Best Strings for Fiddle

Best Strings for Fiddle

Hello all,
i have been playing fiddle for over 25 years and every now and again take the notion to try new stings on my fiddle. I usually revert to dominants but have experimented with helicore spirocore. What do others prefer and why?

Johnny

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

I’ve been using Prim’s lately, and like them. They’re very bright and seem to last quite a long time.

Before the Prim’s I used Helicore’s.

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

On my acoustic fiddle : Corelli Crystals, cheaper than Dominants, quite a soft tone. Synthetic core. Good on a cheap fiddle, if that’s what’s you’ve got.

The best I ever used (and still use them) are Obligatos, sweet bright tone, but very expensive. Synthetic core.

I use Dominants on my Yamaha SV200 electric.

Jim

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

Infelds Steelcore those are some great strings.

Posted by .

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

What kind of sound do you want?

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

As Zina says, it depends on what kind of sound you want, and also on the fiddle itself - and not forgetting the bow (a critical component in tone production).

No two fiddles are the same and a string set-up that suits one may not suit another (which is why I’m not going to mention the Infeld Reds I’m currently using). Advice from an experienced luthier should be sought, otherwise you could find yourself embroiled in expensive experimentation.

For a fairly detailed run-down of the major string brands and their playing properties have a look at this page on the Ifshin Violins website: http://www.ifshinviolins.com/features_guide.html

Don’t forget that new strings can take up to a week or more to settle in and develop their tone. Some strings can sound very bright and scratchy when new, but a couple of weeks later they’re fine.
Trevor

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

Larsen strings seem to be the favorite for many pro’s around here for all-round use.

But they are expensive, and don’t do the E-string justice.

Lars.

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

I also use Obligatos on my fiddle which has a little too bright of a sound with Dominants especially under your ear, and I find the Obligatos tone that down a bit while keeping a nice tone. I do use a dominant wound E though - mostly because of the response it has vs. solid E’s.

I tried the helicore’s because I heard really great things about them, but on my violin they sounded terrible - like I was playing an old cigar box. If anyone’s in the Washington DC area and they’d like to try some helicores for free, I still have them & hate to see them going to waste.

Heidi

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

well,rzaikoski,i’ve been using Prim on the viola for a long time now (c,g&d anyway with jargar dolce a string)but i have some bad news for you.when i wanted to get some more at a shop in Bristol last month i was told that they are no longer going to be made.this is a shame as they particularly suit my instrument and i hope it’s not really true but the assistant seemed pretty sure about it so it looks like me going back to the dominants again.there’s plenty in stock for now i think but if she’s right, the writing’s on the wall. pity,as they’re good strings.
i have doms for the fiddle and one of the reasons i like them is that they don’t take too long to settle down.that and because they’re relatively cheap.

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

Anyone in the Toronto area may like to know about the Sound Post’s string lab - they let you try a variety of different types of strings on your fiddle so you can choose what you like best. That’s how I “discovered” first Tonicas, which I used for a while, and then Obligatos, which I like best and still use. You have to book an appointment, so call them first.

Helen

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

I have just tried spirocores on my fiddle after using dominants for years. The E and A sounded great but the D and G terrible, so I put the D and G doms back on and I’m realy pleased with the result.

I’m now looking for someone who’s fiddle works well with E and A doms and D and G spiros!

John.

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

Well Zina when I bought them I was just going by what the local luthier said when I used them I was amazed the E string can be a little scratchy for a second but it is all good.

Posted by .

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

LOL – sorry, unseen, I was asking Johnny what kind of sound he wanted out of his strings…because they all have a different sound, and of course as Trev says, they all sound different on different fiddles…

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

Don’t worry about it.

Posted by .

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

thanks for all the suggestions. My fiddle is a late 19c hand made english violin with a lovely mellow tone and soft sound ideal for kithchen sessions. It is quite quiet and as i also play in pub sessions I have used helicore for volume but they can sound too harsh. I have settled for tone each time and accept that other fiddles and players are louder. A bit like personality.

ps i am the johnny who raised the question but couldn`t log in from my home connection

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

It’s worth remembering that the sound you hear from your strings when you play them is never the same as heard by a listener only a few feet away. Ask a friend to play your fiddle (with your bow) and stand a few feet away to listen. If your friend is a better player then you may be pleasantly surprised by what you hear, and you’ll have a target to aim for.

Also, try recording your playing with a decent mic a few feet away.

Trevor

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

another vote for obligatos here. i’ve had dominants, tonicas, and evah pirazzis on my main fiddle, and the obligatos seem to give the best sound without being too bright or overbearing. but like someone else said, they’re **expensive**

my ‘other’ fiddle has tonicas, with an obligato g string.

of course, all of these may suck on your fiddle 🙂

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

prim blues or helicore or larsen
also I’ve tried d’addario fiddle for cheapos

-dogma

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

Go guts!!
Playing the fiddle is nothing like before since I put gut strings on my fiddle! A few weeks ago I put a pure gut A string. For the first 2 hours I was loosing half a tone every 3 minutes, but now that it’s stabilized it’s not so hard to tune, it’s not as quiet at I thought, but it sounds very sweet and tender and it’s much nicer on my fingers. And pure gut is cheap, too!

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

My fingers are calised so to me that finger part does not matter maybe I will try it sometime.

Posted by .

Re: Best Strings for Fiddle

For all you Dominant users out there, give the Infeld Red or Infeld Blue strings a try. They’re similar to Doms in many ways (including the colour coding) but have a bigger tone; the Reds have the richer tone, and the Blues are brighter. Apparently, these strings are designed so that Red and Blue can be mixed and matched on the one instrument to suit requirements. I’m using Reds at present on both my fiddles; very nice to play on, after allowing them a few days to settle in.
Trevor