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Gut strings
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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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July 21, 2022 - 6:28 am
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@Fiddlerman 

I'm creating this thread because I'm hoping for a definitive statement on gut.

All we can infer from charts is that they are "warm" which is always going to be an inviting description.

But then synthetic (gut) were originally supposed to be an adequate substitute for real gut.

I'm guessing most of us use synthetic. one or two may do steel. The days when a poll meant something are long gone.

My only experience with gut was a violist in our community orchestra. But he was the sort of DIY freak who'd buy some intestines from a butcher and make his own strings, so once when he mentioned he wasn't happy with his intonation, he played some notes, and I couldn't even name them, let alone decide if they were in tune or not.

My teacher said "don't buy gut - gut are rubbish".

But I want to buy one set of gut strings, and one only. Which are the most MOR, typically gutty strings that I can try once and once only and never have to try again, so that I know what I am talking about? (lol)snake1

(wouldn't it be ironic if my Breton absolutely loved gut strings!)

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 26, 2022 - 12:19 pm
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I used to use Eudoxa, as did many of my colleagues for many years. It's a high quality wound gut string. I believe that synthetic core strings have come so far over the years and there is not doubt that they out live gut.

There are still plenty of violinists that use gut for the warm sound but plenty of synthetic options are just as warm in my opinion.

Gut strings take more time to play in, and they don't have good life spans. They begin to deteriorate after a few weeks and should be changed after 3-4 months IMO.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Gordon Shumway
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July 27, 2022 - 2:57 pm
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Fiddlerman said
I used to use Eudoxa, as did many of my colleagues for many years. It's a high quality wound gut string. I believe that synthetic core strings have come so far over the years and there is not doubt that they out live gut.

There are still plenty of violinists that use gut for the warm sound but plenty of synthetic options are just as warm in my opinion.

Gut strings take more time to play in, and they don't have good life spans. They begin to deteriorate after a few weeks and should be changed after 3-4 months IMO.

  

Someone said that the core of a wound gut A was insanely thin and was never going to last long, and we should consider solid gut A strings. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say. Which solid gut A do you know of, Pierre?

Andrew

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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July 27, 2022 - 7:06 pm
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I know only two people who have ever used gut strings. Neither used them for longer than a year. One is the concertmaster of my community (semi-pro) orchestra, who says he tried gut strings at one point and hated them. The other is a violist who played with us when he was an undergrad student and is now a pro; he tried both Oliv and Eudoxa strings  after he left to get his MM in San Francisco. I never asked what he thought of them; all I know is that he had gone back to Obligato strings the next time I saw him.

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Gordon Shumway
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July 28, 2022 - 3:05 am
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Sure, Andrew.

This is because I was going to contribute to the gut thread on VCom, then thought, no, I've got no experience of them.

So it would only be a morbid curiosity kind of thing.

But also, given my Breton's mellow, muted sonority, it would be interesting to hear what it might have sounded like in 1900 with the strings available then. Possibly horrible, but there's only one way to find out.

However I'm preferring Visions to Dominants, so I don't know how long I could stand the horror.yell

In fact, that (Eudoxa A) VCom thread has progressed in the meantime. I think there are some answers there now.

Andrew

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