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This is a single length, (32", 80cm), plain gut viola G-3 string with the Pistoy twist, for extra flexibility. It is intended for those players who wish to play renaissance and early baroque performance practice and want the true gut tone. The large diameter of the string may necessitate adjustment of the tailpiece to allow the string a large enough hole to pass through. It comes with a natural, hand-rubbed finish but it can be varnished for an additional charge. The ends of the string are plain, but can be knotted for an additional charge.
The Pistoy string is a unique development of Daniel Larson at Gamut Strings. 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. 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 twist. 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 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 strings the string remains supple and responsive. The string is characterized by a noticeable twist and flexible feel. The color ranges from clear white on thinner strings, (1.00 mm to 1.10 mm), to opaque yellow on thick strings.
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After a struggle to get this string onto my instrument and then sufficiently stretched to play more than 2 notes at a time, I had to give up. It is so thick that it started to bruise my fingers, made wolfy sounds intermittently, and then caused me a devil of a time taking it off. It was an expensive and unsuccessful experiment.
I am so sorry that the string did not work for you. All-gut viola G-3 strings are a particular use variety and will not work for everyone. I have talked with players who eventually integrated it into their practice, but this type of string does not respond like more modern types. I am very sorry that your experience was not a better one. Dan Larson