Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Thomastik special program E


Recommended Posts

Like many violinists, the E string experimentation continues. Some quick history on my personal string experience...

I started with Pro-Artes on the student fiddle. When I got a real fiddle, I also went to Dominants. The instrument came strung with a Gold Label E. The next time I bought strings, I bought a Dominant set with the chrome-steel E.

A horrible shrieking monster. I quickly ran out and found another Gold Label. That setup continued for a time.

Later, I decided I wanted something mellower. I started using the Hill E months ago, and I've been, honestly, happy with it. But curiosity is a terrible thing...

I had an aluminum wound Dominant E laying around in a drawer that I had never tried, both from reputation and from my experience with the chrome-steel one. I decided, right before I order new strings, that I should give it a try.

It's actually not bad...kind of mellow, and I see how it would be a poor match for brand new Dominants with that new metallic "zing"...but for a broken in set, it's a decent match. Not as "pure" in sound as the Hill, but it is a wound string.

A sudden positive experience with a Thomastik E has piqued a bit of curiosity. When I order my next set of Dominants I intend to order a Hill E as backup insurance, but I think I may try the "Special Program E" as well.

Has anyone used the string, and what do you think?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know of any other string that responds so well to a change in E string than Dominants.

They are still my first choice after my love/hate relationship with Eudoxas.

I have not used the Special E. I use either the Gold Label, or a Jargar Forte.

With Eudoxas I use a Golden Spiral.

The seduction of trying new strings is very strong. That is what drives a new product,not necessarily need, but allure. I have tried a lot of the strings on the market, and always come back to Dominants (or Eudoxa).

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Originally posted by:

The seduction of trying new strings is very strong. That is what drives a new product,not necessarily need, but allure.
I have tried a lot of the strings on the market, and always come back to Dominants (or Eudoxa).

I've thought that from time to time as well. Particularly with the seeming avalanche of new offerings within the past decade. (I've been playing for a much shorter period than a decade...but I've seen the release dates).

And, like you said, it seems that most eveyone comes back to Dominant or Tonica...and for the gut users Eudoxa. If you do a search of these forums, you'll find glowing reviews about how a string is the best, and is the new string of choice, and always around that string's debut. Move down the timeline and it's a new one, and sometimes you'll even see familiar characters who have gone back to an old mainstay after the last "string of choice" and are now sold on the newest offering.

I think you're correct...it's a lot of marketing, and possibly a bit of a manufactured "need". Which is why I'm just sticking with Dominant...but I can't resist the allure of tweaking that E string.

Speaking of marketing, maybe it's just me but I think Thomastik may kill this Vision thing. Having a diverse set of strings, with apparently diverse properties, all with nearly the same name? That seems like a huge marketing blunder, since they're going to end up confusing people. Pirastro's new strings I understand are all the same synthetic goop in the middle, just knotted and layered differently for different effects. How confusing would it be to talk about them if they had named them Obligato, Obligato Solo, Obligato Titanium Solo...so on and so forth.

So far no bites on the Special E I see, but an interesting conversation nonetheless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KAplan Solutions E string. I've been using them since they were first marketed. No whistling with the open E string.

I have found the Kaplan Solutions violin E string and their cello A and D strings to be very fine strings and I've used them all since the first appeared - on all the instruments I care about.

I have not tried their viola A, but I suspect it's just as good.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know anything about the Special Program E. I think you're going to have to try one and report back so we'll all learn something.

I may just not be remembering, but think that in your string inquiries that you may have missed the Goldbrakat e. They are extremely popular at all levels of playing, and also extremely reasonably priced.

If I were to make my best guess as to the most popular add on e's for Dominants I'd say that Gold label and Goldbrakat would tie for first place with substantial lead over the rest. Then a strong representation for Jargar (the forte gets mentioned a lot), Hill, and Westminster in about equal numbers.

There are quite a few other popular e's for Dominant, but I think those are the ones that get mentioned the most. I recommended the Corelli Crystal E as another excellent inexpensive string. I see that Charles Avsharian of Shar says in their catalog that he uses a Crystal e on his Lupot. He calls it a bright string, while I think of it as a rich string. That seems to be the way string descriptions go. Nonetheless, Mr. Avsharian is a better violinist than I am, he has a better fiddle than mine, and he's probably better looking too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Originally posted by:
Mark Crabtree

and he's probably better looking too.

Ach, you do yourself disservice Mark. That's a good picture of you there to the left, with a nice head of dark hair, and the glasses give you an intellectual look to an otherwise easy going...some may even say cartoonish...demeanor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ordered the string yesterday with my larger Dominant order. As an aside, I e-mailed Connolly (the US distributor who goes by Thomastik Mike on this forum) over a week ago with some questions about that e-string and received no reply.

Hmpph. As soon as I get the string and play for a couple of weeks I'll post about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as a footnote to this thread.....I have given up on every one of my last (8?) choices of E.

My Luthier recommended a wound string (to help with squeaks) and I left with 2 eudoxa. First one has been on a week and v.v.v effective. not the sound/feel of the gold strings (olive/obligato) but clean and robust. Performing 3 recitals this week and then recording Cesar Frank and Elgar sonatas next week.

Long live the eudoxa!!!

Back on-short-term visit!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I've tried just about all of them other than Jargar. Thomastik's Es do absolutely nothing for me. Anytime I string up a fiddle with Thomastik strings (GDA), I use another brand E. I've used Pirastro Gold E and like it probably the most. I like goldplated ones, a Larsen E and Pirastro Oliv/Obligato gold, but both of them tend to loose the luster rather quickly for me. Hill E and Westminster been good for me as well. Haven't tried Kaplan Solutions E yet and would be curious to do so - just have to remember to order it sometime.

Couple years back, an orchestra peer recommended to try Goldbrokat E. Funny thing happened - been using Goldbrokat E almost exclusively ever since. It seems to give me the same feel as Pirastro Gold E, but it's quite a bit cheaper to buy. And it is durable. I have yet to pop one.

ATB, Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The good news for E string experimenters is that it is not expensive, unlike for the other strings.

I found the Kaplan E to be great for solving the whistling problem but a bit too gritty sounding for my instrument. Unfortunately, the next one I tried, and I forgot which one it is (it might have been Hill or Westminster), I labeled "the whistler." Now I am on the Goldbrokat, which seems to work at least for my technique and violin. The rest of my strings are Obligatos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...