Sign in to follow this  
Vethen

Old violin hates Dominants..

Recommended Posts

I have an old violin (about 100 years old) that I had restored at my local shop recently.

When in the shop I had them put on a set of Dominants (seeing how they are basically a standard to start with.) but the G was very thin and the instrument overall too bright. So I swapped a set of plain gut strings onto the violin and it was much happier (gamut tricolor.) Now that my guts are wearing, I'm looking into what to put on next, but feel very lost. The violin is smaller than most moderns, very light and narrow. I assume low tension, dark strings are needed, which brands of synthetics would you recommend? Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Dominants for decades and got used to their, um, quirks, until I got myself a really nice violin and then my friendly neighborhood luthier told me I needed to get serious about strings.  My current faves, which do seem to meet your stated requirements (though this is a somewhat expensive way to go) are Pirarstro Obligatos and a Kaplan e.  The Warchal Amber e was also nice, but I recoil from having to order my e string from Europe.  That's another reason not to buy Dominants, since Thomastik is being ornery about letting Warchal sell their strings in the US, which I have to say is bad form.  My two cents.

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second the Pirastro Obligatos.  I read this (somewhere) about them:  "The Pirastro Obligato uses an exclusive new composite core material rather than nylon (perlon). They have a good sound somewhat similar to Eudoxa gut core strings but with a quicker response and slightly less complexity. Of all the synthetic core strings, the Obligato seems closest in sound to gut. Available in strong, medium and soft gauges."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my personal opinion, most violins "hate dominants"..because I don't think they sound good.

 

Interesting...

 

Dominants are very popular strings in some other threads. Perfectly acceptable.

Then again - it's most likely the "quality" of violin, and the type of playing (or music) that we're talking about.

 

I have some very 'advanced music' fiddler friends, that use Red Labels, and won't consider using anything else..

But then again, they're playing 'fiddle' music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obligatos with a Hill E string work well on my Matsuda violin.  I have more trouble with viola strings ( and playing ability on either :-)   Dominants are ok but they always seem to take a long time to break in.  They always sounded like rubber bands for a few days.  The good news is we have lots more good strings to choose from than we ever had in the old days.  I just switched to a gut C string on my viola (Pirastro Oliv) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obligatos seem to have enjoyed a couple of years of popularity a few years back but Most of my professional clients seem to want more punch. I generally put evah perazzis on violins and violas although vision solo and peter infelds have their fans, I'd like to try the Warchals but can't seem to find them in the US. Are they being sold over here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any special reason for all the quote marks, Craig? Yes, I play fiddle, but I also played classical for ten years. Used all kinds of strings, and dominants just happen to be one of my least favorite. Fiddle-violin has nothing to do with it. I also personally can't stand Red Label, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any special reason for all the quote marks, Craig? Yes, I play fiddle, but I also played classical for ten years. Used all kinds of strings, and dominants just happen to be one of my least favorite. Fiddle-violin has nothing to do with it. I also personally can't stand Red Label, either.

 

Not particularly, Fiddler45. Why? Is there some problem with using them? 

 

 I'm mentioning that Dominants and/or Red Label strings are many peoples string of choice. I know this because I string and have strung many violins for many people using them.

That they aren't "the best quality strings" available is (I would have thought ) obvious.  

After all this is supposed to be a discussion, right?

Fiddle-violin has nothing to do with what you were saying perhaps, but it does have something to do with my reply.

 

 ...very interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion Dominants are the best overall strings, they are neutral and allow the instrument to do what its supposed to do. I have also come to the conclusion that, if an instrument doesn't sound good with dominants, then it is not going to be a good all around instrument. This is not to say that I don't like other strings, but I always want to evaluate an instrument when its strung with Dominants.

 

Lots of people like Evahs, they have more punch and zing, but something else is lost, and often you see people hiding a bad instrument behind them just to give an initial impression of power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not particularly, Fiddler45. Why? Is there some problem with using them? 

 

 I'm mentioning that Dominants and/or Red Label strings are many peoples string of choice. I know this because I string and have strung many violins for many people using them.

That they aren't "the best quality strings" available is (I would have thought ) obvious.  

After all this is supposed to be a discussion, right?

Fiddle-violin has nothing to do with what you were saying perhaps, but it does have something to do with my reply.

 

 ...very interesting.

Just the general tone of your first response seemed to imply that because I don't like Dominants and I play the fiddle, I might not know what good tone is or what a "quality instrument" is.

 

I will say that I have heard MANY more bad sounding violins with Dominants on them than I have heard good sounding ones. Also have heard many more good sounding violins with something else on them.

