Helicore Violin strings
Tagged: Strings vs Fine Tuners Question
July 1, 2017 at 3:57 PM #50808
I was thinking about trying a set of Helicore strings but to many to choose from , heavy , medium , light , wrapped different E strings what is best for ease of playing double stops this is confusing , does any one know ?July 1, 2017 at 6:53 PM #50818
Medium helicores for me. They last about 1 year on my fiddles. And yes the A string is usually the first to go. Of course its the string that probably gets played the most.July 1, 2017 at 8:03 PM #50820
I use Helicore mediums. I tried heavies and didn’t like them that much. Lights are too thin.
Mine last about 6 months, but I play outside pretty often, so that might affect them.July 2, 2017 at 10:04 AM #50830
Played Helicore mediums (don’t like heavy) on several of my fiddles for a few years.July 3, 2017 at 1:41 AM #50865
I like the medium helicores. I don’t use a designer E, but a lot of people swear by their favorites.July 3, 2017 at 2:09 PM #50900
I switch between regular medium Helicores and the special E…not a ton of difference between the sets. It’s what came on the fiddle and I just continued to use them.
I’ve had no problems with the windings except one D string once…usually they fail to stay in tune, or produce a good tone, well before the winding goes for me.
July 21, 2017 at 3:24 PM #51860
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by fiddlewood.
And back to the string talk….I think my Helicores are harder to play in tune. I have Vision Heavy’s on my nicer fiddle (Thelma) at the recommendation of the Nashville Violin Shop. I think they’re a synthetic core. But I’m really liking the way they play and sound. I might try them on my Goodwill beater (Louise). They are a little more mellow, though.July 21, 2017 at 9:51 PM #51885
Angela, I have noticed that the helicores are more precise than dominants. Evangeline is partial to helicores!
Do you think I could get an official endorsement? Maybe I’ll write them a letter…July 24, 2017 at 9:15 PM #51981
I agree with Angela. Had never thought about it like that but John’s comment on them being more precise is an good to explain it. For me, Zyex strings are a little more “forgiving” and my old French girl loves them ( unlike John, my French violin does not have a name). I’ve played Helicore med. for several years and have a set on my loud “banjo busting” fiddle. I like trying different brands on my fiddles. I’ve about settled on Zyex for my French violin and Helicores for my old “beater” fiddle.July 25, 2017 at 7:15 AM #51991
Zyex makes a great string!July 28, 2017 at 9:24 AM #52098
I use Helicore medium purchased from Shar Music at a discount. They have held up well.August 10, 2017 at 7:43 AM #52645
I have just ordered my first Helicore set, maybe I fall in love This fall too ???August 10, 2017 at 12:59 PM #52651
Shar has good sale prices on strings on a regular basis. I ordered a set of Zyex the other day from them with free shipping for a lot less than Amazon. Zyex and Helicore’s are the only strings I play ( have several fiddles)August 10, 2017 at 7:24 PM #52667
Will be exiting, test Helicore, but I have Read that the steel core strings need lower gap between fingerboard and the string…
Maybe I need to set up a new bridge to better sound, what is your folks experience?August 12, 2017 at 12:24 AM #52725
Synthetic core strings move more when you bow them, so they need a little extra bridge height than steel core strings. However, the synthetic core strings tend to hold their pitch better when you apply a lot of pressure to the bow.September 2, 2017 at 4:55 AM #53282
Will try a set Helicore This evening. Will be exciting:)September 2, 2017 at 4:32 PM #53306
I, too, am a fan of Zyex and Helicore mediums. I think I’m a long ways from trying any other brands. Deliriously happy with Zyex! I run Helicore mediums on all of my other fiddles and Zyex on my favorite fiddle.September 5, 2017 at 11:28 AM #53371
Have used some days now, little unused for the bowpreasure, clear sound and find them more had to tune… but I think will be better after few week
Snap off The soundpost too, when changed the strings, but put back and OK placement I think.
Now practice no the Amaila´s Waltz
September 5, 2017 at 1:29 PM #53374
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by The future streetfiddler!.
