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Uzi
Georgia
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December 3, 2015 - 6:17 pm
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When I first got the Fiddlerman Soloist, it had Dominant strings on it and they sounded good.  Later I put Obligato strings on it and they sounded good, but they didn't sound much different, to my ear, than the Dominants and they cost more.  Because of that I went back to Dominant for the next set and I've had them on there for quite a few months. 

Early during this last set of strings, I noticed that the bridge was set behind the notches in the F holes so I loosened the strings a bit and moved the bridge forward, leaving the sound post where it was, so it was now about 2 sound posts aft of the bridge instead of one.  The fiddle sounded good and I played it like that for several more months. 

Lately, it hasn't been sounding good at all -- really dull.  Now I know how long it takes to wear out a set of Dominants. So I pulled out at set of Larsen Virtuosos that have been setting on my bookshelf for months, but before I put them on I remembered the sound post.  I loosened all the strings and tried to adjust it with one of those long S-shaped sound post setters.  That resulted in knocking the sound post over and a lengthy and frustrating attempt at fishing the sound post out, stabbing it with the setter, dropping the sound post into the violin, fishing it out, etc. about 5 times. Then I remembered that I had a "Sound Post Mate" around somewhere and after another half-hour of rummaging around in drawers I found it.  Ten minutes later, the sound post was sitting right where it was supposed to be -- if you don't have one of these -- get one -- right now.  If your sound post ever falls over, you can thank me then.   Here: http://fiddlershop.com/accesso.....mover.html

So, now after a long and twisting introduction, on to the title of this post.  I never really could tell a huge difference between the Dominants and the Obligatos -- it may just be me -- but I would have stuck with the Dominants forever but now, ...   Man, you can really, really tell a difference between the Dominants and the Larsen Virtuosos.  They are still new, so I'll have to let them settle in for a while longer, but so far -- very, very impressive. They are pricey, but if you can spare the money you might want check them out. http://fiddlershop.com/strings.....-set-.html  Of course, there is the possibility that moving the sound post is responsible for much of the tone difference.  What say you? 

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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Mark
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December 4, 2015 - 7:08 am
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UZI,

I to tried the Larsen Virtuoso and mated them with a Lezner E String and was very impressed also, best stings I have tried up to this point. Ordered a Westminster E this week to try in the future.

 

Mark

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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December 4, 2015 - 4:46 pm
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The notches in the f holes are only a reference mark. They are made before the violin is ever put together. If all goes perfectly they will be in the right place. The proper string length should be 330mm. this is measured between the nut and the bridge. As for the sound post, the given measurements are only a guideline. The sound post is positioned to give the violin it's best sound.

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Uzi
Georgia
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December 5, 2015 - 1:02 pm
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@Kevin M., thanks for the info. I measured 13 inches back which is within a few thousandths of 330mm and moved the bridge to that location.  It's actually even farther back than the original position of the bridge. Thus far, I have left the sound post where I most recently placed it. Now the bridge is located just over the leading edge of the sound post. Not so surprisingly, the volume level is reduced a bit. I expected the change in the sound post to bridge distance to alter the tone somewhat, but I had no idea whether it would make it brighter or darker. It appears that the answer is darker.  I think I'll leave it this way for a bit, before further experimentation to see if I like it this way.   Unfortunately, moving the bridge in this direction has exposed a mark in the varnish where the feet of the bridge were originally. I can live with that, I guess. 

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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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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December 5, 2015 - 4:13 pm
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A little polish should take care of that

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bfurman
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December 5, 2015 - 4:26 pm
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Varnish divots near the bridge feet add character. 🙂

Aren't the Virtuosos a good deal brighter than the Obligato strings?  Like almost opposite ends of the spectrum?

i had my instrument set up recently with a new soundpost and bridge contour.  The Tonicas no longer worked, so I am playing on Zyex for the time being.  I am leaning toward something even darker, possibly Tzigane, Obligato, or Kaplan Amo, but $80 is a lot unless the strings last an exceptionally long time.

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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December 5, 2015 - 10:38 pm
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Very cool info Uzi!!!

I will get that tool... And I will thank you very kindly ... After the first few hours of panic...

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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bfurman
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December 6, 2015 - 12:44 am
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You have a rich and warm tone there with lovely, mature vibrato!  The intonation will come with scale practices.

