It is currently Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:37 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
 Post subject: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 7276
Location: Clifton Park, NY
My fiddle has been sitting attractively but silently on a shelf for quite a long time. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I recently decided to give it another go. When I tried to bring it up to pitch, I promptly broke the E string. Since the strings are so old, I'd just as soon change the whole set.
What are most people using for traditional styles of music these days-- steel? synthetics? I don't want to spend a fortune. Thanks.

_________________
Got wood?
http://www.Busmanwhistles.com
Let me custom make one for you!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:37 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 11794
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
In a way, I'm not the best person to tell you, Paul, as I can't helpl buying the most expensive strings there are. :lol:

The strings I use are Pirastro Passione Solo, with a Goldstahl E string. They're beautiful, gut core strings (apart from the gold plated, steel E), but they do cost a fortune, they take ages to settle in and they don't last long when they have.

I wouldn't recommend steel core. After a short time, they produce quite a dull sound, and it's not possible to produce some of the subtleties that you'd want out of fiddle playing. Much better, I reckon, to buy the strings that seem almost to be the 'industry standard' for trad, and that's Thomastik Dominants. Synthetic core strings that last a long time and have a good tone. Maybe not the fastest response, but, with a little work, they play just fine.

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:45 pm
Posts: 18663
Location: San Diego, CA
I was waiting for Ben to reply. :-)

I don't think you can go wrong with Dominants, medium tension, for the reasons Ben stated. They're also reasonably priced at ~$50 per set.

At the moment I have D'Addario Helicores on, but will be changing back to Dominants next time. Or possibly Infeld Reds for a darker tone.

Of course, Paul, I'm sure you know you may not have to change the entire set. Old is not necessarily bad. It's more common to change out single strings on fiddle than e.g. on guitar. And a Dominant E will run you only ~$5 to get started again.

_________________
Vivat diabolus in musica! MTGuru's (old) GG Clips / Blackbird Clips

Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:00 pm
Posts: 93
Location: new jersey
Heilcores, especially if you change tunings a lot in a session. I installed a new set yesterday replacing the Chinese set that came with the instrument. They sound great tuned AEAE. Unless your old set is crappy I would just get a new E string... Bob

_________________
Oh body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?... WB Yeats


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:04 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:32 am
Posts: 1204
I'm the worst fiddle player in the world (ask anyone!) but even I know you can change a single string effectively on a fiddle. With guitars and banjos and mandolins, even ukuleles, I change them all at once. But not fiddle, and I don't even use the expensive ones! :lol:

_________________
The crwth will set you free!

Tim Smith
Kindred Spirit
www.kspirit.info


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:31 am
Posts: 7973
Location: Raleigh, NC
My teacher suggested this set when
I wanted to replace my strings recently.
Dominants on bottom, Pirastro on top.
My goal was to sound quieter, though,
as my fiddle is pretty strident (it helped
a little).

http://www.amazon.com/JSI-Special-Violi ... B000V6E01I

_________________
Barrowburn


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:25 am
Posts: 178
Location: The Bluegrass
I haven't tried very many strings out there, and I don't really know what most other people use, but I have just recently went from steel strings to synthetic strings. I don't remember what brand strings I had before, probably the "el cheapo" Red Labels or something, but they didn't sound very good. Anyway, the strings I now use are Corelli Alliance Vivace strings. They have a pleasant sound, but they can be driven fairly hard, they have good response, and they're nice and loud, but not shrill. The only drawback I can find is that they don't have a very complex sound; their tone seems a bit "flat". However, they're pretty cheap ($35-ish?). They are said to be some of the longest lasting strings out there, which is great for me, because I don't want to be buying strings all the time. :) And I know that wasn't an answer to your exact question, but its my 2c anyway :wink:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:06 pm
Posts: 528
Location: upstate NY
Paul -- I've got Helicores on the fiddle now. I was thinking I'd be cross-tuning, but I'm not, so I'm going back to my favorite Tonicas as soon as they show up in the mail. Tonicas sound better than Dominants on my fiddle, and it can be a fiddle-specific thing. The Helicores are very stable, but not as rich as the synthetics, to my ear. (They're not old, though. If you want to give them a try when I restring, let me know, and I'll walk them down to your place.)

_________________
"Furthermore he gave up coffee, and naturally his brain stopped working." -- Orhan Pamuk


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:39 pm
Posts: 131
Location: North Somerset U.K
:pint: I change all my strings once a year and use dominant but change e string after 6 months - just in case. I have been advised that keeping strings relatively new produces a good tone. I think pirasto are the really expensive? So far have got shop owner to do th strings except for e but this year will do my own - have been playing a long time but not so good at neat stringing and if done well, the strings need little tuning

Norma Parfitt


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:25 am
Posts: 178
Location: The Bluegrass
"I think pirastros are the really expensive?"