Steve, if I am correct in reading your initial question, it seems you are wanting to try ONLY the Helicore set of fiddle strings, and you are asking for member’s experience here as to what Helicore strings they use i.e; Helicore light, Helicore medium or Helicore heavy and that they feel plays double stops better (choice between Helicore light, medium, heavy). I think there was some confusion surrounding your question but if you are curious as to which one (light, medium or heavy) plays double stops better, then I think that would really be a matter of personal preference. That said (for general fiddle playing), I have read many posts elsewhere where people complain about the Helicore light strings being too weak and too thin ( hurting the fingers). And the Helicore heavy strings being too thick and uncomfortable under finger. Thus, leaving the Helicore medium strings to be the most popular and apparently the most comfortable and playable. From the amount of posts I have read, I am assuming the posters were fiddle players from all skill levels with many of them playing double stops. I would also assume that, like myself, they simply bought the regular set of medium gauge Helicore strings.
If you were specifically asking about Helicore strings in your initial question then I hope the above helps you in your decision. And in all honesty, I can not tell you if playing double stops is easier when you are playing Helicore light, medium or heavy gauge strings (or Helicore strings with a wound E string or a silver or nickle D string) because I don’t play double stops… yet. My suggestion would be for you to grab a set of Helicore medium strings and give them a try. From my own experience, they stay in tune and last a long, long time and sound rather nice. John uses them all the time on his lessons videos. I did however switch out the Helicore medium E string for a Jargar medium E string. The Jargar gives a more pronounced, stronger and louder voice.
Hope this helps.September 5, 2017 at 8:14 PM #53377
Great Scott, all this discussion and indecision back and forth related to what string to choose kind of reminds me of when my friend built a privy for Mr. Perkins:
Mr. Perkins come down to my place this morning and asked me if I would build him a new privy.
“Well”, I said “Mr. Perkins, where was ya aiming to build it?” He said “T’other side of the lot by the lilacs. And then it’d be real pleasant in the spring”.
“Well”, I said “Mr. Perkins it’s your privy”. And I got as fer as the floorboards and Mr. Perkins come out and he said “Si, I been thinkin’ some more about this privy, and if it’s t’other side of the lot by the lilacs, gonna be awful fer in the winter”. Said “If it’s over on this side of the lot by the chestnuts, be much more convenient them cold winter months”. “Well”, I said “Mr. Perkins, it’s your privy”.
Well I got as fer as the roofin’ and Mr. Perkins come out and said “Si, I been thinkin’ some more about this privy of mine and seems to me if it’s this side of the lot by the chestnuts with the prevailing wind being south, southwest, and the house standing just nor, nor-east of that privy, it’s gonna be awful uncomfortable for the lady folks in the kitchen during the summer months. So I think if we had this privy half-way between the lilacs and the chestnuts, then neither would it be too fer in the winter nor too close in the summer”.
“Well”, I said, “Mr. Perkins it’s your privy.” And I got as fer as what ya might call the ‘interior decoratin’ when Mr. Perkins come out, and he was all het up. And he said “Consarnit, Si! I told you from the very start that I wanted a two-hole privy and there you’ve gone ahead and framed it up for a one-holer”.
“Well”, I said “Mr. Perkins, it’s your privy and I don’t want to seem to be dictatin’ to ya or nothin’ like that, but, it seemed to me that if I’d framed it up as a two-holer and you’d come out to it some night, shall we say ‘pressed for time’, …..before you made up yer mind which one of them two holes ta sit on, Mr. Perkins, be too late. That’s all.”September 5, 2017 at 9:23 PM #53379
hahaha…hit that nail on the head!September 9, 2017 at 9:18 AM #53430
LOL Fred. It is really hard to decide on a set of strings.
When you get a new fiddle, it is probably good to try a variety of strings of over the first year of play. Your fiddle will tell you when you have landed on the right ones! I don’t believe there is any one best maker of fiddle strings. However, I do think there is a best match for your fiddle out there!September 9, 2017 at 9:34 AM #53433
Shar music has a good chart on price and tone (bright to warm). I have found it to be pretty accurate on the tone scale.
Also lots of really good info on strings in general:September 10, 2017 at 4:15 PM #53474
I just ordered one new ZYEX string from Amazon (not the cheapest – but the fastest delivery). I’ve had the same set of Zyex strings on for around a year now, maybe a little less or a little more. The A string just unwound a little under the “b” note where it always does anyway.
