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HKV: How's your gut?


crystal
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HKV: I know a while back you started using Damien Dlugolecki strings and raved about them.

I, too, am interested in giving gut strings a try, but it means changing my whole tailpiece out, which I don't mind doing, but I don't want to give up my violin for a few days at a shop. I wish I could do this myself.

Anyways, I play mostly celtic music. How do the gut work for that music? I am specifically wondering about response time. Celtic fiddlers usually like fairly quick responding strings.

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Yes, I have a metal tail piece with the built-in tuners. I really like the tailpiece for the synthetics, but it is my understanding that I would not want to use the fine tuners with the gut strings.

One of the things that intriques me about the Damien Dlugolecki's is that I've heard from dmgardner, who used to post on here, that the response time was excellent.

HKV started using these strings and I want to know if his intial response is still the same now that some time has passed.

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Put it this way: I'll NEVER use metal wound strings again.

I love the Dlugoleckis, and they've been a dream come true AND THEN SOME.

They exhibit quickness, flexibility, and warmth that no metal wound string (including Eudoxas) can match.

The thing is that one needs to know HOW to play them. Forcing your tone on gut strings just doesn't work, and the intonation has to be PERFECT.

I'm starting to make forays into Celtic fiddling, and the gut strings make it easier on me to do so.

So far, I've busted two E-strings on my Gagliano. The break point was at my bridge, which means that I might have to get my bridge sanded down. But I think that the reasl reason is that the medium gauge Dlugolecki E is too skinny for my Paganini/Bach regimen.

I am getting a new computer in about a week. Once I get it set up, I'll post some examples of gut string violining for you to hear.

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You're always welcome, my friend.

No, these gut strings are totally gut - no metal whatsoever.

I'd call Damien Dlugolecki directly at (503) 669-7966 and ask him about the strings you need. Tell him exactly what violin and what music you play.

Currently, I have medium gauge EAD with a metal wound G (not totally fond of the G, but it's more than adequate). It's $60 for a set of 6 - E/A strings repeated since they break.

Thus far, I've broken two E-strings since July and have had problems playing on them because they seem to be too thin for my diameter. The A-string is fine, though.

The next time I call him to place an order, I'll ask him about heavy gauge strings.

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It seems that any solid metal or metal wound strings inherently on the twang side. Are there any unwound synthetics (kevlar, perlon) that are unwound?

Perhaps unwound kevlar or perlon would be the closest to pure gut in offering the boing sound yet provide the stability.

Has anybody unwound their Zyex or Dominant strings?

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This is, of course, totally subjective and instrument dependent. Gut strings don't work at all on my viola (haven't tried the ones HKV is talking about, but all the others are awful).

I really, really, really like my Enfield blues. And people regularly marvel at the sound I get out of my instruments (both "laymen" and other instrumentalists)

Use what feels and sounds best to you.

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sm, you don't agree that the intonation should be perfect on gut strings?

I'd be interested in why you express doubt.

The tuning stability on Dlugolecki is subject to weather change.

However, this is actually good for me. I have a habit of NOT tuning my violin before I play, and the Dlugoleckis keep me HONEST.

The thing that I DON'T do that I see a lot of people doing with gut strings is pull and tug on them to effect minor pitch changes.

I try to be as easy on the strings as possible. That holds true not just for all-gut, but for synthetics as well.

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I agree about the damping, Andres.

Concerning the scraping of gut substitutes to get a more gutlike sound: there's a certain irony here, because gut strings are sometimes ground to give them uniformity! So, I guess we're not really getting the 'old' gut sound.

Maybe what HKV means is that the perfect intonation point for a given pitch on a string is less predictable than for a nylon core or metal-cased gut core string, because the temporary stretching while stopping down the string will be greater.

I see you're a lute maker. I understand that the standard joke among players in the gut-string days was that they spent more time tuning than playing. wink.gif

quote:

Originally posted by Andres Sender:

That's an interesting idea about 'microresonances', but I suspect that their effects would be too small to be a part of the audible quality of gut (on a bowed-string instrument anyway). The internal damping is the main thing.

I don't know how unwrapped synthetics work under a bow, but they are available for plucked strings--Aquila sells 'nylgut', a synthetic with gut-like mass and a pretty nice tone.

It would be interesting to test the 'microresonances' idea by scraping nylgut to be slightly uneven and see if that makes it finally sound truly 'gut-like'.

[This message has been edited by Andres Sender (edited 10-08-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Mark_W (edited 10-08-2001).]

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HKV, I've heard players say this, but the way gut strings are made, the diameter is never quite uniform and they have many microresonances. In fact, this is what is said to make gut strings interesting to hear...

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

sm, you don't agree that the intonation should be perfect on gut strings?

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That's an interesting idea about 'microresonances', but I suspect that their effects would be too small to be a part of the audible quality of gut (on a bowed-string instrument anyway). The internal damping is the main thing.

I don't know how unwrapped synthetics work under a bow, but they are available for plucked strings--Aquila sells 'nylgut', a synthetic with gut-like mass and a pretty nice tone.

It would be interesting to test the 'microresonances' idea by scraping nylgut to be slightly uneven and see if that makes it finally sound truly 'gut-like'.

[This message has been edited by Andres Sender (edited 10-08-2001).]

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