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My brother asked me last night what the gauges are for the strings

because he is setting up a fiddle. I'm not going into why he is

doing it and knows nothing about violin strings to begin with,

because it takes too much time. Suffice it to say he's doing it for

 a friend and he does stuff like this often enough to not

screw it all up on the first try. The fiddle is cheap anyway.

He asked me, he eplained, because included with the violin is a

whole bunch of old strings, and I guess he's only sure about the e-

string...(??) Anyway, he looks at the problem from the point of

view of gauging with micrometers and stuff, and I told him I would

try to find out. For my purposes, I would just buy a new pack of

strings. But we're talking about a fellow who has no money doing

something for a fellow who has no money, and since my bro doesn't

have a phone ecept my mom gave him a cell phone and he has to drive

a mile away from his apartment to use it, and i have to call him

back at 12:15 PM today (when he will be in range) I am hoping

somebody can figure out

1) what he needs, and

2) provide it.

I realize there are thre gauges of fiddle strings, and i think I

know what he's looking for because he's a guitar person. I buy med.

Gauge strings for my fiddle, so they have no gauge numbers on the

package. I don;t have time to look this up before noon.

I can deal with numbers in this fashion, for eample:

light gauge: G = .021, D= .018 A= .015, and e= .01

Med gauge G= .043 D= .04, (amnd so on...and so forth)

Heavy gauge = blah blah,

Like so. Then I can just tell him. He doesn;t have email, by the


Please help if you can, by noon today!!!!

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None of the links have string gauges or diameters.

I can empathize with your brother. In fact, it is a mystery for me how luthiers manage to work on violins without ever considering actual string thicknesses. I have found as much as .010" variation in diameter between two different G or D strings (although the popular synthetic brands usually fall within a window of .004" of each other).

If a bridge or nut slot is worn such that a .032" string fits perfectly, going to a .026" string will likely cause rattling or buzzing as the string now has unwanted mobility in the slot. I have previously solved buzzing on violins by re-seating strings in the slots.

I am not aware of any violin string company that publish string diameters, but they all should.

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Although the correlation you are looking for between gauge and pitch tends to hold within a given matched set of strings (not always, because sometimes an Al wound D string will be thicker than a silver- or tungsten-wound G (etc.)) it will definitely not hold for a snarled nest of strings.

The best he can probably do is attempt to set up 4 strings and tighten reasonable amounts and then add and subtract strings until he can tune it properly.

He MUST be sure there is a soundpost in there first (guitars don't have them).


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Well, I called him up and read every post to him. He whined in

commiseration and was grateful for the ideas presented by

GMM22, and also Andrew. Thanks for Yuen for backing up Andrew. That

make him feel more certain.

 He cried about having to do the soundpost with a string.

The string sites will be valuable for me, and I let him know that

he should separate all the strings and I could help him identify

them, someday, if not right away. So thank you MANFIO!

Finally, Mike, he took your measurements down with pen and


You all were wonderful.  Thanks again and again!!

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G D A E in thousandth's of an inch

Dominant- 31 31 26 10

Tonica- 31 31 26 10

Pirazzi- 31 26 26 10

Vision- 29 24 26 10

Obligato- 30 31 26 10

Helicore- 27 24 21 10

Chromcore- 26 24 16 10

Zyex- 32 27 27 10

Violino- 30 26 26 10

Corelli Crystal 30 27 26 10

Prim- 29 28 19 10

Prelude 31 25 21 10

Larsen- 31 32 26 10

Sensicore- 32 31 26 10

Some strings gage at .0005" increments and have been rounded off to the nearest .001"

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Originally posted by:
Mike Margolis

I measured the D and G on two different instruments, and they're the same width, at least here, today.

hard to believe, but that's what the tool measures.

I'm used to thinking, too, that D strings should be thicker than G strings. I think that comes from the days when gut core D strings were wrapped in aluminum while gut core G strings were wrapped in silver. You needed more of the light weight aluminum on the D string to get the overall mass you wanted, and so the D string was thicker than the G.

Now a days, D strings come wrapped in silver, too, and can be consequently thinner for the same mass.

Given that some strings are now wrapped with other metals than silver and aluminum and given all the different cores there are and given the three standard gauges for most strings, there must be all kinds of diameters for, say, a D string. Deciding what pitch a string is, based on diameter, could be a really daunting task.

One might be better off trying to match the color of windings as presented in the links in Manfio's posts, above, that offer that information, rather than going by diameter.

Edit: It might be helpful for someone dealing with a tangle of strings to look at materials used for wrapping. If the wrapping is aluminum, the string is probably an A or D string. If the string is silver wrapped, it's probably a D or G string. (I don't know of any silver wrapped A strings).

If you have only four strings in your tangle, the E is obvious. If you have 2 aluminum wrapped in that group of 4, the thicker of the 2 will be the D string; the thinner the A. The remaining (silver wrapped) string will be the G.

If you have 2 silver wrapped strings in 4, one will be the G; the other the D. String diameter may not help, but how curly the peg end is might. The string with the curlier peg end was probably on the G peg and got curlier from being wrapped a few turns more around the G peg.

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None of those links have guages....but I believe they have the

color of the windings.  That's better than measuring with a


I know you said you didn't want to get into the details, but a pile

of old strings?  Who knows if they've long since been played

flat.  If they're gut, they may be too old to be useful.

Just my thoughts...

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