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Crappy String from Local Music Store
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Crazymotive
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May 19, 2012 - 5:21 pm
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Since December I have been using a set of synthetic core Pirastro Tonica silver wound strings.  Since December I have been very happy with them. Nice quality sound, good response,  and great for a wide variety of music styles. They are strong, they stay in tune, and all in all I give them an A+.

last night I joticed that the winding on my D string started to come unraveled near the upper end of thhe fingerboard. . This was causing the string to make a tinny fuzzy sound, particularly if I played it open. It may have unravelled itself from wear and tear (sometimes I can play kind of hard) or, when I accidentally bumped the fingerboard against the edge of my music stand.

I didn't have an extra D so, I head over to the local music shop and buy a replacement D. He deals mostly in student grade strings, does not carry Pirastro or any of the common brands so I end up buying on off brand (brand I am not familiar with) for about 4 bucks that he broke out of a set.. Hey, how bad can it be I figure, right ? I figure it will tide me over so I can practice till I get a good string.

Well, here goes. I am very experienced at installing strings, been doing it all my life pretty much and I understand how to put on strings correctly and bring them up to pitch.  Well, I am about halfway to proper pitch and SNAP!!, the string breaks between the tail piece and the bridge. I mean it didn't break at the end or where the string runs over the bridge or anything. It just snapped and it wasn't even tightened anywhere near

 

Well, Monday he is getting this string back regardless of whether I get my money back or not, regardless of whether I get a replacement or not.  That music store has been inmy home town for decades, since I was a kid, and even as a youngster I remember he always sold crappy strings. I should have known better than to buy a string there.  In the meantime I am putting my old Tonica D string back on so at least I can practice.  And I just placed an order with Fiddlerman for a replacement Tonica D which will fit along with the set I have on the violin.

 

I don;t know if the strings are simply junk, or maybe have been sitting on the shelf for too long or what.  I have never had a string break on me like that. 

 

Sorry for my diatraibe but I just had to vent a bit. Anyone else experience bad strings ??

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Kevin M.
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May 19, 2012 - 5:31 pm
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If your old strings haven't been on long than I say buy just the one string but if they have been on for awhile it might be best to buy a full set.  The new string might sound much brighter than the others.

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Crazymotive
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May 19, 2012 - 6:53 pm
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Kevin, I agree. I wanted to order a full set but I am running a bit low on money right now.  But as soon as I can I am going to order another full set.  I like the Pirastro Tonica's so far but I might try a different set just so I can compare them. After all, the only way I can get to know which strings I like best is by trying different ones.

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Kevin M.
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May 19, 2012 - 7:09 pm
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I bought a set of the Pro-Arte and I lke them and at the price from FM not bad. I think he lowered the shipping cost also.

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Crazymotive
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May 20, 2012 - 3:43 am
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Thanks for the recommendation on the Pro-Arte's. I might give them a try.

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Joe
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quite a story

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DanielB
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May 20, 2012 - 8:34 am
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Crazymotive, do you happen to recall the brand of the set he broke the crappy string out of?

While the mention of brands of good string here is useful, I think I'd like to avoid whatever brand it was he actually sold you.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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myguitarnow
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May 20, 2012 - 9:09 am
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I am all familiar with breaking strings on guitar anyways but I bend the heck out of them. It's hard for me to picture a D violin string snapping like that. Maybe he sold you a used string that had a kink in the area that broke. If it broke between the tail piece and the bridge is there still room to maybe tie a knot so you can use it until you can buy new strings?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 20, 2012 - 12:39 pm
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Did you pay $4 for the whole set?

If you want decent steel core strings at a very low price get the Prelude strings by Daddario at Fiddlershop.comthumbs-up

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

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Crazymotive
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Fiddlerman said
Did you pay $4 for the whole set?

If you want decent steel core strings at a very low price get the Prelude strings by Daddario at Fiddlershop.comthumbs-up

My preference is for synthetic core strings. They seem like a nice compromise between gut core and steel core. I might try a set of Daddario synthetics in the near future. I like the synthetic core Pirastro Tonica's that I've been using but I still want to try different brands to see which I like the best. I have heard lots of good things about Daddario strings.

