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Violin String Comparison Chart
A Violin String Chart From Fiddlershop
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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December 1, 2022 - 6:13 am
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My "theories" (self-parody) on strings have developed since this thread began.

Problem: hundreds of different strings, horribly confusing to a beginner.

I've been guilty in the past of sharing info on which pros use which strings. It's irrelevant - if they have a Strad, they chose strings to match it. If you don't have a Strad, you may well need different strings. There are no best strings. There are only strings suited to your instrument.

My Breton has a lot of "character", i.e. it sounds like a viola. Hence my view of strings has been developing.

It's not about the strings. It's about the instrument/string combination.

What everyone should do (imo) is buy the most MOR strings first (Fiddlerman/Dominant/Tonica) and then listen hard. You only need brighter strings if your sound is dull. And warmer strings if your sound is too bright.

https://fiddlershop.com/pages/.....comparison

I view these charts as having four quadrants:- SW (southwest) = warm and broad, NW = warm and focused, and so on.

With Dominants my Breton is in the SW quadrant. So I am now using strings in the - diametrically opposite - NE quadrant. I like Visions. I have bought myself some Evah Pirazzis with my Christmas money. Another contender would be Warchal Brilliants.

Zyexes (on the border of SW/NW) make my Breton sound like mud. You can probably work out why (but they sound good on my Gewa which borders on SE/NE - actually I confess, I'm not really sure what is meant by "broad" and "focused"). If you have a new Chinese instrument in the NE or SE quadrants, you may want to look at strings in the SW or NW quadrants, although SW tends to be gut. I haven't examined all of them yet to see if any are nylon (for my Stentor). Do you think cheap, new Chinese violins are probably SE? Bright and unfocussed?

There's also string tension. I find Dominants rather low tension (but that may be poor bowing technique). So I go for strings that have more tension on this tension chart, lowest tension at top, highest at bottom: -tension_set_201409.pngImage Enlarger

Vision Solos have slightly lower tension than Visions (and their position on the Fiddlershop and Shar charts varies, which is confusing), so I don't think I'll bother with them.

But beware - my theories are continually evolving!

Andrew

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ABitRusty
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December 1, 2022 - 10:32 am
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"I've been guilty in the past of sharing info on which pros use which strings. It's irrelevant - if they have a Strad, they chose strings to match it. If you don't have a Strad, you may well need different strings. There are no best strings. There are only strings suited to your instrument.

It's not about the strings. It's about the instrument/string combination"

The longer I play the more I appreciate and understand what youre saying.  Great points.  My problem, or my urge, is to try the next set I think may reveal something about my instrument that the previous string set wasnt able to.  With all the brands..types theres many sets to try.   

I like what youre saying about knowing your instruments and choosing strings to match to narrow down the possibilities.

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