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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Helicore Winding Failure Question

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Bob on Delmarva - Posted - 03/29/2019:  04:01:04

After 3 1/2 months the winding on the A string failed and came loose. Is this common? I know the winding is aluminum but expected it to last longer then that. I have been playing 3 to 4 hours a day and keep my nails trimmed but not so short they hurt. The strings were purchased from Shar so I know they were not counterfeit.

carlb - Posted - 03/29/2019:  04:40:39


Originally posted by Bob on Delmarva

After 3 1/2 months the winding on the A string failed and came loose. Is this common?

Yes. When I used Helicores I always bought at least three extra A strings.

montananmrk - Posted - 03/29/2019:  04:49:13

Contact D’Addario they will make it right

RobBob - Posted - 03/29/2019:  04:54:40

I switched back to Prims with the new Lisa E. No unwrapping there.

joeh4232 - Posted - 03/29/2019:  05:02:21

I kinda think thats the norm for the A string helicore. Mine do the same.

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 03/29/2019:  05:46:32

Yeah this is something that happens with the Helicore A string. The aluminum winding is very soft. IMO you had a "normal" run. Prim doesn't do that, as pointed out above. If you are set on the Helicore tone an extra A string between full changes is your best bet. R/

ChickenMan - Posted - 03/29/2019:  07:01:37

Switched to Prim and haven't had that problem again.

ErikStill - Posted - 03/29/2019:  08:39:27

3 month and 3-4 hours a day. I would say that's time to change strings. A lot of people follow the 123 hours of playing time on a set of strings and yours would be above that. Not everyone is the same when it comes to this. but I'm lucky if strings last me that long.

Earworm - Posted - 03/29/2019:  08:53:48

I have not heard of this rule before. Thanks! I have heard of 300 hrs as a guideline, on a violin website, but don't know what truth there is in it. Can strings just "age out" too, if they just get too old, even though they have't been played much? I have one fiddle that may meet this criteria.

DougD - Posted - 03/29/2019:  10:14:05

I know they also have a titanium wound A string. Does it last longer?

ErikStill - Posted - 03/29/2019:  10:28:36

As far as aged out goes. If they've been at tension...maybe? They could sound dull. Play 5th's on the fiddle. If they're not in tune or sound wonky then change em. As far as the 123hour rule. That's not a hard or fast rule. I have had sets that last a long time after that. I've had really good luck with Larsen strings. And strings "die" so gradually we don't notice it until we decide to change strings.

captainhook - Posted - 03/29/2019:  16:25:01


Originally posted by Earworm

 Can strings just "age out" too, if they just get too old, even though they have't been played much? 

It may be possible, but I have fiddles with 20 year old strings (the age of the fiddle) that are still fine. I would think it might depend on the type of string, but I have worked on fiddles that had 50 year old gut strings that still sounded fine.

Bob on Delmarva - Posted - 03/30/2019:  03:47:07

I want to thank everyone for the feedback. I had been using Prims and wanted to try something different to see if I could warm up the tone a bit. I intend to go back to Prim at the next change.

Mobob - Posted - 03/30/2019:  06:42:07

hey Doug, yes the titanium wound lasted longer for me, but they don't come with any set as far as I know, must be bought individually, and cost more.

DougD - Posted - 03/30/2019:  07:28:52

I wondered about that, since I didn't see a set with it on the D'Addario website. However, I did a little cipherin' and to make up the standard set with individual strings is only about 96 cents more than the set, so you could substitute the titanium A string for just the additional cost of the string, plus a small surcharge. Its even less of a difference at someplace like Southwest Strings. I think I have Helicores on one fiddle, but I haven't playrd it nearly enough to wear anything out.

Edited by - DougD on 03/30/2019 07:30:32

RobBob - Posted - 03/30/2019:  08:59:25

The titanmium A does last longer. Either I don't hear as well, my bowing has changed or am getting cheaper in old age, but I am finding going back to Prims with the new Lisa E works just fine for me. Not fiddling as much as I once did and find them to be less hassle all around and less expensive.

DougD - Posted - 03/30/2019:  09:30:16

I've used mostly Prim over the years, although I've experimented a little. I change 'em every ten years whether they need it or not.
BTW - The difference in price between the stock Helicore set and making up your own set with the Titanium A is less than 2 bucks at online shops. Might be worth a try for you more avid players.

RobBob - Posted - 03/31/2019:  05:43:05

Yes it is a definitely cheaper to use the titanium A than buying two or three aluminum wrapped A's. Additionally the titanium string is not as bright as the aluminum.

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