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I recently put on a set of Thomastik Dominant strings. After about a week of playing, I am finding that notes on the A string occasionally sound out of tune (not due to my own intonation issues). Has anyone else experienced this?
Here is what I did to test this. I played each of the open strings, from piano to forte with long bow strokes. The G, D and E are all fine. They produce quite a fine tone. The A string is the exception. The pitch wavers between an A and about an eighth tone flat. I repeated this test with different notes on the A string and without exception, eventually I get a sour note that wavers about an eighth tone flat. I put on another A string and the problem disappears. I am thinking that this is a defective string, but I am uncertain because the Dominant brand is apparently one of the most popular strings out there so that this can't be a common problem.
Anyone have any similar experiences to share, or wisdom to provide? Am I right in thinking that I should replace the A and have done with it? Or is it my poor bowing technique? I am inclined to believe that the string is defective because I get pure tones from the other strings in the set.
Thanks, yeah, I just didn't want to blame something else when it could very well be my bowing. The replacement A I used does not match the rest of the set. I will probably stop by my local shop tomorrow to pick up a new matching A. I can't wait for mail order...
Of course, if the new A also does the same thing, I'll start blaming my bowing.
I don't know how long ago the string was made, but I only had it on the violin for about a week. I think I will switch to the Zyex. I have not played for long enough to develop any string preferences. When I asked at the store what was popular among non-gut strings, they said that the Dominants were the most popular so I went with that. The other strings, particularly the D, sound great. It looks like the Zyex are a bit cheaper, too. I like D'Addario strings for some of my other instruments (each individual instrument "prefers" a certain string, in my experience) so that will be my next one.
As it is, I think I will just get a new A string for now. Violin strings are expensive. Maybe I will take the A string back to the store and complain and see what they do, but not have any expectations. I really don't like to be adversarial about these sorts of things if Thomastik isn't going to have their backs.
The new string is perfect - I am really digging the tone now. The weird out-of-tune sounds are gone, and it feels like my intonation is better and so is my tone. Never discount the effect of sympathetic vibrations. If one of your strings is out, then they are all out.
I spent a couple of hours playing and it is fantastic. The tone I am getting is really spectacular. The bad string had everything to do with it and made everything bad. The richness of the tone is something...
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