|Table of Equal Tension Violin Gauges|
This is a single length (60cm, 24"), single twist, Lyon-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. The string comes with plain, unknotted ends. Knots may be tied for you, and leather washers added for an additional charge.
Instructions on how to tie a string knot are on the back of each package.
This type of gut is named after the town in France which was famous for a particular type of flexible gut string. From the 16th century these strings were recommended as being some of the best strings for basses. Our reproduction of this string is made from gut specially processed in our workshop to be soft and responsive. The gut is twisted in one direction to a high twist for the optimum combination of durability and flexibility. The Lyon should be preferred when a little extra stiffness is required under the bow or finger. This type of string is characterized by a tight and visible twist. The color tends toward opaque light to medium yellow. The Lyon-style of gut string is a high twist, single spin construction that offers a tone that is full and warm with a powerful fundamental and complex, pleasing upper partials.
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 strings is to decrease the tension from the top string, which has the most tension, to the bottom 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.
Academie strings are manufactured in the USA by Gamut Music, 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.