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Kaplan Non-Whistling E string
Has anyone used this
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Fiddlerman
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February 18, 2019 - 9:04 am
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If you guys try the Westminster, let me know your thoughts. I love that string. Not only is it great but it seems to bring darkness from the other strings as well. I believe it helps avoid the E string whistling as well. 🙂

"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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February 18, 2019 - 9:11 am
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Did my E string ever whistle? I can't remember. It may have done, but also it's the one that sounds most horrible when your intonation is wrong.

Initially my A string sounded very scratchy.

After a while I discovered I was bowing sul tasto all the time to try to get a sweeter sound. Regular tone production practice with parallel bowing approximately midway between fingerboard and bridge has improved my tone a lot (although of course I'm itching to improve it further with vibrato). My intonation has improved, so that I am now most happy with my E and A strings and probably least happy with my D string. All the G string needs is more practice reaching it, with both hands. For the near future I will be spending time practising tone production on my D string.

Afaik, they are Tonicas - they were supplied with the fiddle. When they physically fall off the violin, I'll replace them with Dominants. And when they physically fall off the instrument, I'll replace them with whichever of the two I liked most.

Guitar strings are much cheaper, and people replace them every week thinking the right strings will make them sound like Segovia.

But when you are a beginner, dissatisfaction with equipment really is not a good substitute for practice.

I intended this to be good advice, but I have spent most of a week wondering how to word it so that it doesn't sound like criticism. I don't suppose I have succeeded.

Likewise with rosin/string combos. Don't worry about it. Choose any adequate MOR string and any adequate MOR rosin and get the best you can out of them before worrying about buying better.

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 18, 2019 - 9:50 am
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@gordon shunway - as you say -

But when you are a beginner, dissatisfaction with equipment really is not a good substitute for practice.

I intended this to be good advice, but I have spent most of a week wondering how to word it so that it doesn't sound like criticism. I don't suppose I have succeeded.

Likewise with rosin/string combos. Don't worry about it.

  Absolutely perfect hats_off 🙂  

  I too understand the "continued search for a better sound" - be it strings, rosin, technique.   I stopped beating-myself-about-the-head with a wet haddock and decided to "live with what I had" when I was as a raw beginner.   In truth, for me, it is only now, after 4 years that I am starting to get confident about different strings, rosins and so on.

  Having fallen into the trap (during the wet-haddock incident) I do now have a collection of string sets, and it's only really now that I'm starting to appreciate the difference - sometimes it's how the string is played - in the early days - I "couldn't get it to work properly" (for want of better words) - now I can.

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Gordon Shumway
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February 18, 2019 - 9:55 am
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BillyG said
 I do now have a collection of string sets,

And that is probably a good thing, I say contradicting myself - I am aware that if I break a string, I will be unable to practise for more than a week until new strings arrive in the post. I'm not sure if that's likely to be an E string, in which case, should I buy a few individual ones now, or should I just buy a set of Dominants asap and do a full restring if something breaks?

Andrew

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Irv
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February 18, 2019 - 10:52 am
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Hi @BillyG and others.  In crew that is known as rowing the rig.  Beginners tend to constantly tweak the angle and height of the oarlocks and the distance of the toe holds.  More advanced rowers take the given parameters and, if physically possible, trust that muscle memory will allow them to accommodate.

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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BillyG
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February 18, 2019 - 12:25 pm
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@Irv - precisely !

( Although I would NEVER stand in the way of folks experimenting with things - so long as it doesn't take-over your life to the detriment of progress ! )

Here's an interesting discussion/report into "why" the E can whistle - and "what it looks like" from both a scientific/physical and visual approach (it's a .pdf)

https://vsapapers.org/index.ph.....nload/3/4/

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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GregW
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February 18, 2019 - 12:46 pm
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BillyG said..Having fallen into the trap (during the wet-haddock incident

LOl 🙂  sounds like a sci-fi movie.

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DennisS
Long Valley, NJ/Hobe Sound, FL
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February 18, 2019 - 1:28 pm
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Fiddlerman said
If you guys try the Westminster, let me know your thoughts. I love that string. Not only is it great but it seems to bring darkness from the other strings as well. I believe it helps avoid the E string whistling as well. 🙂  

I have tried the Westminster E, on my backup violin, which had a tendency for harshness, or shrillness in the E string (no whistling though).  Did not like the Westminster on that violin.  I had previously had a Pirastro Gold E on that violin as well and did not like that either.  The Warchal Amber E did the trick and smoothed out/warmed up the e-string.

