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Feb 2, 2020 - 2:55:09 PM

6 posts since 6/16/2019

@Tyler94 you are a wealth of info!
Maybe I need to learn how to change my strings myself and then I can experiment.??

Feb 2, 2020 - 3:35:55 PM

Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Tyler - Did you never try Prim? For a lot of people they're the end of the search. Helicores are good, and the mediums feel nice under your fingers. If you ever want to experiment some more, Pirastro Superflexible and Spirocore have similar core construction. I agree with you that there's a lot more than just the brand of string involved.


I haven't as of yet. I might if Helicores start giving me issues. I heard Prims were a bit louder and less complex than Helis and that's kind of the opposite of what I'm looking for. But sometimes what "shouldn't" work does and you just have to try.

Feb 2, 2020 - 4:22:23 PM

4 posts since 1/6/2017

Ive tried Prim, Helicore medium and heavy. I didn’t care for Prim. I preferred medium to heavy Helicores. But I keep coming back to pirastro flexacor. Some folks recommended them in another thread. They are rather expensive but they have a smooth strong tone, seem to last a bit longer than helicores, and feel wonderful under the fingers.

Feb 2, 2020 - 4:46:54 PM
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Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Fivestride

@Tyler94 you are a wealth of info!
Maybe I need to learn how to change my strings myself and then I can experiment.??


Glad to be of service!

And learning to change them yourself is definitely worthwhile. Plenty of Youtubes on it. Some basic things to know are to never have more than 2 strings off at a time and keep an eye on your bridge and make sure it doesn't tilt forward. Some #2 pencil lead on the nut grooves and the bridge grooves also helps the strings slide. 

Edited by - Tyler94 on 02/02/2020 16:47:27

Feb 3, 2020 - 10:30:58 AM
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169 posts since 4/15/2019

thanks to everybody for yor advice. After reading what you all had to say I decided on the prims. They seem to be what I'm looking for. Will let you know what happens.

Feb 3, 2020 - 2:44:30 PM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2564 posts since 2/3/2011

quote:
Originally posted by old cowboy

thanks to everybody for yor advice. After reading what you all had to say I decided on the prims. They seem to be what I'm looking for. Will let you know what happens.


I have seldom heard (read here on FHO) anyone say they were terrible strings.  Maybe once?  I'm sure there are a few fiddles that won't tolerate them and I'm sure there's the perfect string set out there for yours, maybe in a bottle with a fiddling genie.  In the meantime, they'll do you no harm, at least, and the price is good given their durability.

Feb 4, 2020 - 7:46:37 AM
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169 posts since 4/15/2019

got my Prim strings on and am absolutely thrilled with them. They are just what I been looking for! Thank you all for your in put.

Feb 4, 2020 - 3:36:14 PM

fidlpat

USA

574 posts since 5/11/2009

Fivestride, save the old strings because there are usually identifier charts for violin/fiddle strings
I've used a large number, though far from all named here in the thread
Tonicas are very nice,,,but I had the old formula, and there is a new one in use now, so, haven't tried those,,,
I always run back to Prim, at least on my G and D(light gauge), with a Jargar A(medium) and a Hill E string(light)
not unbalanced, because if you read the tension charts for Jargar, even their medium A doesn't pull as hard as some other light gauge A's

want to try a pair of Jargar on the bottom, but haven't gotten around to it yet,,,

Edited by - fidlpat on 02/04/2020 15:36:41

Feb 9, 2020 - 5:48:39 PM
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3546 posts since 12/8/2007

Helicore mediums for twenty years.

Okay, I have actually changed them every now and then. What I'm saying is that the brand I use is Helicore. I mean...I change my strings at least once every five years.

Mar 8, 2020 - 11:54:57 AM

195 posts since 3/1/2020

Steel strings have a flatter, more piercing tone. You get loudness but only at a cost to depth.

