The deadline for the 2023 Group Christmas Project submissions has now been extended to Monday the 11th of December.
Yes, I know that there are plenty of threads about good strings, bad strings, better strings and so on. This is about what a change of strings did to my fiddle.
I have two old German fiddles that have been regraduated and refurbished. Both are excellent instruments, but even with the same Helicore strings they speak with different voices. #1 is a little quieter than #2
In a moment of boredom (or inspiration?) I decided to replace #1’s strings with a set of Prelude strings that I found in the Miscellaneous Box. Prelude is an inexpensive solid steel core string while Helicore has a stranded steel core. Helicore strings are almost three times the price of Prelude (currently $55 vs $20 at Fiddlershop).
The Preludes dramatically changed the tone of #1. Now it speaks with a louder, more direct tone than #2, and seems to have a quicker response. I wondered if the cheap-o strings would produce a harsh or even tinny sound, but that it not the case. I have a performance coming up in a potentially noisy environment and I’m thinking of using #1.
Based on this experience, I have ordered a set of Prim strings (also solid steel core and $40 at Fiddlershop) to try on #2. Prims seem to have a good reputation and I’m looking forward to the test.
I have experience testing different strings on guitar and mandolin and I have found very significant differences in tone and playability. But the high cost of violin strings has deterred me from similar testing on fiddle. I know that there are some much more expensive violin strings out there (Fiddlershop has a set of Pirastro Evah Pirazzi for $117.56) but I don’t think my curiosity is great enough to take me there!