STRINGS FOR EARLY PERIOD INSTRUMENTS HISTORY
Arriving from Italy in 1770, and having a serious experience, a string maker named " Savaresse " created in Lyon a manufacture of gut strings for plucked and bowed instruments. From the beginning very famous for their high quality, the Savarez strings have been meeting an unmatched success over the years. The history of harmonic strings developed thanks to technologic discoveries. Constant researches on raw materials and advanced technologies allowed to optimize the strings characteristics along the years, in respect of the tradition and quality and thus to offer to the musician a wide range of new musical possibilities to achieve their art.
Therefore they are guaranteed to be able to compose their own string sets, perfectly suited to each specific instruments of old or new manufacture, while respecting the best tension and while getting the desired power and tone , in accordance with their own personality.
3 main strings families for early period instruments are proposed:
|STRING Type||item numbers|
|•||Nylon plain||-->>||NN ...|
|•||Nylon silverwound||-->>||NFS ...|
|•||Nylon copperwound||-->>||NF ...|
|•||Alliance strings||-->>||KF ...|
|•||Alliance composite strings||-->>||KF ...|
|•||gut plain, oiled||-->>||BRH ...|
|•||gut plain, varnished||-->>||BRV ...|
|•||gut silverwound||-->>||BF ...|
|•||gut copperwound||-->>||BFS ...|
|•||silk and steel wound||-->>||HPWJ...|
RECTIFIED NYLON STRINGS - "NN" TYPE
Thanks to the introduction of nylon, it has been possible to replace gut strings on some Instruments (lutes, baroque guitars, vihuelas...). The tone of the sound is not the same äs on a guitar but nylon string brings a little more brightness and more projection on early period Instruments, but in the ränge of a very traditional sound.
We finalized our ränge of nylon strings so that their characteristics suit to the requirements of their use on either genuine early period Instruments, or new made Instruments.
This material is not very much sensible to hygrometric Variation and is not very expensive ; it brings then for a little price, a real comfort together with a satisrying tune and a long playing life.
Rectified strings are perfectly round and the choice of diameters is wide (if the string would not be rectified, the choice of diameters would be reduced to the Standard gauges proposed by the nylon manufacturers). Thanks to their polished surface, they allow an accurate play and a warm sounding, particularl) required for early period music.
Gauge is given either in hundredth of mm or in inch for each string.
Nylon strings are no longer available in 2m length.
Different improvements have been made on these strings, thanks to which it was possible to increase really their playing life. The wound nylon strings can be used, either with plain gut strings or plain nylon strings, äs well äs with Alliance KF strings. In order to be able to answer to a large diversity of instruments and to the various requirements of musicians, Savarez developed 2 types of wound nylon strings :
Nylon silverwound - "NFS" type
Silver plated wound nylon strings (Reference NFS ...) : with a bright and clear tone, together with a regular tune. They are particularly recommended for musicians who expect the best sounding projection, in the respect of the genuine tone. They are available in l and 2 meters.
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Nylon copperwound - "NF" type
Copper wound nylon strings (Reference NF ...): with a warmer tone. They can be compared with silver gut strings (Reference BFA...) Those copper wound nylon strings are proposed in l meter and 2 meters.
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The line of KF strings is the result of major innovations, also applied to classical guitars, bowed Instruments and harp strings.
The strings are produced from composite fibers, the technology of which is very elaborated. After a long treatment on the molecules themselves, then on the molecular binders and on the cristallinity level, we get a stretching and an elasticity identical to the ones of the gut. Their geometrical qualities are perfect and their density is very close from the one of the gut.
Higher the gauge is, higher the advantages are obvious in comparison with the gut strings tone. Therefore, in many cases, they can replace the gut strings, with which they also can be mixed.
Alliance KF strings have not only the advantages of the gut strings but also the resistance qualities of the nylon strings. They are completely insensible to heat or to humidity and offer a perfect tune and do not damage under the fingers. They bring a clear and bright tone. To be noted also, their price which is very competitive against gut.
The Alliance KF strings are particularly recommended for lutes, theorbs, baroque guitars, romantic guitars and vihuelas. They can be used together with wound nylon strings or wound gut strings to complete the set in the basses.
They are available in l meter and 2 meters, in a wide range of gauges, thus answering to the different needs of manufacturers, distributors and musicians.
Alliance KF Composite strings
KF Composite strings: originally constructed for harps. These strings are made with Alliance as basic material. The kernel is the Alliance material and the coat looks like the screen of a aerial wire. Strange to imagine but that works well and gives an interesting sound. I stringed a 10-course lute completely with these and it worked. The best range for these strings are the 5th to 7th course instead of metal wound strings.
The rectified plain gut strings for early period Instruments have been created since the beginning of the Company, which has two and half centuries of experience in this field.
They are manufactured thanks to a traditional and handcrafted process, but also with up dated technologies which uaranteed their quality.
The polishing processes have been enhanced all over the years: primarily hand made, then with the help of grinding machines which allow to obtain a gauge accuracy of 5/100e of mm ; today the gut is rectified on centerless machines which give a precision of more or less 0.5/1006 of mm. Thanks to this polishing the rectified plain gut strings offer:
- The required sound for early period music but with an increased sound projection and an harmonic spectrum which is in the tradition of the early Instruments
- a great tuning accuracy for a perfect Intonation
- a wide ränge of diameters, allowing to provide the best suitable strings, according to the Instrument tune, for a chosen frequency, and which correspond to the different sizes of Instruments
Two types of strings are available : oiled and varnished. We recommend the use of oiled rectified strings (BRH.. References) for bowed Instruments and the use of varnished rectified gut strings (BRV... References) for plucked Instruments. Both types are proposed in 1.20 meter up to the gauge 150/100 of mm or 0,0590 inch included, and then in 1.50 meter up to the gauge 225/100 of mm or 0,0886 inch.
