In recent posts and pages, I have mentioned several possible synthetic materials to explore so far in use for qin strings – and as of tonight, I have just completed, and would like to proudly present, the world’s first ever twisted core Kevlar qin string! I have mentioned Kevlar as an alternative that I would be exploring, and over the past couple of days I have been working on turning this unique and impressive material into a viable string for the qin. I must say, that out of the materials that I have made strings from so far, including nylon, polyester, and now Kevlar, this material is by far the hardest to work with to obtain a use-able twisted core string for the qin. Although I started with the normal methods that I used for making nylon and polyester qin strings, the Kevlar string requires very significant modifications to my original process to make it work. As of now, this is the first use-able string that I have made that has survived the process, which already pushes this tough material to its limits, and is currently the seventh string, or thinnest string, for the qin. It is definitely far from perfect, and needs a lot of refinements and optimizing for it to become a truly solid qin string. However… I have already tested this string on my qin, and I have got to say, without giving too much away at this point, the results and implications are extraordinary. I have been very actively researching, presenting, and pushing for alternative methods such as the twisted core with other synthetic materials for qin strings for a while now, and as far as I am aware, and probably the first person in the world to have actively made and extensively tested these types of strings for the qin on their own, with exception to Marusan Hashimoto’s now newly available Tetron based twisted qin strings. In addition, I am the only person that I am aware of that is undertaking the extensive collection and analysis of all different types of qin strings, and working heavily to further innovate new methods and strings for the qin, using alternative, modern, and synthetic materials, as well as exploring the key fundamental mechanisms behind the timbre of all types of qin strings. As I have mentioned in many other posts, articles, Qin Facebook conversations, and presentations at yaiji’s, the twisted core style of strings holds the most potential for tone in regards to qin strings, for any type of material, and offers the widest range of flexibility and tonal customization. While it still requires a lot of refinement, even on this very first, rough, and un-optimized iteration, the tone has exceeded my expectations. I will not be saying much more on this for now, but what I will say is that this string has the potential to truly redefine the quality and timbre potential of synthetic strings for the qin, and likely much more so than either nylon or polyester which I have tested and made so far. If fully developed into a complete, optimized working set, this type of string, along with others of similar style, will open up a radically wide variety of higher quality synthetic qin strings that would be able to compete toe-to-toe with their already ubiquitous metal-nylon, and silk counterparts, and can offer significant advantages over each that may find very good balance for qin players. I will be running more tests on the string, and will be collecting data on it and uploading it to this site within the next week or two, as well as refining my process and tools to further improve upon this string. I will be presenting this new type of qin string at an upcoming New York Qin Society yaiji in this coming March, and will be releasing more details on the string and its developments after.