It really depends on the set (I've been doing a ton of research since my last posting). Some Pirastro sets are fairly cheap compared to the others (under $50 a set). They also make higher quality synthetic core strings up into the $80 range. With exception of Eudoxas, the Pirastro gut strings are normally around (or at least) $100. So, yes, they can be very expensive.

fearfaoin, that is a very good and popular set of strings. My last set (which apparently was not steel!) was that arrangement, chosen by the luthier who did repairs on my violin. That Pirastro Gold E is really nice, especially way up in the high register.

Ian, restringing really isn't very difficult. You just have to be mindful of the bridge (you want to try and keep it straight, not tilted). It's also best that when you wind the strings on the pegs, they looks like coils on a spring and not overlapping itself.

Just for the sake of saying (I'm not endorsing them, just passing on what I've found) - I've heard very good reviews from classical pro's on the Larsen Tzigane strings, which I intend to try next. They're supposed to be very resonant (and loud), complex, low tension (but still relatively thick in diameter), and responsive. From what I gather, they play and sound very much like gut strings (namely Eudoxa), but are more stable, and maybe even more responsive. Sounds like love! :D


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:02 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 11794
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
Ian Parfitt wrote:
:pint: I change all my strings once a year and use dominant but change e string after 6 months - just in case. I have been advised that keeping strings relatively new produces a good tone. I think pirasto are the really expensive? So far have got shop owner to do th strings except for e but this year will do my own - have been playing a long time but not so good at neat stringing and if done well, the strings need little tuning

Norma Parfitt
I don't understand that. Fiddles need constant attention to tuning, and constant readjustment. It's just part of the nature of the thing, depending on temperature, humidity etc, and not just the effects of those on the strings but on the wood as well. How you put a string on won't affect that.

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm
Posts: 820
Location: Southwestern Ontario
MeMyselfandI wrote:
Just for the sake of saying (I'm not endorsing them, just passing on what I've found) - I've heard very good reviews from classical pro's on the Larsen Tzigane strings, which I intend to try next. They're supposed to be very resonant (and loud), complex, low tension (but still relatively thick in diameter), and responsive. From what I gather, they play and sound very much like gut strings (namely Eudoxa), but are more stable, and maybe even more responsive. Sounds like love! :D
My daughter's violin is strung with Tzigane strings, at the recommendation of the vendor. I can't comment specifically on the sound quality of the strings, because we've never had anything else on it, but she's still very happy with violin+strings, and we have no motivation to try any other strings on it. I will say that they haven't proved as durable as Dominants, and have to be replaced more often. We've found it necessary to keep a full set of spares in stock.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:25 am
Posts: 178
Location: The Bluegrass
Tunborough wrote:
I will say that they haven't proved as durable as Dominants, and have to be replaced more often. We've found it necessary to keep a full set of spares in stock.


Yeah, that's the only thing I'm worried about. :(


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:25 am
Posts: 178
Location: The Bluegrass
I figured I might as well chime in again. :)

I got my Tzigane strings about a week and a half ago. Phenomenal! Highly recommend. If you want a review, this will be coming from a Classical violinist's viewpoint right now, so, unless you're really interested, you might as well stop here. :lol:

Anyway, they are exactly what they advertise (for once!). Low tension, thick strings, BIG, full, and complex sound. They have lots of ring, and they respond to changes in bow pressure, speed, distance from the bridge, etc. very well. They seem to add a new dimension to the tone color and string response that I haven't seen before.

If you're having trouble being heard... these are the strings for you. However, they aren't like a screaming soloist string. I guess you could describe them as an opera singer versus a screamer. They have power and "umph" behind the sound. However, I wouldn't say they're overly-loud.

Tunborough, I'd say they're a good choice. :)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fiddle strings?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 10:50 am
Posts: 360
Location: Paris, France
I've been using Pirastro Tonica because that's what my violin came with. That was 6 months ago and I've been playing 3-6 times week for 30-60 minutes. I'm not sure how to tell if they should be changed.

I bought a spare set thinking I'd break some like I did with the guitar but so far no breaks. So I guess my next set will be the same brand. It's not too cheap, around 25 euros if I recall. I figured I'd be the limitation for at least a couple years.

I'd like to try thomastik dominants next. I'm not sure if it's worth the extra money (almost double) until I can make my violin sound good with my current strings.

One thing I've noticed is the weather here changes a lot, 28C one day and 16C the next. And I have to tune them each time I play. It seems they are always going flat. (Never sharp). Is that the strings stretching? Or could my pegs be slipping? My daughter's violin (1/4) doesn't have this problem. It has dominants which are at least 1 year old, it's a rental and they were on it when we got it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.148s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)