Rectified oiled gut strings ( BRH ) are recommended for the use on bowed instruments
rectified varnished gut strings ( BRV ) for the use on plucked instruments. The varnish contributes to lessen considerably the wear of the plucked string while preserving its initial sounding.
Particularly designed for bowed Instruments, they are the natural complement of plain gut strings. Then a great tone balance can be obtained mixed with the plain gut strings.
Like for the plain gut strings, they offer indisputable tone and tension accuracy qualities, äs well äs a large ränge of gauges, needful for the musicians.
As for the polishing, the grinding techniques of the strings have been improved, offering a perfect intonation and thus the playing life has been increased.
In order to enhance the choice of different sounding, while taking into account the instruments characteristics, we propose 2 types of wound gut strings. The musician will choose between the copper wound strings and the silver plated wound strings, either with an esthetic approach, or to adapt the strings to the proper instruments characteristics (clear or warmer sound) or depending to the performing conditions (room, volume...).
The copper wound gut strings.
Copper has been one of the first metal used in the strings history, giving a traditional tone with a rich and clear sound. Those strings are available in l .20 meter.
The silver plated wound gut strings.
Those strings have been composed with less proportion of metal and a thicker gut core, thus giving a warmer and full sound.
There is no intermediate winding (silk braid covering the gut core) on the strings, which correspond to the traditional production techniques, except for the 4 following strings : BFS 484 - BFS 854 - BFS 934 - BFS 1474. These specific strings are specially achieved for bass viols (vibrating length of 69cm) and baroque cello, because they enhance the balance between the plain gut strings and the wound gut strings.
All these wound gut strings are also available in l .20 meter. Instead of speaking of gauge, we give the weight per unit of length (called in our charts PUL) of each string, in order to determine the choice of the string according to the desired tension. Depending of their composition, two strings may have the same weight per unit of length but not the same gauge and will tone at the same tension ; but two strings with the same gauge may have a different weight per unit of length and will not tone at the same tension.
The control of advanced technologies thanks to laser rays, computer science, automatism of controls and research of new mater ials, has allowed Savarez to develop a wide range of harp strings of different natures and diameters in order to satisfy the demand of musicians, manufacturers and distributors. On two types of harp of a different conception but of identical vibrating lengths, may be necessary to use different tensions and consequently different diameters. Besides, for a same tension on different types of instruments, it can be necessary to play on a different diameter. The new developed range of strings offers a solution to their necessities. Therefore, Savarez proposes different qualities of strings for harps:
- Composite Alliance KF strings: catalogue charts no° 1, 1 a and 1 b.
- Stabilon Nylon strings: catalogue charts no° 2, 2 a and 2 b.
- Inusa Oiled or Varnished Gut Strings: catalogue charts no° 3, 3 a and 3 b.
According to their habits, it is possible for harpists, to make their own sets with Nylon strings for thinnest diameters of high octaves combined with Alliance KF strings of larger diameters for lower octaves.
For each quality of strings Savarez presents as following - a chart with all the existing references of strings for harps, - some examples of possible sets. In the various charts, the numbers written after the 2 letters HP- correspond to the diameter in %mm ; for instance KPK66 correspond to a diameter of 66 hundredth of mm.
Composite Alliance KF Harp Strings
These strings are manufactured from composite fibres which production requires fine and sophisticated technologies that only Savarez could implement until now.
Thanks to the technologies, Savarez can produce strings which geometrical qualities are perfect and which resist to the tensions required by the harp. Many years of work and a focusing of complicated technologies were necessary to obtain such a result.
A long work on the molecules, some molecular relationships and the rate of „cristalinity“ allow Savarez to obtain an elongation and an elasticity identical to the ones of the gut.
The density of these strings is extremely close to the one of the gut, so the comparison takes more value. So though gut strings still are very popular, Alliance KF strings have a perfect alternative sound for those who wish to take profit of gut sound and synthetic strings advantages.
Alliance KF fibres are a real innovation, offer a quality of remarkable sound, represent a favourable alternative of gut strings, have a longer life time and a total insensibility at the exterior perturbations.
Consequently, KF strings:
- have a clear and sonorous sound very closed to the one of the gut, with an important projection and duration of the sound; the more the diameter increases, the best the sound of the Alliance KF strings is;
- are totally insensitive at the humidity and the atmospheric variations so that they can be played in all the climatic conditions and they offer a perfect holding chord;
- are proposed at a very competitive price.
NYLON STABILON -- rectified
In addition to KF Alliance strings, which are famous all over the world, Savarez still manufactures rectified Nylon strings.
They are available in 1 meter and in various gauges and colour.
There is a reason why Savarez maintains the production of rectified strings: with the wide choice of harps, as it is explained above, it is necessary that the musician can select each string through a large choice of gauges.
It is important to prcise that the rectification of high precicion gives to the strings a perfect geometrical shape. Therefore Savarez obtains strings of perfect accuracy and a very pure vibration which produces harmonics that people look for.
RECTIFIED NYLON STRINGS - "N" TYPE
Aoud strings -- arabic tuning
Aoud strings -- türkish tuning
Wound gut strings
Concerning wound gut strings ( BFS ..2 ) the choice can be determined by the weight of the string per unit of length. All plain and wound gut strings are 120 cm long and are therefore suitable for use on most instruments, sometimes even in double length.
A special line of copper wound strings ( BF ... ) is also available according to the references listed in the following table. strings represent the acoustic interest of a warmer tone with limited brightness.