Hi everyone!

I just thought I would let everyone know that Stringsdirect.UK have ordered some LaBella 17s for me. £5.99 a pack, which is cheaper than other online retailers I've found. I've suggested that they should get a few in stock. So if that's your fancy then check them out.

STRINGS DIRECT La Bella nylon strings

Views: 1081

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Nick, there are two sets that I use.

This came from Fred Van Eps and was used by many others. .017, .019, .021 (or .023), .024 silver plated copper wound over floss.

The second set I use are sizes of gut that came from an article written by S. S. Stewart "Observations on the Banjo and Banjo Playing" .018, .022, .028, .024 silver plated copper wound over floss.

Sizes in inches.

Of the original silk or gut strings I have measured, they all seem within the range of these two sets, some firsts being lighter at .016.

In an attempt to simulate the tension of wire strings, many people use much thicker strings and these sizes might not be popular,

They worked for all the classic banjoists who lived long enough to see the nylon era, including Bradbury, Bowen, Cliff Spaulding, Farland, etc., but what do they know about it...

Those old guys were stuck in their geezer comfort zone. They were raised on crappy gut strings of the period, and wanted the pros without the cons. They jumped on nylon fishing line when it was available (and Segovia had put his stamp of approval on it). DuPont wasn't interested in making strings, so whatever was available was adapted as necessary...and then refined as the market grew: Econ 101.

Modern fishing line isn't designed to be as uniform per unit length as is required for musical instruments. I liked the fluorocarbon stuff...nice and stiff under the fingers.



Joel Hooks said:

In an attempt to simulate the tension of wire strings, many people use much thicker strings and these sizes might not be popular,

They worked for all the classic banjoists who lived long enough to see the nylon era, including Bradbury, Bowen, Cliff Spaulding, Farland, etc., but what do they know about it...

For the record, Clifford Essex repackaged gut strings from Bow Brand, a harp-string maker in England. These are the ones Clem marketed briefly as a "Rob MacKillop" set, much to my surprise and without asking me! I never got a penny either. Bow Brand offer the cheapest gut strings. They come in 10ft lengths, which you cut up for your instrument. Almost as cheap as buying individual nylon strings. I very much prefer their non-varnished variety. 

Yeah, stupid geezers stuck in their old ways! If only they had thicker strings, then they might be able to play something.  Dumb ol Fred Van Eps was being held back…   

Those recordings of Bradbury are proof of being handicapped by string sizes.


Rob, I have not been able to find any info regarding diameters offered in those harp strings, do the make them in .017 and .019?

Hi Rob,

I remember you being surprised. Funny to think of one's name randomly on a product. Would be like finding my name and face on a can of beans in the market. =8^0

Just checked their (Bow Brand) website but trying to find the correct sizing information is difficult. Any insight on how to order strings from them? Harp sizing for banjo? 

Rob MacKillop said:

For the record, Clifford Essex repackaged gut strings from Bow Brand, a harp-string maker in England. These are the ones Clem marketed briefly as a "Rob MacKillop" set, much to my surprise and without asking me! I never got a penny either. Bow Brand offer the cheapest gut strings. They come in 10ft lengths, which you cut up for your instrument. Almost as cheap as buying individual nylon strings. I very much prefer their non-varnished variety. 

A long time ago I ordered some gut strings from Bow Brand. It was easy to find out where the CE gut strings were being made as Bow headquarters is not far from where Clifford Essex company was located.

I found the Bow people a pleasure to deal with. I exchanged emails with Jenner Sinkins.  They had a record of what gauges were sold to CE and no doubt they still do.  I no longer can find anything on paper or hard drive but I do have a micrometer and a bit of leftover string. But no need as I expect they will still know exactly what is wanted.

Bow Brand also supplies nylon strings for harp. I don't know their source but it is possible they were the source of nylon string for CE.  This is a guess.



Trapdoor2 said:

Hi Rob,

I remember you being surprised. Funny to think of one's name randomly on a product. Would be like finding my name and face on a can of beans in the market. =8^0

Just checked their (Bow Brand) website but trying to find the correct sizing information is difficult. Any insight on how to order strings from them? Harp sizing for banjo? 

Rob MacKillop said:

For the record, Clifford Essex repackaged gut strings from Bow Brand, a harp-string maker in England. These are the ones Clem marketed briefly as a "Rob MacKillop" set, much to my surprise and without asking me! I never got a penny either. Bow Brand offer the cheapest gut strings. They come in 10ft lengths, which you cut up for your instrument. Almost as cheap as buying individual nylon strings. I very much prefer their non-varnished variety. 

I emailed bow brand folks last week so hopefully ill get a response soon regarding strings for banjo. If i can get sone of the correct guage i might put some sets up on my website for sale... www.flatfootjohnny.com ;

They don't make "banjo strings", just harp strings in 8, 10, 12-foot lengths depending on thickness. So you get a banjo few strings from one length. You have to email them for their latest pdf price list, which includes all the gauges they offer: 

sandra@bowbrand.co.uk

Their strings are polished smooth, almost like nylon. Make sure to choose either unvarnished plain gut, or varnished, depending on your wishes. I prefer plain, but nail players might prefer varnished, if only for longevity. They had a price rise very recently, so my pdf is out of date.

Cheers Rob, Yes, i just recieved a price list and the guages that Clem used but only three thicknesses, so im guessing the 4th is a wound nylon? If no experincevwith gut so any info would be much appreciated 

I sent them an email and they got back to me with the pricelist almost immediately. 

It looks like they do make them small enough for all but firsts. Their OOO is given at 0.39-.043mm.  .43 would be right at .017" and would work for firsts and 5ths.

OO comes in at .020 and would work for seconds.

Then their first octave E would work for thirds.

Rob is correct that they are about twice as much as nylon singes, which is not that much.  I might send over an order for a few 12" bundles of each size.

Yes, the CE gut sets came with a wound 4th string. 

John Deller said:

Cheers Rob, Yes, i just recieved a price list and the guages that Clem used but only three thicknesses, so im guessing the 4th is a wound nylon? If no experincevwith gut so any info would be much appreciated 

Over at Bow Brand, they must be wondering at all the emails from banjoists...I guess I'll send of one too...

Now I'm wondering where Clem got his basses. I think they offered .028", 0.030" and 0.034" basses, silver wound over nylon. I liked them a lot and often bought basses to replace the ones in the Aquila "Classic" sets.

As far as I remember, Clem offered tiered sizes of nylon (light, medium and heavy) but only one size of guts.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2022   Created by thereallyniceman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service