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Feb 11, 2020 - 6:35:37 PM
20 posts since 6/3/2018

New to fiddle. I would like to change strings on my fiddle. not cheap string but good strings. I have been told by my friends to only buy Prim strings. Then they say the the E string needs to swapped out. Does prim sell 3 diamonds and a chunk of coal to the pack.? I get all my playing advice from these folks so I know they are right but why.?
I only play Old Time and they say Prims give the Old Time sound I am looking for.
What string do I look for to replace the Prim E.?
Then what use is the Prim E string good for?
Thank You and God Bless

Feb 11, 2020 - 6:58:14 PM



9763 posts since 12/2/2007

I just use the whole set, but I'm more interested in music than exactly how my E string sounds. Some people prefer the Prim Lisa E string, which I think is stainless steel. If I break an E string I use the Goldbrokat, about $1.50 apiece.
BTW - the advice to "only buy Prim strings" is just silly. There are many good strings that might be a better match for your instrument and playing style.

Edited by - DougD on 02/11/2020 19:01:40

Feb 11, 2020 - 7:06:56 PM
Players Union Member



2564 posts since 2/3/2011

I stick with Prims these days.  I've used the whole set and I've also tried substituting the Lisa E. It definitely had different qualities but not necessarily better, at least for me. I like to have spare E and A, though. It made sense to try the Lisa when I bought my spares. I think it's more a matter of taste. If you're just starting out you're probably still developing any kind of subtlety with your tone. If Prims fit your budget, you're doing well to start off on.

Edited by - boxbow on 02/11/2020 19:07:48

Feb 11, 2020 - 10:50:39 PM

8688 posts since 3/19/2009

There is personal preference involved.. I used to swap out my Prim E because it didn't sound right to me. THen, my hearing deteriorated and now I don't notice a problem with the Prim E strings......I'd prefer to have the hearing that made the string sound bad..!! Such is getting old.....

Feb 12, 2020 - 6:37:20 AM

51 posts since 1/21/2017

There's nothing wrong with the Prim E at all. It matches the other strings just fine.

Feb 12, 2020 - 6:39:30 AM

2272 posts since 10/1/2008

 OK .... Each instrument and player eventually finds the "perfect" set of strings for their instrument and style. Prim or Helicore by D'Addario are both used by many OT and #Grass players. Both are well made, last well and settle in quickly. Being metal core strings they both stand up to cross tuning. Either one is a good place to start your string search. The Helicore standard A is an aluminum wound string so fingernails can cut it over time. D'Addario offeres a titanium wound A that is considerabley tougher. THe Prim Lisa E was discussed above. Check out Concord Musical Supply for a good look at the many both metal and fiber core strings available.  R/  

Feb 12, 2020 - 6:58:38 AM

535 posts since 8/10/2017

My fiddle still had the tag from when the seller had it restrung and rehaired. Alphaque set is all it says on the tag. That's what I use. The guy at the music shop had never heard of them when I asked to buy a set, but he found them way in the back of a drawer. I guess they are Thomastik-Infeld strings. There are local mandolin players who swear by Thomastik-Infeld mandolin strings, but apparently they are controversial on mandolin forums. Are they controversial on violin forums? They seem fine to me. People who have played my fiddle says it has sass, like me.

Feb 12, 2020 - 7:38:02 AM



2700 posts since 6/26/2007

The strings Diane is referring to are synthetic core. Prims are the ticket. They sound good, they last and take to retuning well.

Feb 12, 2020 - 7:47:57 AM

4260 posts since 6/23/2007

"Ditto" on the Prim strings. The regular "E" string works fine. But if you are very "picky", the special "E" string Prim sells is exceptionally good.

Feb 12, 2020 - 8:57:17 AM



9763 posts since 12/2/2007

Diane - Thomastik is certainly not controversial in the violin world since they make Dominant strings, the first synthetic core string on the market, and probably the world's best selling even now. The Alphayue is their least expensive student level synthetic string - in fact I didn't know any synthetic string was available at that price. So if you like them, that's a great find! They're described as very bright, so if you ever want a little less "sass" you might try something else.

Edited by - DougD on 02/12/2020 08:58:03

Feb 12, 2020 - 9:30:26 AM

3541 posts since 12/8/2007

For whatever it's worth...I've used the Helicore mediums for twenty years, never having an A string unravel yet having quite a few D strings come apart after a year's use (I leave 'em on longer than most). I play about every day, and on gig days I can play for hours. I do wipe down my strings every time. Quite a few on this board use the heavy gauge Helicores (if using them), too.

