Gut strings need higher bridge?

May 8, 2018, 3:23 PM · I have a synthetic G and a plain gut D on at the moment, but everything on the D string seems to play flat, especially once I'm above 5th position and playing a double stop with the G string. I noticed that the string is extremely thick, so maybe it doesn't require as much distance to reach the fingerboard? I don't know... maybe the bridge needs to be higher? If anyone has experienced this problem, please let me know what I should do!

Replies (5)

May 9, 2018, 12:29 AM · I have never tried mixing gut and synthetic strings, but my first viola D & A were plain gut. The way stiffness affects the fundamental note and its overtones is not proportional, and I bought a wound D as soon as I could afford it..
Edited: May 9, 2018, 5:03 AM · If you move all of the strings higher, then you will be keeping the same relationship. Lifting only the D string would help, but simultaneously make the A impossible to plat. What I might try in this instance is to make the nut higher under only that string. Unfortunately, this will mainly affect lower positions, but it might help a bit on the higher ones. The guitar solution to this would be to put a zig-zag in the bridge to bring the contact point of that string forward, but this would be difficult on a violin, especially to make it sufficient to solve the problem.

Maybe you should consider this to be a symptom of an unbalanced string set, and think in terms of getting a G string that's a better match?

May 9, 2018, 5:55 AM · Isn't it rather that in baroque violins the bridge was lower (and the strings plain gut), and the need of a higher bridge being a result of the changed neck angle and use of (steel and synthetic) strings with higher tension?
May 9, 2018, 1:41 PM · My luthier had to cut me new bridge in retrofitting my violin for gut strings with a semi-baroque setup with a baroque tail piece.

Yeah...don't know what's a good solution for your mixing-and-matching...hopefully a knowledge luthier here can jump in here for a good answer.

June 2, 2018, 12:25 PM · My viola has A and D with Aquila plain strings (82 and 104 or 108) and G and C with Dominants. They work very well together and are tuned in 415 Hz.
The bridge is normal and the bass bar is slight smaller than usual.

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