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MMD > Archives > January 2000 > 2000.01.09 > 06Prev  Next

Making Wound Bass Strings for the Piano
By Carl Meyer

I have a keen interest in piano bass strings.  I've replaced a couple
of dozen sets with varied results.  The problems I've had were
sometimes my fault, but many times the string maker didn't follow my
instructions.  Each maker has his own rules, practices and opinions.
There is a sad lack of communication.  Several articles recently in the
PTG Journal have discussed bass string design, etc.  It's not as simple
as one would think.

I use a computer program to analyze the tension and inharmonicity and
related parameters.  I have become so frustrated that I'm about to lose
my head and try to make my own strings.

I've heard that in Europe some technicians have done that using
hex-core wire.  Hex core strings are available everywhere, but it is
interesting that the diameter of the core is not specified, only the
outside diameter.

Hex core is used so that the winding may be removed on each end, to
tailor the string to the application without losing the wrap tension.
If I make any strings, I will probably use hex core.  The ratio of the
core to the outside diameter is critical and affects the inharmonicity.
The most critical, though, is the length of the exposed core at both

I've tried without success to find a source for hexagonal piano core
wire.  Is there anyone who can point me in the right direction?  Maybe
across the creek?

If anyone has questions about bass strings, I'd be willing to try to
answer them.


Carl Meyer

 [ You say you get varied results when you replace the bass strings.
 [ Can you describe your goal, and why you're not happy?  What is
 [ varying?  Why is the exposed core length critical?   -- Robbie

(Message sent Sun 9 Jan 2000, 19:37:01 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Bass, Making, Piano, Strings, Wound

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