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Cat Burrito

Avoiding the Gut-a-like Dead E string

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As a bass guitarist who has occasionally dipped a toe in the double bass waters over the last 10yrs I seem to have settled on gut-a-like strings because they suit the styles I play. One thing I have often heard is the E string is pretty dead sounding but I wonder if there is a brand where the E doesn't sound quite so flat. My current strings have been on my bass for a few years but I go through phases of playing it so I thought the E would last longer. Should I just bite the bullet and acknowledge I should be re-stringing more frequently or is there a good set that might fair a little longer? 

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Which gut-a-like strings are you talking about?

And just how gutty are they?

I've been very happy with Silver Slaps.

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Mixing sets is common. So you could run something like Innovation Honeys (Orchs or Jazz) or Silver slaps with a Spiro weich E or a bumped A. Bumping is moving the whole set down a string so your G becomes D, D becomes A etc...

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If you're used to gut-a-likes and change for a new brand you'll find any of the Innovation "slaps" quite thin and snappy by comparison. Better sustain but higher tension, theyll solve your problem but will feel different. If you like the gut-a-likes and just get a new E, the "twister" E (copper wound) they make matches great, used that in my main gigging bass for some 3 years now. I have a Presto Ultralight that would match well too. An Innovation E would feel weird on its own as the thickness would be like a Gut-a-like D.

Your post suggests you like the strings you have but the E has deadened beyond usefulness over time. If that's the case and you otherwise like the strings I'd just get a snappier E, as the Gut-a-like is a bit floppy (currently using one with Superior Bassworks A-G on my back-up bass tho)

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Take a look at the Gutalike swingmaster set if you're set on getting Gutalikes. The G & D strings from Gutalike are nice strings. They sound and play very like plain gut. Not quite as much top end and not as much give when digging in. 

The plain A string is actually ok. Good fundamental that carries and projects quite well. The swingmaster wrapped E and A do away with the "dead" bottom end. Still sound like gut, but much more pitch. You can find them on YouTube for sound samples.

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Thanks to everyone who has taken time to comment. To be clear, my only thought throughout has been I would personally always avoid steel. So any other suggestion, be it swapping a single string through to trying a new set, has potential.

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17 hours ago, AndyBass said:

.......If you like the gut-a-likes and just get a new E, the "twister" E (copper wound) they make matches great, used that in my main gigging bass for some 3 years now. I have a Presto Ultralight that would match well too. An Innovation E would feel weird on its own as the thickness would be like a Gut-a-like D.

Your post suggests you like the strings you have but the E has deadened beyond usefulness over time. If that's the case and you otherwise like the strings I'd just get a snappier E, as the Gut-a-like is a bit floppy (currently using one with Superior Bassworks A-G on my back-up bass tho)

Cheers for sharing that advice AndyBass - I've not come across "twister" before....  where can I get some?

BTW. Cat Burrito, I also use Innovation Silver Slaps, and they're great strings
They're not too high tension, but they're not all floppy & flabby either
They're quite "snappy" and have quite a nice, Dark sound to the bottom end

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I have just changed my pure gut E and A for Evah pirazzi slap E and A (price=ouch!). They are great though!
Not quite as much fundamental thump as the guts, but loads more note definition for pizz, and a healthy slap to boot! Gonna keep em on and see how they go, but at the moment I like em1

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On 15/03/2018 at 15:11, Marc S said:

Cheers for sharing that advice AndyBass - I've not come across "twister" before....  where can I get some?
 

Hi - the Twister string is one of the Gut-a-like range, a copper-wrapped E. Definitely more usable than the standard E which has the tone and definition you'd expect from a bit of washing line. They sell them through Thomann etc.

All this talk of Innovations is making me way to put my golden slaps back on and give them another go! 

 

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2 hours ago, AndyBass said:

Hi - the Twister string is one of the Gut-a-like range, a copper-wrapped E. Definitely more usable than the standard E which has the tone and definition you'd expect from a bit of washing line. They sell them through Thomann etc.

All this talk of Innovations is making me way to put my golden slaps back on and give them another go! 

 

Cheers for that again. I'm going to look on Thomann's website now - see if I can find out more about buying a Twister
Though in truth, I'm quite happy with my Innovation E string - I just like to experiment a bit, if it's not too expensive
I was using Spirocore Weichs on my DB, but the innovation Gold Slaps are a bit louder, with a nice dark, low "growl"
Pop them back on your bass, and give them another whirl :)

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On the off chance anyone is interested, I went for a fresh set of the Gut-a-like Swingmasters in the end. 

 https://www.thomann.de/gb/gut_a_like_swingmaster.htm 

I was tempted with a single string replacement, also with the silver slappers and thought there was some great advice on here. Thanks everybody. 

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They look nice, I reckon my set would be improved with a wrapped A, that's the only one that's started to go a bit dead now. Hope you like 'em. And if not sell them to me really cheap 😉

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