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Contrabass E-4 Pistoy

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You save $77.86
8.00 (in)
8.00 (in)
0.10 (in)
Calculated at Checkout


Table of Contrabass Gauges
  Light Light+ Medium Medium+ Heavy Heavy+
E-4 Pistoy 4.88mm 4.92mm 5.00mm 5.08mm 5.14mm 5.20mm


Many years ago we made the Contra Bass Pistoy E-4 string and it was part of our bass set offerings. This string was not well received by players at the time, but we have received numerous requests to put this string back in the catalog and, at this point, we feel that there is more awareness of how plain-gut strings work and that musicians have a more informed expectation as to how these strings work. Therefore, we are pleased to bring the Pistoy E-4 back and we are confident that those players who appreciate the qualities of gut will find it a valuable addition to their tone. 

This is a single-length (80", 200cm), double twist, Pistoy-style string made with beef serosa available with either a natural or varnish finish.

Plain gut strings are available with 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. There is an additional charge for varnished strings.

In order to secure the bass string in the tailpiece, Gamut Music has developed the use of a leather washer as a stop. A washer is an option you can choose if you do not want to tie a knot at the end of the string as a securing feature. Bass strings are quite thick and sometimes stiff, and tying a knot can be complex and inelegant. The leather washer is a reliable and secure solution to the problem of securing the string at the tailpiece.

The Pistoy string is a unique development of Daniel Larson at Gamut Music. It is named for the town in Italy which was famous for producing the best string for basses, being "flexible, smooth, and well twisted." Our reproduction is made of three strands of gut twisted in one direction, and then the three combined together by twisting in the other direction in rope fashion. When dry, the string is polished down to the specific gauge required by the instrument. The results are a very flexible string with a quick response and a full, round sound. The string is characterized by a noticeable twist and flexible feel.

This is not a polished catline as some think. At first glance this might look like such a thing. However, the Pistoy is fundamentally a different kind of string. It shares one trait with the catline in that the string is made with two directions of twists. This is where the similarity ends. The Pistoy has no space in the structure like the catline does, and therefore has the same density as any plain gut string. The Pistoy string is expensive to make because it takes a lot of time to sort the gut into small bundles to twist and retwist. The gain is in the flexibility. Even in thick gauges the string remains supple and responsive. The color ranges from clear white on thinner strings (1.00mm to 1.10mm) to opaque yellow on thicker strings.

Academie strings are manufactured in the USA by Gamut Music, Inc., a leader in the revival of early music strings and instruments. Gut strings are not intended to be used with fine tuners or string adjusters and those devices should be removed before installing the gut string on the instrument.

More information about Gamut gut strings, string types, gauges, and string tensions can be found on our articles page. Not finding an answer to your question? Please contact us directly:

Extra Information

8.00 (in)
8.00 (in)
0.10 (in)

2 Reviews

  • Posted by Dirk Dickson on Nov 2nd 2021


    E bass string


  • Posted by Scott on Oct 18th 2018


    E-4 Pistoy

    Unfortunately this E-4 Heavy Pistoy string is way too "mushy" for 42.125" mensure. A Heavy+ I believe would not work either. (maybe on a Full size 44" mensure?) This is a quality string, but too soft for any plain E. If it was a Lyon E-4 up around 5.1 mm, that certainly would be awesome, and would have higher tortion, but as far as I know, Gamut is not making them. (nor is anyone) I have not spoke to Dan personally about this, and would certainly be a high price point I'm sure.