Wound Strings

Gamut Strings offers a unique line of wound strings for bowed and plucked instruments.  The machines used to put the wire on the gut were made and used originally by the Perfection Musical String Co. of  Brunswick, IN. which is the company that made the old Wonder Tone, Gold Label and Tricolore strings.  The cello string machine from this workshop was made in about 1900 and has been making strings almost daily for 100 years.   

 The recipes of the strings, the diameters of gut and wire, have been carefully researched to duplicate the kind of tones and tensions that were used historically.


Types of wound strings:

* Silver wound / gut core

 We use pure silver wire that is specially drawn and tempered to our specifications for each type of instrument.  The silver wire is laid onto the core in tandem except for the equal-tensioned silver wound strings which have a single wire wound on to them.  The wire is round, but when the wire is in place on the core it is polished so that the surface of the string is smooth.  The tone of the silver string is characterized by warmth and power.

* Silver / Copper wound / gut core

This type of string is represented by several extant samples of strings from the early 1800s that were made for the violin and cello.  The copper and silver wires are laid onto the gut core in tandem creating a striped barber-pole effect if the string is looked at closely.  Like the silver strings, the round wire is wound onto the core and then polished smooth.  Since the speed of sound is faster in copper than it is in silver, the copper wire lends a little brightness to the tone of these strings making the silver / copper string a good choice for an instrument that has a dark lower register, or if you just want to try a new tone on your instrument.

* Silver Plated Copper wound / gut core

One of the most common wires seen on historical strings is silver plated copper.  Before the advent of electro-plating, wire was plated with silver with a chemical process and there are extant strings of this type that were made for violin family and keyboard instruments.  The wire we use, like the historical examples, is round and left round on the core so that the tops of the wire can be felt.  If the wire were polished the plating would be removed.  The tone of these strings is very bright and this is a good, general use string for most instruments.

* Copper wound / gut core

This is a special string we make only for the violin and contra bass.  It consists of a round copper wire that is wound onto the gut core and then polished smooth.  It has a bright tone, but because the wire is polished it is not as bright as a round wire string.  The copper string is especially useful for instruments that have a dark lower register that needs to have the tone brightened and clarified. 

Wound strings are available for:

  • Violin: G-4
  • Viola: G-3 and C-4
  • Cello: G-3 and C-4
  • Contra bass A-3, E-4, and C/D-4
  • Bass viol: G-5, D-6 and A-7
  • Tenor viol: C-5 and G-6
  • Treble viol: G-5, and D-6
  •  Lute: G-6 and lower fundamentals

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