Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
My Zyex strings that I had on Rudoulf fizzled, so I put my Fiddlerman Violin Strings on him. Rudoulf is a warm violin. I was not sure how the Fiddlerman Strings would sound, they always sound so lovely in videos that highlight them. They always sound well rounded and warm. But, my concern was that they would be too warm for Rudoulf.
I really like them on Rudoulf. They are still stretching in. I have to stop to adjust periodically when playing, but I just put them on this afternoon.
What I noted immediately was the E string. The Fiddlerman E string on this violin is sweet and clear, but not bright like my brighter violin (Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe). All of the strings are very clear sounding, not muted, even though they are warm on a warm violin.
I was disappointed with the Zyex fizzling so soon. I just put them on Rudoulf August 19. I mark my packages as to which violins they are on and when they were put on. Over the last week, they would not stay tuned, they sounded bad even when in tune. They were not sharp or flat sounding, but the tone was not pleasant. Not sure why they fizzled so quickly. They may just have been a bad set? I don’t know.
I would give them another chance, but not necessary. They are brighter than the Fiddlerman strings in this violin. I prefer the warmer on Rudoulf. The Fiddlerman strings, which cost less, sound great on Rudoulf. It will be interesting if my instructor notices the string change Friday. He does like Rudoulf. When we do a fast happy song, I will bring FiddleDeeDee.
They call me, “Mellow Cello”
Strings are so different on different violins.
The reviews I've read on D'Addario Zyex were mixed. Some love them and some absolutely hate them. Of the reviews that were more negative, the main complaint was a tingy, metallic unpleasant sound. Also there was mention of problems with tuning, and keeping tension was problematic. Have you experienced any tuning issues on those strings? I lean more to a peg problem, however. It is much more common to have loose pegs than a string that falls out of tune on its own.
I love my strings... but they are pricey. Zyex looks to be more affordable on string comparison sites.
- Pete -
They ( Zyex) do seem to be a bit more of a pain to get to settle in. At least from what I remember. I never felt they were tingy though. I wonder What most synthetic strings made from. There are so many choices so there has to be something in the secret sauce that makes one set this way and another that way.
The people I know who have used Zyex strings have a similar set of opinions: they either love them or hate them. It seems like Zyex strings are always either great or terrible on any particular instrument, very little in between.
There have to be structural differences, not just differences in materials -- I'm told that Evah Pirazzi and Obligato are made with the exact same material, and they're at diametric opposites of the spectrum.
@Pete_Violin and @GregW, and others:
My Zyex strings, for me, settled in pretty quickly. I think they held their tune almost right away. My Fiddlerman strings, as of last night, still needed periodic tuning, but they were a little more stable last night. Keep in mind, I installed them late yesterday afternoon. I will be doing my cello more than violin today, but will be playing violin periodically. I will see how they do today with being stable. I may opt to do violin more, if the strings need it, I have a lesson Friday.
That said, the Zyex seemed to have turned bad rather quickly. They were on for a month. They started needing tuning, they sounded bad, etc. When they were removed, they were like an overcooked spaghetti noodle. Maybe it was just a bad set? Happens.
When they were good, I liked them. They were soft to finger, and I liked the sound on Rudoulf, but I like the sound of Fiddlerman on Rudoulf better, because they are warmer. The Fiddlerman strings sound and project like the original strings, I can’t remember what they were.
The Fiddlerman strings are quite nice. I like them on my Rudoulf. I also have Fiddlerman on Pawny ($50 pawnshop purchase). They sound nice on Pawny. If I was using Pawny regularly, I would have to get strings that projected more because somewhere down the line of her life, a person put, I think, varnish on her. This is muffling her sweet sound. I am not going to do anything about getting the varnish removed. She looks unique and is not a regular “playing” instrument. She is a rescue because she is just beautiful.
Saying that about the projection of Fiddlerman strings on Pawny, the projection is just great with Rudoulf. I do not now, nor do I ever intend to, play in a performance of any kind. I play in my house, or lesson studio. I do not need a lot of projection, these go beyond what I need. They go beyond what I need, but they are what I like. I use earplugs I bought from Fiddlershop. Lesser projection strings just don’t sound as nice to me, even though I do not need all of that projection. The Fiddlershop strings, last night, sounded like they have as much projection as the original strings I removed. Maybe they were Dominants. That is the set of strings the violin shop where I bought Rudoulf generally puts on instruments in this price point, with the option to select a different set.
If I missed any information you wanted, just ask. I think I covered everything. Again, these strings were just installed last night.
About D’Addario. I do try to give D’Addario products a fair chance because, my being in the USA, they are an American company and are made in the USA. They are in my state, as a matter of fact. Not many companies in the US for instruments (making them here, and making the accessories here). It is just a preference of support.
I love brick and mortar over online warehouse stores. Not talking preference in regards over Fiddlershop. Fiddlershop is a brick and mortar family run violin store, that offers online sales with great customer service, therefore, they get a preference from me as a business to purchase online from. A different business than D’Addario, though. I purchase D’Addario through Fiddlershop.
Given that I do like D’Addario as a company, these particular strings, Zyex, I would not get them again. I have no need for them. My FiddleDeeDee (Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe) does not need strings that will warm her. Rudoulf doesn’t need strings that will make her less warm. Plus, they did not last long for me.