If I don't have time for a short post, I'll write a long post - (adapted from Mark Twain)

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Gordon Shumway
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February 18, 2019 - 1:54 pm
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BillyG said
@Irv - precisely !

( Although I would NEVER stand in the way of folks experimenting with things - so long as it doesn't take-over your life to the detriment of progress ! )

Here's an interesting discussion/report into "why" the E can whistle - and "what it looks like" from both a scientific/physical and visual approach (it's a .pdf)

https://vsapapers.org/index.ph.....nload/3/4/  

I'm gobsmacked. In physics I've looked at transverse and longitudinal vibrations, but I don't think I've ever seen mention of torsional vibrations. I can't imagine why not.

Andrew

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cid
February 18, 2019 - 2:45 pm
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Actually, IMO, the trying of new strings, I don’t think is done by violin students in the attempt to make the violin give that professional sound.  We know that won’t happen. We know you have to practice. 

As a learner, I want to hear the best sound or tone as I can get as I learn. I don’t sound like a violinist of experience, or a student who has been at it for years, and that is not the point. I just want to be able to tolerate the sound as I improve. Why should only the better violinists have that option? Shrill and tinny sounds bother me. Hollow sounds bother me in instruments. So, even as a student, I have a pretty good instrument, still student, but not beginner grade. I try to find strings that at least don’t turn me away. 

I also have found, through the Obligatos and further investigation, that different brands, and strings within those brands can bow easier or harder. For example, I tried the Obligatos because I like the mellow warm sound, not because I think it will be the magic pill, so to speak, to becoming better. What I found was that they are harder for me to bow.  In fact, in reading up on it, I found that that is supposedly the case. The string does affect that. 

So, as a newbie student, I still feel that my experimenting with strings is just as useful and beneficial as it is for the more experienced student or experienced violinist. 

It does not have to do with trying to take an easy route, so to speak. We new students understand that the string will not do that. We just want it to sound as nice as it can in our amateur status. Hearing that tone we like makes it easier and more enjoyable to practice. Why should we have to listen to awful sounding strings? Why should we have to listen to a tone or color(?) we don’t like simply because we are students? That certainly does not make me want to practice longer. You don’t know what a string will sound like on your violin unless you test it out.

Experimenting with different strings make it fun, creates more practice time, and actually has gotten me a lot faster and better at changing my strings. 

It is not about all of a sudden sounding like a professional. It is about being able to hear the best sound we can, enjoying the instrument and learning about strings.

Does this make sense? I think that concept is not understood, or is misunderstood by experinenced musicians of any instrument. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 18, 2019 - 5:48 pm
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I guess there is a reason that there are so many different types of strings. If one string set or type was best for every violin and player, everyone would get that. 🙂

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

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cid
February 18, 2019 - 5:56 pm
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@Fiddlerman You are so right. And, can you imagine how much that price for that one string type would spike? 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 18, 2019 - 6:37 pm
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Good point.

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

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cid
February 18, 2019 - 6:50 pm
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@Fiddlerman Did you see the video I finally got the nerve to post? I believe I was using the Fiddlerman Strings when I played it. They are nice smooth bowing strings. Good for me because I don’t do anything fancy right now.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
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February 18, 2019 - 9:06 pm
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Not yet Cynthia. I'll look for it. Glad to hear it.🤠

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

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 19, 2019 - 4:33 am
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Gordon Shumway said

I'm gobsmacked. In physics I've looked at transverse and longitudinal vibrations, but I don't think I've ever seen mention of torsional vibrations. I can't imagine why not.  

  Nor had I, and the physics of it makes total sense, and indicates why the "bowing approach to" or "bow engagement with" that type of string is important - just because it has a "tendency to whistle" does not in itself make it a bad (or maybe better said a "poor" string).   I'm certain, for some folks with proper tuition, they have been taught in such a way that it simply just doesn't whistle back - (without having to understand the mechanism that causes it) and it becomes an automatic and corrected bow-approach/string engagement.

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 19, 2019 - 5:23 am
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cid said
Actually, IMO, the trying of new strings, I don’t think is done by violin students in the attempt to make the violin give that professional sound.  We know that won’t happen. We know you have to practice. 

As a learner, I want to hear the best sound or tone as I can get as I learn. I don’t sound like a violinist of experience, or a student who has been at it for years, and that is not the point. I just want to be able to tolerate the sound as I improve. Why should only the better violinists have that option? Shrill and tinny sounds bother me. Hollow sounds bother me in instruments. So, even as a student, I have a pretty good instrument, still student, but not beginner grade. I try to find strings that at least don’t turn me away. 

