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Sep 24, 2022 - 1:30:14 PM
82 posts since 5/1/2010

I bought a set of Prims months ago and have generally been pleased with them. However, the E-String sounds a little thin and "tinny" to me. I had a luthier set up this old fiddle to try to get the best out of it, and I'm generally satisfied with its tone, power, and string balance.
My question is: Without changing the position of the sound post or altering the bridge, tailpiece, or string height, is there really any way to alter the tone of the E-String by simply changing brands? I'd rather not go with gut or Perlon, seeing as how I'm playing loud oldtime fiddle with steel strings.
I'll consider all advice when ordering my next set of strings.

Sep 24, 2022 - 2:03:06 PM
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907 posts since 3/1/2020

Yes. The E string makes a difference, not just to the E sound, but across the full spectrum.

I use the Goldbrokat medium gauge as my standard E. If you want a bit more darkness, a heavy gauge E can work well. The Gold Label is a solid string as well. If you’re getting too much of a whistle and can’t get to a luthier to have it taken care of, Warchal’s Amber E is useful.

Sep 24, 2022 - 2:22:57 PM
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6015 posts since 9/26/2008

Prim's stock E is notoriously unsatisfactory. I buy my Prims as individual strings and use their Lisa E, which I think is much sweeter sounding.

Sep 24, 2022 - 2:25:06 PM

10524 posts since 3/19/2009

My local luthier says that often violinists buy Prims but exchange the E for another brand. I don't like Prim Es either.

Sep 24, 2022 - 6:46:13 PM

2816 posts since 10/22/2007
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I'm a proponent of Prim's, but don't prefer any wound E string. Tone aside, they all come unwound eventually. I typically use Andrea rosin and a very stiff bow. Admittedly, probably not easy on strings. I sometimes use Prelude strings, but again, don't use a wound E. I don't know from sweet tone? Squealing E string is from poor technique. 

Edited by - farmerjones on 09/24/2022 18:49:02

Sep 24, 2022 - 9:05 PM

668 posts since 6/11/2019

When you say, "I'd rather not go with gut or perlon" I assume you mean you don't want to buy a set of gut or perlon and use whatever E comes with the set, for I know of no modern E that is made of gut or perlon.

I agree with Rich, I like the Goldbrokat, which performs well but is very inexpensive. It's cheaper to buy whatever full set you want and use the Goldbrokat instead of buying individual strings. Lisa E is more expensive, and stainless steel, so may last a little longer.

As far is "tinny", before fooling around with wound E's and such, try playing closer to the bridge on the E. You will have to apply a little more pressure, but it may sound louder and more full. Same with all the strings, actually.

Sep 24, 2022 - 9:14:45 PM

308 posts since 6/3/2016

I use Prims with the Lisa E. You used to have to buy individual strings to do this, but Prim now sells sets with the Lisa E.

Sep 24, 2022 - 9:30:16 PM

6015 posts since 9/26/2008

Originally posted by RinconMtnErnie

I use Prims with the Lisa E. You used to have to buy individual strings to do this, but Prim now sells sets with the Lisa E.

I did not know this. Haven't purchased strings in a bit. 

Sep 25, 2022 - 4:31:49 AM
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2477 posts since 10/1/2008
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Indeed, the "E" string choice is entirely personal and fiddle specific. I have used the platinum plated Peter Enfield string to great effect on my Strad copy Koschat but it sounds like ### on my Guarneri . Go figure. I have had good luck with the Lisa "E" string matched with medium or stark Prim's as well as the gold plated E program string from Dominant. Lately I have started with some D'Addario Helicore strings.... the jury is not yet in on those, though they still sound good at three months. R/

Sep 25, 2022 - 6:06:07 AM



2876 posts since 6/26/2007

The Lisa E is a winner. I agree that the stock Prim E is not worth owning.

Sep 25, 2022 - 6:47:33 AM
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535 posts since 9/1/2010

Medium Prims with the Goldbrokat E for me.

Nov 11, 2022 - 4:03:28 AM
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82 posts since 5/1/2010

Update: I just put on a Goldbrokat E and I'm very impressed! I can really tell the difference. Thanks for the suggestions, everybody!

Nov 11, 2022 - 4:12:33 AM



2197 posts since 6/26/2007

I have been using the Larsen E string, both the Heavy and the Medium with the Dominant set... the E string is really great and lasts....

Play Happy


Nov 11, 2022 - 8:11:57 AM
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2289 posts since 8/27/2008

I use Prims Orchestra or heavies. E string is perfectly fine for me. Maybe the presumably higher gauge of a Prim heavy makes a difference.

Nov 11, 2022 - 12:36:23 PM

2127 posts since 12/11/2008

Yeah, I do change out my G, D and A strings every once in a while, but can be years before I'll change the E. I just wipe it down when it feels a bit gritty, and it's good as new again. This, by the way, is in complete contrast to the manic way I change out the strings on my steel string acoustic guitars.

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