Strings

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Strings

Postby Scott Marshall » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:24 pm

Following on from the Yahoo group discussion it would be interesting to have a list of string setups or string recommendations on here.

I have recently been setting up my g/c Chris Allen Colson Copy (Similar to http://www.hurdygurdy.org/morepicscolsonstandard.htm) and I am really pleased with the sound now. For the (g) chanterelles I have .39 NRI ( http://www.nrinstruments.demon.co.uk/HuG.html ) low twist gut, the (c) trompette is also a .39. The trompette was a bit loud so I tamed it by blu tacking an old three pence piece to the soundboard. In our collection of old strings I found a big wound gut string (Hungarian I think) which makes a great low-low C /gros bourdon. There is also another g drone in unison with the chanterelles a strong sounding .68 gut . I have 5 strings on at the moment, I dont know what to put on as the 6th drone, a low g maybe....

Scott :)

Chris Allen g/c Colson Copy

Chanterelle 1 .39 (NRI low twist gut)
Chanterelle 2 .39 (NRI low twist gut)
Trompette .39 (unknown gut)
Gros Bourdon (unknown Hungarian wound gut string measured outside diameter .74)
Mouche .68 gut (unsure will ask Chris)
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Re: Strings

Postby gurdymaker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:52 pm

I've recently finished a really tiny D/G as a test bed for the radically different strutting pattern developed by Wolfgang Weischelbaumer. Every credit to him, it is very loud but still controlled and even. The problem was that it blew away the fiddle and melodeon I normally play with. Bear in mind, this gurdy is only 8" wide. So I've been spending a lot of time and money trying various strings to tame it a bit.
I ended up using
G.Bourd. Pirastro Aricore cello c ( low D )
P. Bourd. 5th string ( wound) of Aquila Nylgut romantic guitar set ( d )
1 chant 23 thou gut
2 chant corelli crystal violin d
mouche in G pirastro Obligato cello C with the outer winding removed ! ( it unwrapped itself when I cut it to fit for a low D and at £75, I wasn't about to chuck it away )
Trompette 20 thou Nylgut

It just goes to show that light strings can perform as well as the " normal" guages. the light trompette string has made it easily the most responsive trompette I've made- Coup de 8 is finally easy !
Cheers
Neil
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Re: Strings

Postby Scott Marshall » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:50 pm

gurdymaker wrote:I've recently finished a really tiny D/G


Neil: we need pics!
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Re: Strings

Postby Euan » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:44 pm

I am quite surprised that people do not volunteer information about strings. I have been quite open about the strings I have used and a couple of people on the forum have sugested strings. But not that many. Strange. Perhaps you are all happy and therefore it's only people like me who are looking for that 'perfect' tone that have issues with strings.

Once again here are my strings for both the Gotschy and the Boireaud. I do get a good sound but I'd like a fantastic sound and someone out there knows something that will help me improve it.
The sound I have is full fairly loud and vibrant. That is what I am looking for but perhaps a sweeter tone to it would make me smile more. Compared to al most all other gurdy players I have played with my sound is much fuller. Nice cello tone from 2nd chanter matches the slightly quiet thinner sound of the 1st.

Boireaud: G/D tuning:
Chanters octave d 1st Nylgut 0.66 (but .62 would be better)
2nd: Corelli Crystal viola d (Thomastic vision sounds much better but the wind is less strong and tends to break too easily. I do keep one though already played in and cottoned for special occasions)
G Bourdon (D) Super sensitive viola da gamba bass 7th. Heavy guage) A recommended one. A bit difficult to cotton but a lovely sound
P bourdon (G) this is a German wound gut string that I had spare with the Gotschy. I tried it and it's fine. I don't know what to replace it with when I need to but for the moment its good.Kurschner VD0300
Mouche (A). Here I have tried many different ones. Currently it is another German wound gut. I have no number for it but with calipers it measures 1.50
Trompette: .94 nylgut. Works fine but perhaps a little less sensitive than I would like. I haven't a capo for this but use mainly d tuning but when doing early music I tend to like using the mouche and an e tuning on the trompette. I think it sounds nice. Might try a thinner nylgut for trompette though to get more sensitivity. I have tried a thomastic Viola d here and it was fantastic but lasted minutes!!! I think the effect of the trompette action didn't go down well with the winding. So what is a good veggie alternative?

So the suggestions I would like are to get a more cello tone from the second chanter and an easier B Bourdon to cotton!!! Also I intend to try cello strings for the bourdons and the mouche so which ones would people recommend?

Gotschy: The bulletproof gurdy. I use it for historical stuff so I can't really get away with modern strings. So I am careful with the gut strings because I am a veggie and really would prefer to use something else. I do lie about nylgut strings saying they are silk (terrible eh?)
So basically the Gotschy is similar to Graham Whyte's lovely Colson (and someday I'll get it sounding as nice)
c/g tuning octave chanters in g
1st chanter 1.08 plain gut nice and clear.I think col iv I am going to try a thinner one next.
2nd 1.366 wound deep and vibrant. A little more 'edge' than I'd like. May be my shimming though This is col i I think. I want to try a heavier one to balance the thinner first I am planning
mouche (d) 1.14 plain gut. Nice tone.
trompette (c or d) .96 plain gut. Nice tone good action.
P Bourdon (c) 1.15 About right. Nice tone.
B bourdon (g) 1.80 Rich and again about right.
So for the Gotschy I am following Graham's lead in moving to thinner first chanter and heavier second. Fingers crossed eh?

Many thanks to those who have made suggestions so far. Most I have tried and this is where I am at now. I even tried tenor tuning for a bit. Two low chanters. Sounded fantastic but got lost in the mix when playing with other people. But try it some time it is surprisingly pleasant on its own.
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Re: Strings

Postby Jon » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:11 pm

Neil Brook said:
[quote]I've recently finished a really tiny D/G as a test bed for the radically different strutting pattern developed by Wolfgang Weischelbaumer".</quote]

Neil - can you describe this different strutting pattern, or better yet, give us some pictures?

Jon
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Re: Strings

Postby Gallopede » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:35 pm

There's a mention here of some strings being harder to cotton. I am totally cack handed and my cottoning is abysmal. It kind-of works except on the trompette, but it looks a mess and it is a mess. I know I have to keep working on technique and go for the longest fibered cotton and the stickiest rosin, but can the strings help?
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Re: Strings

Postby gurdymaker » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:29 am

Generally,the lower tension strings are easier to cotton because you can twist them more easily. Try lowering the pitch by a tone, apply your cotton then bring back to tune.
It does get easier after 30 years I find :-)

As to the strutting I am using, the main difference is that the chanter bridge soundpost is not central on the bar but set to one side as in the violin family. There are many other differences as well which I will take to my grave !!
Cheers
Neil
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