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Dear All,

Can anyone help me find a new source of overspun silk strings? I have been using gut and overspun silk on a c1825 guitar for several years, and am very keen to continue to do so, but I cannot get the Aquila silk strings to last more than a week, sometimes considerably less. I have checked all the obvious things that might be causing breakage, which generally seems to occur where the string coils around the peg. I usually play a semitone down from modern standard pitch.

Any ideas? I know that others (including Rob, I believe) have very different experience of the Aquila strings. 


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Jan's message describes my experience exactly. It is so frustrating, for the balance of gut and silk is, in my view, perfect. The Aquila silk strings have a purring sound, I find, that does not linger too long, and they have what I can only describe as a matt quality that allows the gut to come through clearly and without interference. For me, this does not happen with any nylon core strings because of the saturation effect, a glitter of high harmonics from the overspun strings, that I mentioned in an earlier post. But, frankly, I never know what I am going to see when I open the case. I have sent an email to Nick Baldock to ask about his strings. 

I had the problem with Aquila gut too. The 6th String just kept breaking  several times. Can't figure out why. My teachers (Pugliese-Maccari) and all students use the string made in Italy by Toro (torostrings.it). Maybe you should try and please give me feedback too.


I meant Silk, sorry!

That's worth trying. I just made an order at this guy http://www.nrinstruments.demon.co.uk/ClGuSt.html who make silk strings. He also mention that the gauge, when using silk has to thicker than with nylon to avoid breakage. I will let you know what the strings are like when i recieve them

Hi Lars... any news on the silk basses?

Yes. About two weeks ago i recieved the strings. Since this stringmaker advocates for a thicker gauge the only string the could fit into the peghole on the bridge was the 4th string. And suddenly on the day three 4th string broke. All quite annoying. My guitar is not made for these thick gauges. And the only luthier i know can fix this lives a long way from me.

So Im back to my useal nylon core strings from Damian.

When I started this thread, I was having terrible trouble. Four weeks ago, a sixth course of overwound silk broke after three days; I then repaired it, and it is still going!  At the moment, the problem seems to have subsided. I think I have not been sufficiently careful in the past, and have not allowed the silk courses a few days to get up to pitch but have taken them straight there.

My aim is to understand better what it was like to be an amateur and parlour guitarist in the 1820s and 30s; the problems (breaking strings, slipping pegs, etc) are part of that. I especially enjoy escaping from the insistent concern of some 'modern' (and especially professional) guitarists with volume and projection. Restored to its proper context in a small and intimate room, and not pushed too hard, the gut/silk strung guitar seems to me quite perfect for its environment and a superb musical companion. I hope others feel the same!


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