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CBFindlay

String recommendation

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Hello! Brand new here and not very advanced player. I have an old E. Martin fiddle that I'm partial to. It was described to me as very "bass-ey". It has to my ear a nice ring to it. I currently have a set of Tonicas on it. I play only for myself; I don't need more power or volume at all. I would like this violin to sound as "sweet" and be as responsive as possible. I don't like the way Dominants sound on this instrument at all. I was considering Pirastro Violinos on this next because I read this:

"Pirastro Violino - Orignally marketed as a student string, their price, while hardly prohibitive, is not insignificant. However, of all the synthetic strings, these are probably the "sweetest." What they lack in projection, they make up for in sweetness. If you have an instrument that needs taming, or has plenty of power but not an interesting tone, these strings are worth a try." 

Does anyone have experience with these? Does anyone have any string recommendations for me?

Thank you!

 

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Welcome to MN!

My 17-year-old son recently started playing an E. Martin in Sachen Strad copy, model 1945 made in about 1902. It is very responsive, moderately loud, and somewhat dark.

We started with Warchal Brilliant strings which were nice, but he wanted more brightness and focus, so he just put on Prim medium gauge strings and he likes them a lot. They are bright, responsive, and focused, and feel nice under the fingers. 

Frankly, they are the only metal-core string that I have ever tried that I would consider using. I was very surprised! I would definitely recommend them for what you're looking for.

He also uses a Goldbrokat 0.27 Gold Plated E String instead of the E-string in the set, but he likes an E-string with volume.

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What did you dislike about the dominants (esp in comparison to the Tonikas). 

If response and feel under the fingers is most important for you and projection not your thing you can also try Larsen Tzigane. But they have less edge than the tonikas. 

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To me you are describing gut strings like Eudoxas. But they take some getting used to and can be frustrating beginning players. May want to try Correlli crystal, cheap, reliable, maybe a bit mellower than Tonicas. 

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The corelli are in some properties quite close to Dominants. As long as we dont know what he disliked about them its a blind shoot to give advice. 

Eudoxa could be an option. I learned the violin playing them and I cant remember having much problems. The adjustment should be possible quickly. Pure gut is a bit harder to bow but also manageable. 

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Well, it's hard to describe with the Dominants... they just sounded kind of dark and sandy. The Helicores are more ring-y. I like that they are brighter - but I just like the description "sweet" I guess to describe the sound I'm looking for.

 Also, I have a more responsive violin and so I've seen what that feels like, and I've been noticing that it's a bit more work to get the sound i want out of the German fiddle. I do understand that's in large part a facet of the violin itself, but wondering if different strings would make a difference - either way. 

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For a lovely gut-esque sweet sound with more stability than gut strings, my vote is Pirastro Obligatos.  I love them on my violin anyway, but they aren't cheap.

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As is well known, any particular strings may work for one violin and not for another.  Someone may request a certain type of performance, saying that a particular brand of strings (on his instrument) don't work, while someone else will say that very brand does on his violin does everything the original poster wants.  So you really have to try things on your instrument, and not simply rely on what other people say about their own instruments. That said I'll speak up for Zyex strings.  They work great on my violin as did Evah Pirazzi strings did, and Zyex costs half the price of Evahs.

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3 hours ago, deans said:

To me you are describing gut strings like Eudoxas. But they take some getting used to and can be frustrating beginning players. May want to try Correlli crystal, cheap, reliable, maybe a bit mellower than Tonicas. 

I've used Corelli Crystal on our school orchestra instruments for years.  As you say, very reliable.  Never had a problem with them.   If I have a special instrument/player combination we'll offer other brands like Dominants.  I tried Alphayue on a few violins, and the E was a real disappointment.  The other strings played fine, and they are lower tension, a plus in some situations.

I'm looking forward to trying John Pearse Artiste someday.   

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39 minutes ago, gowan said:

As is well known, any particular strings may work for one violin and not for another.  Someone may request a certain type of performance, saying that a particular brand of strings (on his instrument) don't work, while someone else will say that very brand does on his violin does everything the original poster wants.  So you really have to try things on your instrument, and not simply rely on what other people say about their own instruments. That said I'll speak up for Zyex strings.  They work great on my violin as did Evah Pirazzi strings did, and Zyex costs half the price of Evahs.

He askes for something not pushing loudness....

Even if strings are always different on different violins, Zyex and Evahs are power houses, the exact opposite of what he is looking for. Also for the profile he is looking for going for max tension strings will be the wrong direction imo. 

 

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Interesting post - I am of a similar mind to CBFindlay.  I would favour a sweet mellow tone over volume for my own 'hobbyist' requirements.  The problem is that it would quickly get expensive to try out a range of different strings, so some direction on what has worked for others is useful, despite the inherent degree individuality noted by some.

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