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Dominant strings
How using a different 'E' can make all the differenece
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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Chinafiddler
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September 28, 2014 - 9:13 pm
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Hi everyone,

During my many years of development with the fiddle I have used many diifferent types of strings, some good, some disastrous. 

However in the long run I have always returned to Dominant strings, after all even Perlman uses them on one of his instruments so they can't be that bad!

In fact I think they are a very good lower end professional string with really only one shortcoming, the 'E'!

Yes it does the job, but changing this one string can make all the difference.

My suggestion is that you use a Pirastro Gold.

In my opinion this is a far superior string, and you will notice the difference the very first time you draw your bow across it!

The biggest difference is noticed at the top end, where the Dominant is at it's weakest, but the Pirastro sings!

Now I am not saying that the Pirastro is the best string out there, because it isn't, but for the money it is much better than the Dominant offering.

 

Give it a try, see what you think.

 

Regards

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MrYikes
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September 28, 2014 - 10:17 pm
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Thank you for the review.
Have you tried the Jargar e string?

Have you noticed a drop in quality of sound after a short period of use with the Doms?  Please understand I have never used them and I am not trying to put words in your mouth.  It is just that I have tried many very cheap strings and have found that some of their qualities (either good or bad) slip away quickly.  What do you consider the useful life of Doms?  How many days ahead of a very important solo would you install a new set of Doms?

Good to see you here.

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Uzi
Georgia
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September 28, 2014 - 10:50 pm
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Thanks for the review. I have not had many years to experiment (8 months to be precise), but I have tried the Dominants and agree that the E string must be replaced. I replaced the Dominants with with the Pirastro Obligatos and that set came with the Pirastro gold E string.  I did not use that string, however, because I have been using the Kaplan "non-whistling" wound E string which also works very well to combat the shrill sound of the E. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 28, 2014 - 10:52 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Funny you should say that. For at least 15 years I used the same combination. The only difference was that I would occasionally even switch out the A string for a steel Piranito A.
It just happens to be common knowledge about their E string and for that reason Thomastik Infeld changed their Dominant E. I haven't experimented with it but it seems like a nice string.
Now a days I use Zyex on my fiddle because it suits it so well.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Barry
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September 28, 2014 - 10:58 pm
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Havent tried Dominants on my Viola yet, although I may. I didnt care for them the couple times I tried them on violins and the A seemed to go rather quickly. I Agree about the E, think it was a Kaplan I used also. Of course its good to remember that what sounds good on one instrument may not on another.

Currently using Pro Artes on my Viola with good results.

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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Chinafiddler
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September 28, 2014 - 11:14 pm
Member Since: September 17, 2014
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Hi all,

OK starting with a drop in sound quality; well to be honest I think they are pretty good and usually the drop is just before they break. Now I don't know about other fiddlers but I find that of the wound strings, 'A's have the shortest life.

Fortunately nowadays I don't perform, I just play for pleasure and teach, so on average an 'A' will last me 8-9 months approx.

The 'D' and 'G' go on forever, but I usually change them when I notice a distinct change in sound quality.

By the way if you have to perform always make sure you change your strings at least a couple of day before. This will allow the string to settle down and stretch (as they all do).

Hi Pierre nice to meet you, I'm new here and enjoying your very good website, in fact best on the web.

Not tried the new 'E' from Thomastik yet, maybe when I run out of Gold's I'll give one a test drive.

Zyex, well actually never heard of them, but I don't generally keep my finger on the pulse, so to speak! maybeI'll check these out as well.

I suppose I have stuck to the Dominants because they suit my Guarnerius (copy) so well, but I am sure there is something out there better.

By the way Pierre I was very interested to see that you sell GCV violins. I visited their showroom in Guangzhou and auditioned a couple. Almost bought one, but then had second thoughts and eventually had one made for me by a Luthier(now retired) in Beijing.

 

Regards

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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September 28, 2014 - 11:42 pm
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"I suppose I have stuck to the Dominants because they suit my Guarnerius (copy) so well, but I am sure there is something out there better."

That is it Paul.  Different strings suit different violins.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 30, 2014 - 9:41 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

I'm continuously impressed by GCV's work. They know what they are doing in that workshop for sure. You (Chinafiddler) would get the cream of the crop if you could play on a large batch of violins on display at their workshop. I'm not surprised that you almost got one. We have a new GCV product coming soon to Fiddlershop which I am very excited about.

There is no doubt though that a fine bench violin made by the right maker is the way to go if you can afford it. :) My guess is that a Beijing luthier is affordable too. The good luthiers that I considered in the day start at around 30K.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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rockinglr33
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September 30, 2014 - 10:34 am
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I bought one of the GCV Bourree's from the fm shop and i can say i'm impressed 100%!! Fiddlerman did a wonderful job of picking out the violin according to what i like and it sounds more and more beautiful the more i play it. now someday i might be able to play it well enough to actually make him sing but for now i'm happy!!!  The violin is just so beautiful in look as well as sound!! 

 

I'm excited to see what you have new from GCV Fiddlerman! but also scared, because then i'll want one! lol. hahaha....but completely happy with the one i have thanks to you!!! 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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September 30, 2014 - 11:06 am
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If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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Chinafiddler
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September 30, 2014 - 11:30 pm
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Hi FM,

I know this is moving away from the topic, but you said:

There is no doubt though that a fine bench violin made by the right maker is the way to go if you can afford it. :) My guess is that a Beijing luthier is affordable too. The good luthiers that I considered in the day start at around 30K. 

In fact my violin is a Guarnerius Del Gesu 1742 copy of the Lord Wilton with the uneven 'f' holes, and back in 2006 it cost me 24K to have made.

Nowaday I am guessing that you'd have to pay anywhere from 30-50K for a similar qaulity instrument.

However this is still very cheap by European/U.S.A. standards I think.

Regards

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 1, 2014 - 11:48 am
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You mean that is the rate even in China? I figured it would be about half as much. They do of course deserve it just as much as any European luthier just that it must equal a fortune in China.
I am considering ordering a bench Ming Jiang Zhu violin but not certain about the waiting list as he only builds about 7 a year.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Chinafiddler
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October 1, 2014 - 8:23 pm
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Hi FM,

 

I think we may be talking at cross purposes.

My violin cost me 24,000RMB (yuan), which at today's exchange rate is about 3,900 dollars (US).

Yes I have seen a few Ming Jiang Zhu violins and they look very nice.

I expect they play as well as they look, but I am guessing the waiting list is long.

 

Regards

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 1, 2014 - 10:24 pm
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Ahhh, that makes more sense.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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