to speak to you differently - one has to relearn the 'sound' of a note on the violin.  I played the violin to a musical (not string) friend and she commented that it sounded more 'baroque'.  I suppose thats true - but the sound I am after is that of the early to mid 20th century - when modern music was played on gut. 

The strings are less prone to whistle than the Pasiones and they are definitely louder - but thats probably the larger guage speaking ;)

Thats the last daily report - but I will comment more in due course.  Up to now - rave....


August 25, 2011 at 11:52 PM ·


'there's no place like home, there's no place like home... '  Durn, I'm clicking my heels but notihng is happenin'.  'There's no place like...."

August 26, 2011 at 02:44 AM ·

Relax, Elise - you were never guilty of hijacking in the first place.

August 26, 2011 at 03:30 AM ·

 that's it, I also noticed how loud they are too :)

August 26, 2011 at 03:40 AM ·

Jo and Elise, I remember people were telling me when I switched to gut, that I wouldn't be able to be heard in a hall.  Quite the contrary, as you all are also noticing with these strings.  The plain gut A in particular has a real focus and depth that carries, perhaps even more so than the wound gut A strings.

August 26, 2011 at 08:26 AM ·

I used to worry about loudness - now the issue is learning to play quietly (which I am very happy to do). 

I am, however, a bit concerned that its too loud for frequent practise - that could be a problem as i get noise-induced tinnitus.  Have you tried the normal guage tricolore strings?  Do they have the same qualities with a lower volume?  Perhaps normal guage for practise and then the large guage for performance? 

August 26, 2011 at 10:07 AM ·

Elise, I have the medium gauge and they are LOUD! hehehehe

August 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM ·

then Jo whats the difference between the medium and thick?  Just more sheep? :p  I know they are higher tension but whats that about then (though I don't notice that at all compared to the synthetics).

August 26, 2011 at 03:22 PM ·

 yes Elise, more sheep LOL ;)

of course the thick will be 'thicker' and it will affect the bow/finger pressure, I am just trying to think in which way though....

when I had the light G on my violin (on the Gamut website they call them 'light/medium/heavy') it was like 'butter' in comparison to the medium strings I used and use now and certainly in comparison to the heavy/thick Eudoxa G I use now.  

With the light G I needed very minimal finger/bow pressure, it really did not suit me, I tend to be a bit 'heavy' with my bow, especially on the G string! Intonation as a result was a little more tricky too for me I noticed.

So I think that means that the lighter the gauge the more sensitive the strings may be to the bow pressure? at least that's what I observed with the G string I had....and also it seems to me the lighter the gauge the more sensitive they seem to be to finger pressure too...

I hope I got that right, do I make any sense or am I getting it wrong?  help! I only used gut strings once in my life! where's Nate? LOL

August 26, 2011 at 03:34 PM ·

Makes sense to me.  Though I'm counting sheep guts till a guy comes here and cracks a G string joke in response to your post....  Actually, it makes more sense than anything I've read thusfar...  maybe its one of those things the veterans here assume we all know already!  :)

August 26, 2011 at 03:56 PM ·

 X-) LOL 

September 6, 2011 at 07:12 PM ·

 Thank you Nate, I did order and placed on my violin the 'Heifetz set' and I could not 'get on' with the light G (that gauge is a light G) I found it to be too sensitive to my style of bowing and I found it more difficult to play in tune.

I since found that I play even better with higher tension strings and changed the light tension tricolore G from the Heifetz set to a heavy Eudoxa G and I got on really well with the heavy Eudoxa G I really like the sound of it too.

Although I played well with the medium tension Tricolore D and A from the Heifetz set I have now ordered from Gamut the heavy A and D in varnished, as I want to see how I get on with them, after playing so well on a heavy G I want to see if I find the heavy D and A even better than the medium D and A, I seem to be a person 'leaning towards the heavy side' ;)

As for the E string I have fallen in love with the Goldbrokat E and I don't think I can imagine playing on another E string in future hehehe

November 16, 2012 at 09:33 AM · The discussion about Heifetz's guages fascinates me. To me, Heifetz was not the most diverse player. He excelled at tone production, and to my observation did two things: played constantly with a great deal of bow speed and usage, and also when he could, close to the bridge. Perhaps the consistency of his style lent itself to the thinner guages (if indeed there was much of a choice to guages).

I think for this reason, I will probably go toward thicker guages. I don't always use as THAT much bow, but certainly use pressure against the bridge.

However, if thinner means it holds more easily against the bridge, then I'm also in trouble using thicker guage.. any feedback on playing gut against the bridge?


