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the new fiddlerman strings
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Barry
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September 25, 2015 - 11:09 am
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just finished putting a set of fiddlerman strings on Leeann's violin. it had preludes. they tuned up quickly and with very little stretching. of course like any string they will take a little time to settle in. they have a great feel and response and have improved the overall tone of this fiddle.

another fine product !!

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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Fiddlerman
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September 29, 2015 - 9:01 am
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Yeeeeee Haaaaa!!!! Thanks Barry.

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

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Taper123
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I ordered a set of FM strings off of Amazon today to put on my electric.  

Now it's time to go rosin shopping.  My instructor recommended I try the Pirastro Goldflex.

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cdennyb
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October 9, 2015 - 12:26 am
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OK, I was a participant in the strings thing and here's my review, and trying to not let any personal feelings get in the way... here it goes...

 

These strings were going on my self built DIY blond violin, a 4 string 4/4 size acoustic only violin with one of my newly made fretted fingerboards. It is a slight challenge to play as opposed to a non-fretted board but since I play a 5 string electric almost all the time now with my first maple fretted fingerboard, this was just a slight change for me since it only has 4 strings! LoL

The packaging was a challenge to get into, did anyone else try to "unstick" the vinyl flap? HA HA... after I realized it was inside, no problem...

the individual vinyl/plastic pouches were apparently heat sealed and two of mine were not. One was totally missed by the machine that seals them or the person that does that job... and one was stamped with marks indicating it was sealed but it wasn't air tight at all... in fact it was totally open. (Now I wonder if they can't even seal a plastic bag, what kind of mfg QC do they have in the rest of the plant?)

The strings were removed one by one after I did a sound trace on my analysis program, and I took note of the string diameters.

Here's a photo of the string diameters of the ones I removed (A very reputable brand by the way) and the new FM strings for comparison.

The strings went on like any other string does, but as I unwrapped each string they took on a set or bend in a particular direction, one was wavy like a snake, the other like a corkscrew, and another had a S turn look about it. Weird how they uncoiled.

Anyway... I strung it up and now came the analysis recording. I made two recordings of each set of strings to insure a repeatable performance of notes all from the same tune utilizing all the strings.

I have noticed that the heavier strings in the D and A string locations appear to have a slower reaction to bow changes that I don't normally feel or hear in the other strings I have, which are from several different mfgs. The E and G string appear to be the same dia so not much if any difference in those. If your violin is sensitive to sound production like my blond one is, meaning it responds very quickly to sound and note changes and is loud, then you might notice a difference...whether its a good or bad difference will be subject to your hearing.

The trace shows a before and after sound analysis and it appears to both eye and ear that the FM strings do produce a noticeable sound increase in loudness. The tone is left up to each listener but in all sense of the testing, they were an improvement.

Two thumbs up for the FM strings! thumbs-up

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"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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cdennyb
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Can anyone else who has these strings measure the A & D strings and tell me the diameter? I was discussing this string set with another fiddler and they suggested there was a mistake possibly made in packaging since the packages were not sealed well or consistently and maybe they stuck in a viola set instead of a violin set, because the A string is thicker than most D strings and this D string is as big as most G strings! dazed

 

I have to agree... I don't think I was sent a violin set, or if it was marked violin set, maybe it was packaged incorrectly. Enquiring minds want to know... lol

dunno

The new in this chart indicates the FM strings.PA080040-1.JPGImage Enlarger

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"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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Fiddlestix
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I have the same thing, Dennis, .028=A and .034=D

I have FM strings on two acoustics and they both measure the same.

 

Ken.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 11, 2015 - 10:02 am
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Thanks for the thorough review Dennis. I'll take all the thumbs up I can get. I do realize that the strings are thicker but it hasn't affected any of our instruments negatively, though there are tailpieces whose slots are not designed for such thick strings 🙁
In those cases we take our diamond mini files and enlarge the slots slightly.
Appreciate you taking the time.

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

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cdennyb
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October 11, 2015 - 3:39 pm
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Pierre:

So, since you didn't elaborate on the diameter being anything different, I must assume they are correct.

In that sense, how can the D string sound correct if it's a thicker dia than the G string> and for the A to D dia as well.

