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Do all string manufacturers refer to the same vibrating string lengths?
The indicated vibrating string lengths often vary between different string manufacturers, which can make it harder to compare them. Take the data for cello strings, for example: Thomastik-Infeld uses the reference value of 70 cm for the vibrating string length. For this vibrating string length, the required attached mass of the Alphayue® cello A-string is 17.7 kg (as indicated in our catalog).
Another string manufacturer indicates a vibrating string length of 69 cm as the reference value for calculating its cello strings. For its stated vibrating string length, the required attached mass for this A-string is 17.6 kg. At first glance, it looks like this product requires a smaller mass to tune the string to an A; in other words, this string would seem to have a lesser string tension.
However, converted to the vibrating string length of 70 cm, this product needs a mass of approx. 18.1 kg. The result: our Alphayue® cello A-string has less string tension, namely just 17.7 kg, with the same vibrating string length.
When selecting the right string, the goal is not only to improve the sound and handling but also to retain or improve the instrument’s good condition. An incorrect string tension can exert both too much and too little pressure on the instrument’s soundboard.