Number of wound strings in a set

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Number of wound strings in a set

Postby Bob Lewis » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:50 am

<>>> One question I have is the Fladmark strings have more wound strings
than the original OS (or my spares). Is there a reason for that?<>

[Bob]

A short answer is that having more wound strings is part of being better
quality and providing more value. The goal is to sound the best without
destroying the instrument.

The wound strings stop 1) where the bridge turns the corner and 2) where
the stress level on a wound string of any size would be too high and the
string would be likely to break at a given note. The stress level falls
dramatically when switching to a plain wire string. The math shows that
stress is created by the contrast in diameter between the core wire and
outer wrap. The math shows clearly where the transition needs to occur.

The issue with #14D can be expense, or whether the string set already
tapered down to the minimum size at a lower note (like an OS set), or
whether one is trying to eliminate the clunky .028 wire that would be
called for as the alternative. The 15D# is where the .026 wire starts.

Historically, the .028 plain wire was used at 10A# thru 14D, so we have
eliminated that size completely along with the clunky sound associated
with it and the struggle in handling that heavy wire.

I have special strings to supplement other sets that don't include wounds
as high as #14D. That includes Orthey, which tapers down more quickly and
ends at #13C#. A second #13 string could be used for 14D. George avoids
the struggle with that heavy .028 wire by substituting .026 on his #14. I
recommend getting the wound string for a noticeable improvement.

The smallest wound string can be considered the most valuable in that it
requires the greatest number of turns to cover the core wire to the
desired length. The biggest strings with two layers of winding are
especially valuable. Wound strings in general are certainly more valuable
than plain wire strings.

Finally, the smaller wound string will tune more easily and more precisely
and will stay in tune better than a heavy plain wire string in the same
position and tuned to the same note. The wound string is near its optimal
stress level, giving the best sound, while the plain wire is far from it.
Bob Lewis
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