String tension relative to percent of breaking point

By Roger Gable posted 06-14-2017 19:05

Geoff's question about string tension brings to mind a question that has been unclear to me since day one. How do we define high tension scales verses low tension scales etc.? In the past, the answer given to me has been defined by the amount of string tension (in pounds) on a particular unison. I've always defined (in my head) high tension/low tension scales by the tension relative to the breaking point of a string. Why? The percentage of breaking point defines the "harmonic key" of that string, hence the overall tone quality of the piano. I've heard of string tension as low as 45% to a high of 67% throughout any given scale. Would not the average % throughout any given piano define that piano as high, medium, or low? Can anybody clarify this?



11-05-2017 15:05

Caveman says:
"Sharper Spear, you eat more!"

A sales bolstering statement. I have studied hundreds of piano scales in detail, and this generality (high tension/low tension scale) doesn't apply. Thus the confusion on your part. There are just too many variables.


06-21-2017 10:45

I have also puzzled over theses terms. Logic would seem to dictate your definition, Roger. We also have the additional complication of no recent independent laboratory testing of current piano wire for break strength. This is something the PTG Foundation should fund. I do know a retired material Scientist and an active one that could do it. Would take a budget of several thousand dollars.