Bass Gut

Gut string tension on acoustic bass guitar?

I play bass guitar and one of my basses is an acoustic bass (guitar). A double bass player happened to mention that on a double bass, gut strings are louder than metal ones. I was wondering what the effect would be of putting gut strings on an acoustic bass (it has a piezoelectric pick up).

I know the scale length is shorter on a bass guitar, so the string tension would be less than on a double bass. I also gather the string tension is much bigger on double bass to begin with - enough to crush an acoustic bass guitar probably. But what would the net effect be?

Would it work at all? Has anyone done this?

If the pitch is wrong but the tension is OK could I use strings specified for different pitches eg use a gut A as my E?

I'm not a big fan of putting a type of string on an instrument that it wasn't designed for. If your instrument was set up for "metal" stings (likely phosphor bronze), then the nut and bridge construction and neck relief settings were all set up for the forces that those strings would exert on the instrument.

You could probably get away with putting gut strings on your instrument, but you're looking at readjusting everything at that point. And it might be louder acoustically, but not by much. And if you plug your bass in and use the piezo pickup, you could actually loose volume.

The piezo works on pressure, and gut strings designed for a double bass will probably have a lot less tension on your acoustic bass. Less tension means less force on the bridge (and less pressure on the piezo), and probably less volume.

If you're playing through your pickup and need more volume, it's a lot easier to reach over and turn that knob marked "Volume".

Good luck.

Greetings from Austin, Tx
Ken

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