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How often should you change your strings?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
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ELCBK
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February 19, 2021 - 4:08 pm
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I definitely agree about new strings needing a lot of retuning for the 1st few days. 

"Brash" or "harsh" means (to me) something I don't want to hear from my violin.

I find it hard to believe that I'm the only one who loves my new strings as soon as I put them on... and after they settle. 

Isn't there anyone else who feels the same? 

I can't be that lucky. (lol)

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Mouse
February 19, 2021 - 5:41 pm
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I think it is relative to the violinist/violist/cellist. I think that when a person wants or even needs to change strings has to do with what makes them happy, combined with what they can do financially, or need to do it.

I change mine when I am just tired of hearing them and want a change. If they are still good, I have backups. I know that if I am just tired of the tone from a set, I need to change them, even of they are still good, because it bothers me and I concentrate too much on wanting a change. Sometimes they wear out before I tire of them. Sometimes, I just want a change. I want to try for a different overall sound.

I don’t think there is a set rule, unless you only change when needed. Even then, it depends on the instrumentalist. How often it is played, is it played hard with aggressive bowing, or more subdued slow peaceful graceful songs. I think that if you change only when the strings wear out, all of that plays a part.

So, I really do not think there is a definitive answer, it is relative to so many factors for each person. Much like setups.  

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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February 19, 2021 - 6:09 pm
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@Mouse -

So... do you like your new strings when you 1st put them on - or, do you only like them after they've been on a while after settling in? 

 

The Smiley Puppet Smiley- Emily

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Mouse
February 19, 2021 - 6:52 pm
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@ELCBK and others reading this topic

I have been lucky in that most of the strings I have tried have settled in fairly quickly. Some I liked for a couple weeks, probably because they were different, and then not so much because I notice something that I was not getting from them, some tone or something. Not warm enough, etc. Most of the time I am happy with them, I just need a change, like moving furniture to make a change.  A lot of times, I will put them on again, when I want a change again. I will do that until they are no longer good. 

There is one brand that I absolutely cannot stand and could never get used to any string, C, G, D, or A or G, D, A, E. Depends on which instrument, but I don't like them on any instrument. I am not saying the brand because it is not that the strings are bad, I just don't like the sound, which, again, is personal preference. 

I don't say a brand name if it is just that I, personally, do not like the sound.

These are what I like on my warm violin:

Fiddlerman - I love these the best. They seem to fit this violin. Good thing, because they are the least expensive.

Evah Pirazzi Gold - second best and are what is on it now. I broke a Fiddlermam string, my fault, not a manufacturing issue. I had a set of these and put them on. I prefer a complete set of one brand/model. Unfortunately, I really love these, too. The E is lovely, but the Fiddlerman ones are better on this violin. If I still have this violin when these wear out, the Fiddlerman strings will be put on again. I bought another set.

Obligatos - Because they behave like for me gut, I do have issues with the response. I am not experienced with playing my violin, so I have a hard time with these. I was told the that they were gut, I figured that person was right since I had just started violin a few weeks before I got them. I have since found out, tonight, that they are synthetic made to act like gut, but I guess that would be relative to the instrumentalist, too. I tried them a few years ago, when I started out. I had to remove them, and still have them. The response is too slow and require better bowing capabilities than I have.

On my brighter Concert Deluxe I have had

Kaplan Ammo - nice on that violin - I believe that is what it came with, and has been the best suited on it.

It has Fiddlerman now. The Kaplans wore out and I had Fiddlerman strings, other than the Obligatos that I removed from the warmer violin. 

I like the Fiddlerman Strings on it, but it is not as bright and fiddle sounding, which is what I play on that violin. When I can, I will get Kaplan Ammos, or I will try a lesser expensive set that is bright. Maybe Tonicas. I had them on my first violin. Really gave life to that inexpensive first violin. But, that violin sounded much different than this beautiful Concert Deluxe violin, so I am not sure they will give the Concert Deluxe the "respect" it deserves. If they are a lot less expensive, it is worth the try, rather than the Kaplan Ammos. The Kaplan Ammos are great on it.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
February 19, 2021 - 9:15 pm
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That is what I was told. But, I just Googled it and they are synthetic, but act like gut. They certainly have a noticeably slower response time for me, so I believed it because they behaved so differently to me. I edited my above post to reflect that so as not to confuse people, as I, apparently was.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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SharonC
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February 20, 2021 - 12:21 pm
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I just changed my strings back in January to Kaplan Amo (Santa brought).  However, I just changed them again, back to Obligato (for G, D silver, A aluminum). 

The Amo’s definitely project more than the Obligatos, but the Amo‘s sounded a bit brash on my instrument, even after a month of playing on them.  But I do like the Amo E, so I left that one on.  I had been using a Jargar E with Obligato G, D, A.

After playing a month on Amo, I felt like I was home again when I switched back to Obligato. Amo just didn’t have the warmth I’d grown accustomed to with the Obligatos. However, every instrument is different in how strings work on them.

