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Fiddle Lovers Online


Nov 30, 2022 - 6:40:01 AM
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15 posts since 9/18/2019

My all time favorite fiddle player is Mac McGaha. Used to watch him on TV every Saturday afternoon & got to see him live and up close at Opryland, one super vacation when I was a kid. Anybody know or speculate what brand / type of strings he used? youtu.be/rOr2iqbXUZc

Nov 30, 2022 - 7:56:36 AM
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RobBob

USA

2898 posts since 6/26/2007

From the green wrap at the tailpiece and the sound I'd guess Prim mediums. Man, Porter's guitar playing is not what I'd want behind my fiddle. Good thing there is a whole band playing.

Nov 30, 2022 - 8:23:40 AM

15 posts since 9/18/2019

quote:
Originally posted by RobBob

From the green wrap at the tailpiece and the sound I'd guess Prim mediums. Man, Porter's guitar playing is not what I'd want behind my fiddle. Good thing there is a whole band playing.


Bless Porters heart, you aint wrong there. I was thinking maybe Prims too. 

Nov 30, 2022 - 8:27:21 AM
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DougD

USA

10986 posts since 12/2/2007

Porter actually started off better than I expected, but loses it when he starts trying to dance. He even mentioned it after the tune. Not sure I could do much on the guitar while dancing either though!

Nov 30, 2022 - 9:42:29 AM
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DougD

USA

10986 posts since 12/2/2007

Randy - There was a recent discussion here about strings with green winding at the tailpiece and several brands were mentioned, including Pirastro Chromcor. I'd say that could also be a good possibility - another solid core steel string.

Edited by - DougD on 11/30/2022 09:43:28

Nov 30, 2022 - 1:54 PM
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RobBob

USA

2898 posts since 6/26/2007

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Randy - There was a recent discussion here about strings with green winding at the tailpiece and several brands were mentioned, including Pirastro Chromcor. I'd say that could also be a good possibility - another solid core steel string.


The wraps looked like they were a dull green more like Prim. Pirastro is a first class string maker and their wrap is more of a forest green, and brighter. But all we can do is guess.

Nov 30, 2022 - 2:27:30 PM
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DougD

USA

10986 posts since 12/2/2007

Right, all we can do is guess. But I was wondering what time period that video was. When do you first remember seeing Prims being used, Bob? They say they've been making strings since 1943, but I think that was on a very small scale, and the founder was a cellist, which is where they first made their mark. I don't even know what Walt and Bob used, but when I got my first fiddle about 1974 I used Pirastro gut because there were structural problems with the instrument and I didn't know if it would stand up to steel strings - synthetics were still not widespread then. I still played mostly guitar and banjo for the rest of the century, so I don't know when people started using Prim.

Nov 30, 2022 - 4:40:57 PM
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RobBob

USA

2898 posts since 6/26/2007

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Right, all we can do is guess. But I was wondering what time period that video was. When do you first remember seeing Prims being used, Bob? They say they've been making strings since 1943, but I think that was on a very small scale, and the founder was a cellist, which is where they first made their mark. I don't even know what Walt and Bob used, but when I got my first fiddle about 1974 I used Pirastro gut because there were structural problems with the instrument and I didn't know if it would stand up to steel strings - synthetics were still not widespread then. I still played mostly guitar and banjo for the rest of the century, so I don't know when people started using Prim.


You are correct, they might have been rare. I think Walt and Bob used Red Label, at least I've seem them on Walt's fiddle in the past few years. There was also a Supersensitive  Ultra Sensitive string that I used to use and have an old package for.  I liked them pretty well and much better than Red Label back then. Pirastro came out with an Ultra Sensitive that got dropped about 20 years ago. I liked them too.  Dr. Thomastik was fairly popular back then but I don't remember any green wrap, same with the Ultra Sensitive, both companies made then with a dark blue wrap. I did know a fellow in the 70's and 80's who used a combination of strings that included Prim and Jargar. Some fiddler said he used this combination so he started using them. I was real impressed that he thought it was a good idea. There was an older fiddler who also did autobody work and he had a fiddle repair shop in his basement. That may be where I learned about Prims. But it was 1980 by then and that video looks to be early 70's at the latest. With mail order available but not unknown to me I was at the mercy of local shops back then who usually carried Rao and Red Label and then the more expensive strings.  As I remember violin shops wanted more money to repair fiddles than I had money to buy one! So guys like Paul, the autobody guy, got our business.

I've said all that to say this, I have no clue but they look like Prims for what that is worth.

Dec 3, 2022 - 2:20:20 PM
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1551 posts since 7/26/2015

I like it, myself, and it looks like Mack did too. 
quote:
Originally posted by RobBob

From the green wrap at the tailpiece and the sound I'd guess Prim mediums. Man, Porter's guitar playing is not what I'd want behind my fiddle. Good thing there is a whole band playing.


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