This is a single length gut core string with a sterling silver wire winding and a thin silk layer wound onto the core between the gut and wire. Because the wire is round, the surface of the wire is polished so that the string feels smooth. The tone is warm and full. The end of the string that goes into the tailpiece is knotted and there is a loop of gut on the end.
Custom Gauged equal tension strings are gauged with the equivalent-gauge system. This means that the gauge listed, such as =1.50mm, indicates that the string is approximately equal in weight to a plain gut string of that diameter. Of course, because the silver wire is so much heavier than gut, the string will be much thinner than a gut string.
A new option is now available for the Academie line wound strings involving the silk under layer. This is a thin wrapping of silk that is wound around the core of the string before the wire is wound on. For many years we have been putting this under layer on the Academie strings in response to customer request, but awareness and knowledge of historical performance practice has progressed enough now so that we can offer this feature as an option. According to our research, it is unlikely that such an under layer would have been used on wound music strings before about 1900 and for those player who want to explore the true nature of historical strings we are now offering to make strings without this buffer layer. The effect of the under layer is to increase the internal damping in the string which gives the string a warmer tone. Without the under layer the tone of the string is brighter and has more of the lush, ravishing tone attributed to violin tone in historical times.
Equal tension is a concept that was used on violins historically. The idea is that each string has the same amount of tension, resulting in equal tension on all strings. The customary way to tension violin strings is to decrease the tension from the e-1 string, which has the most tension to the G-4 string in decreasing amounts on each string. From the 16th to 19th centuries there are writers who mention or recommend equal tension and this seems to have been one aesthetic that some players used. Merssene, in the early 1600s mentioned that violin strings should have equal tension, but that in practice most players used less tension on the lower strings. It may be that the idea of equal was an intellectual concept of perfection and that, in practice, players found that lowering the tension on the thicker, bottom strings was just more practical. Regardless of the extent of the historical use, many modern players find that this system of string allows a quicker and louder response from the instrument. The extra tension on the lower strings allows the bow to play more on top of the strings resulting in quicker bowing.
Because of the added diameter on equal tension strings, your instrument may need some adjustment at the tailpiece, bridge or nut to allow for the extra mass of the strings. The instrument may also need sound post or other adjustments to bring out the most responsive tone.