For a while I was trying about every string around, for I had a fiddle which delivered a shrill sound no matter the string or placement of stick, etc. A few times I'd put these other strings on my two main fiddles, yet I always replaced them with my Helicores within a day or so.

But I've known very good fiddlers who swear by other strings, too. As UsuallyPickin says, it's a personal thing.

Feb 12, 2020 - 11:04:17 AM

11224 posts since 9/23/2009

I've been experimenting with strings since I started playing, 11 years ago. Still don't know what it is I'm lookin'

Feb 12, 2020 - 11:41:28 AM
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563 posts since 8/4/2010

Preludes are really nice and inexpensive if you like steel strings. If you like synthetics, Ascente are nice and inexpensive.

Feb 12, 2020 - 12:07:33 PM



228 posts since 1/6/2011

Just use the whole set. I only recently tried swapping out the stock E string with the Lisa E, and I'm not sure I notice enough difference to bother doing that again.

Feb 12, 2020 - 1:41:03 PM
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1653 posts since 12/11/2008

I get a kick out of it when I rub my way through the winding of a string, making it begin to unravel. It lets me know I'm not neglecting the

Feb 12, 2020 - 1:50 PM
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226 posts since 9/6/2011

I like Prim and Helicore {med} both on my fiddle and I change them about once a year.

I use Helicore because I like the feel of then on my fingers much better than Prims. Again ,personal choice thing.

Feb 12, 2020 - 2:45:45 PM

2040 posts since 10/22/2007

It's interesting how Prims and Preludes are of the same construction (solid steel core) yet Preludes seem to be marketed as student kit.

It's analogous of how originally Marlboro cigs were marketed to womens. Later to be marketed as "macho" cigs.

My own experience, Helicores have a fancy package, but i can't get the mediums to last two weeks. Told to try heavies. But the Prims are still fresh after four years. (Have gone up to six years on a set)

Feb 12, 2020 - 3:35:06 PM
Players Union Member



2564 posts since 2/3/2011

The Preludes were OK for me, but the sound wasn't quite there under my ear. Can't tell you if there was a difference from across the room. They seemed a bit bland. My first set of Prims were a bit exciting. It seems I live a quiet life. Anyway, my last set of Prims has been on for over a year now. I retired two sets of Preludes at about 6-8 months each.

Feb 12, 2020 - 3:51:44 PM



9763 posts since 12/2/2007

There's a lot more to strings than the core material. I came across a set online today where the G and D are wound with Monel, like the old Gibson guitar strings. Never seen that before.

Feb 12, 2020 - 4:37:52 PM

2040 posts since 10/22/2007

Funny, every "violin" shop i've been in put Dominants on everything. My guess as a sort of standard. I've probably only intentionally tried maybe a half dozen string brands. These forums are a great resourse for the combined experience factor.

Feb 12, 2020 - 5:34:07 PM

59 posts since 9/16/2017

tried a bunch but ended up liking Jargar ---- a bit less loud than prim and seem to work good when sliding around

Feb 12, 2020 - 5:45:03 PM
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166 posts since 4/15/2019

I just put my first set of prims on and I love them. I ssee nothing wrong with the E string> As far as I am concerned, they are perfect for Blugrass old time music!

Feb 13, 2020 - 5:03:47 AM
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20 posts since 6/3/2018

Folks, you talked me into it. Prims it is and I am going to use the E that is in the box.
I have gained a lot of insight from this post.
Thanks again
God Bless

Feb 13, 2020 - 7:27:29 AM



35 posts since 1/24/2019

Originally posted by farmerjones

Funny, every "violin" shop i've been in put Dominants on everything. My guess as a sort of standard. I've probably only intentionally tried maybe a half dozen string brands. These forums are a great resourse for the combined experience factor.

I have had Dominants on my fiddle for about 7 months, they started to sound a little dull so I figured it's time for a change. 

Some-wheres I had read someone recommend "Vision Heavy w/ steel E" for their dark sound. I bought a set from Amazon and put them on.  Yikes! It was like I hooked the fiddle up to an amp. Way to loud and bright for my taste!

Back to the Dominants for me.

Feb 13, 2020 - 8:46:47 AM

1240 posts since 10/13/2010

Feb 13, 2020 - 8:55:08 AM

8688 posts since 3/19/2009

Originally posted by martynspeck

I find this chart helps.

Gosh, Marty.. I don't see Black Diamond strings on the chart.. Aren't they what are needed to get that old time sound??wink

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