 

Also, can you elaborate on what exactly is "very interesting"? That's the second time you have used that phrase and left it hanging. I sense there is more you want to say but are holding back.

 

To answer Michael, in my personal experience, Evahs last a very long time. Then again, the sweat on my hands doesn't eat up any kind of strings, so it may be different for other people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just the general tone of your first response seemed to imply that because I don't like Dominants and I play the fiddle, I might not know what good tone is or what a "quality instrument" is.

 

"Very interesting" was a comment about how the tone of the conversation was going from my end also.

There was no intention there of annoying anyone . I was simply answering the thread's idea about using Dominant strings. Which I do use very frequently

 

That anyone sees derogatory or sarcastic intention in what I write?

Well, the truth of the matter is, that I (usually that is) try to simply write what my take on what the subject matter is. I will take (as I have done with your comments here) any answer, that suggests that my replies are out of context with regard to their content as a serious or outright reply, as a thing that requires attention (hence, this reply).

I will try to quell any misinterpretation immediately.

If it's not possible, then it's not. Oh well, what more can I do?

But with this conversation, I will ask you to simply re-read the post without an idea that the quotes mean something mean or personal - because they do not and, did not,  and were not put in for any specific derogatory implication.

 

We good, or should we continue to converse some more, until we come to some kind of understanding? 

 

(BTW - just coincidentally, this sort of thing has been happening much more frequently, since after my stroke... I hate to use an illness as an excuse, so please don't think that I want to bow out of the subject, but the truth is that I am not the same ctviolin that I used to be... I have become much less literate, and much more blunt, or perhaps straight foreward, than I used to be. Oh well, life goes on.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only that, but Red Label strings, (strings that I cannot stand playing on also) are so commonly accepted and used by fiddlers... and, for the life of me, I do not know how they can be accepted and preferred.

 

That is, until I hear them being played. 

Yes I make "classical" violins, and always have ...

But when a champion fiddler bought one of my violins, and came back to have it set up correctly for fiddle music, low, flat bridge, Red Lable strings, four fine tuners, etc. and I then heard him play on that violin

 - I was thereafter sold.

Red Labels - fiddle music - they do go together nicely.

 

I use Dominants for my own fiddle music, but I always play my fiddle with a very classical edge.

I cannot, and do not play very well (so, I make the things instead), and so it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Dominants are a perfect string to start out with...at least you will have a basis of comparison...if you don't like them, you can begin endless string experimentation... :)

 

They wouldn't be as popular as they are, if they weren't a good string to begin with...

 

...and after that...of course personal taste comes into play.  I like my violin to sound as "loud and bright" as possible.  There are a huge number of players who want their violins "dark and/or warm" - which is what I want out of my viola instead... ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  I like my violin to sound as "loud and bright" as possible.  There are a huge number of players who want their violins "dark and/or warm" - which is what I want out of my viola instead... ^_^

 

So then... you play both?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes...I play the violin better than the viola...but neither particularly well... :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shar sells Warchal's strings.

I like Zyex, but they have a big sound that might not suit someone who is into the subtleties of dynamics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am trying Zyex on my good violin right now!  I think they sound very well...but I'm not happy with the E...that D (on the A) to open E 'whistle' is especially obvious (and annoying),,,and it is lso somehow duller than the others.  My next experiment will be Zyex with a different E string...maybe the Warchal?

 

...I only wish I was advanced enough to be concerned about the subtleties of dynamics... <_<.  As it is I'm happy for any dynamics I get (er, that are intentional and close to what is intended... :ph34r:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just put the Warchal Ambers on my violin and they sound wonderful. My teacher uses gut strings and she says the colour they have are quite similar to gut, with the responsiveness of synthetics. I live in Canada and ordered from the site, and it didn't take too long to ship at all. Shipping cost like 6 euro and came with registered mail so it has a tracking number and won't get lost, if that's a concern. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am trying Zyex on my good violin right now!  I think they sound very well...but I'm not happy with the E...that D (on the A) to open E 'whistle' is especially obvious (and annoying),,,and it is lso somehow duller than the others.  My next experiment will be Zyex with a different E string...maybe the Warchal?

 

...I only wish I was advanced enough to be concerned about the subtleties of dynamics... <_<.  As it is I'm happy for any dynamics I get (er, that are intentional and close to what is intended... :ph34r:)

 

It doesn't matter, one drop in the ocean, how experienced or advanced you either are or how much you aren't.

 

Please continue to post what your results are with these different strings.

I have been in a mood lately to perhaps venture into another set of strings...

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.