High tension equals orchestra tension?

Edited: March 7, 2023, 8:42 AM · I just bought two Prim E strings so that I could have a little stock of stuff. I bought one medium tension and one "orchestra" or high tension.
I wondered if orchestra genuinely needed high tension and if so why?
Or it could be a rebranding because high tension strings undersell when they are called high tension?
Otoh, if string manufacturers misbranded, their reputation might suffer.

I bought some more Guillaume rosin too. I've got one word for you - SHRINKFLATION!

Replies (8)

March 7, 2023, 9:18 AM · I would think that balance between the strings is important even in an orchestral setting, although I suppose one could argue that for 1st violinists, the E string gets a lot of use with all the high melodies. I recently switched to a "heavy" Larson A string on my viola, but only to balance with the very strong output of the Spirocore D, G, & C. So, yes, maybe it is a marketing thing.
March 7, 2023, 11:05 AM · I should have thought "Orchestra" would mean less tension, to blend better.
At least that's what my colleagues suggested when I got my new, louder viola..
March 7, 2023, 11:06 AM · @Gordon - I suppose "high" tension is to some extent correlated with "brighter" sound, although I am not clear if that is correct. If you are playing in an orch, you might want a brighter sound because it will project more, whereas, in a chamber group, you might want a warmer sound. Anyhow, just a thought on what the terminology might indicate but probably a marketing gimmick in any event.
March 7, 2023, 11:19 AM · Orchestra being high tension can be explained in one word: Trombones.
March 7, 2023, 7:20 PM · That’s interesting. Vision Orchestra strings are lower tension than the regular or solo versions, and a lot of orchestral players prefer warmer string sets to make it easier to blend. I have some customers who use Prim on the top strings, but that’s more to do with their being trained in the Moscow conservatory than it is about wanting an “orchestra” sound.

The term “orchestra” in strings is a bit artificial anyway, as players in the same orchestra will use all kinds of strings, from low to high tension and everything in between!

Edited: March 7, 2023, 8:13 PM · Vision Solo and Vision Titanium Orchestra are both lower-tension and warmer-sounding than the regular Vision strings. (But Vision Titanium Solo is higher tension.)

And both Dominant and Evah Pirazzi, at opposite extremes of the tension scale, are very common in orchestras.

March 7, 2023, 8:23 PM · greetings,
as Adrian says. it seems like a name slapped on by the marketing department. You’d be better off with the range of strings for orchestra I am releasing next year:
1st violin section: high tension/occasionally a little neurotic.
Second violin section: somewhat laid-back/willing to blend with the right partner
Viola string: we could be high tension, but it’s a little bit too much trouble.
Cello string: you think I need tension after carrying this heavy case around.
Base string: Dyuuudes


March 7, 2023, 8:45 PM · I’m not sure what high tension strings provide vs medium and low tension strings. I do wonder though if there is a difference in the quality of sound produced when playing pizzicato. Does a lower tension string produce more sound than a higher tension string because it stretches more? If so, should violinists opt for lower tension strings if they’re playing repertoire that features a lot of pizzicato?

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