Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

55
Fiddle Lovers Online


Would you change the whole lot if you had a new brand of strings?

Page: 1  2   Last Page (2) 

Oct 4, 2023 - 7:08:24 PM

Quincy

Belgium

849 posts since 1/16/2021

I recently bought a set of cheap (nearly 10 euro) strings, a student set of silverwound RotoSound orchestral and jazz strings.
I only bought them because they were cheap, made of steel and because I have a combination of three different brands on my violin.
Would you change all 4 strings to have one brand on it? I know I need to change them one by one.
I have now a combination of helicores, one chromcor I believe and one that comes from my black Stagg instrument.
It does not bother me while playing, but I am just curious and wonder how good less than 10 euro strings can be.

I mainly  break strings because I mix up the peg posltion of the A and E string. 

Edited by - Quincy on 10/04/2023 19:11:38

Oct 4, 2023 - 7:50:04 PM
like this

6388 posts since 9/26/2008

You can change them all but you might not like them. so be nice to the ones on there now as you unwind them - you can put them back on. I keep an old set in my case for the occasional broken string (been years since I broke one).

Oct 5, 2023 - 5:28:55 AM
like this

2584 posts since 10/1/2008

Indeed, change them all. As ChickenMan said be "nice" with the new ones and save them for "just in case" needs. Some strings just don't get along with some violins. Don't be surprised if you get some that do not give you the tone you want. There are some good, better and best brands that are associated with better tone. Helicore are a reasonably priced steel core string, Prim are also. Prim has a brighter tone than Helicore. Thomastic Dominant strings are a good fiber core string. Violin strings are expensive alas, so don't be too surprised. Good news bad news is that violin strings do last several months to a year depending on the pH of your skin or how hard you use them. Good luck in your search. Lastly, when changing all your strings tilt your bridge slightly toward the tail piece. The new wound strings will pull it toward the fingerboard. R/

Oct 5, 2023 - 5:29:34 AM
likes this

474 posts since 4/15/2019

If it sounds good, leave it alone.

Oct 5, 2023 - 6:48:34 AM
like this

1398 posts since 3/1/2020
Online Now

Other than the E string, sets are designed to work together. You can mix and match brands, but it always ends up with a sacrifice somewhere. The tensions of all the strings are very carefully controlled to compliment each other, and the materials used by one brand are often different enough from another one that the bow may not engage with the different types in the same way. I often see people try to adjust sound issues this way, and it never leads to a good result. Sound post position and fit are crucial, and any time one changes to a different set of strings, a soundpost adjustment is something to think about.

There really isn’t much mystery to string selection. You get what you pay for, and a good set will make the biggest difference you can discern after a good setup.

Oct 5, 2023 - 7:40:01 AM
likes this

DougD

USA

11787 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Anja - I agree with Rich that strings are designed to work as a set and you should change them all (one at a time). I had a close friend who worked for D'Addario for several years, developing orchestral strings, and he was very concerned with matching the tensions across the set.
Also, when you change them, lubricate the slots in the nut and bridge with a soft lead pencil. This will help them slide easily.
Lastly, when you're done, make sure that the bridge is upright, not leaning. The side towards the tailpiece should be perpendicular to the top of the ribs, but usually perpendicular to the top at that point is close enough, and easier to see (I just use a little 6" rule as a right angle). It might look like its leaning, but its not, and this should be the position where the bridge feet were fitted. Its important to prevent warping, or falling over.

Edited by - DougD on 10/05/2023 07:42:46

Oct 5, 2023 - 10:10:18 AM
likes this

2432 posts since 4/6/2014

Don't know if you know this already, or it has been said before but. Don't take all the strings off at once! Change one string at a time and play the new string in until it stays in tune before changing the next. keeping an eye on the "uprightness" of the bridge as you go.

Good luck

Edited by - pete_fiddle on 10/05/2023 10:11:11

Oct 5, 2023 - 12:48 PM
likes this

2562 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by pete_fiddle

Don't know if you know this already, or it has been said before but. Don't take all the strings off at once!...


The main reason being that it's often very easy for the sound post to topple with all the strings off.

