This might be a bit of a silly question and one that I could probably Google. However, I wanted to get actual opinions from you guys. My strings are at the point where they could probably do with changing and I want to try something different.
So I was hoping I could get some opinions on gut strings, what are the pros and cons? Are there any you'd recommend?
Pros: they sound amazing
There is no reason not to try them. See if they give you a sound you like. They do tend to be less stable than synthetics, but that may not be a big problem for you. Have fun!
Pro: Beauty of tonal response -- though this is subjective. Results will vary, depending on your instrument.
I was at that point a few months ago and decided to use the "gateway" string for gut, Pirastro Passione strings. They're a wound gut, if you're, not familiar with them. Sort of a hybrid gut. I've had them a couple of months now and have found them to be a very rich and warm string on my violin. Nice overtones and surprisingly very strong projection.
Passiones are a nice compromise. They are gut strings- so you get a gut sound, but they're stable enough for orchestral playing. The lower strings are particularly nice- rich and responsive. I use a steel e, and am good enough with the A, although it's not my favorite.
Use the search function in this forum and you will find a lot of discussions about this. You will find people telling you to stay away from gut because they are unstable and extremely expensive and don't last long. (At least some of these will not have own experience with gut.)
I have used the Eudoxas (with Stiff G&D) and Passione Solo.
I tried Passiones some years ago and liked them. Worth a try since they give some of the advantages of gut with less of the disadvantages.
I have to admit that I hadn't even heard of the Passione Strings, it sounds like I may have to give them a try to see if gut strings are for me. I'll probably buy some when I'm next paid and see what I think. I can always change back if I hate them I guess.
IMO wound gut keeps the slow response but loses the tone. Basically just stretchier synthetics. I recommend varnished gut.
Cotton, then do you use a synthetic G since it has faster response and doesn't lose tone?
Right now using "May old" Eudoxa G&D Rigid (16/17 respectively), the perfect Tricolore A "heavy" varnished pure gut (2 weeks or so old), and a Pirazzi Platinum E, so-called "weich", also from May (7.8kp, so not truly light.) Amazed at the longevity of gut-perhaps only a gut E needs more frequent changing. They last and last for me, for all the years I have been using them.