Fluorocarbon Strings

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    Michaela Braveman on #161964

    Hi all,
    I am curious about your opinions regarding fluorocarbon strings. How does

    barbara-low on #161965

    Michaela, do a search within this forum on these strings. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding them.

    bernhard-schmidt on #161966


    The durability is very high, better than nylon.
    If you have a gut string for example a c’ If this string would

    Bonnie Shaljean on #161967

    The forum-search is a good idea, though you should probably use (or also use) the term “carbon fiber (or fibre)” which is a less precise definition than fluorocarbon, but it has become something of a generic name for these strings.

    Bonnie Shaljean on #161968

    I see that I’ve neglected to actually mention why I like the fluorocarbon strings the best of any that I’ve tried, as far as those octaves are concerned: It’s because of tone, pure and simple – they are denser than gut or nylon, and give a fuller-bodied, more resonant sound in that area.

    carl-swanson on #161969

    Bernhard- Your post brings up the question: Are the carbon strings 15% smaller diameter than the equivalent gut or nylon string? Or are they the same diameter? In other words, is a 4th octave G carbon string the same diameter as a 4th octave G gut or nylon string and therefore 25% higher in tension? Or did the carbon string company make their strings 15% smaller diameter in order to keep the tension the same as a gut or nylon string? I suspect that the carbon strings are packaged at the same diameter as the equivalent gut or nylon string and are therefore much higher tension, which is what I have always suspected. If that is the case, changing to carbon strings is going to damage the harp(soundboard and neck) because of the enormous increase in tension.

    bernhard-schmidt on #161970

    Hallo Carl,

    yes, you bring a very important question.
    That is the reason why I

    carl-swanson on #161971

    Bernhard- My question was written from the standpoint of the harpist, who is not going to order strings by diameter but by name(4th octave C, etc.). So if the carbon string company is packaging its strings to match the diameter of the same string in gut, the harpist is greatly increasing the tension on the harp frame by changing to carbon strings. This is what I am talking about. There isn’t a single harpist at any playing level who is going to concern himself/herself with the diameter of the string. They are going to put the string on the harp according to how it is labeled.

    What I would like to see here in the US are a variety of gauges which could be marked ‘standard gauge’ and ‘light’ or ‘thin’ gauge. You can get lever gauge gut and wire strings from Vanderbilt, and they are long enough to go on a concert grand harp. I used those to string my Erard. The lever gauge wires run about .008(8 thousands of an inch) smaller than standard gauge, which is quite significant. The guts run only about .002(2 thousands of an inch) smaller then standard gauge guts and is barely noticeable.

    bernhard-schmidt on #161972


    yes I understand

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