Bass Viol String Tensions

This table shows the tensions that result from the different gauges available for the bass viol. The string length is assumed to be about 68cm and the pitch standard is assumed to be a-415. If the string length on your instrument is a little longer, then the tension will be a little more. If the string length on your instrument is a little shorter, then the tension will be a little less. Each string is listed with a type of gut that is used on the instrument. There are three listings for the G-5 and D-6 strings. One listing is for plain gut and gimped strings, one is for silver wound strings, and one is for silver plate wound strings. The A-7 string is listed once as silver wound and once as silver plate wound.

If you have any questions about string tensions that are not answered here, please e-mail: info@gamutstrings.com

    Diameter Tension
Note   in mm in Kg
Bass viol d-1
d Light .70 7.30
d Light+ .72 7.60
d Medium .74 8.00
d Medium+ .76 8.60
d Heavy .78 8.90
d Heavy+ .80 9.40
Bass viol a-2 treble gut
a Light .92 7.00
a Light+ .94 7.40
a Medium .96 7.60
a Medium+ .98 8.00
a Heavy 1.00 8.30
a Heavy+ 1.02 8.60
Bass viol e-3 Lyon gut
e Light 1.20 6.70
e Light+ 1.22 6.90
e Medium 1.24 7.20
e Medium+ 1.26 7.40
e Heavy 1.28 7.60
e Heavy+ 1.30 7.90
Bass viol C-4 Pistoy gut, Lyon gut, or Gimped String
C Light 1.46 6.30
C Light+ 1.48 6.40
C Medium 1.50 6.60
C Medium+ 1.52 6.80
C Heavy 1.54 7.00
C Heavy+ 1.56 7.15
Bass viol G-5 Pistoy gut, Lyon gut, or Gimped String
G Light 1.96 6.30
G Light+ 1.98 6.45
G Medium 2.00 6.57
G Medium+ 2.02 6.70
G Heavy 2.04 6.85
G Heavy+ 2.06 7.00
Bass viol G-5 Silver Wound
G Light 1.10 6.30
G Light+ 1.12 6.48
G Medium 1.14 6.64
G Medium+ 1.16 6.81
G Heavy 1.18 6.87
G Heavy+ 1.20 7.14
Bass viol G-5 Silver PLate Wound
G Light 1.18 6.34
G Light+ 1.20 6.49
G Medium 1.22 6.65
G Medium+ 1.24 6.81
G Heavy 1.26 6.97
G Heavy+ 1.28 71.3
Bass viol D-6 Pistoy gut. Lyon gut, or Gimped String
D Light 2.60 6.25
D Light+ 2.62 6.35
D Medium 2.64 6.45
D Medium+ 2.66 6.55
D Heavy 2.68 6.65
D Heavy+ 2.70 6.75
Bass viol D-6 Silver Wound
D Light 1.48 6.38
D Light+ 1.50 6.50
D Medium 1.52 6.63
D Medium+ 1.54 6.75
D Heavy 1.56 6.87
D Heavy+ 1.58 7.00
Bass viol D-6 Silver Plate Wound
D Light 1.52 6.26
D Light+ 1.54 6.38
D Medium 1.56 6.50
D Medium+ 1.58 6.62
D Heavy 1.60 6.74
D Heavy+ 1.62 6.86
Bass viol A-7 Silver Wound
A Light 1.72 6.04
A Light+ 1.74 6.14
A Medium 1.76 6.24
A Medium+ 1.78 6.34
A Heavy 1.80 6.44
A Heavy+ 1.82 6.54
Bass viol A-7 Silver Plate Wound
A Light 1.76 6.05
A Light+ 1.78 6.15
A Medium 1.80 6.25
A Medium+ 1.82 6.35
A Heavy 1.84 6.46
A Heavy+ 1.86 6.56

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