For gut lovers only

Edited: January 10, 2019, 8:07 PM · I put on that set of strings I was saving, which I mentioned a while somewhere. .90 mm wound G, 1.20 mm pistoy D, and 0.86 mm A.
It's really an excellent combination. It has a lot of power but can be gentle, too—the gut isn't so stiff it's hard to play. Obviously such thick strings are a little harder to get started, but you don't even notice after a few days. Plus, my bow's about due for a rehair anyways, so there's that.
I think the G and A are just slightly too tight for me (I think a .88 G and .84 A would be perfect), but that pistoy D...
The pistoy string is really something amazing. It's like three tiny E strings twisted into one massive D string. I was bit worried about it being heavy, but the pistoy twist has so much more air in the structure it isn't as dense as it appears at first glance. Over a few days (it takes a lot longer than normal strings to stretch), it pulls together and shrinks in diametre. It also takes on a bit of a ropey texture, but it's not distracting while I play. The twist also looks gnarly, but it disappears when you oil the string. It just blends into in large mass of gut.

Anyways. That's some geeking out for the gut string lovers. I really recommend putting your own sets together instead of buying the one-size-fits-all sets like Tricolores. You can find the ideal combination.

Replies (8)

January 10, 2019, 8:31 PM · bought a 1788 Johann Gottfried Kessler, Markneukirchen violin with original transition neck, not grafted. Supposed to arrive today from UK but its late, may not come till tomorrow, plan to fix it up baroque/transition
January 11, 2019, 11:47 AM · As a constant challenger to the "tried and true for its own sake" ideal, and a genuine lover of gut string tone, I still prefer to stick to the more "standard" tensions. Which is not to say you should be as conservative as I am with string gauge and/or tension.

I do find some of the early Eudoxa (not to mention, Chorda) string tensions too relaxed, and wondered what was the idea behind this tendency back then. I doubt *every* player in the world had a light, speedy stroke back in the day

The current tendency is for too tight tensions nowadays. A balance is necessary-as far as I see it, at least.

Edited: January 11, 2019, 5:25 PM · I find the most popular "tried and true" gut strings are fine, but obviously adapted to be more accessible to someone coming from synthetic or steel strings. A lot of people don't like gut because they just switch strings and expect everything to work; it needs a bit of a change of setup and technique. Historically, gut strings were a fair bit heavier than the standard gut set today.
February 10, 2019, 10:06 AM · I've been using Chorda gut for a few years now, and have no complaints regarding response, tone or stability.
February 10, 2019, 10:15 AM · There are now much better gut options available than Chorda. You should try some!!
February 10, 2019, 4:04 PM · To be fair if Chorda works for him good enough, that's his fine choice. Some players still use Chorda's A, even in a post-Dlugolecki/Larson world. Mr. Rosand used to use the Chorda A at one point, if I am not mistaken.

For Pirastro gut, I prefer Eudoxa Stiff or Oliv Stiff, the latter with the silver D. Oliv A is good but love the Gamut one. Prefer heavier gauges with Eudoxa, lighter ones with Oliv.

The last time I used Chorda I was too young to remember what they were like, and was turned off by the E getting frayed too soon (was really not ready for them.) Liked them otherwise, but not enough to (ever) buy again.

Edited: February 10, 2019, 7:39 PM · Aaron Rosand was using a Damian Dlugolecki pure gut A on his J.B. Vuillaume when I visited with him a few years ago and he used the same thing on his Del Gesu for many years with either Pirastro Passione or Eudoxa G and D with a Pirastro Gold Label E.

I tend to agree with Lyndon on the Pirastro Chordas. They’re not stable at all or sound as good as some of the other wonderful options. Perhaps they were different in the past when pure gut was in higher demand?

Cotton I use the regular sheep gut offered by Gamut over their Lyon or Pistoy gut which are made out of beef gut. Sheep gut as I was saying in that other discussion is I feel a superior substance. The gauges you’re using look good. The heavier gauges are very powerful and project more than any synthetic string on a good violin even in softer dynamics (don’t ask me why).

February 10, 2019, 7:13 PM · Adalberto, I suppose the reason I use Chordas is that they are easily available over the counter in at least two retail outlets in my city in the UK, but not other brands, which I'd have to purchase online. As I said, I'm happy with the Chordas, and being primarily a symphony/chamber orchestra violinist I see no overriding reason to change.

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