Has anyone tried the “Opal” strings? They’re titanium over nylon. I wonder how they would sound for fiddlin’ ? Probably waltzes would bring a teardrop or two. Just wondering about the faster fiddle tunes.September 10, 2017 at 5:19 PM #53475
Never heard of the Opal strings Fred. I find Obligato to be the match I like for my fiddle which has a dark tone, but pretty good harmonics on the E string. And, whats with the A string & the B note…almost every time I put new strings on, that happens to me, but probably more on the C note than B. In fact, quite often, that A strings unravels at about six weeks, so I just replace it, and maybe two or three times before any other string goes. I guess that note just gets used that much more, but not sure thats all there is to it.September 10, 2017 at 7:15 PM #53477
Hi Rodger: I’ve never played on Obligatos but the specs look great.
I wonder if string makers should just go ahead and include a second A string in their packaged sets for fiddlers….? I probably kill A strings on a 10 to 1 ratio from D strings or E strings. I don’t ever remember having a G string come unwound.September 10, 2017 at 9:11 PM #53482
Exactly…in fact, now when I order a set of strings, I just go ahead and order one or two extra A strings as a package deal.
I will loose a D on occasion, in fact last month my D came apart. But after some length of time, I’ll replace the G and E even though they still seem ok, and I imagine the new ones sound better.September 11, 2017 at 1:57 PM #53490
Yeah, Rodger, I like to replace all the strings at once, too, usually. But I’m going to Tennessee for one week and I am attending Bluegrass jam sessions every night I’m there and I just can’t bear the thought of having to wear in a whole set in such an important week, so I’m just gonna wear in an A for now.
So, you really like the Obligatos, heh? I may have to try some when I order strings again. As long as they’re dark….I don’t care for the brassy/loud/bright-sounding strings very much and I think that’s why I like Zyex and Helicores so much.September 11, 2017 at 2:32 PM #53491
The last thing you want to do is break in a new set of strings when your going to be playing in something like that. With these Obligatos you can’t even hardly play at all until they have stretched for a day or so. For some, that would be a downside to them. I replace a string before I go to bed, and the next day put it on the table & tune up that string every time I walk past it.September 12, 2017 at 7:38 PM #53509
I received my Zyex A string today and I’ve been playing for over two hours straight and I’m still having to adjust the A string. I remember that it took a while to play these Zyex strings in but oh what a sound. I just love them!
I can’t tell the difference between the G, D and E which are around a year old and the A which is brand new today. They sound great together as though they all started out together as a set. Wow!September 12, 2017 at 8:49 PM #53524
Fred, I’m glad you love the Zyex strings. I’ve used them and Obligatos too, and they are both great quality.September 13, 2017 at 7:36 PM #53594
Crisp, silky, with personality! That’s what comes to mind when I bow across a Zyex string with a touch of vibrato.September 13, 2017 at 11:48 PM #53616
That’s a great description, Ralph!October 22, 2018 at 12:42 PM #65990
Well, I replaced my Helicore E with a Westminster medium…big improvement on the E but also I think it improved some aspects of the other strings as well.
Worth noting: the diameter of the Helicore is either 18.1 or 18.6 depending whether it’s wound (smaller) or not. Westminster I put on is 26, so quite a bit heavier…way more balanced with the other strings…especially with the A on Double-stops… clear as a bell up in the high register, and much easier to get good notes or power out of it.
I’ll probably play this set through Winter and then try the Westminster heavy (27.5 dia) with the next set.
So far I’m really happy I took the chance on the change…still have the Helicore E to go back to if I change my mind tough…
October 22, 2018 at 2:44 PM #65995
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by fiddlewood.
Did you get those off Amazon?October 22, 2018 at 3:54 PM #65996
Shar MusicSeptember 30, 2019 at 9:40 PM #77244
I was about to make a post about Helicore strings and made sure to search first.
I’ve mostly used Preludes, but I had been thinking of trying more expensive strings and a friend suggested Helicores. So I’m going to get them. Most people here seem to like them.
My problem with Preludes are mainly the E string. I have to really work at it to get it to sound well. And you really have to cake up the rosin for Preludes in general.September 30, 2019 at 10:33 PM #77245
I’ve been using Helicore Mediums for quite a while now. I still like Zyex strings but right now the two fiddles I’m working with are both strung up with Helicore mediums.October 1, 2019 at 5:54 AM #77248
Cool Fred. I ordered them last night Should be here by Friday. Can’t wait to try them.October 1, 2019 at 1:25 PM #77261
I switched out my helicores on my newer fiddle for Zyex about three months ago just to try them out…I’m very happy with the improved balance.
I will be continuing to use zyex on this fiddle.
Getting about time to pick up my older inst. and try them out on that. Hasn’t been out of the case for several months now.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by fiddlewood.
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