Tension Loss vs. Reference Tension?


New User
Has anyone charted "steady state" tension loss percentage versus a range of reference tensions for a synthetic gut or a multifilament string?

I'm wondering if the percentage stays the same or goes down as the reference tension goes down -

i.e. goes down:
13% loss at 60 lbs reference ends at 52 lbs,
8% loss at 55 lbs reference ends at 51 lbs

i.e. stays roughly the same:
13% loss at 60 lbs reference ends at 52 lbs,
13% loss at 55 lbs reference ends at 48 lbs


My guess is it stays roughly the same percentage until you get to very low tensions but I've never tested my theory.


Look it up in the TWU String Database. In general, it's as you describe in Case 1. Lower reference tension leads to less tension loss, i.e. less % loss. I think that if you start off with less tension to begin with, it will stabilize with less loss from a 'dynamic material deformation' type of hypothesis.
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New User
TWU String DB - Good idea.

From these numbers, the percent loss looks to be related inversely to ref tension - didn't expect that.

Multi Feel 17 (1.25)		
Ref	Ttl Loss	% of Ref
62	10.8	       -17%
62	11.2	       -18%
62	11.7	       -19%
51	10.1	       -20%
51	10.4	       -20%
51	10.6	       -21%
40	9.3	       -23%
40	9.3	       -23%
40	9.5	       -24%


New User
Yes, olliess has well pointed out the stats' most surprising feature: that it scarcely matters whether a string (a good muli at least) is ref strung at 62, 51, or 40 lbs.-- its static tension loss will be about 10 lbs, give or take a ridiculously small standard deviation of about a pound. [This also explains why percentage loss is inversely proportional to reference tension; while the ref tensions vary considerably, the absolute value of the tension loss barely moves.] Hmm, might this mean that string durability and tension loss from play may also be far more similarly (less variably) affected than one would think, too (at least in the 40-60# range of starting ref tensions)?
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Some of us begin to understand the ONLY truth about string, that is string creeps under tension. And the greater the tension the greater rate this occurs. As long as there is some tension in the string it will creep. The rate is different for different string but this trend is common across the board. Thus your question became invalid because there is no end. The curve does flatten, or the creeping decrease so much that it virtually is constant.
And once the string is weaved and strung under tension, the testing is almost never done. Good luck finding much data.


I know this thread is more about data and % of tension lost to a reference tension, but as a recreational stringer myself, I have found so much variation in what players "think" the reference tension is and what is actually on the frame. They think the stringjob was done at a reference (as an example) of 55lbs but the stringbed feels like its around 50lbs even when fresh, and I think its because of the type of machine used to string and the stringer itself and method used rather than the string loosing that much tension so quickly.

I use a drop weight (and like e-cp machines) it keeps the tension in a dynamic state as the string is tensioned slowly and rests while under tension when releasing/tightening the clamps, this doesn't happen with crank-pull machines and tension is lost on every step of the stringjob, also if done without care of how to position the clamps and making sure they don't move back or slip, once they are clamped and the tensioning arm is released the string will move back and loose tension as well. All of this happens several times during the stringing and at the end of the job the actual tension of the strings is way off from the reference tension.

when I am stringing for the 1st time for somebody is always tricky to figure out the right tension because even tho they think their previous string job was at a much higher tension, that frame feels considerably softer than some of my frames which were strung with a lower reference tension but strung with all the care that on every step of the job, to ensure there was the least amount of tension lost possible.


New User
Au contraire, @Humbi_HTX , that's abso on-point. The great @esgee48 recently introduced me to the difference btw CP and LO stringing, and you just filled in the blanks. I'd had no idea that there were these two (and more?) totally different ways of stringing. I now get the scuttbutt that most string jobs are soft; hence the maxim, 'Fast stringers are soft stringers.' Indeed the Stringway tension advisor agrees with you, writing, "To string accurately means losing as little tension as possible." I guess the only solution for us hackers is to find a stringer with a cp machine and stick with 'em.