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Infelds, Obligatos, Pirazzis


lwl
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I recently changed from Dominants to Infeld Blue and this really increased the power from my slightly larger-scale violin without compromising the other positive attributes. On the other hand, my backup violin does much better with Dominants. I should add that I have not tried any other string brands....so far.

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My experience and what I have heard is that gold strings will take more pressure without sounding shrill, but whistle with too light of pressure. If your bow slides over the string quickly without friction, if you don't play it with confidence square on, then it will whistle. But I don't have much of a problem, as my normal relaxed playing is fairly aggressive enough. When I am tense and pulling the bow off the string instead of playing normally, then it occasionally whistles; quite a sound! The thing is not to be afraid of playing the string, as some people are with their E strings. Check out if your bowing is relaxed and the strings are vibrating well; if you have jerky string crossings, that may cause the whistle problem.

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Thanks for the hints on the gold plated E. I looked up the prior thread about which E is best too. It seems that I should just make a bit of an adjustment realizing that this E will take more bow pressure. I like the warmer sound that is not so tinny. In the prior thread Andy said that the pros are willing to put up with an occasional whistle for the sound of the gold E and that statement impressed me. I think I can overcome it, particularly knowing that light bow pressure can be a cause.

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I usually use my E-strings with only a parchment protector on the bridge and no additional barrier between string and bridge.

That's what I do, too, after my luthier suggested it (and put one on for free!) It has made a huge difference. Doesn't dampen the string like the "little tubes" do, but prevents whistling (and preserves the bridge.)

On my old violin, I used Thomasatik Gold-plated -- but on my new one, I find the Pirastro Gold Labels work really well (though I plan to experiment with a Westminster next.)

But then, I have power to burn!

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Hi

My violin is currently strung with D'Addario Pro Artes. I do not know the tension.

I have a couple of questions:

while I like the warmth of my G and D string, I find the G is a bit raspy sounding. The A and E are fine.

I would like to find strings that give overall more volume to my violin, and a nice smooth sound for my G string.

I hear alot of good things about Obligatos--can they be used with fine tuners?

Also, my violin is a 1910, a bit fragile, should I avoid certain strings?

Thanks

Sabrina

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I was told by a violin maker who is also a degreed mechancal engineer that the reason the gold-palted e strings whistle is because they easily excite a rotational vibrational mode because of the high-density (gold) outer plating. So when you just hit them lightly with the bow, the rotational mode is engaged. It takes more pressure to get the whole string vibrating - but often this is contrary to the kind of playing one has learned to do on certain arpeggios, etc.

I usually use my E-strings with only a parchment protector on the bridge and no additional barrier between string and bridge, but I have recently started using the little tubes that come with the gold-plated strings (at least on the last string I mounted) and this does indeed seem to dampen the whistle and yet still give the rich power I like from the gold-plated strings.

Andy

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Emma Lily said:

"Zyex...made my violin like a hammer; blunt, powerful..."

Over the last few days I tried Zyex (Medium) and Helicore strings on my new Scott Cao viola instead of the Dominants it came with. The first time I tried the Zyex for a couple hours they sounded OK but wouldn't respond. So I tried the Helicores for a day and liked them all right.

Then I put the Zyex back on last night. I don't know what changed since they were on the first time but HAMMER! is the right description. It's embarassing to admit, but I love the HAMMER! I can still taper the sound down to pp with a little work (except the Zyex A which gets scratchy) but a little bow speed, without any extra pressing at all, and the HAMMER! really drops.

I may get tired of it after a couple days but it's fun for now. When all you've got is a HAMMER! everything starts looking like a nail.

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Really? I've never, on any instruments, found them to be that way. maybe they have the potential to play very powerfully, but at least on the violin light gauge and viola medium gauge, they play all dynamic levels relatively decently and smoothly. I love the string's smooth, refined sound, especially compared to Dominants.

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To andy989:

Seriously, I agree with you. As I said, they actually taper down to soft dynamics quite well. And the sound, even in the first couple of hours when they weren't responsive, is a bit more refined than the Dominants.

It's just that they get such a big sound from my instrument, I'm tempted to play HAMMER! all the time. Not that the strings won't do subtle.

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