Gut strings tension calculator
Hi, I discovered Gamut website, and they have a great string calculator:
I play a 16.5 inch viola with 38cm vibrating string length.
I want to tune it E4 A3 D3 G2 or B4 E4 A3 D3, but I dont know which tension in Kg to choose in the calculator to get the right diameter.
Help me please!
It looks to me as though it does not do what you want - that is give a string diameter for a string less than 60 cm long for a 220 Hz A.
It seems there may have been a typo or two in the OP's post, in which case he could have intended E4 A4 D3 G2 (violin tuning), B5 E4 A4 D3, or even B4 E3 A3 D2 (a possible cello gut tuning which would hardly be successful on a viola). It appears according to Andrew that A3 (and D2) are not calculable for that viola setup, so presumably are not considered technically feasible in gut, at present.
You'll need wound gut. I'd email Dan Larson. Gamut's real nice about answering questions.
@Andrew & Trevor: It's difficult because you have to know the correct tension to get the right diameter, this is not a standard tuning!
My understanding of the question may be faulty, but from what I can recall of looking at guitars and ukes 5 years ago, the exact tension isn't so important. I can see from the calculator that the total tension for a viola is about 20Kg, so just allow 5kg per string. The main changes in tension will come from scale length, frequency, string material density and string diameter.
20kg is just a default exemple, not a standard for viola!
It's their suggested default. It's towards the lower end of their suggested range, and I think it's reasonable. If you don't like it, you could choose 7, which is in the middle of their suggested range, but better to be safer with lower tension. Standard for Classical Guitar is 90-100LB or 40-45KG divided between 6 strings and with greater scale length, so the calculator seems sensible to me.
@Amine, it occurs to me that if a viola G2 is tuned up a tone then you get A3, a tuning you want. Tuning a low tension gut lower string of a viola up a tone shouldn't be a problem. I think it is worth trying.
Part of the challenge here is the fact that the acceptable range of string tension varies according to the frequency of the open string tuning.
Arto's string calculator might be useful:
@Andres: same problem, you must know the right tension to calculate
There are three things you can do, Amine.