Oct 5, 2023 - 12:55:08 PM
likes this

DougD

USA

11787 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Maybe that's why Quincy said in her original question "I know I need to change them one by one?"

Oct 5, 2023 - 1:37:33 PM

2434 posts since 12/11/2008

I'll join the crowd here and proclaim, "Take the old ones off and put the new ones on, one by one." Life can become complicated if the sound post falls over and starts rattling around on the inside of a fiddle. Finding that perfect spot to place the bridge and properly stand it up isn't quite as straightforward as the experts happily proclaim, either.

I've found you don't have to change fiddle strings very often, anyway. I'm the kind of guy who, when I was a little more crazed & manic, used to change out my steel acoustic guitar strings every couple weeks. By contrast, with the fiddle I'll wait until the wound strings start unraveling. Even then, I won't rush out and get a new set.

And yes, it's good to have all four strings be from the same maker. The different brands all feature slightly different volume, tone & touch. I found this to be true when, maybe a month ago, I had to dig into my fiddle case to find a replacement A string when, after a veritable eternity, I finally rubbed a fragment of the winding off the old one. I now have to slightly vary my bow touch when I bow it.

Oct 5, 2023 - 2:58:57 PM

2562 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

...Finding that perfect spot to place the bridge and properly stand it up isn't quite as straightforward as the experts happily proclaim, either.
...


While I do adjust a sound post location I don't think I've ever deviated from setting the bridge exactly between the nicks on the F-holes. I wouldn't think you'd need to deviate from that very often, presumably because the instrument was built with that in mind primarily involving string-length and after-length. However I can be persuaded otherwise. Rich might have something to say about this.

Oct 5, 2023 - 8:34:52 PM

2562 posts since 8/27/2008

To clarify, it’s possible I would try moving a bridge forward or back if there was a real frustration with the setup, but I’ve never done it. The relation of the post to the bridge seems more important than the placement of the bridge on the top within a few milimeters one way or the other, so using nicks to locate the bridge then locating the post is a proper setup.

Oct 6, 2023 - 3:50:59 AM
likes this

Quincy

Belgium

849 posts since 1/16/2021

Thanks for the many answers, I am going to give it a try, hopefully they are any good. But I have to say the Stagg instrument had cheap steel strings and they were great.
It is not my favorite thing to do, change string.

Oct 6, 2023 - 5:15:46 AM
like this

2584 posts since 10/1/2008

Lastly, don't forget to treat your pegs, if they are the wood variety. Peg dope, amazon.com/HILL-Hil-9695-Origi...AQAvD_BwE One tube last decades. This is something that needs to be done occasionally when the pegs are no longer holding when you tune. It's always something.....

Oct 6, 2023 - 5:52:37 AM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2782 posts since 2/3/2011

Yes.

Oct 6, 2023 - 8:13:26 AM
like this

Quincy

Belgium

849 posts since 1/16/2021

I must say I am surprised, these less than 10 euro strings sound very appealing. They are better than the Chromcors I once bought .

Oct 6, 2023 - 8:41:59 AM

Quincy

Belgium

849 posts since 1/16/2021

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful


There really isn’t much mystery to string selection. You get what you pay for, and a good set will make the biggest difference you can discern after a good setup.


I do not know if I feel the same, I really like my new cheap set, they match my violin better than the helicores. I think I'll order some more of these. They sound great ! And they are very playable.

Oct 6, 2023 - 8:56:54 AM
likes this

DougD

USA

11787 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Anja, Rotosound is a "real" company, best known for their bass guitar strings. I think they also make a monel wound violin string, just a little more expensive. I may have to try these next time I need strings, if I can find them.

Oct 6, 2023 - 9:04:12 AM

Quincy

Belgium

849 posts since 1/16/2021

I ordered them from a web market place where I pay a small fee each year and then my shipping costs are paid for everything I buy through that website. They are certainly worth trying!

Oct 6, 2023 - 10:55:28 AM

1398 posts since 3/1/2020
Online Now

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


There really isn’t much mystery to string selection. You get what you pay for, and a good set will make the biggest difference you can discern after a good setup.