November 16, 2012 at 03:25 PM · I find this one of those snake oil subjects. No one here as probably ever even heard his actual tone, just some recordings made with questionable equipment, poor performing mics, uncalibrated machines, and poor technique, decades ago in less than acoustically perfect environments. Unless you are going to the trouble of replicating all of that as well, I see no way that these strings will even come close to sounding like what you hear on old recordings, and that doesn't begin to address the part the player plays in tone production.

November 16, 2012 at 06:53 PM · One of my teachers actually found out the reason why Heifetz used the Tricolore G string instead of a Pirastro G - apparently he was really cheap, and used the Tricolore because it was literally the cheapest wound gut string on the market at the time, even cheaper than Pirastro Gold Label. Before he switched to the Tricolore, he actually used another brand of wound gut G that was even cheaper, but they were so unpopular that they went out of business, so he had to go to the next-cheapest alternative.

November 16, 2012 at 07:26 PM · "Heifetz owned the 1714 Dolphin Stradivarius, the 1731 "Piel" Stradivarius, the 1736 Carlo Tononi, and the 1742 ex David Guarneri del Gesù, the last of which he preferred and kept until his death. "

Cheap, indeed!

Still don't understand how some people believe that using Tricolore strings will get them closer to Heifetz's level of playing.

The same marketing strategy is used by Nike and other brands to sell their products.

November 16, 2012 at 07:50 PM · Deleted duplicate post

November 16, 2012 at 07:52 PM · As it happens, my favorite G, which I use on both my violins, is the Pirastro Chorda copper-wound gut, for tone and everything, not least of which is banishing the wolves lurking in the upper reaches. At £12 (online) it must be one of the best value for money strings around. I'm equally happy with the Chorda A and D. All three are stable for long orchestral rehearsals and concerts.

November 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM · @Rocky: well, Brian meant by Heifetz was cheap was >> the strings set, not the violins.

eh anyway, after reading all the comments, I'm curious....did anyone say they want/hope to have a closer level as Heifetz' only because they want to try out Tricolore? Changing strings doesn't make anyone's skill magically increases like 1...2...3...EXPECTO PATRONUM! This is real world, not Harry Potter's. lol.

So, in other words, if anyone wants to use evah pirazzi, meaning she/he hopes to have [fill a virtuoso's name here]'s level? I believe you've changed strings too, just like us all ;-)

Or, did violinists around you think that by having Heifetz' gauge and Tricolore strings, they can have a closer level as his? Well, if this is really the case, ridiculous...haha!

November 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM · Its a bit of an assumption that tricolour purchasers think this is going to change their playing ability. Part of the urge to try is the intrigue of finding out what he worked with.

I bought a set - but in my case it was nothing to do with playing ability but because as a child I always played on gut D/A steel E and gut-wound G and I wanted to see what it was like again. Nothing more.

November 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM · @Elise: oh, alright. I did a search on this site about this set, I want to try out, just curious, tricolore is probably cheaper than another gut strings, and for trying out, i may feel damned if i buy a more expensive one but end up not liking it. I'm new to gut strings.... :/

November 19, 2012 at 09:54 AM · Skye, I wasn't referencing an effort to imitate his sound, only the recognition of his bowing style (which I do believe quite a lot can be surmised from video, old or not.)

I am presuming from previous posts that thicker guages (tensions considered and all that) give a greater variety to how the string can be bowed. Wondering if any players can comment or confirm.

March 16, 2013 at 01:53 PM · Hi everyone, I'm reading the tricolor strings discussion with interests. I just have a question: Can A/D Tricolor plain gut hold up pitch A=440 or even A=442? I can play plain gut (Aquila) for D/A and E in A=415 but no luck in A=440 Could you please help me on this? Thank you

March 16, 2013 at 05:21 PM · Heifetz used the original Tricolore and, as far as I know, tuned to 440Hz, but these new Tricolore may not be the same quality, as some posters suggested. He did not use plain gut E, but Goldbrokat metal.

You can also buy pure gut strings from Demian Dugolecki or Gamut strings.

It is important to order a proper gague for your vibrating string length (Lenzner P.M. for vibrating string length of 325-327mm tuned @ 440Hz is 15). All other things being equal, if your string length is longer than standard, a thinner string is needed; if shorter, thicker string will work better. You may also want to get your bridge and nut checked for any rough spots; they also need to be adjusted for thicker gauge.

