Monday, December 17, 2012

Gut Strings

Steel versus Gut

I have taken up the challenge of comparing gut and steel. Last week I ordered Eudoxa Chrome/Gut A and D strings, and Passione Chrome/Gut G and C strings. These things are monsters in terms of girth. I took the Evah Pirazzi A string off and then began winding the A Eudoxa but had to double check the package to make sure I had the A string. It seemed like I had grabbed the G string by mistake at first.

Size issues aside, I began playing the instrument with all gut core strings and noticed one phenomenal difference. I could draw the bow horizontally without downward pressure whatsoever and get a soothing, ringing tone immediately. Conversely, I had squeaks and whistles and garbles like you wouldn't believe by exerting the same pressure I normally did with the steel strings.

Regardless of the near absence of downward force I still found that i didn't know how to control the response. Granted I have only had them on for a couple days, but honestly I didn't think the difference in control would be so great. I did manage some sweet sounds but found that the A string was difficult to control especially when crossing from D back to A.

Who has experience with gut strings? Leave you comments on how you dealt with the differences between gut and steel, do you like gut in the first place, and would you be willing to try gut even if you are the biggest proponent of steel.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

That Time of Repair

There comes the inevitable time of every cello's life when repairs and adjustments must be made. The health of the instrument depend on these repairs. Just yesterday did I pick up my cello from the repair shop after a four day stint of getting some substantial work done. Thankfully, none of the work was body work that required any open heart surgery and revealing the innards of the cello. Rather, it was a routine bridge and sound post change.

The luthier took a photo of the inside of the instrument while he had some of the removable parts out. Here is a really cool shot of what my cello looks like from the inside.
The Cello's Innards

From this picture you can see the sound post--the wooden dowel--just right of center in the picture, which holds up the top as well as acting a sound quality control. The other cool thing of this photo is how it reveals the other-worldliness of the inside of the cello. There is the bass bar running along the top of the photo--just left of center, then you can plainly see about half of each f hole, and other hardware supports that give the instrument shape and robustness.