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Ive spent a bunch of money on strings, now what?

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Apr 26, 2019 - 2:06:18 PM
84 posts since 8/1/2014

Has anyone play tested quite a few different brands of strings?

I have about 5 sets of strings and im wondering whats the best way to go about it? How long should i give each string?

Im trying to see if anyone has a good process for this because it was a decent investment that ive made buying all of these strngs but i think it'll be worth it if i can find the best for my fiddle

Apr 26, 2019 - 2:35:43 PM
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RobBob

USA

2628 posts since 6/26/2007

Jim Holland I did a survey of steel core strings and published our findings here 8 or 10 years ago. It may be in an archive. I use Prims with the Lisa E and don't worry about it. Off now to play a dance.

Apr 26, 2019 - 4:06:59 PM

4118 posts since 9/26/2008

I think that is a difficult challenge with lots of variables. For one thing strings take a little while to settle in usually sounding kind of harsh at first. This seems like a strange way to go about it unless of course you have the money. What if the first set of strings is the one and then you take them off and put on a different set how do you remember what the first one sounded like? I guess you're going to have to record yourself or someone else who's playing it because honestly that would be the way to go if you're new at this game. I, like Bob, use prims and the Lisa E string. They work great for the kind of music I play bluegrass and old-time.

Apr 26, 2019 - 5:28:04 PM
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34 posts since 9/16/2017

fifteen year of errors and trials. I wear em out, especially slidng on A -- don't have a light touch after 60 years of frets. I got into trying a lot of different strings and spent a bunch trying to develop the sound I want -- evahs etc then settled with prims, recently got a new fiddle with daderrio's, (helicore?), and liked them -- but my standby is jargar. They seem similar to prim but not quite as bright and I've gotten used to them. You'll just find something you like.

Apr 26, 2019 - 6:00:37 PM

25 posts since 5/29/2018

I am in the same boat my Viola has some dead strings it came with. I am probably going to buy some D addario strings for it. they have always been good on my guitars so I figured they made decent Viola strings too. Man o man they aint cheap !!

Apr 26, 2019 - 6:48:06 PM
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2209 posts since 12/23/2007

You should play one set for a few weeks before moving on to the next.

In my experience, it is pointless to try too many fiddles/bows/strings/rosin in a short period of time. The differences between good gear is too nuanced; we need time to learn and internalize one thing before we can compare the next product. It's even more pointless if you are a newer player. There is just not a baseline established in our brains yet.

The good news is that your 5 sets will last you a couple years or more, which is just fine.

Apr 26, 2019 - 6:54:06 PM
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4118 posts since 9/26/2008

To clarify, as a beginner, you might not get the most out of your fiddle yet; if you could have someone else play it in addition to yourself, you might get a better picture of the string's sonic qualities. Playing it yourself will give you a tactile profile. When the sound seems the same, how the string feels under your finger can be the decision maker.

Edited by - ChickenMan on 04/26/2019 18:57:14

Apr 26, 2019 - 9:25:43 PM
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1097 posts since 7/26/2015

Guys, am I off base here? I would think play the string until you can't, meaning either that it breaks/unwinds or the quality of sound changes noticeably, but that's just me. I've never been one to replace strings unless I have to. Can you tell from my recordings?

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/26/2019 21:27:22

Apr 26, 2019 - 9:58:19 PM
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2209 posts since 12/23/2007

quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy

Guys, am I off base here? I would think play the string until you can't, meaning either that it breaks/unwinds or the quality of sound changes noticeably, but that's just me. I've never been one to replace strings unless I have to. Can you tell from my recordings?


That is what I do (mostly), and what most of my friends do.  It is too easy to fall into the GAS trap with this, and good fiddle strings are not cheap.    For a chance at a 0.5% better string, it is just not worth the hassle and expense.  Well, maybe if you are concert soloist......   

 

Putting in good, focused practice time will net the rest of us better results.  

Apr 26, 2019 - 10:04:59 PM

1097 posts since 7/26/2015

"GAS trap"? I've not heard the term.
quote:
Originally posted by amwildman
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy

Guys, am I off base here? I would think play the string until you can't, meaning either that it breaks/unwinds or the quality of sound changes noticeably, but that's just me. I've never been one to replace strings unless I have to. Can you tell from my recordings?


That is what I do (mostly), and what most of my friends do.  It is too easy to fall into the GAS trap with this, and good fiddle strings are not cheap.    For a chance at a 0.5% better string, it is just not worth the hassle and expense.  Well, maybe if you are concert soloist......   

 

Putting in good, focused practice time will net the rest of us better results.  


Apr 26, 2019 - 10:23:26 PM

2209 posts since 12/23/2007

GAS = gear acquisition syndrom

Apr 26, 2019 - 10:38:14 PM

84 posts since 8/1/2014

Thanks for the thoughts.

Im not really a beginner, though probably not as far from it as id like to think

It is a bit of a gas splurge. But ive been playing for 4 years (mandolin longer than that) on and off mostly with prims. After I tried a set of preludes though, i really liked what it did for me. I also think syntetic core strings would mix better at the places i jam at, sometimes just a couple of guitars.

So that's why im wanting to try somethings out. I also have a set of dominants, tonica, and zyex. I figure one of these should do the trick anyway.

The preludes are actually really good on this fiddle . They have the qualities im looking for in synthetic strings, but still have a very classic fiddle sound to them that i like. Of course theyre reasonably priced too. Tuning stability seems to be pretty good even going from inside to outside. I could see myself sticking with these until they wear out

Edited by - TexasRed on 04/26/2019 22:41:18

Apr 27, 2019 - 7:42:11 AM

2112 posts since 10/1/2008

Bottom line it is about your fiddle your tone and the combination you like. Strings settle in at about a week of playing ..... say ten or so hours. Fiber core always take longer than metal core. So as pointed out above record, playing the same tunes, have your teacher or a fiddler friend play while you record and listen. You will come to a conclusion on what is right for you and this instrument now. That is of course subject to change with time. R/

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