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End Of An Era - new strings

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Way way back in April 2011 I bought a DB from @Clarky. This was an Andreas Zeller 3/4 fitted with Silver Slaps which were perhaps two years old at the time. I loved those strings, loved them so much that I kept them on until they'd become as supple as rubber bands and were developing little nicks which were inevitably going to break eventually.

Knowing that I would be at NAMM in January, and noticing that Gollihur were doing a special on some very nice strings, I ordered a set to be delivered to my sister in Pasadena for collection by me as I passed through.

Walking through NAMM with Silvie, we happened to come across the Gamut Music stall and a DB fitted with these wrapped gut strings.

1447437779_RedDiamondGuts(1).thumb.jpg.cab92a3e551dc9053dc455fe2c77f681.jpg2020337426_RedDiamondGuts(2).thumb.jpg.b760d644e0080f11889510cf59d869df.jpg

Now my view of gut strings is similar to that I used to have of fretless bass before I tried playing one ... I really, really ought to give this a try but I'm worried that it won't end well.

I now play fretless basses as freely and casually as fretted, and I have long since lost any nervousness about it, so I couldn't resist these guts. They looked, felt, and sounded very cool indeed.

657782855_DoubleBass-newguts(1).thumb.jpg.2db3c7dcdf326a4752a40ff39dffe016.jpg1343060519_DoubleBass-newguts(2).thumb.jpg.8a7736c9915fa89a780301e852d5a0c3.jpg

They went on every bit as easily as any other DB strings, in other words they were a right PITA to install, but that's something that only needs to happen (IME) once a decade.

336887721_DoubleBass-newguts(5).thumb.jpg.f5b837f4dab5a5d22ac512ce22f6b32b.jpg751351782_DoubleBass-newguts(6).thumb.jpg.db1dd41c3f74c7dacf5bed6214544cab.jpg

Wrapped or not, they're still gut and they take a long time to stabilise. They've now been on for 48 hours and still need to be tuned back up a semi three times a day! 

Not to worry. I anticipated this and waited to install them until I had a 2-week gap between gigs on DB.

Way too early to consider writing a review of them, but once I have a few gigs with them under my belt and maybe some video worth sharing, I'll return to this.

 

Double Bass - new guts (3).jpg

Double Bass - new guts (4).jpg

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BTW in time honoured Jack and Clarky BassChat tradition, if you don't get on with the new strings I will trade you for a barely used (as in few months old) set of Slaps (Golden not Silver but identical, colour apart) plus a bit of moolah! 🤣

Edited by Clarky
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LOL I bought Jack a new set of Silver Slaps anyway, because he gave me his for my Eminence a few months ago.

We're awash with Silver Slaps, but do bear in mind that production has moved to the US from Wales, as per this on Gollihur's site:

Quote

Concerning rumors of "re-formulation" of Innovation Strings, with GHS Update for Summer 2019

In early 2017, some rumors started, saying that Innovation strings had been "reformulated" and "were not the same" as strings produced before. At that time, I confirmed with the manufacturer in Wales that the cores for ALL Innovation strings had not been altered for at least 5-6 years prior to that. The only change had been the silk colors for the Silver Slaps, changing from mauve to purple, and the gradual switch from their old style "slug" ends to a more common-style ball end.

In 2019, GHS Strings (USA) acquired Innovation, and brought over their winding machinery and materials stock, and have been trained to make the strings exactly the same way as before, so there will be no difference or reformulation moving forward, either. Same strings, now made in the USA!

No problem with that change, but I expect them to become far more expensive due to having to be shipped across the Atlantic...

PS - Incidentally, for anyone interested in the Gamut guts, clicking on the photos in Jack's post opens a separate window where the images can be seen in all their detail, and enlarged.

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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56 minutes ago, Clarky said:

BTW in time honoured Jack and Clarky BassChat tradition, if you don't get on with the new strings I will trade you for a barely used (as in few months old) set of Slaps (Golden not Silver but identical, colour apart) plus a bit of moolah! 🤣

I'd be interested in your Golden Slaps if Jack isn't. Just sayin'.

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I'd be interested to know what you think of the new strings, once they've settled and you've done a few gigs with them Happy Jack :)

I had silver slaps on my David Gage until recently. I liked the slaps, I must say. Just wondering how these strings compare. 

cheers both

Marc

 

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On 22/02/2020 at 16:02, TheRev said:

I'd be interested in your Golden Slaps if Jack isn't. Just sayin'.

... and as an addendum, my Golden Slaps are now residing on TheRev's bass!!!

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4 minutes ago, Marc S said:

I'd be interested to know what you think of the new strings, once they've settled and you've done a few gigs with them Happy Jack :)

 

Only one gig so far, Marc, with the second coming up on Friday.

First thing to note is that I thought I'd allowed plenty of time for these strings to settle to pitch - big mistake! For the first 10 days I was tuning back up a semitone at least twice a day to keep it honest. By the night of the gig they had finally settled and I relaxed, but I then discovered that playing three sets of rockabilly is really quite different from occasionally checking the tuning. 9_9

I must have checked & corrected the tuning at least a dozen times during that gig. My blushes were spared by the inebriated state of the guitarist, whose own tuning issues did an excellent job of disguising mine.

Next, the difference between very-well-played-in Silver Slaps and brand-new coated guts should not be underestimated. The gig was seriously hard work, and my fingers were aching mercilessly long before the end.

Finally, I loved the tone and I have every expectation that these strings are going to settle in wonderfully over time.

Cancellations allowing, I'll be gigging this bass every weekend for the next 12 weeks. More to come ...

 

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Nice write-up. I do think you are probably a bit too optimistic about the longevity of real gut strings - count on getting about one or two years out of them before they start to false. Three if you're lucky. Also, they can break a lot more easily if used for slapping. Great sound though. 

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