Steve Mason Luthiers
INSTRUMENT REPAIR - LAWRENCE, KS
 
 
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Questions and Answers

Which strings?

Q: Which strings would be good for five-string viola?

A: There are two sets that I like. The D'Addario Zyex give a sweeter richer sound, the D'Addario Helicores speak faster and give a sharper, more present sound. Today I have Zyex on my favorite 5 string viola. I prefer a plain .010" steel E string. You can raise the pitch of a string by shortening it or by tightening it.  A violin E is about 13" long. A viola E is at least 14" long. Hence, there is more tension on a viola E. On a plain steel string the whole diameter of the string is adding to its strength. A wound E string is only as strong as the core wire. My experience is that if your five string is 15" and you have a fine tuner on a traditional wooden tail piece, any E string on the market will fit. If, for some reason, a standard E is too short for your Five String, you can use a .010 guitar string. Music wire is music wire. The string is exactly the same.

Steve Mason





 

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3809 W 24th St
Lawrence, KS  66047

Phone
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(785) 331-6000

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@sunflower.com

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  Contact: Steve Mason Ph:785-841-0277 or (785) 331-6000 email: ask-a-luthier@sunflower.com

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