So, I'm thinking about ordering D'Addario Zyex strings but see that they come in low, medium and high tension. Fiddlerman (or anyone): can you please explain the difference between the tension designations and how one determines which tension is the right one to buy?
Most of the time you should get medium. Medium tension is designed to be optimal for most violins. Lighter tension reacts quicker but does not project as much. Heavy tension projects better but does not react as quickly. Unless you have a reason to suspect that your violin is different in any way, order the medium tension strings.
Kevin M. said
Do you think the heavy tension strings could possibly damage a violin in any way? Start to warp the neck or crush the body, or is the difference not that great.
In another thread about strings and tensions I made some references as to why most violins are fitted with low and medium tensions strings.
The damage is proprotional to the status and current playing condition of the instrument. Many very old or very 'worn out' violins will just be pulled apart with high tensions strings. I believe I read on one site the difference in downward pressure on the bridge was typically about 8-12# higher with high tension strings vs. the medium ones. You may find the higher tension strings more suited for electric, newer acoustic and very robust and solid violins which will never split a seam or seperate. The fingerboard is pretty well attached so don't expect any damage there, same goes for the neck in general. There's a lot of glue surface in those areas but the seams around the bouts and body/back are sometimes very minimal. And keep in mind the huidity and temperature affect the glues' ability to hold fast and tight.
The 4th page of this pdf has some general poundage info. You'll enjoy the whole thing though.
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