August 19, 2020 at 4:49 PM #85668
I am very new to the fiddle. I set up my fiddle with D’addario Pro Arte strings. I picked them simply because they appeared to be the only ‘synthetic’ core set of strings that I could afford. After playing for a few days, I was distressed to find that the ‘E’ string seemed dead- there was a noticeable drop in volume moving from the ‘A’ string to the ‘E’ string. Before I purchased the Pro Arte set, I had done some research on the internet. It was suggested that the Pirastro Gold was an excellent ‘E’ string, so when I purchased the ‘Pro Arte’ set, I also purchased a couple of the ‘Pirastro’ strings as singles.
I found the problem with the Pro Arte ‘E’ so frustrating that I removed it from the fiddle and out of desperation, put on one of the Pirastro ‘E’ strings. To my amazement, the problem was solved. The new ‘E’ string worked perfectly. The volume and tone moving from the ‘A’ to the ‘E’ string seemed balanced and pleasing.
Which raises a question for me. I have no prior experience with violins and violin strings. With the better sets of strings hovering in the $70 range, I can’t afford to experiment. Can anyone with more experience than I have, and given my experience with the ‘Pro Arte’ string problem and the ‘Pirastro’ fix make any suggestions regarding what might be an optimal set of strings for my fiddle.
The fiddle is a Cremona SV-1800 Maestro Special Edition Hellier Style Violin. It is Chinese made, but came highly recommended.
Thanks very much for any suggestions,
BillAugust 20, 2020 at 1:59 PM #85674
I like the Helicore medium strings Dr. John use’s these strings on the lessons on this site they are about $40.00 or less ! beautiful violin you have there I love all the carving nice !
August 20, 2020 at 3:32 PM #85676JoeParticipant
- This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Steve Srader.
Ditto Steve. Helicore mediums is the way to go.August 20, 2020 at 5:03 PM #85677Phillip GilbertParticipant
Strings are somewhat violin dependent, but as mentioned above, I’ve settled on Helicores after experimenting with others. They sound fantastic and the price is reasonable and they last a long time and are very stable tuning.August 21, 2020 at 1:03 PM #85678
Thanks very much for the feedback. I have one more question. Did you choose the plain ‘E’ string, or the aluminum wound ‘E’?
BillAugust 21, 2020 at 4:10 PM #85680
John uses the plain E string , the aluminum E string is a no whistle string if you have a problem with that on your violin , On the other strings like the A string the platinum string last longerSeptember 3, 2020 at 10:56 PM #85815Great ScottModerator
Hi Bill ! I have experimented with various strings over the years. I have two violins — the first being a Chinese one (Lord have mercy !). It was on this violin that I experimented with the various strings to get the sound I liked. I had Pro Arte strings on it for a short while in order to give it a more mellow, slightly warmer tone, which they did. But they died much too young. So I tried the Helicores, and I liked the sound — brighter. Now, it was my habit of always replacing the E string of both the Helicore and the Pro Arte strings with a Jagar E string, which (to my ear) always sounded so much better that the Helicore and Pro Arte Es. I was very happy with the Helicore sound on my cheaper Chinese violin.
My German-made violin has a very bright E string and a very deep and dark G string (which is rarely used) and I wanted to tone down the brightness of the E string, so I decided to try the Zyex string set and bought a set (circa $44 from Fiddlerman’s Fiddleshop). The Zyex strings are said to have a sound very close to gut strings. My impression of the Zyex strings on my German violin is that they have a warmer sound than the Helicores. I am very happy with them, and I will choose Zyex again when the strings need to be replaced. They have lasted around 4 years ; but then I don’t play them a lot. Naturally, the sound I get from them will be different to the sound that some one else gets, but for me, I will keep using the Zyex. I had no need to replace the E string with a Jagar E. The Zyex E string is good, PLUS, I have had no unraveling of the Zyex strings.
Hope this helps you some
D’Addario Zyex to be better than the HelicoresSeptember 4, 2020 at 11:41 AM #85816
I have one fiddle strung with medium Zyex and the other with medium Helicores. I use the E’s that came with the sets. Once in a while I will get a wolf-sound from the Helicoe E but it’s always when I cross over from somewhere on the A string. I have to be aware of the crossover and then I’m fine.September 15, 2020 at 4:17 PM #85978
I have tried a couple of sets of strings and finally found a set that I like very much. They have the dark, rich sound that I prefer and the ‘E’ string geometry is great. The design eliminates ‘whistling’ and the string is not too bright.
BillSeptember 15, 2020 at 5:20 PM #85980
Bill let me know how you feel in a few weeks !September 15, 2020 at 6:56 PM #85982fiddlewoodParticipant
thanks Fred! haha…wrote my whole post for me…exact same here on my two fiddlesOctober 13, 2020 at 9:30 PM #86395goneworkinParticipant
When I was completely new to fiddle, I ran into a serious violinist who recommended Zyex. For his level of playing I’m sure quality matters and he likely gets even better strings (or used to now that the market has dried up for musicians out here with the studios). At any rate, I’m now holding Zyex as the baseline. I still like them a lot.
But now that I’m firmly in practice mode and don’t expect to play with a band or even in public, less expensive strings could serve just fine as I learn my chops. I’m listening to y’all to see what you’ve come to like to play on.November 24, 2020 at 3:14 PM #86798Nancy BitterParticipant
I love the Helicore stings……..bright and don’t need “adjusting” with every jamNovember 24, 2020 at 3:43 PM #86804
My French fiddle has Helicores on it and they’ve been on for at least 8 months and I play it every day and I can’t remember when I had to tune it last. Yeah Helicores!March 11, 2021 at 11:08 PM #88254RSQ4x4Participant
Frederick, the wolf sound, I was having some issue with strings and the short story, I found on my A string, the notch in the nut was cut to deep and the A string would make a weird (wolf) noise only when open and double stringing. So the string when played at an angle, ie double stop, it would vibrate against the finger board. But played by itself, it was just fine.March 12, 2021 at 8:46 AM #88264
Thanks for the info, RSQ4X4. I’ll examine my string grooves real closely. I can’t even remember the last time I heard a “wolf” while playing, though. 🙂April 11, 2021 at 9:05 AM #88590jimnewParticipant
Around me everyone uses Prim Medium Chromium Steel for fiddle playing. I’ve haven’t ever had a problem with them. I tried a couple of sets of more expensive strings, but they didn’t sound any better and were harder to tune. My two cents
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