Can you mix and use synthetic and gut strings at the same time?

November 4, 2019, 1:09 PM · Hey guys,
At the moment I am using PI strings but yesterday my A string unraveled while I was practicing. I only have a Eudoxa A string and nothing else. (I should stock up.) I don't know if it will sound good if I just change my Peter Infeld A string with a Eudoxa gut string.

Is it alright to mix and match synthetic and gut strings? What do you guys think?

Replies (6)

Edited: November 4, 2019, 1:34 PM · Generally a bad idea, at least with traditional gut strings. Gut has different elasticity compared to synthetics and intonates differently (so no pure fifths between gut and synthetics). They also have a different response, which would be noticeable side-by-side
Pirastro gut is more synthetic than it is actual gut, though. They have a very thin core and synthetic underwrapping in addition to the metal windings. So, it's probably fine in your case.
November 4, 2019, 1:34 PM · If you already have the A, no reason not to give it a try! It won't harm the instrument or anything. Everyone who plays gut (except some period performance people) mixes gut with steel (E). You may find that you need to use a somewhat different bow attack with the A vs D and G, not sure if that will give you any trouble, but it certainly ought to last you until a new A comes at the minimum, and might work just fine.
November 4, 2019, 1:47 PM · Let me to oppose you a bit guys :-) I find even combining pure gut with synthetic quite aceptable. The difference in elasticity, response and timbre between the guts and synthetics is still much smaller than any difference between synthetic and metal core strings. And if you consider that a most frequently used setup nowadays is a metal E with the rest of synthetics, you dont need to worry.
November 4, 2019, 1:50 PM · As a temporary fix, no problem. But for a permanent mix of strings, I would not put a gut A next to a synthetic D. Another option that works on two of my violins: Silver wound gut G, silver wound synthetic D, a high quality steel A, Goldbrokat gold E.
November 4, 2019, 2:29 PM · I have previously been using synthetic A with wound gut G and D. Warchal amber A and Pirastro Eudoxa-Aricore A both work well with oliv G and D.
November 5, 2019, 4:21 PM · Bohdan strikes a chord with me. I think the higher the pitch of a string the less of a difference having gut instead of synthetic makes. If you are tempted to use steel A as well as steel E with other gut strings, then using synthetic A rather than gut A would make less of a difference than having steel A.
I have synthetic at the moment, but if I were to do a serious solo performance, I'd make at least the G string gut, if not the D.


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