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I recently read "The Violin Explained" by James Beament. He was very sure that if manufacturers could accomplish the feat, a string with a synthetic gut core and a coil of tungsten surrounding it would be "the next big thing." His reasoning was that the heavier the string for a given diameter would require less tension to achieve a given frequency, and few things on earth have more density than tungsten. I see that Larson and D'Addario make tungsten wound strings with a steel core, but I don't see anything listed in the combination Beament wanted. Is this due to a manufacturing issue, a cost issue, or was it an experiment that failed?
Has anyone played a tungsten would steel core string, such as the D'Addario Helicore C string for a 5 string violin? If so, did you like it?
Lower tension isn't always preferred. My understanding is that higher tension tends to produce brighter sounds, and lower tension tends toward darker sounds. Most strings are available in multiple tension levels.
I've never used D'Addario strings; I use a Larsen A string on my viola, but I notice that Larsen only uses tungsten for cello G and C strings.
The Larsen viola A string is probably the single string with the largest market share of all, as it is preferred by the majority of professional violists no matter what brands they use for their other strings -- that makes it probably closer to ideal for its purpose than any other string ever produced. It has a steel core wound with stainless steel.
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