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I realize that a nylon tailpiece gut is a $2 item, but I never seem to have one around when I need one. I noticed that kevlar cord is being promoted as an alternative that is stronger than nylon and does not stretch, but if it is purchased as a violin material, the cost is about $10 per tailpiece length (which I assume to be about 3 inches). Looking around eBay, it looks like you can purchase a 50 foot length of black dyed kevlar cord of a diameter of 1.7 mm to 2 mm for about $12 with shipping under the heading of bow fishing cord. The 1.7 mm diameter has a rated strength of 400 pounds. Natural color kevlar (yellow to my eyes) is slightly cheaper and I don't think that the material is particularly UV light sensitive. Has anyone tried one?
I tried but was not happy with the ability to get a perfect measurement achieved. The tying and re-tying became a boorish task. And at the time I was changing tailpieces often, which meant a lot of time spent messing with the cord. Unscrewing a tail cord is just so much easier. Having said that, if I ever finalize a violin setup, I will probably use the kevlar cord.
Some of what is sold as kevlar is not actually kevlar. There is another name (which escapes me right now,,,I'll probably jerk out of sleep at 2am screaming the name)but from what I remember this other material is more slippery and does not hold a knot well.
I was poking through Amazon and happened to note a Wittner WIT-918411 tailpiece and the photo showed a mechanism by which the gut length could be adjusted on the violin by means of a screw. This would be ideal using a kevlar cord. Unfortunately, the price of the tailpiece was about $50 US. It would be just my economics to use a $50 tailpiece to justify a $0.40 piece of kevlar cord.
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