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antero

How does plain gut wear?

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Hi there!

I remember some time ago said Mr Saunders that the shelf-life of unused gut strings may be very long.

But how do they wear (in use)?

Do they lose their playing properties, and go "off", as would synthetics, or do they just occasionally snap?

How often does one change plain gut on a baroque violin, etc? How are Chordas in that respect?

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At the playing part of the string they tend to break down over time and get "hairy" probably due to proteases etc from fingers. But I believe they ultimately break from shear forces and that can happen anywhere. They are especially susceptible to rough spots at the nut.

With the e and a, I usually wait until they break to replace, or when they just get too hairy. The d can last quite a long time though and I will replace when they sound dull.

Havent tried Chorda in a long time, didnt like them and they didnt last, but I only tried a few times, maybe they are better now. Over the last 10 years or so I have been getting them from Gamut, they currently have a sale.

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15 minutes ago, deans said:

With the e and a, I usually wait until they break to replace, or when they just get too hairy. The d can last quite a long time though and I will replace when they sound dull

Thank you!

Do you remember, how long did it last take? Probably Gamuts they were?

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Hard for me to say, I'm always playing around with different instruments, usually I have 2-3 set up with gut, so I don't really play any one regularly enough.

But I would say you should get a year out of the d, 2-4 months for the a, and 1-2 months out of an e. You'll go through e strings, but they come double length. I almost always use plain unvarnished gut, mediums. Gamut has a lot of choices, some may last longer. Heavier gauge will probably last longer.

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Chordas are no good. Too thin, and they break fast. If you plan on using plain gut, buy a heavy set of Academies from Gamut (no silk underlayer on the G).

I don't use a gut E, but my A strings usually last about 2-3 months and my D strings around 4 months until they suddenly snap or go false, being oiled every week (I use boiled linseed oil). Keep in mind that I have very sweaty hands and practise 3+ hours consistently every day, so my strings wear out quickly.

The shelf life of gut is basically indefinite, but it becomes very brittle and false when it's dry. For that reason, it's necessary to oil strings that have been in storage for a while.

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I swear by Aquila, especially the Venice twist for the D and A. Heard nice things recently about Kürschner, but haven't laid hands on them. La Folias and Toros are good too

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17 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

I swear by Aquila, especially the Venice twist for the D and A. Heard nice things recently about Kürschner, but haven't laid hands on them. La Folias and Toros are good too

Oh dear, is this one complicated world at closer look!

Would anyone recommend the diameters for each string, in order to stay in the middle (reg the tension)?

I understand that it may mean slight differences at different producers, and yet... what about oiled/varnished ones?

 

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