Gut & Silk 800

8.0057.00 + VAT

Guitar  setup in use between 1790 and 1870

Up to the middle of the 20th century, the only available strings for guitar were plain gut for Trebles and wound on silk core for Basses. Their acoustical performance was quite different from that of modern synthetic strings. The salient characteristics were a marked tonal presence and brightness, typical of gut strings (certainly superior to plain nylon and in some respects closer to fluocarbon strings) while silver-plated copper wound basses, on the other hand, possessed an exquisitely vocal quality, i.e. more centered on the fundamental harmonics, not as bright and with less sustain, as compared to modern nylon core wound strings.

This set, made with only one degree of tension, brings back to life the exact historical settings, typical of the XIX century, as evidenced by our thorough research.


We recommended, when you are not playing, to tune the wound basses a semitone down just to ensure the maximum lifetime.

In addition, gut strings are in themselves very strong to traction, but soffer greatly from potential sliding or contact points that are even minimally sharp (sharp edges). Therefore, the nut of the guitar must be properly prepared and adapted, with only slightly cut grooves and no clear bending points, as shown in the picture below.

Read the article on how to correctly install gut strings

Please note

Basses of this set are made with real silk, a material that cannot have a constantly regular gauge, being naturally produced by an insect. As a consequence, it may happen that the bass strings at 12th fret may be flat or sharp to a certain extent. The limit accepted by us is of 8 cents more or less. Beyond this value, the string is considered non-compliant and it will be replaced.
Besides, we would like to remind that the degree of compensation introduced by the inclination of the bone of the bridge – which is calibrated to the modern strings with a core of Nylon- may not apply to strings with a core of natural silk.


(Laura Mondiello e Giuseppe Carrer)

Recordings with two Petitjean Lainè guitars (Mirecourt, early 19th c.) strung with gut trebles and silk basses.

Fernando Sor (1778-1839) – Fantasia Op. 54 bis: frammento dell’Andante

Fernando Sor (1778-1839) – Fantasia Op. 54 bis: frammento delle Variazioni e Finale

Fernando Sor (1778-1839) – Fantasia Op. 54 bis: frammento del Finale


SKU N/A Category


Note Tension (Kg)* Gauge (mm) Gut equivalent (mm)
e *6.5 .62
b *6.0 .79
g *5.0 .91
D *5.8 .81 ext 1.32
A *6.1 .91 ext 1.77
E *6.0 1.15 ext 2.35

* tension values are computed with standard pitch of 435 Hz and scale length of 62 cm

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