Synthetic strings have more tone color, and you can adjust loudness by choosing different tensions. Vision strings are the closest to steel, as they’re just plain loud, but not at all nuanced. Evah Pirazzi, another high tension string, has loudness but with a bit of depth. Peter Infeld is more of a muscular set—lots of power and projection for reaching the back of a room. Dominants are right in the middle—not too dark, not too bright. Evah Golds are somewhat like Dominants, but a little more voluminous. Obligatos are darker and warmer, but not quite as powerful. Prim and Jargar are a bit warmer, but they’re pretty muddy—the technology has improved quite a lot since those strings were developed, and they’ve been surpassed. Some people have been using Warchal more lately, as they’re supposed to be a little warmer.

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 03/08/2020 11:55:45

Mar 8, 2020 - 4:04:36 PM
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Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

Prim and Jargar are a bit warmer, but they’re pretty muddy—the technology has improved quite a lot since those strings were developed, and they’ve been surpassed.


Prims are a single strand steel core string known for being on the brighter side (at least as I remember), and I'm pretty sure they're one of the 2 or 3 most popular fiddle strings. Saying they've been surpassed is questionable in my opinion anyway. If they were clearly surpassed, I don't think they would be in business anymore. Dominants are the oldest synthetic strings on the market and Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn seem to have fine opinions of them....in other words age shouldn't have a bearing on your judgement of their quality.

Mar 8, 2020 - 6:12:36 PM

195 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Tyler94
quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

Prim and Jargar are a bit warmer, but they’re pretty muddy—the technology has improved quite a lot since those strings were developed, and they’ve been surpassed.


Prims are a single strand steel core string known for being on the brighter side (at least as I remember), and I'm pretty sure they're one of the 2 or 3 most popular fiddle strings. Saying they've been surpassed is questionable in my opinion anyway. If they were clearly surpassed, I don't think they would be in business anymore. Dominants are the oldest synthetic strings on the market and Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn seem to have fine opinions of them....in other words age shouldn't have a bearing on your judgement of their quality.


My point was just that Prims haven't stood the test of time in the way that Dominants have, at least for violin. Prims remain on the market mostly as a budget or student  string. Fifty years ago Prim and Jargar was the leading combination for cello setup, but the emergence of better quality strings like Larsen and Spirocore relegated them to being cheap rental strings that are just one small step up from Preludes.

As a luthier, I really like to avoid high tension steel strings, as they can wreak havoc on instruments. Steel sets like Prelude and Old Fiddler exert  a lot of extra pressure on a top. The violinstringreview chart of tensions doesn't list numbers for Prim, but they've got to be pretty high. 

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 03/08/2020 18:24:48

Mar 8, 2020 - 8:23:03 PM
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2044 posts since 10/22/2007

 

As a luthier, I really like to avoid high tension steel strings, as they can wreak havoc on instruments. Steel sets like Prelude and Old Fiddler exert  a lot of extra pressure on a top. The violinstringreview chart of tensions doesn't list numbers for Prim, but they've got to be pretty high. 


From what i understand, top tension concerns, are directed more for preservation of violins constructed in the age of gut strings, i.e. Original Del Jesu, etc. Late model violins are built for modern strings. No?

Mar 9, 2020 - 6:22:44 AM
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195 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
 

As a luthier, I really like to avoid high tension steel strings, as they can wreak havoc on instruments. Steel sets like Prelude and Old Fiddler exert  a lot of extra pressure on a top. The violinstringreview chart of tensions doesn't list numbers for Prim, but they've got to be pretty high. 


From what i understand, top tension concerns, are directed more for preservation of violins constructed in the age of gut strings, i.e. Original Del Jesu, etc. Late model violins are built for modern strings. No?


