String Setup

Heights

String Setup

String heights are the distance between the strings and the top of the fingerboard measured at the end.

String heights are crucial to playability and projection.

Strings that are too low can buzz, while strings that are too high can be difficult to play.

Correct Standard String Heights (4/4 size, gut/standard)
Violin(E) 3.2 - 3.5mm(G) 5.0 - 5.5mm
Viola(A) 4.2 - 5.5mm(C) 6.0 - 6.5mm
Cello(A) 5.0 - 5.5mm(C) 8.0 - 8.5mm

Distance

String Setup - Distance

Usually the distance from the center of the bridge to the fret of the tailpiece (after length) is 1/6 that of the length of the strings measured from the center of the bridge to the fret of the fingerboard (effective string length).

The distance of the tailpiece from the bridge influences the sound of an instrument.

If the tailpiece is too close to the bridge, the instrument will sound soft and weak; too far and the sound will be stiff and harsh. The tail gut is used to make this adjustment; never the bridge.

The weight of the tailpiece also affects the sound.

A lighter weight tailpiece usually allows an instrument to vibrate more freely. Thus the instrument will project more and have a more open, resonant tone.

String Care and Installation

String Setup - String Care and Installation

Both the placement of peg holes in the peg box and placement of string holes in the pegs are important for string performance and longevity.

There must be proper bottom clearance between the back of the peg box and the extra string length when wound on the peg.

Improperly placed string peg holes will make tuning very difficult.

String Setup - String Care and Installation

Before installing new strings, rub nut grooves with a #2 pencil. This allows strings to slide easily and prevents breakage.

Replace strings one at a time. This keeps the bridge in place, avoids drastic changes to the top of the instrument and eliminates the possibility of the soundpost falling or moving.

Install string in tailpiece, then place string in the peg string hole.

Wind the string toward the peg cup. Strings will last longer if they do not rub against the peg box.