The local shop told me that my violin's original soundpost was too thick, like a viola's.  It seemed easily choked by string tension before, and the Tonicas relieved that.  Now it is loud, bright, and difficult to play sweetly.  A bit of choking may be in order.... 😉

I don't have the tools yet, but my soundpost is within the normal range.  Compared to the standard starting point, it is shifted further aft and toward the bass bar.

The Zyex are good for now.  I would consider Kaplans if Pierre starts to carry those.

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bfurman
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December 7, 2015 - 1:18 pm
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Well, according to both the 330 mm scale rule and the 2:3 "mensur" rule, my bridge was more than 3 mm too close to the FB!  This even after shop adjustment....

After repositioning the bridge, the A and G strings crack more easily.  I will give the instrument some play time to settle in.  Thanks for the setup hints!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 7, 2015 - 1:54 pm
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Not only do we sell them but we always have them in stock. 🙂

http://fiddlershop.com/kaplan-.....g-set.html
http://fiddlershop.com/kaplan-.....g-set.html

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

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bfurman
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December 7, 2015 - 8:17 pm
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Weird... Not sure how I missed that! 😀

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bfurman
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March 27, 2016 - 12:33 am
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Just a quick update to mention that after a second shop opinion my bridge is restored to its original footing position.  It seems to work, so I won't be tinkering with it any time soon.

Also, I received a set of Kaplan Amos as a gift, and they rock on my instrument.  *Huge* sounding, warm, responsive, and having more overall complexity than the Zyex.  My fingers also perceive slightly lower tension than Zyex.  Even the plain (albeit tinned) E is a treat.

Will be ordering my next set from Fiddlershop.  Also curious to try Warchal Amber, but man... these Amos work well!

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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March 27, 2016 - 3:13 pm
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@Uzi Glad that you worked it out 🙂  It's fascinating when we discover a new string that matches our instrument ...How long you've been playing the Soloist before the soundpost adjustement? If I am not wrong, new istruments would need soundpost adjustments frequently, especially during their "opening up" . 

So it may be your instrument itself developing, and you adjusted the soundpost at the proper time revealing the instrument's own progress. Of course new strings would always improve worn out ones (a few months could be more than enough for the Dominants) plus everyone that I know who have tried Larsen strings, love them.

@bfurman Since you mention Zyex, Amo's and Amber, give Evah Pirazzi Gold a try when and if you are in the mood of experimenting 🙂 

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Fiddlerman
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March 28, 2016 - 11:53 am
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Glad to hear that you like the Amos bfurman,
We have plenty of them in stock. 🙂
My experience with them so far has been great. The only real way to know is to test at least all my favorite strings on one instrument and compare to the Amo. Problem is that I sometimes forget the feel and sound by the time I've changed the strings. 🙁

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

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bfurman
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March 28, 2016 - 11:58 pm
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I am curious about Larsen Tzigane and the Warchals I mentioned.  But longevity and stability are both important since I really don't like changing strings.  If the Amos survive the next two months well, then I'll be buying more.  I won't be performing any recitals to justify a set of Evahs.

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Hermes
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March 29, 2016 - 11:00 am
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bfurman said
I won't be performing any recitals to justify a set of Evahs.

I also had no performing this year, since last July. I exploited the fact to save up on strings, and tried to keep them as long as they sounded ok, intentionally neglecting the 120 hours rule of thumb. I would change the E of course almost on a monthly basis of 2-4 hours a day playing, and sometimes the A. But usually those two are affordable. And since there was no performing, I could handle a sparkly A for as long it needed to settle.

So, same D&G Evahs (not the gold) for about half a year. And they seem as if there is more. No false sound, and after the first month that they really got stable sound wise (less tinny and "fizzy" than their first week), the have remained remarkably stable  and no lack of power like the Dominants would do after such a long time. 

Don't take me wrong, I enjoy fancy fresh strings. But if it works...it's time to save bucks!!! 

P.S. I know that Evahs seem to have a notorious reputation for deteriorating quickly. If you are a performer of course you may change them whenever you feel like so, so we are down to the situation that somebody is not performing regularly. Then if you can handle their sound after their first month, and you somehow like it, it remains like that for a long time. 

Cheers 🙂

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