No. Keep in mind that the top quality string brands are used on 400 year old violins and brand new ones alike. Tension concerns apply to all instruments. Keep in mind that most modern violins are made in the same dimensions as the old Cremonese instruments. And there's plenty of evidence that del Gesu left his backs much thicker than what's considered the average today. It's just that most of them have been regraduated to make them easier to play. High tension strings are far more likely to cause structural issues like arching deformation and dropped projection. Steel strings also wear down the nut and bridge grooves much faster.

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 03/09/2020 06:25:40

Mar 9, 2020 - 1:42:45 PM

1655 posts since 12/11/2008

The Violin Beautiful -- I'm lovin' your posts. Straight-on, informed analyses of issues fiddle owners should be aware of...whether we follow your advice or not. You've convinced me to use steel strings only on my inexpensive factory fiddle.

Then again, the only fiddle that's ever failed me is my 'good' one, one I've never strung with anything but synthetics. One morning I opened the case to find the neck had magically become unglued. I dispatched the fiddle off to the shop I bought it from, Benning Violins in L.A. Grandfatherly Hans Benning glued it back on and gently said, "These things happen."

Mar 9, 2020 - 4:57:53 PM
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Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful
quote:
Originally posted by Tyler94
quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

Prim and Jargar are a bit warmer, but they’re pretty muddy—the technology has improved quite a lot since those strings were developed, and they’ve been surpassed.


Prims are a single strand steel core string known for being on the brighter side (at least as I remember), and I'm pretty sure they're one of the 2 or 3 most popular fiddle strings. Saying they've been surpassed is questionable in my opinion anyway. If they were clearly surpassed, I don't think they would be in business anymore. Dominants are the oldest synthetic strings on the market and Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn seem to have fine opinions of them....in other words age shouldn't have a bearing on your judgement of their quality.


My point was just that Prims haven't stood the test of time in the way that Dominants have, at least for violin. Prims remain on the market mostly as a budget or student  string. Fifty years ago Prim and Jargar was the leading combination for cello setup, but the emergence of better quality strings like Larsen and Spirocore relegated them to being cheap rental strings that are just one small step up from Preludes.

As a luthier, I really like to avoid high tension steel strings, as they can wreak havoc on instruments. Steel sets like Prelude and Old Fiddler exert  a lot of extra pressure on a top. The violinstringreview chart of tensions doesn't list numbers for Prim, but they've got to be pretty high. 


While I respect that you're a luthier and probably know far more about violins than I do, I would have to disagree with you about a couple of things. In the violin world Prims might be seen purely as budget strings but a lot of fiddlers use them just because they just like the tone. To me, synthetics like Dominants, Tonicas and Obligatos feel like rubber bands and sound fuzzy and unresponsive for drones and doublestops. But I know they must be good strings or else so many good violinists wouldn't use them. Just different strokes for different folks.

As for tensions, I really like a heavier string. Medium helicores run the closest in comparison of steel strings in tension to medium synthetics and I usually opt for the heavies. Bobby Hicks and Stuart Duncan use the same. Kenny Baker played on medium Thomastik Rope Cores which I understand are now called Superflexibles and their mediums run even higher than Helicore heavies. A medium set of Helicores has a total tension of 53 lbs and a set of heavies is only a 4.3 lb increase (8.7%  more). I could be wrong but as I see it, if those extra 4.3 lbs wreak havoc on an instrument there must have been something wrong with the instrument in the first place. Just my way of looking at it! I could be wrong.

Mar 9, 2020 - 6:44:57 PM

2044 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful
quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
 

As a luthier, I really like to avoid high tension steel strings, as they can wreak havoc on instruments. Steel sets like Prelude and Old Fiddler exert  a lot of extra pressure on a top. The violinstringreview chart of tensions doesn't list numbers for Prim, but they've got to be pretty high. 


From what i understand, top tension concerns, are directed more for preservation of violins constructed in the age of gut strings, i.e. Original Del Jesu, etc. Late model violins are built for modern strings. No?


