I have an Anton Beder violin, and the woman who set it up for me (Nell O'Neil in Nevada) told me it wasn't very high quality. She says it is a pre WW2 German student instrument. She went over the whole thing and put steel strings on it and it sounds really tinny to me, and I would prefer a mellower tone. I've already spent too much on it for what it is probably worth and I'm wondering if it would be worth it to try different strings in an attempt to alter the tone. The perlon (sp?) strings at Elderly Instruments are $36, so I don't want to do it if it is a waste of time and money. As it is, I play with a mute to cut the nasal quality. Maybe I should sell it and get a Gianna? Please advise! Thanks.
Perlon strings would mellow out the tone at least somewhat, IMO. Of course there's only so much a new set of strings will do to improve the tone of an inexpensive fiddle, so I wouldn't expect miracles , but I think you will be able to hear a noticeable difference in tone between the perlon strings and the steel strings you have on there now.
Look at it this way -- you can invest $36 in a new set of strings for your present fiddle, which may improve the tone enough that you can continue playing it for a while longer -- or you can sink several hundred dollars -- or more! -- into a new fiddle . Personally, I'd try the perlon strings first. Even if worse came to worst and you end up buying a new instrument, the perlon strings don't have to go to waste -- you can always take them off the Anton Beder fiddle and put them on whatever new fiddle you buy.
Thank you Rachel, that helps a lot. I going to be very careful putting on strings at these prices! I just looked at the Thomastik Dominant set for $39.70. They also have a set of "Infeld Reds" which "enhance the darker overtones" for $46.90. Any preferences or ideas about which might work the best for me? Thanks!
Thank you Rachel, that helps a lot. I going to be very careful putting on strings at these prices! I just looked at the Thomastik Dominant set for $39.70. They also have a set of "Infeld Reds" which "enhance the darker overtones" for $46.90. Any preferences or ideas about which might work the best for me? Thanks! Brian
Hi Brian --
I hear what you're saying about violin string prices! Depending on how much playing I do, I change strings maybe once every 6 months to a year (basically when the winding on the A string starts getting worn off in spots ) -- or if a string happens to break -- then I go ahead and replace the whole set.
I've never tried Infeld Reds so I can't comment on them, sorry. My main fiddle (circa 1920's, made in Paris, France) has a dark, warm, sweet tone; I use Heliocore steel-rope-core strings which I think give it the right amount of brightness and clarity to counterbalance all that dark sweetness. I imagine that perlon strings would be too mellow-sounding on this fiddle, though I haven't actually tried them. But Thomastik also makes Infeld Blues which supposedly enhance the brighter overtones, and I'm thinking I might try those next time I need a string change.
My other fiddle is a pre-WW II German factory-made student instrument -- like yours -- I don't remember off the top of my head what strings I have on it; they might very well be Thomastik Dominants. It sounds pretty good with them. .