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Selecting a steel E for use with gut

Edited: December 27, 2021, 12:07 PM · The gut strings I use mostly, and have been for some years, are Pirastro Chorda. I like to use their gut E, but for practical reasons (string life) the E I'm currently using in combination with the gut lower strings is Lenzner's Goldbrokat, light gauge (0.26). I find it preferable to the medium gauge Goldbrokat. However, I'm looking for a steel E that is closer in tone, and perhaps feel, to a gut E. Can someone recommend such a string, please?

The music I play, in ensemble, is predominantly from the Baroque and Classical eras.

Replies (8)

Edited: December 25, 2021, 2:22 PM · I know you like Chordas, but have you considered trying another brand for the E? Some say that it is the least reliable brand for durability (not sound quality, per se), so perhaps a varnished Gamut or SuperSolo might fill the bill incrementally better.

Without any other specific knowledge, I'd be inclined to try a wrapped Eudoxa, which sounds a lot less 'metallic' than many other E strings.

Edited: December 25, 2021, 4:03 PM · I believe .26 is actually the medium gauge for Goldbrokat. .27 is heavy and there’s also a .28, which I’ve never tried. I personally love Goldbrokat. It’s my favorite steel E to use. The Pirastro Tonica E is also quite a good string in my opinion.
Edited: December 25, 2021, 8:52 PM · "A steel E that is closer to gut". Rrrright.

They have wound steel Es which I hear are not great, but they are more subdued than plain wire.

Edited: December 25, 2021, 7:52 PM · The Warchal Amber e is the most gut-like plain (sort-of) steel e I have played, but everyone here is more expert than I.
December 25, 2021, 10:52 PM · Your best bet is probably going to be a wound E string. They may not great, but since you're playing gut you might like the sound as wound Es are warmer and not as piercing. Non-Baroque/Classical era musicians usually don't like wound Es due to lack of projection and brilliance.

As for wound Es I would echo Stephen's recommendation of the wound Eudoxa. The tonica E is pretty good like Nate mentioned and they even have a wound version.

Edited: December 26, 2021, 10:48 AM · I find Pirastro's No1 wound E warmer than the Eudoxa or Tonica equivalents.
And I may be the only v.commer who actually likes the Dominant wound E! But then I am principally a violist..

I wonder of a wound gut A would make better transition to a steel E than a plain gut A?

December 27, 2021, 7:15 AM · What Paul says about himself almost certainly qpplies to me too, and I can add that for me, the whistle-resistance of Warchal outweighs everything else (Think "Open E bariolage") - and for the Amber the "everything else" is more in its favour than against.
Edited: December 29, 2021, 3:35 PM · Thank you, everybody, for your useful and informative responses.

I have decided on the Warchal Amber E. As it happened, I installed a set of Ambers on my Jay Haide three years ago, some months before I passed that violin on to my daughter in Belgium - she badly needed a reasonably respectable violin to replace her old (not in years) violin. The Jay Haide had been looked after well by my local luthier, and it was noticeably improved by the Ambers.

Unfortunately, it did not occur to me at the time to try out the Ambers on my 18th c violin - it was already set up with gut - but my experience of the Ambers on the Jay Haide, including in a couple of concerts, means I won't hesitate to try the Amber E on what is now my sole violin. So, in the New Year, when the stores have re-opened, I'll be in my luthier's buying an Amber E.

And a Happy New Year to everyone!

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