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LOOKING FOR NEW SET OF VIOLIN STRINGS
I am looking for a new set of violin strings which provide smooth,bright, clear and responsive sounds.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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madison
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June 16, 2016 - 10:11 am
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Hi everyone,

I am looking for a new set of violin strings which provide bright, clear and responsive sounds. The set could be a mix of many different brands or lines or even just the same throughout. I am doubtful and ambivalent since there are so many brands and lines out there:

Pirastro (tonica, evah pirazzi,oliv,eudoxa,etc)

Prim

Red Label

Larsen (virtuoso)

Thomastik Infield (Vision)

D'addorio (helicore)

Jagar

ETC.....

 

I appreciate every comment from your experiences. If you have any other brands and lines which are also significant please write in your comment as well.

Thank you,

Van

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MrYikes
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June 16, 2016 - 12:36 pm
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I find it difficult to remember string qualities so I have developed a method to help.  I buy several sets of (ebay) Opera perlon strings ($5 a set).  I use one new set for two hours, then take it off and put on the strings I want to use.  This gives me a consistent comparison.  I do much the same with bows, using FM carbon bow as the basis.

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BillyG
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June 16, 2016 - 1:02 pm
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Hia Van - @madison - Oh - and welcome if I missed your introductory post.   I'm with @MrYikes on that - but - here's a relatively recent thread that may be worth reading - feedback on strings etc from different players on the forum - http://fiddlerman.com/forum/th.....r-strings/

P.S. IMO - just go with the FM string set for starters - it's a pretty good choice, and in my relatively short time of playing, yup, tried all I mentioned in the link above (and others I forgot to mention).   Yes - there ARE significant differences - perhaphs "how you like the sound" - personally - I DO have a like for steels on a lot of fiddle tunes - BUT - that is just ME.   We are all different....  Besides - I swap the steel preludes out from time to time for synth and change 'em to FM or Larsens (which I struggle with a bit because of their slightly lower tension -  but I love their resonse - and I'm getting my bow pressure and finger placement (wide vibrations on lower tension strings) under control.....)

There IS no "best string" of course - it depends on the sound you want, your bowing skill, and the instrument itself ( or even the bow - and maybe just even maybe the rosin - I prefer a "grippy rosin" - but again - that's just me ).

Others have said this elsewhere - sometimes it is just as good to get a few sets of different strings (obvioulsly unknown origin) off e-bay - I did that in the past - most were dumped, but some played OK.  Having said that - I wouldn't really recommend that route...  better to work with known makes, and make your decision over a period of time, and, perhaps, even change between string sets depending on how you like the sound depending on the type of piece you are playing.  

Good luck Van !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 16, 2016 - 2:19 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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madison said
Hi everyone,

Hey madison, and welcome to the forum.

I am looking for a new set of violin strings which provide bright, clear and responsive sounds. The set could be a mix of many different brands or lines or even just the same throughout. I am doubtful and ambivalent since there are so many brands and lines out there:

I don't blame you. 😉

Pirastro (tonica, evah pirazzi,oliv,eudoxa,etc)

I would skip tonica in from these. Any one of these could bring out some brightness from your instrument though maybe not the Eudora strings. I feel they are not that bright.

Prim
Red Label
Larsen (virtuoso)
Thomastik Infield (Vision)

Yes to VISION 🙂 Fast becoming a favorite of mine.

Lars Virtuoso are great strings but very warm and perhaps dark rather than bright.
Helicore are bright and powerful but they are steel core strings that can come off as harsh for some people.

Prim are bright too IMAO.

I would describe Red Label strings as dark and not so powerful.

D'addorio (helicore)
Jagar
ETC.....

I haven't used Jagar in quite a while. Don't remember so much about them.

I appreciate every comment from your experiences. If you have any other brands and lines which are also significant please write in your comment as well.

Thank you,

Van  

You've picked out a wide variety of nice strings and I look forward to hearing what you come up with.

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

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Fran
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June 18, 2016 - 11:17 am
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How do I know if I need new strings? The ones on my violin are old. Also since I live in a condo I would want to try strings that aren't so "loud" so to speak.  Thanks for your input.

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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June 18, 2016 - 6:42 pm
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Hello and welcome to the forum 🙂

It would be easier if you told us what are you using at the moment, and as 

@BillyG said, it's up to you, your style, your playing approach and the instrument.

However, since swapping strings is one of my favorite procedures (and it's costly, time consuming and mind blowing as well lol), I would risk to say some general things.

From those you're listing I would definitely start with the visions. They seem to be consistent, especially as far as responsiveness is concerned (they are not that bright, but most of them have indeed an edge to the sound). Thomastik has some charts on their website, comparing their strings, you are searching for the "focused" and "bright" tones...The regular visions could work just fine, and they are affordable. You could also try the vision titanium range, if you want a little more power (the orchestra version is really soft to the touch, while the VT solo, has a huge sound, but with an apparent overtone that may or may not suit your instrument). Most vision types were exceptionally easy to play on, extremely fast to respond. They could lack some other features, but they were also fine as a set. The only issue to consider is that if you you go with the Vision Titanium Solo (my very set at the moment which I find complex enough, and full) that they are not at all forgiving. What you play, you hear it. No hiding 🙂

I would also skip Tonica, like Pierre said, it's a different thing. Now the Evah Pirazzi could be great if 1) you are ok with slightly more tense strings 2)Your bowing is powerful/vigorous enough 3) You don't mind that they are somehow thicker than most regular - medium strings.  When I used them, I caught myself digging in. Lots of power, lot's of great sound. But if you want something delicate maybe get a thinner string. If you treat them like a low tension or thin string they will sound weird imho. They are a solo string, I understand that they are meant to be pushed into their limits to receive huge loads of bow pressure without having a sound break. If you need to do the above, if you need to be heard over an orchestra or a grand piano, they are great. And I am saying all this to clear their bad reputation cool. I would still in your case begin with the visions, or the oliv if you want to go gut. In my opinion The Evahs are not that bright as the rest. And for some players they are less responsive in soft touches since they are thicker. You could also consider their soft - weich version...

