Classic gut strings

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    barbara-fackler on #146806

    Vanderbilt’s Classic gut strings have been discontinued. I’ve been using them because the varnish on the Bow Brand strings squeaks under my fingers. Does anyone know of a suitable substitute for the Classic gut strings? I need something either without varnish or something similar to what the Classic brand used.

    Does anyone know anything about the Savarez Alliance Carbon Fibre (KF) Strings or Camac Boyau Classique Gut ?

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #146807

    You can order them from Lyra. I don’t know anything about Camac gut strings, but the Savarez are to me an entirely other thing.

    barbara-fackler on #146808

    I can order the Classic gut from Lyra? Vanderbilt and Virginia Harp Center say the company that makes them has gone out of business. I’m looking for a substitute that will be similar. The Bow Brand reacts badly with my skin and squeaks. Switching to the Classic gut had solved the problem.

    unknown-user on #146809

    No, I think he meant that you can order Savarez from Lyra. Sorry about the Bow brand reacting badly with your skin – and the squeak. I actually have noticed they squeak and thought it my

    unknown-user on #146810

    OK, Oops, I did not read your first post did ask about Camac Boyau guts. Sorry about that!

    I have tried Savarez, just in the top two octaves as an alternative to gut. They broke all the time, so they might be okay from 3rd octave down, but I could not keep them on 2nd to top. I can’t remember if they squeaked, but then I didn’t have them on for long.

    They sound a little better to nylon in tone, but no where near as nice as gut. They feel very hard, brittle under the fingers to me.

    unknown-user on #146811

    I tried the Savarez several years ago – 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd to replace gut on the concert grande I use for outdoor weddings – I thought they might be better under our humid weather conditions, last longer, and stay in tune on some of these nasty weather jobs – once installed they took considerable time to stabilize to pitch, and several of the strings tended to unravel as I was putting them on so I was advised to twist them a couple times when installing them – then, the good news was that they did indeed keep pitch in a variety of temps and humidity – the bad news is that because of the higher tension, they pulled the board up more than normal, so I ended up keeping that harp tuned a half step lower – they did seem to increase the sound output which was nice for outdoor things, and in the 5th octave, they seem a bit brighter than gut, but after a couple years, I went back to “Burgundy” standard gut and

    unknown-user on #146812

    Burgundy gut is by Bow brand, so would have the same varnish/coating as regular Bow brand strings.

    barbara-fackler on #146813

    Kate is correct. the Burgundy is the same varnish as Bow Brand.

    It was a student at Indiana U. who was working at Vanderbilt who helped me figure out that it’s the coating on the strings that is the problem. It was years ago and I can’t remember her name. She said that she had one brand of string on her harp at home and there was another on the school harps. She noticed that she only had the squeaking problem on the Bow Brand strings. At her suggestion I switched strings and the problem was solved. Until now.

    It’s sounding like the Camac strings might be a good solution.

    barbara-brundage on #146814

    Back in the days before coated gut strings, when people also had problems with strings squeaking, the answer was moisturize your hands with a heavy cream moisturizer before bed. Miss Malone favored Paquin, as I recall.

    Just thought I’d mention this, since for some folks it might be worth a try before investing in a whole set of different strings.

    sherry-lenox on #146815

    Production of Pacquin’s Hand Cream has been discontinued. This topic is really leading along a circuitous trail……

    barbara-brundage on #146816

    Yes, I know that. Sherry. I just mentioned it as an example of the sort of thing–there are plenty of people here who are old enough to have seen it at some time. Sorry that wasn’t clear, but I don’t think it’s circuitous given that the main problem is squeaky strings and this does help.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #146817

    No, I meant that Lyra carried the same line of gut strings as Classic, with a different name. Burgundy are close in quality, but not the same. I found that Savarez strings also fray where you play them, and I got rather sore playing on them because they are harder and tighter. I would not want to use them, myself. I can’t imagine why the Pirastro nylons did not sound as good unless it was just a different quality you were not used to. They have tended to last longer than the usual nylons. I just installed Bow guts after using Classic and Burgundy for years before that. They are sounding quite fine so far. I had some trouble with the finish cracking and turning white on some strings as I tied the knot. One of the C strings was rather dull, but the F strings seem fine, so I don’t know that it’s the coloring.

    unknown-user on #146818

    Dawn may have been the girl at Vanderbilt?She was a great girl and seemed to know everything.

    unknown-user on #146819

    Pirastro also used to have a line of un varnished gut strings. I can’t find them on their website, but maybe I can’t negotiate their website!

    barbara-fackler on #146820

    Let me clarify about the Classic gut strings. Vanderbilt Music reports that “The supplier for Vanderbilt Classic strings is going out of business”

    Finding an different vendor marketing the strings under a different name won’t help. They are permanently discontinued.

    Barbara, I appreciate the tip on moisturizer. I tried that when I was using Bow Brand with no success.

    My problem seems to be reaction with the particular varnish that Bow uses, so all strings they make will be the same. It has never been a problem with Classic gut’s lacquer.

    Pirastro became so expensive that I switched to the Classic. 5th octave alone is nearly $600.

    I’ve made some local calls and am going to take time to play a harp strung with Valkyrie gut and one with the Camac gut to see if either is going to be a suitable alternative.

    From the comments I’ve read here the carbon fiber strings don’t sound appealing.

    Thank you all. I’ll check back in a few days in case there are more helpful comments.

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