Giovanni Bottesini on three vs. four strings, from "Bottesini's Method for the Three String Double Bass" - "...if the Double Bass gains, by this fourth string, a greater extension of the deeper notes, this extension cannot be obtained without detriment to quality of tone, which naturally becomes impaired as the strings are increased in number. Those who doubt this fact need only make the experiment upon the instrument - this I have myself done over and over again. The question had, for some years, seemed to me of sufficient importance to induce me to experiment upon the effect of the fourth string on the best Double Basses that passed through my hands, particularly those of the celebrated Gaspar de Salo, who, in my opinion, and in the opinion of all connoisseurs, was the best maker of Double Basses. The result was always the same, and always bad; all those instruments, without exception, lost with the fourth string that clear and sonorous quality so necessary, especially in the low notes. Hence, we are led to this conclusion: that it is much better to sacrifice a few low notes to the perfect clearness and sonorousness of the Double Bass, than to sacrifice those qualities to the slight advantage of four lower notes obtained by the addition of a string." Okay, these days going back to three strings is not an option. Taking tension of off the table (Bottesini's whole logic behind the three-stringed DB) is a definite necessity. I basically have two questions. With the advent of steel strings, is the level of tension he's referring to here no longer relevant? Second, has anyone else used solo gauge strings in orchestra tuning to reduce table tension and if so, to what effect?