I love the Kaplan Ammo in my Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe. They are D’Addario. I like the D’Addario Kaplan Dark rosin that I bought from Fiddlershop. I love the D’Addario NS tuner I purchased at Fiddlershop. So, for me, these two companies are a favorite in tandem, just not a fan of Zyex for my needs.
They call me, “Mellow Cello”
The very first shop violin I bought had Zyex strings on it. I was still a very green player, didn't have much to compare to. They were on a very neutral to muffled violin ( as I later learned). To my untrained fingers those strings seemed to give a bit too much for me on the low end. A few years later I don't believe I would change how I see them after trying several other sets. I have wanted to try gut sometime, but haven't yet. Others have mentioned they feel a bit like gut. I would say they were a mostly neutral set leaning slightly more toward less overt projection. Not something I would put on an old violin with weak projection unless I wanted it to have a softer tone. Similar to your Zyex, they lost the little sheen they had rather quickly. Not as fast as yours did.
I haven't tried Fiddlerman strings yet. Thanks for your take on them. I really didn't care much for the Kaplans at all, sorry. All fiddles are different so you never know what will work it seems.
My all round' inexpensive favorite thus far is Pirastro Tonica. I think they are a much better all around string than even Dominants. My last set was Warchal Amber. They are a bit pricey, so I will likely revert back to the Tonicas (or try Fiddlerman strings) unless I can get them on a deal again.
@starise I put Tonicas on a Mendini 300 and they really made a world of difference. I would use them on my FiddleDeeDe, they would be brighter than the Fiddlerman strings. Pirastro has very good customer service, also. Helped me out a couple of times.
No need to be sorry about not liking Kaplan. Like you said, you and I could both have the same exact violin and the same set of strings could sound different, they could sound very similar but not to both our own tastes.
I think the variance between violins is why I go into so much detail on how my violins sound with different strings, and what I am looking for, so people can relate to what I am hearing. It won’t be exact, due to variances, but if I say that I have a warm leaning violin (meaning not a deep dark warm you would expect in a $10,000 violin), with a description of those strings on that violin versus another set of strings, or those same strings on another violin, it might help in understanding what I am hearing. Hope I said that right. I just reworded it three times.
Reading the strings are bright really does not help. What does your violin sound like compared with a different set of strings? Did they make it warmer, brighter, more projection, less? Those strings on a violin with a different tone tendancy (harder to find those differences because most people have one violin).
They call me, “Mellow Cello”
Seems to be trial and error until we know how our own violins respond and what we are looking for. At least that's how it's been with me. Some sounded better. Some were a little easier to get the tones out of. They all get old and loose their nice tone after awhile. From my (very limited) experience with my "warm" violin no strings I have put on it changed that. I've even moved my sound post to change it. On the "warm" scale it might be a 6 instead of a 5 but it's still "warm". On a bright violin with more projection I can make it more warm with strings. Not much luck the other way around. I did eventually manage a more pleasant kind of warm on that violin. It's kind of like asking someone how a hamburger tasted to them and comparing to if I eat a hamburger made somewhere else made with slightly different ingredients...darn, now I want a hamburger and I can't have one because I'm on a diet.
A trap I may have fell for is expecting a coarse adjustment from a string brand change and in reality is closer to a fine tune adjust. As all have found just changing old strings for new ones makes things better. So then if Ive changed brands its ...am I hearing how great new strings are or how great the new brand is. Not sure I can honestly detect tonal differences in brands yet. I feel like I have, just not sure...Thats me. But Ill still try swapping for something different just to test a different brand when string change time comes. What the heck I have to change old ones anyway but then that brings up the new strings or different brand issue. And I hate the process of changing strings so I'm not going to try out 2 or 3 new sets back to back...to lazy and it takes time away Ive set aside for playing. Anyway...Going from steel core to synthetic seemed like a detectable difference to me in feel and is why Ive stayed with the synthetic types for a while. Zyex was the first synthetic I used going from helicore so maybe I judged the brand and not the type as being great for me. I want to go back at some point and see how I like steel core just for curiosity sake.
To be continued..... 🙂
It is interesting to feel and hear the difference in strings. I will get a set to use in the future when they are 30% or more on sale. My two sets of Fiddlerman were on sale when I bought them. At their normal price, if I find I continue to like them through their lifetime, I would pay full price.
Sometimes i am tempted to try one of the really low priced sets but if I don’t like them, I would have to change them out quickly. I.don’t mind doing it, but I have not popped a bridge on Rudoulf or FiddleDeeDes yet. Don’t wNt to. They have a good setup. Who is to say I will get that bridge back exact. So, I don’t do it.
But then, what is the difference between trying the inexpensive and having to swap them out soon, or trying the more expensive with the same result? Funny how my thinking goes.
Please disregard any typos. I am riding in the car, not driving, and the sun glare is an issue. I think I caught them.
They call me, “Mellow Cello”
I just played Rudoulf for two hours with the New Fiddlerman strings that I put on it late yesterday afternoon. I had to tweak the tuning just a tad. After I was done, I checked. The only string that was out of tune was the E string and it was just a tad flat. It just took an ever so small minute turn of the fine tuner and it was fine. I didn’t think they got out of tune while playing, so I didn’t tune it during the playing time. It sounded fine. I have a hard time spotting the E when it is only a little flat to sharp.
So, they seem to be settling in pretty quickly on Rudoulf.
They call me, “Mellow Cello”