Gamut Strings has been known as a maker of sheep-gut strings for many years. Historical sources often mention sheep gut as a material, but other sources were used for string making, as well. For the last eight months we have been working with beef serosa, learning how to use it and refine the processing for this material. The material we use comes from Ireland and is taken from the small intestine of the animal, (like the sheep material), but instead of the whole intestine being used as with sheep, ribbons are cut from only one side of the cattle material where the muscle fibers are the strongest and most pure.
The customer feedback we have received indicate that beef gut stabilizes more quickly and holds pitch a little better than sheep gut. The tone has been described as being clearer and brighter than sheep but of equal gauge.
Beef serosa has a higher tensile strength than does sheep gut, so strings from this material are useful for instruments that require extra durability. For example, if your instrument has a longer string length which puts beyond the comfortable range for gut strings, the beef gut would be a good choice for string material as it will stand the strain a little better.
Beef gut is available as standard length, (120cm, 48"), treble gut available with either a natural or varnish finish. Natural strings are hand-rubbed with a light oil. Varnished strings have three coats of finish before being hand polished with the oil. This gut is available only in the natural color which varies from white to a pale straw hue.
Gamut beef gut strings are available in diameters of .38mm to .80mm and are considered special-use strings for instruments that require a stronger gut.
Like the Treble gut, Beef gut is processed to be a little harder than the other kinds of gut and also has a lower twist of about 15 degrees to increase the strength and is an ideal string for:
- Violin: e-1 and a-2
- Viola: a-1
- Bass viol: d-1
- Tenor viol: g-1
- Treble viol: d-1
- Lute: g-1, d-2, a-3, and octaves on bass courses
- Harp: treble strings