Isn't the reactionary force and stability of the vibrational frequency dependent on the diameter of the given string with the force input being equal? If so, wouldn't the larger dia be slower to respond and therefor more difficult to maintain the true pitch and harmonic as opposed to the lower string? If the next string up is smaller in diameter then the ability to make the required pitch change is easy to do, but if it's larger, the pitch won't be as easy or true in frequency because the larger mass won't react as quickly as needed. True, I can stretch the D string to tune it higher in the A string position but it's still designed to be in the D position and react accordingly to the pitches it would be able to produce given the length of the fingerboard.

In that sense it would require more and harder force to vibrate it at the higher pitch than one of smaller dia.

I mean, I could use the A string for a D string position in another string set and same goes for the D string... and it would work fine, right? It's interesting that the G and E string of both sets of strings are almost exact to the thousandth of an inch the same dia.

 

Just throwing out some considerations... Are you aware they are 'different' than other string sets? or... are there other string sets out there (I can't measure them all or use them all) with this similar dia difference? Of all the brands and mfg strings I have tried and that's only a dozen or so, I've never seen this type of dia disparity in the position of the strings.

Just curious.

"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
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October 12, 2015 - 10:52 am
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I have actually seen D strings that are thicker than the G which is actually common, Dominants are that way for example. The reason is that they are aluminum wound. We may incorporate the silver wound D string soon. 🙂
Thanks again Dennis

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

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DanielB
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October 12, 2015 - 12:20 pm
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I measure

.010 - E

.026 - A   !!! (different than what Denny and Ken report)

.034 - D

.030 - G

 

I did wonder about the G string being thinner than the D, since I have never seen that before.  But I figure this is a new product, and that the strings and gauges might have been matched by how they sounded and felt to Pierre rather than by math.  It also could be a matter of differences in the alloy of the wrap or thickness and composition of the synthetic core that could necessitate different string thicknesses than I am used to seeing.

I've re-checked that A string measurement, and I am definitely seeing .026 rather than the .028 that Denny and Ken have.  Even checking the string at different places, it is def .026 on my set, which might indicate some inconsistency or error at the manufacturer.

I think Denny also mentioned the wound strings acting rather springy, which I found unusual in a synthetic core violin string, leading me to wonder if the core of the wound strings might be something like synthetic around a thin steel core under the wrap.  Most synthetic core strings I've tried did not try to stay coiled when taken out of the package.  

But these are a new brand of strings, and what would be the point of them *not* being a bit different than other brands?  So I have assumed the D being thicker than the G and the strings being a bit springy were intentional.  Seeing that other people are getting a different thickness on the A than I am does raise some question to me about the consistency at the manufacturer.  But it would take more than just the measurements of a very few people's sets to know if this is widespread or if maybe my set is just out of spec.

We'd also have to know what the gauges are supposed to be, meaning what Pierre ordered, to know if we are actually seeing a problem with things like the D being thicker than the G.

One thing that makes me wonder just a little bit is that the Fiddlerman strings do not seem to intonate quite where I'm expecting.  It's probably a difference of a mm or less, and one could get used to it, but it did make me wonder about the gauges.

***

On the (acoustic) instrument they sound ok to me.  The volume on the strings of the set seems reasonably balanced, and none of the strings feel uncomfortably taut or flabby.  They tuned up fine and none of them broke.  

They have a reasonable amount of power/volume.  I find them a little slower on response than what I was using last (Pro Arte J56), so they take a little more weight from the bow, digging in a little more to get strong tone.  That didn't surprise me with a set of strings designed/picked by Pierre, since he is a rather aggressive player. 

The tone on the G string seemed a bit thin to me, compared to the Pro Arte G.  But that is a matter of taste, and the Pro Arte G string is my favourite sounding G string to date, since I like the warmth.  So it would not be unusual for me to like a different G less than the Pro Arte silver wrapped G.  The Fiddlerman G seemed a little thin on tone to me comparatively, but so much of the sound is a matter of taste.  It certainly puts out enough sound to work musically in the set, but it just isn't as warm as I personally like to hear.

The E seems maybe a little shrill to me.  It got better with settling in for a couple weeks.  Still not my favorite E in the world or anything, but I can work with it.

