This is a single length gut core string with a sterling silver wire winding. 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. 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 additional charge for this service.
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.