|Table of Violin Gauges|
This is a single length (60cm, 24") gut core string with sterling silver and copper wires wound onto the gut in tandem with 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 has a smooth, “half-wound” feel. This combination of silver and copper wire is found on extant strings from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The copper makes the string a little brighter in tone than a plain silver string.
The end of the string that goes into the tailpiece is knotted and there is a loop of gut on the end. This knot will hold the string in most historical tailpieces, but will slip through a modern tailpiece. Modern tailpieces have a hole-and-slot arrangement for holding the string in place and most tailpieces today have slots cut into them that are so wide that the knot tied at the end of the gut string will slip through when tension is put on the string. To prevent this, we can install a leather washer on the string before it is wound. This washer is wide enough that it will prevent string ends from slipping through most tailpiece slots. There is an extra charge for this service.
An option is now available for the Academie line of wound strings involving the silk underlayer. 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 underlayer on Academie strings in response to customer requests, but awareness and knowledge of historical performance practice has progressed enough now that we now offer this feature as an option. According to our research, it is unlikely that such an underlayer would have been used on wound music strings before about 1900 — and for those players 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 underlayer is to increase the internal damping in the string which gives the string a warmer tone. Without the underlayer, the tone of the string is brighter and has more of the lush, ravishing tone attributed to historical times.
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.