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I have 22 sets of strings now after having rid myself of many unwanted used or partial sets. Though you must not count on any of this to be actually true, here are my thoughts on some of the various strings I have tried:
Cecilio steel: I consider these to be bottom of the barrel strings.
Chinese steel: these are the $1 a set strings. Bright but plain.
Alice 703: these come with Crescent violins. Bright and happy, not bad
Yehudi: dead sound no ring at all. Good for Jewish or Greek music. You must hit the note so it is good for practice. But after a couple of days the strings stretch into good sounding steel strings.
Prelude: I have these on Jane now, but I still don't sound good.
Huayin: pure yuck. metalic after ring. Tried them 3 times, couldn't stand them.
Texas old house perlon: real gut sound that gets lost quickly, just ok.
Start Right: I liked these but they broke when I was changing strings. I would buy more if I could find them if only to retest.
Pro Arte: These are on Rose. Sound okay but nothing special.
zyex: FM's favorite and for good reason, sound good on Vanessa.
Nothing else that I tried warranted being on the list. Though I did try the Jargar E String which was beautiful, but for a beginner was too difficult to match to another set of strings. I am able to make all of these strings sound bad.
I think I need some help or I will develop a distaste for perlon strings (which I don't want to do).
I had to take off the zyex because I was shying away from playing the violin they were on and I wanted to try a new set of steel strings. I still have proArte on one violin and Preludes on another. The preludes have settled and sound really beautiful. The proArtes have a g that has a slight ch sound and is edgey; the d has a sh sound but is unclear; the a has an irritating sh sound (I have replaced the proArte e with the Jargar e which I like). The other violin has Yehudi strings which I thought I liked until I did this test and now realize that the preludes are so much better.
I am hoping that someone here can give me more vocabulary to use in talking about sound and maybe a way to listen to these perlon strings. I don't want to develop a prejudice.
I think your vocabulary for describing strings is fine. I think, I understood what you were trying to convey. I would suggest trying the Kaplan E string, it won't break the bank and is not annoyingly shrill like most E strings. Plus it doesn't have that whisper sound that used to bug the heck out of me when playing on a plain steel string.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
My Next strings will be P. Tonicas. I have heard good things.
I did recently add a gold e string by D'Addario. I like it very very much. It is very smooth. http://fiddlershop.com/d-addar.....e%20string
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
I put Preludes on the three violins. Jane, my $30 violin sounds great, I mean really great, so much so that she is the one I pick up the most. Rose the other crescent violin, had a thin, whinney sound and each string had auxiliary sounds that I didn't want, so I took them off and replaced them with Zyex and now she sounds really good (I also moved and replaced the sound post). Vanessa the mv650, made scarey halloween sounds with the Preludes, so off they came, replaced with the Jargar e string and the cheap perlon Huyan(sp), just until I think of another set to try.
I was happy to be able to have preludes on all the violins at the same time for it gave me the ability to hone in on the differences of each and also dictated the moving of two sound posts which improved each. I was surprised that I had to retune the new Preludes each morning for over a week, I thought that they should have settled earlier, but it is also possible they were also stretching the tailpiece strap which is what I believe was happening to Rose.