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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ABitRusty
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February 20, 2021 - 1:09 pm
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SharonC said
I just changed my strings back in January to Kaplan Amo (Santa brought).  However, I just changed them again, back to Obligato (for G, D silver, A aluminum). 

The Amo’s definitely project more than the Obligatos, but the Amo‘s sounded a bit brash on my instrument, even after a month of playing on them.  But I do like the Amo E, so I left that one on.  I had been using a Jargar E with Obligato G, D, A.

After playing a month on Amo, I felt like I was home again when I switched back to Obligato. Amo just didn’t have the warmth I’d grown accustomed to with the Obligatos. However, every instrument is different in how strings work on them.

  

I didnt stick with the Amo either and settled on obligatos for the soloist.  I have an older fiddle that had obligatos on it when I bought but they were in need of changing.  I decided to try out a set of larsen tzigane which turned out to be pretty good.  when the soloist set needs changing im going to put a tzigane set on to seee how it likes them.  I dont feel like my soloist is bright, and even though I like the obligatos on it, it may sound a little better with a brighter string... so since the tziganes seem  a little brighter than obligatos Im interested to see if it will tweak the sound a little more in that direction.  im just not sure if its the fiddle or the strings yet on that older fiddle that i heard.   Im not saying tziganes are bright, just a little more in that direction than obligatos which may fit well on a darker sounding instrument.  

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nandinishankar
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February 23, 2021 - 3:23 am
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What really works for me is about once or twice a year. Also, I play in a tuning where the strings are tuned at a much lower tension than standard tuning, so that's probably why they last longer!

The strings start sounding lifeless and lacklustre, that's when you know :)

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ELCBK
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February 23, 2021 - 9:12 am
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@nandinishankar -

It would be wonderful if you could talk about your tuning in this thread I started! 

https://fiddlerman.com/forum/c.....-fiddle/ 

https://cdn140.picsart.com/257371346025201.png

It's titled "Cross-tuning" but we have talked about all kinds of tuning - just get sidetracked once in a while. 

- Emily

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wtw
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February 23, 2021 - 11:38 am
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I change my strings about once a year. I'm never sure whether they need changing or not, as they always look the same to me and I never had any problems of strings not staying in tune anymore or anything else they say is a telltale sign of damaged strings. So I try changing when 1) more or less 1 year has elapsed, and 2) when I consistently hate the sound that's coming out of my viola ; "consistently" is the keyword – I have lots of bad days (no idea why), so that's not reason enough : I wait until I haven't had a great-sounding-day in weeks.

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Fiddlerman
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March 2, 2021 - 12:39 pm
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When I worked professionally I would change my strings every 6 to 8 weeks to have the freshest and best sounding strings possible but now a days, I only change them when I feel that they are dull or unwinding. Typically that would be between 3 to 6 months. Mind you, I have great access to strings. :)

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

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Gordon Shumway
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March 3, 2021 - 1:55 am
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Fiddlerman said
Mind you, I have great access to strings. :)

I hope it hurts being spoilt for choice!b-slap

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
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August 10, 2021 - 4:15 pm
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But it doesn't help either because I never have time to play my own violin anymore. LOL
Haven't changed strings in a while.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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January 14, 2022 - 2:46 am
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Fiddlerman said
But it doesn't help either because I never have time to play my own violin anymore. LOL

Haven't changed strings in a while.

  

Yeah, I injured my left arm in the summer and now I've spent a lot of the autumn and winter living with the other half who is anti-violin ("why couldn't you have bought an accordion instead - that's a nice instrument?"), so my schedule is shot. I play about two days a week on the Gewa at her place and one day a week on the Breton at my place. I bought some Zyexes, in theory for the Breton, but they may end up on the Gewa instead, since Dominants seem too slack on the Gewa. No, I just ordered some Tonicas for the Gewa. How did the price drop so low?

Andrew

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ABitRusty
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January 14, 2022 - 8:08 am
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 ("why couldn't you have bought an accordion instead - that's a nice instrument?"

😃

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RDP
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January 14, 2022 - 12:34 pm
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ABitRusty said

 ("why couldn't you have bought an accordion instead - that's a nice instrument?"

😃

  

Or maybe an air guitar...

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wtw
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January 15, 2022 - 1:14 pm
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Or a musical saw, if you want to keep the bow, but not do unnatural things with your left arm…

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stringy
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January 15, 2022 - 4:01 pm
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I thought mine were still ok after six months, but changed them anyway, and immediatwly heard the difference. I have another set of tonicas which I just bought ready t go on when I get the time,they are only around 20 quid and I think are great strings.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Fiddlerman
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January 20, 2022 - 2:51 pm
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The answer to this question depends on so many factors but whenever you feel that your strings are dull, you may want to change them. It also depends on if you're going to be playing for yourself or for others.
I know that when I was performing, especially if I would be playing solos, I would have a greater desire to change the strings like a week before.
6 months is probably very typical.
When I played professionally, I would be wasteful and change them every 3 months. 😁

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

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