What strings do you use on your fiddle
Currently using dominants because it seems what most people use, curious to know what other people actually use
Currently using dominants because it seems what most people use, curious to know what other people actually use
Trying Obligato’s for the first time.
Used to use Dominants.
I’m gonna try something new,can’t decide between obligatos or evah pirazzi
Perhaps it depends on the fiddle to some extent; for example, I tried Jargar strings on one fiddle and they killed it stone dead, so I swapped them on to a fiddle that I thought had a very toppy sound and they suited it quite well. (I currently use Evah Pirazzi on my favourite fiddle, but have also found that Piristro Aricore sound good).
What also influences string decisions is the amount you’re prepared/able to spend on different sets in order to try them out (let alone whether you want to make custom sets with a gold E and so forth) and the length of time you want to devote to letting them settle down once you’ve strung them up. Maybe, though, the main factor is how good a fiddler you are: my own playing is, to be charitable, of a very modest standard, but I’m aware that players with good bowing technique will produce a better tone out of the same instrument.
Another thing worth doing is to check out the fiddle with someone else playing it: I’ve found that the sound hitting your left ear from three inches away is very different from the sound across the room.
Larsen Tzigane - I used to use Dominants, but now prefer these.
I was using Infeld strings as my fiddle is pretty bright, but the price of them has gotten ridiculous recently. Someone recommended John Pearse Artiste and they’ve gone very well.
I was also recommended Thomastik Rondo, which are only available direct from dealers, not online and I’d like to try these out. Has anyone any experience with them?
Larsen Tzigane, the best to me in any violin I had. Not only in sound as well in durability
Few nods to Larsen Tzigane
Is this them?
I agree with Bazza…. that it depends to a great extent on the fiddle and what you want out of it.
Strings won’t "change" the basic character of the fiddle, but they can compliment it and move it slightly in the direction you prefer.
I have two fiddles, one quite old and on the darker/quieter side by nature and it likes Evahs.
The other is a "new" fiddle by a luthier in San Diego…. it is on the brighter/louder side of the equation and I’ve settled on Obligatos for it.
Obligatos are closer in tension to Dominants whereas Evans are higher tension.
I have used Dominants for years and just a couple months ago splurged on Evah Pirazzis. It was hard to justify spending the extra money but it was well worth it.
I have used Dominants but they always wore to the core on the E string quiet quickly. I currently use Helicore and they are really nice and they still sound pretty good after six months.
I use the steel core D’addario preludes, I like them.
I use the D’addarios too - they’re cheap and perform satisfactory. Looks like I’ve got Helicore on my main fiddle now.
I am not a consistent enough player that I can easily tell the difference between strings, as I said mostly dominants but once tried tonicas and they seemed almost the same except cheaper.
And yeah I don’t expect string change to be any kind of magic bullet but looking forward to trying some other types and hearing how the sound may change.
Really appreciate all the comments, great to see people don’t all just default to dominants
D’Addario Preludes here - my fiddle has a warm sound with them, and they sound great when they’re new. Used to use Dominants, decades ago, but they’re out of my price range now.
I really like D’addario Helicore.
So many factors to consider. The fiddle (bright, warm, dark), the sound you’re looking for (bright, warm, dark), the local humidity, the amount you’re willing to spend. I started with Dominant’s which sounded harsh in my left ear, then Helicore’s (warmer), then Zyex which I really liked on my fiddle but they’re breaking the bank. So back to Helicores for now. Good luck. It’s a process particularly if you have a newer fiddle which is another changing variable.
Indeed. I recently got a hdgfl - with yet MORE variables..
I like to use a Pirastro Passion solo on my A and E string, and Eudoxa stiff as my G and D. Although they are pricey, they tend to last 6 to 8 months fairly easily, where as most only last 3 or 4 for me. I like the eudoxa’s because they are very powerful, and the passions because they are quite sweet and warm sounding, and mellow up my (fairly) harsh fiddle very well. The only downsides of them is that they go out of tune quite quickly, and can take a day or two longer than usual to settle in, but otherwise they are really nice, and my favourite strings I’ve ever tried by far
I agree with Bazza. Also, I am not convinced the price of good violin strings is justified. It would be interesting to see the business model. Anyway, I am not going to spend $150 to scrape away at some fiddle tunes in a noisy pub. I’ve settled on Dominants as a compromise. Still a rip-off, in my humble opinion.
Yep think all are agreed on one thing,the price of fiddle strings is a crime against humanity
I don’t know how many times this question has been repeated on this site and I fail to see how such a vast variety of opinions can actually help anybody. Surely it just always comes back to individual trial and error (i.e., individual players with often very individual fiddles).
Please link where this question has been asked before. Note I didn’t ask what are the best strings or is string X better than string y.just a simple question,what strings do you use
I usually use Warchal Karneols. But at the moment I’ve got a set of Warchal Timbres on. They were a heavily discounted trial set. I absolutely love them, the best I’ve ever used by some margin, but they’re just about finished now and I can’t justify paying the full price, so I’ll be going back to Karneols.
On newly restored fiddles I always fit Dominants as they are a good all rounder and a known quantity, so the new owner can decide what direction they want to go once they are familiar with the instrument.
Pirastro tonica steel core aluminium wound medium guage E then Thomastic Infeld precision steel core chrome wound medium gauge A D and G. Loud high tension strings that hold their own in a session with boxes, bodhran and banjos. E lasts about 3 months and A D and G a couple of years.
I use mostly the D and A, the E not so much and the G less. Sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂
> I fail to see how such a vast variety of opinions can actually help anybody
I have found it an extremely helpful discussion over the years. Of course I do not take every single piece of advice offered but anyone who can describe a relative difference between a string I have experience of and something that is new to me is helpful.
