I use 10.5 - 11 gouge. Openning: 1mm give or take .05mm. As part of this style I use a brass wire, 28 guage, double wrapped, 4 mm up from the twine. I know most players just about faint when you say the "w" word, including me until recently. In exploring the German scrape I found that many use a wire, so I thought I'd try it and found that I liked what it can contribute. What it does is give me a very precise control over the openning which, in turn, helps make adjusments in resistance, intonation and color (more highs or more lows). AND Janet Craxton used a wire and there wasn't anything at all pinched or weak about her gorgeous sound. No it doesn't require quite a bit of lip control. The heart running the length of the scrape, the pronounced hump, and the very short tip seem to give it the same kind of resistance and stability that the American scrape provides.