|Loaded Gut Bass Strings (C type)|
"...there is another sort of strings, which they call Pistoy basses, which I conceive are none other than thick Venice-Catlins, which are commonly dyed, with a deep dark red colour."
(Thomas Mace "Musick's Monument" London 1676)
Picture nr. 1 : a flexible loaded string
Picture nr. 2 : Example of a Viola da Braccio set-up (suitable for the Monteverdi's period)
Picture nr. 3 : 7 Course Lute
Picture nr. 4 : F. Le Troy (1690 ca.), Detail of the Charles Mouton's portrait
Picture nr. 5 : Jakob Lindberg playing his 11 Course D Minor Lute
Picture nr. 6 : Anonymous french painter, 1st half of the 17th Century; detail of the deep red basses
Picture nr. 7 : Anonymous dutch painter, 1st half of the 17th Century: detail on the brown basses
Picture nr. 8 : Girolamo Martinelli, 2nd half of the 17th Century: 'Concerto in casa Lazzari' (mid 17th C.)
Pictures nr. 9 and 10 : Girolamo Martinelli; detail of the violone's brown bass strings (mid 17th C.)
Pictures nr. 11 : Girolamo Martinelli; detail on the brown bass-violin string (mid 17th C.)
Picture nr. 12 : Francois le Troy, 2nd half of the 17th C: detail on the brown long basses
Pictures nr. 13 and 14 : Anonymous dutch painter, 2nd half of the 17th C; detail of the red bass strings on a 12 course lute
Pictures nr. 15 : Rutilio Manetti, Siena 1625; detail on the brown Lute-bass strings
Pictures nr. 15 16 : Rutilio Manetti, Siena 1625; detail on the Violin brown 3rd & 4th strings (see also: "...best strings are Roman 1st & 2nd of Venice catlins: 3rd & 4th best be finest & smoothest Lyons, all 4 differ in size..." James Talbot's manuscript, 1695 ca)
Pictures nr. 17 and 18 : 4th hole- measurement made on the Charles IX Andrea Amati's viol (1570 ca?). Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 2007: maximum passing diameter: 2.30 mm
Hear the sound of a 11 courses d- minor lute with the loaded gut string basses here
to learn more: read our FAQ
We would like to inform all our customers that, due to some works required for enlarging our company (new machineries, new productions etc.) we are compelled to stop production of loaded strings type "C. till April 2013 (we hope)
We are really sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.
40 euros (VAT non included)
The appearing of wound strings caused, starting from the end of the 17th century, the definitive abandoning of the ancient manufacturing techniques of the traditional all-gut bass strings. This explains why modern plain gut strings fail to produce an acceptable acoustical performance in the low registers, thus making it unavoidable to use wound strings for musical repertoires that actually pre-date their historical appearing; this, in turn, causes an obvious philological paradox as well as serious tone and balance problems between high and low registers. A large number of bass stringhole diameters recorded from original Lute bridges dating from the late 16th and 17th century shows that those holes are too small to allow plain gut strings a sufficient working tension at the proper pitch. Musical iconography from the 17th century also shows often bass gut strings of quite different colors from that typical of plain gut, varying from dark red to brown only. Treatises of the time confirm, too, that strings possessed a remarkable duration of sound and acoustical exuberance (see: Mersenne 'Harmonie Universelle', Paris 1636; 'The Mary Burwell Lute Tutor', 1670 ca.).
All this suggests an hypothesis: the loading of gut, a technological strategy that we believe employed by the ancient string-makers in order to render the strings to be used in the low registers more sonorous.
Special smooth roped gut strings (like ours VENICES) characterized by a high, standardized specific weight (twice than natural gut) , achieved by a loading process with metallic copper powder. Diameters smaller than 180 C are manufactured with a gradual loading decrease, in order to keep the otherwise excessive brightness of sound of the thinner strings under control and at the same time to obtain a higher tensile resistance and a longer playing life.
Reddish brown color,oiled surface.
We DO NOT use Mercury or Lead compounds; we use metallic copper powder (not toxic)
ACOUSTICAL PROPERTIES AND FIELD OF APPLICATION
Strong and warm tone, without the excessive brightness typical of wound strings, perfectly coherent with the tone and dynamics character of gut high strings. Excellent in staying in tune, better than any plain Gut, Nylon Nylgut and wound strings available today.
Indispensable for Renaissance and Baroque stringing till the 1st half of the 17th Century, in the strictest respect to authenticity.
WHAT MEAN 140 C?
To keep calculations simple and make it possible to use any available string-calculator, C type loaded gut strings, as well as wound Nylgut ones D and DE types, are referred to by a letter following a number indicating the theoretical equivalent diameter of a plain gut string.
E. g. "140 C" stands for a loaded string (indicated by the letter "C" ) corresponding to a high twist gut of 1.40 mm. in diameter. The actual diameter of the strings is, of course, smaller but under playing conditions it will have the same working tension as a gut string of 140 mm. diameter at equal pitch.
Conversion tables (between wound strings of different brands, Nylgut, PVF, Nylon, Gut strings)
Notice! These strings are made for basses only. Please do not use them as cello 1st & 2nd, Gambas 3rd & 4th; Viola da braccio 2nd.
Attention: loaded strings type "C", because of their particular complexity, may suffer of a certain uncontinuity in production. Delivery time may therefore be longer, thus delaying the shipment of other types of strings included in your order. We do apologize for any inconvenience and ensure that we are working in order to find a proper solution to avoid any problem.
String lenght: 120 cms only (no 180 cms)
+ IVA - VAT - TVA
GUT LOADING IS THE ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE RESULT OF AQUILA'S OWN RESEARCH
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