As the resident string whore 🙂 I think I’ve gone through pretty much every type of string there is - not all makes and models of course, but about 2 or 3 in each group, over a period of years, but only one or two brands of steel core strings (not suitable for me personally, mainly because of their feel and response).
I’m of the view that you get what you pay for, and all else being equal (ie same fiddle, same player, sober) the difference between them can be sizeable.
Thomastic Dominants are pretty much the industry standard (as Mark M implied), and sometimes a maker will fit d’Addario Zyex. Both good sound, imo and a good starting point if you’ve just bought a new instrument.
I’ve tried these, and liked them all :
Synthetic core :
- strings with a bright sound - Pirastro Evah Pirazzi, Corelli Alliance, Vision Titanium Solo
- warmer, sweeter sound - Pirastro Obligato
Gut core :
- warmer, even sweeter, complex tone - Pirastro Eudoxa, Pirastro Passione
I’ve tended to stick with the synthetic core rather than gut core, as good all-rounders, and very responsive to off-the-string-bowing, whereas the gut cores are not (unless you modify your technique).
//I don’t know how many times this question has been repeated on this site and I fail to see how such a vast variety of opinions can actually help anybody. Surely it just always comes back to individual trial and error (i.e., individual players with often very individual fiddles).//
Gobby, there is a bit of truth in that, but informed opinions of experienced players who have tried a wide range of string brands and string types would certainly help some people (possibly beginners/ improvers) who don’t want to shell out big bucks for string brands just to try them out, and possibly find they don’t suit purpose.
There’s no point in buying an expensive set of strings if you are unable to get the full benefit from them.
Every player has different needs/expectations from strings, no matter what type of music they play.
The different classes of string are shown here, and by and large I’d tend to agree with the way they are laid out :
**One last thing - if you have a really bright/harsh-sounding fiddle, sometimes fitting Corelli Crystals will soften and sweeten it up a bit.
Jim, good post. It makes you sound like the voice of reason. ;
Here is a link to the early versions of this question…
I use dominants as well, but a helicore wound E. For some reason I find that dominant’s Es are screechy and hard to play.
on my grandfather’s fiddle I started with Prim and I like the E-string but found the others to have a somewhat harsh accented midrange. It sounded fine when others played my fiddle but it bugged me a little bit. I’ve put a set of D’Addario Zyex and I’m liking them so far. The E isn’t as good as the Prim but the others sound pretty good, a little darker but still a nice loud string. I’ll see how they work out over time.
I use D’Addario Helicore. They are rather inexpensive, at least here in the U.S., and I really like their bright tone.
I used Dominance before, but they sounded more muted and I didn’t like that.
@Jim, thanks for the link to the fiddle strings reference. Very handy!
D’Addario’s on the wife’s instruments. She prefers them to the Thomastic’s she used to use. Says they sound warmer to her ear.
I am using the gold ones on a fairly bright fiddle. The were on another fiddle that went over for a repair. Have no idea how long they will last. I was told by a dealer that on some fiddles they were a bit dark. I found them to be quite nice on both fiddles. They are very expensive. I like Obligato too. I agree with Barry. Good strings and a good bow with good rosin and good technique will give you a good sound on a nice fiddle that is set up right. It is a journey.
Pirastro Eudoxa or Gold, or if not available Fisoma. I much prefer gut based strings, although they can be a pain to keep in tune!
<a href=https://youtu.be/S_-krhdKhoM>The Trimstone Slipjig </A>
On my Viola, made in 1979, I have Lycon strings on all but the G, which is a helicore. This is because I can’t find Lycon anywhere, and the G string broke two years ago. The other three are the original 1979 strings and still sound fine!
<a href=https://youtu.be/oDjNnAtokTw>Slow Air for Viola </A>
Evah Pirazzis! They are the best!
I have Evah Pirazzi on mine keep their tune Bit expensive but hey ho
I use Daddario Helicores, high tension, but I hate the wound e-string as it always comes unwound long before the rest of the string set has lost its punch. So I get the assets with the solid rather than stranded E. Hard to find in this combo. Most sets are medium tension with stranded E.
I do Quebecois fiddling and find that the Helicore set complements my naturally loud instrument and my unreasonably heavy bow-hand. Lively, responsive, quick, and almost immediately stable, long-lasting and stay in tune for ages.
They suit me, my instrument, my playing style.
I’ve a very bright fiddle so I’m using obligatos atm. They don’t last as long as I’d like for the price.
D’addario Pro Arte - hard to believe the cheapest of the three I’ve used (dominants and pirastro tonicas previously) have the fullest and most balanced sound, especially on the high end
I used to buy DOMINANT ( synthetic) for years during my classical Training and started Irish Music with them.
They have no special "flavor" which is important when you play in an orchestra and not very expensive. Projection is average and they are very easy to use (Don’t need an excellent level to get a correct sound). Short break in time AND not affected too much by the heat.
I changed because I wanted:
- Better projection without too much efforts
- A flavour/ Personal sound
- Reaction with the bow not good enough.
- I Improved my skills
NOW I use 2 different sets ( I know… Not suppose to do that )
- Spirocore for D/A: Excellent projection/ Short break in time/ Not affected by heat at all/ Easy to play/Quick response.
- Evah Pirrazy Gold for G/E ( steel): Absolutely brilliant strings ! Actually the best out there but also the most expensive one in synthetic range. I use a G Gold to balance the clear side to D/A. Instant response/ Dynamic range of sound but a lot of people find them very difficult to play with.
My main point is:
Start by wondering WHAT kind of sound do you want ? How much ?