The D and A sound good.  The A really sings out on my violin, really nice sound.  The D is a little more hesitant and not quite as strong (which seems odd considering the thickness), but a nice sound that fits the mood of some pieces well.

Some strong good points are the wind and the wraps are nice and consistent and they seem to be good quality.  They tuned up easy for me and hold tune very well.

Overall, I find the whole set a bit bright and loud to my tastes.  Again, that didn't surprise me, since Pierre is a soloist and tends to like timbre that really will stand out in the mix.  Not as unpleasantly brash as I found Helicores to be, and not near as bright and loud as when I strung my violin with guitar strings as an experiment, but brighter and louder than most brands I have tried so far.  Some folks might love that, though.

***

Now some disclaimer.. I'm not an experienced enough player to feel comfortable saying if a set of strings is definitely good or bad.  Or how they *should* be.  From other instruments I've played longer, like guitar, I know that much of what is "great" is a matter of tastes and what an individual player can make good use of, and what works well on your particular instrument. 

If I was going to play on Fiddlerman strings for years, probably some sound post adjustment and getting used to them so I make necessary adjustments to playing style/technique for some months would take care of many of the things I initially wasn't so fond of.  It takes time with any brand/gauge of strings to really be able to get the most out of them.  We are all different, and even beyond matters of tastes, one players' "crap" can sing like a bird for a different player or on a different instrument.  I've seen plenty of that over the years.

These seem to be decent quality strings, a long way from "crap", but just not exactly what I personally like, and they are taking some getting used to.  They tuned up easy for me and held tune well, and nothing felt flabby or overtaut.

Just personally, I probably wouldn't buy another set.  In the same price range, I like Pro Arte J56 a bit better.

But to be fair, I would remind that I have only been playing for 3 yrs so far and what I think is good may not be what a more experienced player would consider good.  My violin is a 160$ Shar and not a professional or vintage instrument and while it was shop adjusted at Shar (presumably for their brand of strings), it has not seen a luthier since the day I bought it.  It is in good shape, but is def a student instrument, and maybe not what these strings were developed/selected for. 

I have been kind of hesitant to do an official review on Amazon.  Pierre is a great guy and I would like to be able to say that these are just the most wonderful strings I have ever met and I'll never even consider using anything else.  But honestly, I can't.  They certainly are not the worst either, though.  Seeing that the A string on my set is a significantly different gauge than Denny's and Ken's, I could have just gotten one freak set out of a thousand or something.   Or maybe their sets are the ones that are odd, no way of knowing for sure with just 3 measurements.  That can happen with any brand of strings.  I have def seen some weird things once in a while over the years from even very reputable guitar string companies.  

These are a new brand of strings, that just hit the market, some "teething troubles" and checking and feeding back with the manufacturer is to be expected to get everything sorted out just perfect.  I am sure that every brand of strings goes through that process.

They are definitely playable, they sound ok.  I really do not think they are likely to damage the instrument.  They hold tune well.  If you try them, they may be just what you personally like and have been looking for.  On your violin, they may sound 100% wonderful.

In other words, "Your mileage may vary"

hats_off 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlerman
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October 12, 2015 - 3:57 pm
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A lot of the work is hand made which would explain the difference in gauges. Also, the accuracy of the measuring equipment would be vital. I'll measure ten sets and see what I get.
As far as the D being thicker than the G, it's as I mentioned earlier a question of which materials are being used. The aluminum D string is thicker than the silver G.
I appreciate you taking our reputation into consideration for your Amazon review Daniel. I have now put those strings on at least 50 violins and from a purely sound quality and production perspective, must admit that they have overcome our expectations. 🙂

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

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cdennyb
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October 12, 2015 - 4:22 pm
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This is a very good interaction regarding the string sets. The difference in dia would be suspect of course and a very good point is the accuracy of the measuring device...but a pair of digital calipers is not going to be "out" over .010" in measuring a string. The fact that the other strings are measuring the same is proof of the consistency of the device between different string owners.

Now for some fun stuff.

Here's a chart of the different violins I have and no two have the same strings on them so you can see that other than the gut strings I have on the very old acoustic violin, all string sets are pretty much the same, meaning they go from the E string being the smallest to the G string being the largest. And in no set was the G string smaller than any of the others...except FM's.

