|Table of Tricolore Viola Gauges|
This is a single length (32") viola string with a gut core and sterling silver wire winding. The gut core has been carefully seasoned and then wound with silver wire in the tradition of the Perfection Musical String Co. There is a leather washer at the knotted end to help keep the string secure in the tailpiece.
Violas come in different sizes, sometimes requiring different lengths of strings. Length is not an issue for the plain gut strings, but can be an issue for wound strings. It is important that the string has a wire on the gut from bridge to nut, and if the wire winding on the string is too short, the thread stocking will be over the nut and fingerboard. This will result in bad tone and intonation and should be avoided. The Tricolore viola wound strings have a length of 48cm from the end knot to the end of the wire / beginning of the stocking. If you measure your instrument from tailpiece to nut and find more than 48cm, please let us know and we can make longer strings for you.
The Tricolore brand, used by many famous violin soloists, was one of the most well known violin strings made in the 20th century. Now, after many decades of being unavailable, we are pleased to offer these strings again. This string was developed by Ray Neiner at the Perfection Musical String Co. Brunswick, IN, just south of Chicago. The machines we use at Gamut Music to make the strings were purchased from the Perfection company, and in addition to the machines, we also received the formulations that Perfection used to make their strings, including the Tricolore brand. We have in our archives a copy of the Perfection workshop book that specifies the gauge of gut used for the cores, the size of the wires, length of the strings, and colors of the thread used for the stockings at the top and bottom of the strings. In addition to this practical information, we also received instruction for the special curing treatment that the gut cores went through before being wound and the specific techniques used in winding the wire onto the gut core. These strings are accurate replications of the ones that filled American concert halls with sound in the 20th century.
Notably, the Tricolore strings used by violinist virtuoso Jascha Heifetz and many players are interested in reproducing this historical tone consisted of:
- e-1 - Goldbrokat - 0.26mm (Medium) gauge
- a-2 - Treble Gut - 0.78mm (Medium) gauge
- D-3 - Lyon Gut - 1.06mm (Medium) gauge
- G-4 - Gut/Sterling Silver - 0.80mm (Medium) gauge
One addition we have made to the original string design is the inclusion of a leather washer at the knot of each string. Modern tailpieces are made with wider string slots than those of the early 20th century and the gut knot is no longer big enough to hold the string in place. The leather keeps the string from pulling through the tailpiece.
Tricolore 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.