 

You also mention some steel core strings (helicore etc) Unless you are playing an electric, or you are into rock/bluegrass and only I would prefer synthetics. However, the Chromcor could also be a choice if you like steel core strings. But it's my impression that most steel core could sound a little harsh sometimes.

@Fran I would change them if I could not produce perfect fifths, if one of them sounded really funny, if I got the impression that they are dead or uninspiring and if they've been there for a long time. I consider that a whole year could be a long time 🙂

Do you like low tension? If yes, then the Pirastro Violinos are good. Long lasting, and soft to the sound. Easier to record as well. Otherwise, the Corelli Crystal could also be a solution. I found them to be calmer than the Dominants. 

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Fran
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June 18, 2016 - 8:27 pm
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@Hermes Currently on the violin are steel strings and haven't been changed in a long times. I'll be looking into changing them real soon.

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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June 18, 2016 - 9:08 pm
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@Fran To be honest, in my teens I would replace steel core piranitos (didn't care that much about my sound back then) only when they would break, so this whole practice did work, but it was definitely not ideal.

However, by replacing strings more often, your instrument should be more "stable". I didn't know you were using steel core. They should last longer than the others. But I would be concerned about the increasing tension the instrument would get after some time...Anyway,   you may find the sound a little smoother whatever string you choose, if you move from steel to synthetics.

When you choose something let us know of the results please 🙂

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Fran
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June 18, 2016 - 9:32 pm
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@Hermes  someone recommended Fiddlerman's FM synthetic set.  I may buy them.  I have never changed strings so this will be an adventure too!

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RonB
Jeffersonville, VT
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June 18, 2016 - 9:57 pm
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@Fran Fiddlerman has a video showing how to change strings. He's got some good tips in it.

 

I put on synthetic strings a couple of weeks ago. They're called Charm. I've been playing Helicore for quite awhile, so these are a big change. I'm just getting used to them, but I don't plan to get them again. They were also expensive. I'm going with FM strings next time. I also might try a variety of strings over time—just to see if I can tell what the differences are.

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Fran
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June 18, 2016 - 10:09 pm
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@RonB thanks for your input and the video for changing strings. FM string set looks like what I would buy.

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Fiddlerman
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June 19, 2016 - 10:16 am
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As far as switching from steel core to synthetic, you will notice a tremendous difference in warmth and ease of keeping the instrument in tune. However, there will be a few downsides. You won't be able to tune that much at the tailpiece with fine tuners which I am guessing that you have at this time, and the strings will need to be tuned frequently until they break in. Especially the first hours. Keep an eye on your bridge angle when tuning up frequently as the bridge gets pulled towards the scroll. Perhaps use a thin lead pencil in the bridge grooves before putting on each new string.
That being said, tuning is easier with synthetic core strings and the sound will please you.

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

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Fran
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June 20, 2016 - 2:24 pm
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OK I took the plunge and just now ordered FM string set.  Thanks everyone for your ideas.  Will keep you all posted when they arrive.  🙂

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Fiddlerman
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June 20, 2016 - 4:37 pm
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Hope you like them. 🙂

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

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Fran
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June 24, 2016 - 4:21 pm
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I got my new set of FM strings just now and a surprise new cloth!! Mine is so old as are the strings.  I also posted a video of me attempting to play "Ode to Joy".  Thank you Fiddlerman!!!!

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Fran
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June 24, 2016 - 6:57 pm
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OK I just replaced my very old steel strings with the FM set.  I watched the video on this site and it went well. Will let them stretch a bit and I'll let you know how they sound compared to my old ones.

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Fran
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June 25, 2016 - 12:10 pm
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I really like the sound of your FM strings! They're staying in tune nicely. Also repositioned the bridge while I was at it to your recommendations. Great video you have showed me exactly how to change strings for the 1st time.

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Fiddlerman
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June 27, 2016 - 11:32 am
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Perfect. Thanks so much for letting us all know. We just got a review from ViolinStringReview.com as well.
http://www.violinstringreview......ing-review
YeeeeeHaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

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

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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June 28, 2016 - 9:30 am
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Fiddlerman said
Perfect. Thanks so much for letting us all know. We just got a review from ViolinStringReview.com as well.
http://www.violinstringreview......ing-review
YeeeeeHaaaaaa!!!!!!!!  

I'm so happy Pierre! That's great!!! I hope this will spread the word about your strings!!!

And I have to admit that Shawn has done a great job with this website of comparing strings, while everybody can contribute as well

Congrats 😀

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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That's great. I just read the review by, "Shawn Boucke". I wondered as I read the review who this guy was. Was he just an average violinist or a professional, so I "Youtubed" him. Seems he is a professional all right and oddly enough lives in my town, "Waterford, Michigan.

I've had 4 sets of "Fiddlerman" strings and am very pleased with them. In fact I just replaced a set of, "Oblagato" strings with the "FM" strings.

The last set I just bought, I got from my luthier, Mark Schwartz, but I'm wondering about the Viola string sets. Mark showed me a pack of them and on the front it says,"Fidderman", not Fiddlerman, why, is this a misprint or the way it is.

Pierre, can you explain this ?

Love the FM strings.

violin-1267

Ken.

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