As far as the string that broke yesterday I paid 5 bucks for the string. I figured it would hold me over temporarily till I order a new set of good strings.  But from now on I'll order good quality strings from the get go. 

As far as the brand name of the bad string I am not sure. He broke it up out of a set. When I go back there I'll check to see the brand and make sure I avoid them from now on.

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Crazymotive
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May 20, 2012 - 3:48 pm
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myguitarnow said
I am all familiar with breaking strings on guitar anyways but I bend the heck out of them. It's hard for me to picture a D violin string snapping like that. Maybe he sold you a used string that had a kink in the area that broke. If it broke between the tail piece and the bridge is there still room to maybe tie a knot so you can use it until you can buy new strings?

He pulled it out of a  supposedly "new set" but who knows.  The music store I went to sells mostly drum and guitar and accessories. They probably have a very low turnover in violin related stuff so, who knows, it''s entirely possible  the string may have been sitting on the shelf for a decade or two. 

In any event I have a new string on order.  Thanks for the idea of knotting the string. It might still be long enough to use since it broke pretty close to the tailpiece.  I'll give it a try.

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Fiddlerman
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May 20, 2012 - 5:17 pm
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I see. That makes sense. Stay away from those strings 🙂

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

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cdennyb
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A perfect example of why, when you find the "perfect string set" for your instrument... you make up two sets. After all... shelf life of 6-10 months will be perfect for you, when it comes time to change strings at 6 months or whatever, you use your back up set and at a convient time reorder another set for spares and backup. You will always have the "right" string and it'll be in your box ready to use in a minute flat.

shipping would be basically the same cost on two sets. Why take a chance.crossedfingers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Crazymotive
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May 20, 2012 - 6:41 pm
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Fiddlerman said
I see. That makes sense. Stay away from those strings 🙂

Rest assured, I will never buy strings from there again. smile

 

Meanwhile I ordered a Pirastro D string from Fiddlershop, so if you see an order for a Pirastro Tonica D (silver) it is most likely from  me. thumbs-up And soon after I will place an order for a full set.  

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Crazymotive
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cdennyb said
A perfect example of why, when you find the "perfect string set" for your instrument... you make up two sets. After all... shelf life of 6-10 months will be perfect for you, when it comes time to change strings at 6 months or whatever, you use your back up set and at a convient time reorder another set for spares and backup. You will always have the "right" string and it'll be in your box ready to use in a minute flat.

shipping would be basically the same cost on two sets. Why take a chance.crossedfingers

Yeah, that is what I normally do.  However, due to recent bills and expenses I fell behind and wound up without backup strings. So, I'll just have to make do with my old D till the new one gets here.

 

The funny part of the story is that this particular music store has been around here for over 40 years. When I first took up the violin at the age of 10 I used to avoid buying strings there because they would either always break instantly or, soon after I put them on.  Instead I used to ask my Dad to buy me strings from a store down in new York City where he worked.   I haven't bought a string from this music store since around 1968 or 1969.  Now, I come there 40+ years later and I I get a lousy string.  Maybe they don't like violin players ? dunno  Well all i can say on their behalf is they have been consistent over the decades. They sold crappy violin  strings in 1968 and they are still going strong. dazedfacepalmdunno They have stood the sest of time, thats for sure. roflol

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Crazymotive
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May 21, 2012 - 6:15 pm
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myguitarnow said
I am all familiar with breaking strings on guitar anyways but I bend the heck out of them. It's hard for me to picture a D violin string snapping like that. Maybe he sold you a used string that had a kink in the area that broke. If it broke between the tail piece and the bridge is there still room to maybe tie a knot so you can use it until you can buy new strings?

Thanks for the suggestion. I tied a knot in the end of the string and slipped it through the fine tuner and I was able to tune the string to proper pitch. It's working fine now.  However, it does not sound as good as the Pirastro string. But its not bad either.  Just a ways to harsh and "brassy" for my liking. In any event it will hold me till my new string comes in.

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