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Who makes F strings for a 5-string viola?


PatR
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I have a 5 string electric violin.  It needs real strings.  I decided that a low F would be nice.  Get the open strings onto the spaces (where they belong!).  My intent is to play choir music.  Bass parts rarely go below F.  I ordered a set of Helicore Octave violin strings that will be tuned down a step.   It will be  a fun experiment!

The shop I support sets up small violas.  11" - 14" for young players.  We have special ordered tungsten wrapped C strings for these small violas from Super Sensitive.  Tungsten is slightly lighter than the heaviest metal, platinum, and the easy working heavy metal, gold, but somewhat cheaper!  Tungsten is worth it for short, low-pitched strings! 

As one who was recruited into the tuba section, even before switching from Violin to Viola, my obsession for low bass is bounded below at 16 Hz!! 

 

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I ordered  the Helicore Octave Violin set for the 5-String violin.  I tuned it as a viola with a low F.  The Helicore 'G' detuned to F (with a scale length of  324 mm, 12 3/4 in )  works will.  It is fat  but it matches well with the other strings.  Now I can read every part in most choral music without octave transpositions.  Should be good fun!!

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  • 6 months later...
On 12/31/2020 at 7:57 PM, Cloxxki said:

Utter newbie here but obsessed with violas and lower strings on them.
I'd be curious to understand why no-one has brought up octave viola strings. From what I've read they work on 14" (bodies) up to 17".
The G from that set would only need to be downtuned one note.

Alternatively, there is the same low G, but designed for an octave violin. The longer neck length of a viola (provided the violin string offers the length to mount it) might make it shoehorn in?

Reviewers report that a cello bow considerably helps engaging the thicker octave viola strings.

I've seen several "odd" body designs to make the very most of the lower notes without adding length to the instrument or encumber playing.

I think that sounds like a great idea and I'm going to give it a try! I have a modified 5-string viola and I have been considering trying a low f string instead of the high e string. While shopping for such a thing online just now I came across this forum and based on your suggested I have placed an order for a "Super Sensitive Sensicore Viola G String Octave". I may get a heftier bow because if this conversation as well so that I can really dig into my new low string.

By the way, this string was hard to find in stock, but not impossible (unlike the viola Sensicore F String, which I could not find anywhere). Here is a link to where I found the octave viola g string:

https://www.audubonstrings.com/Super-Sensitive-Sensicore-Viola-G-String-Octave

The description on this website is correct but the image is for a standard set, which is somewhat concerning. Still, I think the description and the price tag are pretty good indicators that I'm getting just the one octave viola g string.

And my answer for why would anyone want to put a low f string on a viola? For fun, something different, and experimentation. When I start to jam in person again with my guitar and bass playing friends it would be neat to have a low f string.

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