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String with "wavering" pitch
I have an A string that sounds out of tune due to a wavering pitch.
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soma5
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September 24, 2012 - 11:07 pm
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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.

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Fiddlestix
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September 24, 2012 - 11:14 pm
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Could very well be a bad wound string. Even thing's that are supposed to be perfect can have flaw's.

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soma5
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September 24, 2012 - 11:23 pm
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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.  violin-student

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 25, 2012 - 12:06 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

soma5, you are right. It's is most likely a defective string. I have experienced it many times. I just change the string right away. The A is the worse of the Dominants.
This is one of the reasons I recommend Zyex so highly. Also, D'Addario would immediately send you a new string but that won't happen with Thomastic.
How old was the string?

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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September 25, 2012 - 3:37 am
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Fiddlerman said
 Also, D'Addario would immediately send you a new string but that won't happen with Thomastic.
How old was the string?

Geeeeezz,, I wonder if you told D'Addario all four string's were bad what would happen.

          Hehehe....devil-violin

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soma5
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September 25, 2012 - 10:03 am
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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.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 25, 2012 - 5:06 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I would definitely try to exchange it.

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

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soma5
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September 25, 2012 - 6:11 pm
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I went over there at lunch and they cheerfully swapped it out.  I ended up buying some other stuff while I was there, so they didn't lose anything by it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 25, 2012 - 6:29 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Good for you :-)

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

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soma5
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September 25, 2012 - 11:03 pm
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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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cdennyb
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September 25, 2012 - 11:22 pm
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I had a similar situation develop with my K500. I felt the A string was just not right but couldn't put my finger on it...

I just recently bought a set of new strings. (not Dominants) and loaded up the new A string and to my shock and surprise I found the muffled and distorted sound I heard before to be gone. So I installed the E string as well. WOW... what a difference.

I went ahead and did a sound analysis chart for the two situations and the difference was quite noticeable. I can relate to your achievment in a better quality sound.

You did good noticing the discrepency in the quality of sound produced. You're now a bit closer to figuring out the incredible range of notes made possible on the violin and your "ear" is getting much better in tune...

"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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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 26, 2012 - 12:46 am
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Apparantly the K500 comes equipped with Prelude strings Dennis.

I was mistaken and even said it on my review. I was under the impression that they were because I had read something like that on Howard Core's web site and assumed it applied to all the Kohr instruments but it seems not the K500's.

Could you double check that for me Dennis.

Here is a link to the color chart: http://fiddlerman.com/wp-conte....._chart.pdf

If you already changed all your strings maybe you have the old ones left.

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

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