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String Recommendations
Oh what to do.....
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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ScooterMcTavish
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October 16, 2012 - 2:15 pm
Member Since: October 15, 2012
Forum Posts: 7
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See, this is a toughie for me as a guitar player.  I can go out, have my choice of 20 kinds of quality strings, get some light top, heavy bottom (or any combo therein), and choose between many brands, including my preferred Ernie Ball Super Slinkys.

As a guitar player, I also know how much difference the proper weight of strings makes to a guitar.  I have a hollow body lawsuit guitar which shoulds horrible with light strings, yet great with heavier strings.  I have a Strat which sounds "perfect" with lighter weight strings, and has the right fingerboard to allow quick fretting.

But when it comes to violins, I have no idea.  I mean zilch.

I watched Fiddlerman's video regarding the problem with steel core strings (not a problem on the guitar BTW), and want to ensure I'm learning with something that "works".  I understand much of this is likely preference, but there is a real difference when I can try 5 sets on my guitar for the price of 1 set on a violin.

So, what say you all.  Synthetic core?  Steel core?  Preferred brands and tensions?

Welcome opinions here, expecially as there is a real difference between hitting a string with a pick, and getting it to vibrate with a bow.  Guessing I'll need to unlearn many of the guitar things I've learned.

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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October 16, 2012 - 4:51 pm
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Hi, Scooter and welcome to the Fiddlerman family.

To start, when you first began playing guitar i'm sure you had no idea what you were doing when it came to buying new string's, but as time went on and you became more aware of what you were doing (through experience) it became a simple task.

Now that you've moved to a different animal you'll have to start at the beginning of learning all over again.  You've watched the Fiddlerman vid on steel core string's, a string that change's tune when you bend it is fine on the guitar, that's what you want, but on a violin it's not a good thing, as you've seen from the video.

You'll want a good quality string, my preference is the Zyex multifiber core string, although I did recently purchase the "helicore" multi-steel stranded core string so I could achieve a little brighter sound on one particular violin.The Zyex that were on it were just a bit to soft / mello tone for my liking. I have Zyex on two of my fiddle's and helicore's on my cheap Chinese violin.

Medium tension is the norm for most violin player's, there is a better response time so that's what most player's use.  D'Addario brand string's are a A+ quality string. There are brand's of string's which are very cheap, as low as 6 and 7 dollar's for a full set, not recommended, you get what you pay for.

I hope this help's a bit.  

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Crazymotive
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October 16, 2012 - 6:07 pm
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Just like guitar it depends on the type of sound you are trying to capture. Synthetic core strings are a nice compromise between gut and steel. However I know players who swear by steel core strings and others who prefer gut.  Depends what type of music they are playing and what type sound they are trying to capture.

 

I presently use Pirastro Tonica's (synthetic core)  but  my preference may change with time.  For now they seem to provide me with a nice balance and a very nice sound.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 16, 2012 - 7:47 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Welcome to the forum Scooter.

Medium tension is best for over 90% of all instruments and synthetic core is the most popular and in my opinion the best for most playing.

You can buy my favorite strings made by D'Addario which are the Zyex
or you can try the worlds most popular strings called "Dominant".
http://fiddlershop.com/d-addar.....nsion.html
http://fiddlershop.com/dominan.....-ball.html

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

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ScooterMcTavish
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October 17, 2012 - 7:33 am
Member Since: October 15, 2012
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Thanks for the replies.

I've read good things about the strings you've all mentioned, and will visit the fiddler shop later today.

For my daughter to learn, I've already ordered her a set of Octavas just to get her going. If they work well, we can upgrade to Dominants when they wear out.

For myself, I'm being more thrifty. Maybe I should state that I love the rosiny, raspy tones that a violin produces, highlighted in pieces like "Air".

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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October 17, 2012 - 10:30 am
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Scott,

I like the Pro-Arte which are much less expensive and IMO still sound ver good.  I have them on my electric and the zyex on my acoustic.

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cdennyb
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October 17, 2012 - 3:55 pm
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What a can of worms scooter...

I have preludes on a chinese violin (steel core, really bright) and I have Zyex on my 90 yr old German violin (very mellow, warm sounding and those old violins were made for that type of string), and on my Kohr I have a combination of Dominants on the G and D strings and helicores on the A and E strings.

The choices you make will most likely change as time goes by and you seek a different sound. Depending on the instrument you have there will be many I'm afraid.

good luck whatever the choice at this time.thumbs-up

"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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ScooterMcTavish
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October 17, 2012 - 11:53 pm
Member Since: October 15, 2012
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Thanks again for the opinion guys.

Once I get my cheap violin next week, and my daugter's more expensive cheap violin, I'll post some comparison pics, and let you know the brand of mine, and what I actually paid for it.

Based (yet again) on one of Fiddlerman's videos, I'll start with the more affordable Pro-Arte strings by d'Addario.  I've used their guitar strings (which are a quality product), and I did like the tone Fiddlerman got with them.  Mind you, that was probably on a very old and expensive violin.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 18, 2012 - 6:39 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

A new and expensive violin :-)
It's my Jan Larsson violin from Lima, Sweden.
Only about $20,000

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

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