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Strings
First time with synthetic core strings
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
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Jim Dunleavy
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June 18, 2015 - 8:20 am
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Just about to quadruple the value of my violin: -

dominants.jpgImage Enlarger

I hope it's worth it! Currently have D'Addario Preludes which are steel core, the new ones are synthetic core so I'm hoping for a more mellow sound and for the G string to stay at the same pitch even on loud notes!

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BillyG
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June 18, 2015 - 12:04 pm
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Jim Dunleavy said
Just about to quadruple the value of my violin: -   .....

LOL - I like your sense of humour !   So, good luck, have fun !  

Oddly enough I'm just back at the forum and this is the first post I see, just after having swapped my own strings (Overture Ultra) for a set of (used, but in effectively new condition) Larsen Virtuoso which I got my hands on ( don't ask! ).   There is an immediate difference (neither better nor worse sounding to my ear so far, just different - I can hear it).  

I had Thomastik Dominants on my older violin, and I found them fine - oh - although I have to say I did swap out the top E (which is steel core), as it had a tendency to "whistle" at me - whether I was just unlucky or not I can't say - to a D'Addario Kaplan E which solved it completely.  But that's history anyway, since I've re-strung that chap as a viola, so the Kaplan E is no more ( well, it's a spare ! ).

Keep us advised on the outcome - it can be a daunting experience to swap the strings ( I don't mean the actual DOING of it, that's nothing - it's just the sheer choice that's out there, and making the best decision you can from everything (oft-times contradictory) you read...  I guess it only comes over time once lots of strings have been tried out, and you can just "tell" what suits you best, for your playing, your instrument, and style of music you prefer)

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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coolpinkone
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June 18, 2015 - 12:15 pm
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Good luck with your strings!!  

Sounds like a wonderful upgrade.

I will look for something special next time I change on my violin.

Then... of course I am nearing the second year mark on my violin... I seem to get an itch to change violins every two years.....hummmmmmmm... NO I DID NOT JUST SAY THAT.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Jim Dunleavy
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June 18, 2015 - 12:43 pm
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@BillyG - yes there's a bewildering choice of strings available!

@coolpinkone - go on, you know you want to! http://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-wink.gif

I've had a go on the new strings already and I must say they are unbelievably different, not only the sound but also the playing characteristics (i.e. the way they respond to the bow). As a result I'm still getting used to them - might post a vid once I do, though I don't know if the difference will show on camcorder/YouTube sound.

I was expecting a fatter tone, but in fact they are quite bright sounding, but in what I can only describe as a 'silky' sound - they're very nice indeed, especially when playing up high, the E string seems OK so far on my fiddle.

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BillyG
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June 19, 2015 - 1:24 am
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Ahh, good stuff, glad you like them (and I like the Dominant G,D,A on my vio/lin/ola ! )

Oh and to put reader's minds at rest - I wasn't criticizing the Dominant E itself, it must have been something else in my setup, I'm sure - like the rosin type or bow hair etc....   I love experimenting with these things, but although I have 3 bows, they are all the same type, and although I have several different rosin cakes, I have one I really prefer, and as much as I love experimenting, I just couldn't bring myself to go through the hassle of completely cleaning down the bow hair and trying the other rosins!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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Jim Dunleavy
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June 19, 2015 - 7:58 am
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I did read when I was looking at reviews that many players use the G D and A dominants and a different type of E string, so your experience is pretty common. I'm probably just less discriminating. tongue

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Hermes
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June 23, 2015 - 7:52 pm
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New strings! Always a pleasure!!!

In my experience with dominants , they get a little warmer after some time, so you could get a fatter tone that you expected. If not, consider the impact that the E string has on the rest of them. It may sound strange, but even if you could like (or just be patient with) the dominant E, a different E could transform the others. I think that trying E strings is the simplest and cheapest way to alter the sound, before getting another set.

Sometimes it's the tension, sometimes it's an illusion and sometimes it's just our violins being crazy.

Hope you enjoy the ride with the synthetics 🙂 . I think that all these new attributes that you mention, and many more that could show themselves later on, could reveal new music paths.

But if you still don't get a fatter sound, and you are after it, you could give infeld reds, or the other gauges of dominant a try. (maybe the heavy).

You mentioned the word "silky", combined with fatter sound. Pirastro Obligato came into my mind. But don't listen to this, its just the voice of my dark half who fancies investing in strings devil-violin

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 24, 2015 - 7:37 am
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Yes Hermes, the Obligato's are fatter and seem to last longer as well but they are also expensive. The Infeld Red's are not far behind. Wish they were a bit cheaper. I would push them more if they were.
Have you given the Larsen Virtuoso sets a try? Also expensive
The regular Larsen string sets are not bad at all. I use them now over Dominants.

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

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Hermes
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June 24, 2015 - 8:56 am
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Fiddlerman said
Yes Hermes, the Obligato's are fatter and seem to last longer as well but they are also expensive. The Infeld Red's are not far behind. Wish they were a bit cheaper. I would push them more if they were.
Have you given the Larsen Virtuoso sets a try? Also expensive
The regular Larsen string sets are not bad at all. I use them now over Dominants.

Till now the Obligatos had the best feel under my fingers comparing to everything else. The Reds were indeed great I've tried them once in a student violin of a young kid, and they seemed to really improve it.

Somehow the evah pirazzi worked for my new violin, (unfortunately expensive as well). It was like a warm bread and butter thing, making it difficult to want to change.