I also have found, through the Obligatos and further investigation, that different brands, and strings within those brands can bow easier or harder. For example, I tried the Obligatos because I like the mellow warm sound, not because I think it will be the magic pill, so to speak, to becoming better. What I found was that they are harder for me to bow.  In fact, in reading up on it, I found that that is supposedly the case. The string does affect that. 

So, as a newbie student, I still feel that my experimenting with strings is just as useful and beneficial as it is for the more experienced student or experienced violinist. 

It does not have to do with trying to take an easy route, so to speak. We new students understand that the string will not do that. We just want it to sound as nice as it can in our amateur status. Hearing that tone we like makes it easier and more enjoyable to practice. Why should we have to listen to awful sounding strings? Why should we have to listen to a tone or color(?) we don’t like simply because we are students? That certainly does not make me want to practice longer. You don’t know what a string will sound like on your violin unless you test it out.

Experimenting with different strings make it fun, creates more practice time, and actually has gotten me a lot faster and better at changing my strings. 

It is not about all of a sudden sounding like a professional. It is about being able to hear the best sound we can, enjoying the instrument and learning about strings.

Does this make sense? I think that concept is not understood, or is misunderstood by experinenced musicians of any instrument.   

@cid - makes sense to me !   Humans, being inquisitive by nature, are generally driven by a desire to make or do things to the very best level they possibly can, and at the same time, achieve a feeling of overall satisfaction.  

From my own point of view however, to stop whatever it is I'm investigating becoming an obsession, there are occasions when I have to stand back and live-with-it - whatever it is that I have achieved - knowing I have learned something in that investigative/experimental phase - and revisit it later.   As I say - I would NEVER stand in the way of folks experimenting with things - it's that inquisitive part of us that helps us grow and understand !

[ Yes, and I'm the chap who last year painted one of our rooms with a pastel shade of emulsion - you know- it just didn't feel right - and two weeks later we emptied the room and re-did it in the same color but mixed 50/50 with white....  Now, THAT'S persnickety ]

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Gordon Shumway
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February 19, 2019 - 6:54 am
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I can only assume that torsional vibration comes from solid steel. I imagine that any kind of winding eliminates it. Tonicas are available with solid steel and aluminium-wound E strings. I guess mine is wound, but it's only a guess.

(I've seen film footage of torsional vibration in bridges, but something that complex is for the civil engineers to worry about. As for torsional vibration in a wire, I guess the maths is just a specialism and extraneous to the bread and butter undergraduate maths of vibration)

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 19, 2019 - 7:45 am
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Yes,  @Gordon Shumway -   I would tend to agree.  

Interestingly, although the Kaplan Amo strings are often simply referred to as synthetic-core at the point-of-sale, the E is not (so I guess it's expected that people know this, or have researched the manufacturer's specifications) - quote from violin-review - 

The two sets are named Kaplan Amo and Kaplan Vivo.  While the silk wrapping on the Kaplan sets for Viola and Cello are Black and White at the tail end the Amo violin set is Black and Copper while the Vivo is Black and Silver.  Both sets look very similar on paper.  They both have identical tensions, they both come with a tinned steel E-string, and they rest of the set is a Zyex core.  The tension is on the higher side of most synthetic strings sitting just below Evah Pirazzi.

I mention the Amo strings only because they were fitted on "The Traveler" when I hosted her - and - sure enough - I got the whistle !   Mind you, I was multi-tasking, what with walking at the same time as playing, indeed, even walking backwards in places LOLOL - the whistle is evident at 29 and 47 seconds in to this recording of The Traveler...  ( It was also darned cold that day - so if you detect any vibrato that would be down to me shivering, and not my technical expertise...   j/k - there was no vibrato, nor was it attempted !!! )

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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cid
February 19, 2019 - 8:41 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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@BillyG Love it. Love the countryside, beautiful scenery.

I am still experimenting with what sounds or tones I can get out of Rudoulf. I have Tonicas on a violin that I rarely play. They will be brighter than what I have on. Maybe next month or the month after, I will give them a shot. I don’t want to be changing them too often. Can’t be good for the strings. 

I tend to shy away from bright because I do not need a lot of projection. I play in my liviningroom or studio where my lessons. If I go outside this Summer, I don’t need the cows a few acres away becoming discontented, either. The previous owner of that farm used to play opera in the barn. Seriously, I used to go outside and listen. Not a fan of opera per-say, but some arias I like. 

Are bright strings necessarily loud strings?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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