I think excluding the 5 string set would be acceptable as they are specifically made for the electric and the 5 string version at that.

I'd like Pierre to measure his violins that have his strings on them and report back on their diameters. Just for curiosity of course, not that there's any good or bad in the difference although if I bought a set for a replacement, I'd expect any future sets to be consistent with the ones I was replacing. Just sayin'

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Fiddlerman
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October 12, 2015 - 5:24 pm
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cdennyb said
This is a very good interaction regarding the string sets. The difference in dia would be suspect of course and a very good point is the accuracy of the measuring device...but a pair of digital calipers is not going to be "out" over .010" in measuring a string. The fact that the other strings are measuring the same is proof of the consistency of the device between different string owners.

Agreed, your digital calipers are extremely accurate.

Here's a chart of the different violins I have and no two have the same strings on them so you can see that other than the gut strings I have on the very old acoustic violin, all string sets are pretty much the same, meaning they go from the E string being the smallest to the G string being the largest. And in no set was the G string smaller than any of the others...except FM's.

Do you have Dominants on any of those instruments? Dominants silver D string is significantly thinner than their aluminum D string.

Our D is aluminum wound and our G is silver wound. I personally prefer the feel of the thicker Dominant D and our D vs the thinner and brighter Dominant D. 🙂

I think excluding the 5 string set would be acceptable as they are specifically made for the electric and the 5 string version at that.

I'd like Pierre to measure his violins that have his strings on them and report back on their diameters. Just for curiosity of course, not that there's any good or bad in the difference although if I bought a set for a replacement, I'd expect any future sets to be consistent with the ones I was replacing. Just sayin'

I'll measure our strings this week. 🙂 Monday is a catch up day and sometimes I need a bit more time to catch up from the weekend.

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

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Fiddlestix
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October 12, 2015 - 10:21 pm
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Be what it may, I'm very impressed with the tonal quality of the FM strings. I'm definitely impressed with the E string. I have been using the "Kaplan" non-whistling E string. 

When I changed to the FM strings on my "Concert Master", I removed the "Zyex" strings and removed the "Kaplan" E also, just to try the FM E and I like the sound.

Pierre can attest to the amount and different brands of strings I've ordered in the past couple years, not to mention the sets of strings I've purchased from my luthier, like "Oblagato" , "Enfeld Reds" also, "Evah Perazi"

The only thing I wonder is their life span (how long with they last) in comparison to the other's, but then it's a matter of how often one plays and how frequent.

thumbs-up

Ken.

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Fiddlerman
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October 13, 2015 - 1:15 pm
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Thanks Ken,

Yes, time will tell. Let me know your thoughts later on that account. So far, we are shipping all the instruments with Fiddlerman strings so I may not have a good way to determine the durability of the strings.

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

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 15, 2015 - 8:51 am
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My measurements show closer to .0325 to .033 on the D. Other measurements similar to Dennis.

On the Dominants I measured G = .031 and D = .032 to .0325

Similarly, the aluminum Dominant D strings are thicker than the Silver G strings.

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

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Fiddlestix
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March 5, 2016 - 6:56 pm
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Ok, it's Saturday, March 05, 2016. Today I visited my luthier, "Mark Schwartz Violins", as I do every Saturday weather permitting here in Michigan,

When I walked in, Mark was eating lunch, so I chatted with, David, his apprentice luthier (and also professional cellist). David mentioned to me that they had gotten in the "Fiddlerman" string shipment that had been ordered.

Mark finished his lunch, walked out of his office and greeted me with a "hi, Ken and his normal warm smile. We chatted about violin's, bow re-hairing and a couple other things regarding my one particular violin.

Mark said, "we got the "Fiddlerman" string I ordered" and nodded his head in approval.

He then told me of a customer who came in his shop this past week, Mark said he bought a new rather pricey violin which was equipped with "Dominant" strings. He liked the sound of the violin a lot, but asked Mark if he would change the string's, Mark put on aa set of "Fiddlerman" strings. Mark told me his customer liked the sound even more with the "Fiddlerman" strings on it.C another positive for "FM" strings.

Chalk another positive for "FM" strings.

 

Ken.

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Fiddlerman
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March 10, 2016 - 12:43 pm
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Yeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaa

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

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