I remember that you had mentioned the virtuosos before...they are in my mind constantly such as the new Kaplans. But each time I get to save 70 euros, I hesitate to risk. But, experiments are great. it will happen 

 

By the way, I just installed a boxwood tailpiece. Never had an experience with this wood before.All my previous were ebony, or the compound ones like the wittner etc. Awesome 🙂 

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coolpinkone
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June 24, 2015 - 12:18 pm
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I have been looking into strings... 

Finally I feel "worthy" to try some Larson /sen or Obligatos, or the Evah Pirazzi.

I am not sure in which order I will try them when the time comes. 🙂

My last three string sets have been Zyex.  I believe they were changed in October.  

That is one thing I am not really knowing... and that is when to change the strings.  I do know that whenever I get new strings it is like a great sound and I am super happy.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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June 24, 2015 - 12:33 pm
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You are guaranteed worthy. Everything that is better for anyone is also better for you. 🙂

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

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Hermes
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June 24, 2015 - 12:47 pm
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coolpinkone said
I have been looking into strings... 

Finally I feel "worthy" to try some Larson /sen or Obligatos, or the Evah Pirazzi.

I am not sure in which order I will try them when the time comes. 🙂

My last three string sets have been Zyex.  I believe they were changed in October.  

That is one thing I am not really knowing... and that is when to change the strings.  I do know that whenever I get new strings it is like a great sound and I am super happy.

I would treat them much like tyres in a car, and change them depending on the miles or on the time passed.

Maybe 120 hours of them being played, could be a good average, depending on playing style, type of string etc. 

As far as I know, especially some steel core strings could put an increasing tension on the instrument over time. Even if they are not played almost at all I wouldn't be calm about them every day after a six month period. Warped necks, damaged tops etc are no way a good idea. Yes, I've heard many people say that they had the very same of strings since the discovery age, and others claiming that their violins sound even better after a decade of the same strings. With all the respect to these people, and while all these can be absolutely true, that is not something I prefer or I would risk.When I was 10 or so, I would keep the strings till they snapped. I would never do it again.

That being said, we suppose that the strings remain ok in this period. A string unravelling or feeling strange under the fingers, issues a formal warning of its upcoming replacement. 

Another thing to consider is if they become false. If for example, you get a perfect fifth in a GD open strings double stop, and you cannot get in again higher in the fingerboard...it could mean it's time for new strings

It's also a good idea to clean them, and protect them from built up that occurs due to rosin and hand precipitation. A cloth would do for most occasions. Other methods could start a "war" of opinions I guess, so I will not continue lol 

Hope I was a bit helpful. In any case, I think that if you keep your strings fresh, by regularly replacing them, you get a more constant sound and response from you violin. That way it's not a big shock every time you install a new set. 🙂

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coolpinkone
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June 24, 2015 - 2:14 pm
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Wow.. thank you for this great information.

I ususally get 7-10 hours a week  of playing. (up to 14)... so if I calculate on the low side... and come up with 520 hours on my current strings... It could be a reason I am not getting some of the results I am trying for.

Thank you for this, I am sure others will find it handy also.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Hermes
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June 24, 2015 - 4:59 pm
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coolpinkone said
Wow.. thank you for this great information.

I ususally get 7-10 hours a week  of playing. (up to 14)... so if I calculate on the low side... and come up with 520 hours on my current strings... It could be a reason I am not getting some of the results I am trying for.

Thank you for this, I am sure others will find it handy also.

I am definitely not an expert or something like that but I think both you and your violin deserve new strings

let us know of your next string choice and its outcome 🙂

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Uzi
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I think you'll like Dominants just fine. They are sort of the benchmark for violin strings. They will become warmer over time and they last a good long while. They are also reasonably priced as far as violin strings go. I did not detect a significant difference in tone between them and Obligatos on my fiddle. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fiddlerman
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June 25, 2015 - 9:33 am
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I agree with all of the above. 🙂

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

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Jim Dunleavy
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June 25, 2015 - 11:19 am
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Well I have to say that I'm very happy with my new Dominants now I've got used to them.

They make my violin sound very different (better) from the old strings - more resonance and a sweeter tone on the higher notes.

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BillyG
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June 25, 2015 - 11:53 am
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Great news !   I thought they'd be the business !  

I'm having a little difficulty with my own new set ( the Larsen ) - they behave quite differently to the bow compared to the ones I had - one clear difference is that they seem to have a much wider dynamic range - I can play even softer and also even more loudly on these strings - which is really interesting.  They sound great though, it's just "me" getting used to them...  And (other than the Dominants on my viol/ola) they are the "best" (in terms of real cost if that is any measure - had I actually had to pay for them!) strings I have yet had the opportunity to try...

It is a voyage of discovery !   Really glad you are happy with the Dominants !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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coolpinkone
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June 25, 2015 - 12:46 pm
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@BillyG 

I am always happy to hear the news and reviews of all strings.  

Especially as I want to work on dynamics I want to be able to play softer and louder without compromising the tone and sound... (If I am making sense)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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cdennyb
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I did the 100 day challenge awhile back and found I actually practed quite a bit more than I suspected I did! In fact, I should actually be changing my strings about every 2-3 months on my primary violin and about 3-6 months on the others. (Yes, I have 6 acoustic violins and 1- 5 string electric silent) I think I need a loan. facepalmdazed

"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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