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Juggling Strings . . .

Posted by bj on Sunday, April 12, 2009

Since Southwest Strings had some types of strings on sale that I've been wanting to try, and I needed new strings for the little French fiddle, I bought Chromcors, and just put them on.

The good-- they seem to have settled in tuning-wise amazingly fast compared to the Prims I usually use, I only had to retune once, just a bit, since putting them on. There's a nice tone coming out of them too, though it's a subtle difference. Slightly warmer and less metallic.

The bad-- MUCH  less sustain, much less volume. And this is on strings that are supposedly famous for being LOUD. Right now my Stockdale fiddle is louder and rings a lot longer than the French fiddle. Not good. The French has been my jam fiddle BECAUSE of its volume! And right now it just isn't ringing. And I didn't get a wrapped E. I probably should have. Though squeaks are still relatively rare, they've increased a bit since I put on this unwrapped chromcor E. And the Chromcor E sounds harsher.

Though I think I need to give 'em a bit more of a chance, I'm not liking them on this fiddle yet, though I guess there's a possibility they do need settling of some sort. Prims were on sale too, and I didn't snag a set, which sucks if these don't sound better after settling. I wonder how the Red Label Premiums will sound if  I'm still not happy with these in a few days . . .

I'm thinking I shouldn't have tinkered with something that worked. I should have stuck with the Prims on this fiddle. And I'm kinda shocked. People talk up the Chromcors as being great strings. They might be, on a different fiddle. They don't seem to be (yet) on this fiddle though.

Well, worst case is I try the Chromcors on the Stockdale and throw those Prims I've currently got on the Stockdale (only a month  or so old) on the Salzard. Maybe I'll get lucky and the Stockdale will like the Chromcors. The only thing that might stop me from that is that I had Prim mediums on the Salzard and it was LOUD. I currently have Prim heavies on the Stockdale. One wonders how loud they'll be on the Salzard!

The Stockdale likes the Prims fine too, though I've heard it sound better. The strings that were on it when I got it sounded wonderful. And I never was able to identify them! So I'm still hoping to find strings that make it sound the way those did.

It's not all bad, since I have a fiddle I'm fixing up, and I can always throw the Chromcors on that one (I had figured the Red Labels for that one, but oh well . . . )

I hate putting strings on. It's just one of those chores that I find annoying, So I'm not looking forward to juggling strings from one fiddle to another if these still don't sound good a couple days from now. And Tuesday night is the P'burg jam . . .

11 comments on “Juggling Strings . . .”

jb Says:
Sunday, April 12, 2009 @11:10:11 AM

When I first put my Chromocors on for the first time they sounded a little muffled at first but after a week I really liked them and they have held up good so far, they stay in tune easily, and they're pretty loud. But I did not like the E and am using the pirastro Olive E but not the gold one. But like everyone says you have to hunt and peck for string to fiddle pairings til you're happy, btw, the prims were just too soft and almost tinny on my fiddle

bj Says:
Sunday, April 12, 2009 @11:17:11 AM

Thanks for telling me they open up after awhile. Maybe they'll be okay. I sure HOPE they'll be okay! And it's worth waiting a week to see if that happens. Any excuse not to have to change them again!

I have a feeling I'll be running down to the local music shop for a wrapped E though. Or an Oliv. Seems a lot of folks like those. I was hesitant to try any Pirastro strings since the tonica E didn't hold up very well. I'm okay with the Kaplan Solutions wrapped E-- though I wish it were a little warmer, at least it doesn't give any nasty surprises, and it does hold up surprisingly well.

fiddlefit Says:
Sunday, April 12, 2009 @2:14:47 PM

BJ, my instructor has been playing since the age of 5. An accomplished violinist, fiddler and master fiddle champion recommends helicore. I've had them on my fiddle since I started playing and have been extremely happy with the sound and the ability they have to maintain tuning.

bj Says:
Sunday, April 12, 2009 @2:28:03 PM

I tried Helicores early on, and as many other folks have complained of on the forum repeatedly, wore right through that aluminum wrapped A within a couple weeks. I don't care to repeat that experience. A couple friends of mine do use G and D helicores, and switch out the A for a Prim A and the E for something like an Oliv or other.

bj Says:
Sunday, April 12, 2009 @4:12:24 PM

I think you're right, jb. I already notice a (slight) difference since this morning. Still not good, but they're now a bit more resonant. Geez, I've heard of a fiddle "opening up" before, but never STRINGS! LOL! I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

fiddlepogo Says:
Sunday, April 12, 2009 @9:40:48 PM

You know what I'm going to say you still need to try,
so I don't have to say it.... ;^D

They give me sustain out of a $400 Romanian fiddle, just
think what they could do for yours!

fiddlepogo Says:
Sunday, April 12, 2009 @9:41:52 PM

What were the wrapping colors on the original strings?

bj Says:
Monday, April 13, 2009 @3:03:54 AM

They're pictured on my Stockdale fiddle in my photo album, and top wraps on each string were the same color as the bottom wrap. No one has been able to identify them yet.

jb Says:
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 @8:30:41 AM

hey bj, I've had me on two months and still like them better than any I've tried so far. I wore out any aluminum wrapped A and E too quick also. I did try tonicas and they weren't bad but the Chromocors have more depth on my fiddle, good luck, janet

bj Says:
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 @8:41:45 AM

Well, so far I'm still not impressed with the Chromcors on this fiddle, but I'm still reserving judgement since they do sound better now than they did when I put them on. However, they still do not sound as full bodied as the Prims did. Yes, the tone is slightly more complex and interesting, but they're still quite a bit less resonant, and quieter. I'll give them until the weekend, but if I'm not liking them by then, I'm doing the switch or buying a set of Prims.

bj Says:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 @8:45:09 AM

NOW I'm impressed. So weird! IT took them a good long while to settle in, and I'm not talking about the tuning thing since that got stable relatively quickly as these things go. I'm talking about the tone and resonance. Before, when I first put them on, they sounded kinda dead. Now they ring and ring and ring . . . They're awesome in Cross A!

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