March 16, 2013 at 07:28 PM ·

I recently made a video using the Tricolore "Heifetz" string setup. (pistoy D string)

March 17, 2013 at 10:13 AM · Hi everyone , many thanks for advice

and a great clip (from Daniel). I will try Tricolor. I think it should be OK for A/D and G in A=440. Regarding E, since I want plain gut sound to play Corelli, Vivaldi stuffs, so what is exactly the safe gauge for E (plain gut) to tune up to A=440? I tried 1 E (Aquila) 0.52mm and the string breaks immediately :(

March 18, 2013 at 08:51 PM · I've used Pirastro Chorda plain gut E and Savarez oiled plain gut E at A440 with no breakage problems during installation or later. Unfortunately, they tend not to last all that long because of fraying, which causes deterioration in tone, and so I change them long before they get to the breaking stage. I find that the Savarez is less susceptible to fraying than the Chorda, but the tone is not so big. My experience is that plain gut Chorda and Savarez A and D do not fray.

Returning to the breaking problem of a gut E when installing, I suggest this will be minimized if,

1) You make sure that the nut and bridge grooves are not tight on the string and are smooth and lubricated with pencil lead, because these are the areas where the string is most likely to break.

2) Wind the string slowly and steadily with no sudden changes up to a half tone below pitch (A415 if you're aiming for A440). As you are doing this hold the string gently with your finger halfway along its length away from the fingerboard. This tensions the string on the peg and helps to minimize slippage on the peg. Let the string remain at the low pitch for two or three hours and then complete the winding, again slowly and steadily. I then let mine stand overnight, and check it the next day. I usually find it is encouragingly close to A440 and needs only a little final tweaking.

March 18, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Many thanks Trevor,

I think my E string breaks because I attached it into a modern tailpiece i/o baroque tailpiece. My cut point was in that area. I will try Eudoxa A/D and G with a plain gut E @ A=440 Let's see how it sounds

March 18, 2013 at 11:44 PM · Nam, try a Google search in "knotting gut strings" - you'll find a wealth of information in the results.

If a plain gut string breaks at the tailpiece there should easily be sufficient spare length for you to cleanly cut off the broken end and start again - with the right sort of tailpiece! You don't necessarily need a Baroque tailpiece; a plain (no tuners) modern tailpiece will do the job, but make sure there are no sharp edges that could damage the string. A wooden tailpiece is likely to be better in this respect because you can easily smooth a sharp edge with a file.

March 19, 2013 at 03:57 AM · Trevor, yes I know how to knot gut strings and I play gut with my baroque tailpiece at 415 without problem. The problem just happens on my 2nd violin where I only have a modern tailpiece. I think that tailpiece has some shark edge that could cut the string.

March 19, 2013 at 07:15 AM · I bought a set - it was fun to play on gut again as in my childhood - but my teacher was not amused and made me take them off! Sweet as the sound is, life (read hours of practise at home, very occasional performance) is a lot easier with synthetics...

March 19, 2013 at 09:57 AM · I agree. Life is easier with synthetic but gut sounds so good. Luckily I have 2 violins. The cheap Chinese-made baroque violin does not respond very well so I have to put synthetic strings on it. Now my only choice to play gut is my 1964 French violin.

April 10, 2013 at 03:40 AM · Regarding Heifetz using Tricolore G strings because they were cheapest, that can't be true. I was alive and playing the violin and buying strings in those days. In the 60s the cheapest G widely available was the Pirastro Black Label. La Bellas could also be found but they weren't popular at all. I used the Black Labels often as a student. They cost $2.00 as I recall. Next cheapest was the Pirastro Gold Label, about $.50 more. Eudoxas were much more, about $4, and I never used them since they were out of my price range. The Tricolores were a little more than the Gold Labels. Somewhere in the house I have an old Rembert Wurlitzer catalog from 1971 with string prices. I'll verify what cost what back in the "good old days."

As for the person who writes that we can't know what he sounded like, I can't agree. There is a good sounding LIVE performance of the Beethoven VC available on Amazon. with the NYPO in Carnegie Hall. Quite good sound. Yeah, he got great sound from those plain gut A and D. Listen to the slow mvt. It's fantastic.

May 27, 2013 at 06:45 PM ·

I recently made a video using the Tricolore "Heifetz" string setup. (pistoy D string)

Daniel, I really enjoyed that video! What violin are you playing? It's interesting to hear the similar qualities I find in my own violin using the Tricolore strings -- very woody, singing, rich tone. I also play a lot of swing music.

I see you're from Reykjavik. I visited there once and loved it; can't wait to go back some day. Maybe we can meet up!

May 27, 2013 at 09:54 PM · NM

November 16, 2013 at 08:27 PM · Hey Dan, great video of Stardust BTW. Do you like the Gamut pistoy D rather than the Tricolore D. I now use Tricolore: Heavy G Light plain gut D&A. a good combo for my fiddle. What rosin do you use Dan?


Jack Dillon

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