No. Keep in mind that the top quality string brands are used on 400 year old violins and brand new ones alike. Tension concerns apply to all instruments. Keep in mind that most modern violins are made in the same dimensions as the old Cremonese instruments. And there's plenty of evidence that del Gesu left his backs much thicker than what's considered the average today. It's just that most of them have been regraduated to make them easier to play. High tension strings are far more likely to cause structural issues like arching deformation and dropped projection. Steel strings also wear down the nut and bridge grooves much faster.


Read your bio. R.M. We're fortunate to have you for these discussions. How does regraduating a top and/or bottom plate make a violin easier to play?

Mar 9, 2020 - 10:23:14 PM

195 posts since 3/1/2020

 

Read your bio. R.M. We're fortunate to have you for these discussions. How does regraduating a top and/or bottom plate make a violin easier to play?


If the plates are thicker, it can make it feel as though you really have to pull the sound out of it, as opposed to gently coaxing it out. Paganini's violin, the Cannon, is a spectacular instrument, but it's also known for being challenging to play. There are lots of violins throughout the world that have plates that are thicker than normal, but, unlike the Cannon, they do not sound very pleasant. Regraduating can change the way they respond significantly. 

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:19:37 AM

AmandaDandre

Norway

5 posts since 3/25/2020

I'm not a pro violinist, but Dominant Strings have been working well for me.

Mar 25, 2020 - 2:14:14 PM

1655 posts since 12/11/2008

I wanted a set of steel strings for the fiddle I use for AEAE cross-tuning, and the voice at the other end of the line at Shar Music suggested Zyex over Prims. I got the strings. Apart from the E string, which by turns either whistled or made no sound whatever, I've been loving them. Assertive and bright but not screechy. Plenty of volume. Plenty of color. As for the E string, I tore it off the fiddle and replaced it with the Dominant E string that had been there previously. Case closed.

Mar 25, 2020 - 2:19:13 PM

DougD

USA

9767 posts since 12/2/2007

Zyex are not steel strings. They are kevlar. Some folks love 'em, some hate 'em. I guess it depends on the instrument. I think they're the only string made of that material.

Mar 25, 2020 - 2:33:20 PM

6 posts since 6/16/2019

@DougD and @Tyler94
The rest of the story: my fiddle had Prelude strings on it. My luthier played the fiddle for a couple of minutes and suggested Evah Pirazzis. Got them on and played with them for weeks. Ugh. My fiddle had lost the sound I loved so much. Now it has medium Helicores and It's ok but still not the same. My instructor says just keep playing it as much as possible and everything will settle in.

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:10:24 PM

1655 posts since 12/11/2008

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Zyex are not steel strings. They are kevlar. Some folks love 'em, some hate 'em. I guess it depends on the instrument. I think they're the only string made of that material.


Thanks for the clarification.  In any event, I'm liking them, and they haven't exploded from the added tension yet...

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:48:06 PM

DougD

USA

9767 posts since 12/2/2007

Ed, I had to refresh my memory a bit. Zyex is a trade name for a PEEK material, not kevlar, but I think similar.
Its interesting (to me at least) that some of the synthetic materials used in violin strings are also used for tennis rackets. I think Corelli does a bigger business in that field than in instrument strings.
I think the problem crosstuning synthetic strings is not the increased tension but the constant change - leading to stretching and release.
PS - the manufacturer of Zyex claims it has "good tensile properties - stretch and recovery" so you might be OK.

Edited by - DougD on 03/25/2020 15:54:32

Mar 25, 2020 - 10:48:54 PM

Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

The new generation synthetics like Zyex and Thomastik Visions and some others generally withstand cross-tuning better than the original perlon cores like Dominants and Tonicas, but still not as well as steel. The problem with cross-tuning synthetics is two fold: they tend to break more often under the increased tension and the repeated cranking up and down also kills the sound quality of the string much quicker. Still, some are willing to put up with both issues and use synthetics for cross-tuning because the sound is worth it, or simply because they haven't had issues with it.

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