I do not know if I feel the same, I really like my new cheap set, they match my violin better than the helicores. I think I'll order some more of these. They sound great ! And they are very playable.


Helicores are cheap strings as well. 

Oct 6, 2023 - 11:30:27 AM
likes this

Quincy

Belgium

849 posts since 1/16/2021

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


There really isn’t much mystery to string selection. You get what you pay for, and a good set will make the biggest difference you can discern after a good setup.


I do not know if I feel the same, I really like my new cheap set, they match my violin better than the helicores. I think I'll order some more of these. They sound great ! And they are very playable.


Helicores are cheap strings as well. 


Yes  but 9.95 euro versus 43 euro!

Oct 6, 2023 - 11:31:42 AM

Quincy

Belgium

849 posts since 1/16/2021

youtu.be/pqqFXYDVkZk?si=is9BMveC65Go8n26 : I really like the sound it is very stable.

Oct 6, 2023 - 12:42:49 PM

2434 posts since 12/11/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

...Finding that perfect spot to place the bridge and properly stand it up isn't quite as straightforward as the experts happily proclaim, either.
...


While I do adjust a sound post location I don't think I've ever deviated from setting the bridge exactly between the nicks on the F-holes. I wouldn't think you'd need to deviate from that very often, presumably because the instrument was built with that in mind primarily involving string-length and after-length. However I can be persuaded otherwise. Rich might have something to say about this.


To be sure, that's exactly where I set the bridges on all my fiddles. I've also had my current fiddles long enough to forget exactly why, once upon a time, I had one fiddle bridge set slightly a different way. Was it a poorly made bridge? Who knows?

Oct 6, 2023 - 2:00:41 PM

DougD

USA

11787 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

I have one fiddle that's slightly oversized - sometimes I've wondered if it might be a small student sized viola, and my luthier suggested I might try viola strings on it, but I never did. Anyway, the slightly longer scale length made it hard to switch between fiddles. My luthier suggested I just move the bridge forward a bit, and that solved the problem. We may have adjusted the soundpost too, but I don't remember - it was a very small change.

Oct 7, 2023 - 5:28:30 AM

1398 posts since 3/1/2020
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

...Finding that perfect spot to place the bridge and properly stand it up isn't quite as straightforward as the experts happily proclaim, either.
...


While I do adjust a sound post location I don't think I've ever deviated from setting the bridge exactly between the nicks on the F-holes. I wouldn't think you'd need to deviate from that very often, presumably because the instrument was built with that in mind primarily involving string-length and after-length. However I can be persuaded otherwise. Rich might have something to say about this.


The notches indicate the position where the maker intended for the bridge to be positioned. If your bridge has fallen over and you're not sure where to put it, this is a decent place to start, unless there are clear marks in the varnish from the previous position, which may or may not be better.

Here's the issue, though: violin strings are engineered for a specific vibrating string length, and getting this right makes a big difference in the quality of sound. The vibrating string length on a violin is dependent on stop length and neck length, so an aberration in one has to be balanced out in order to get the best outcome. This can mean that the best result is achieved by changing the bridge position somewhat. 
 

Another issue is that makers don't all necessarily understand how to place ffs, so they may end up putting the notches in a place that doesn't work because the holes themselves are out of position. 
 

This is just one of the dilemmas of setup; there are good setup principles to follow, but it often takes some ingenuity to get a particular instrument to be in line with those rules. 

Oct 9, 2023 - 8:55:45 PM

14 posts since 9/28/2023

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler
quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

...Finding that perfect spot to place the bridge and properly stand it up isn't quite as straightforward as the experts happily proclaim, either.
...


While I do adjust a sound post location I don't think I've ever deviated from setting the bridge exactly between the nicks on the F-holes. I wouldn't think you'd need to deviate from that very often, presumably because the instrument was built with that in mind primarily involving string-length and after-length. However I can be persuaded otherwise. Rich might have something to say about this.


To be sure, that's exactly where I set the bridges on all my fiddles. I've also had my current fiddles long enough to forget exactly why, once upon a time, I had one fiddle bridge set slightly a different way. Was it a poorly made bridge? Who knows?


On fretted instruments, bridge placement is easy.  Just measure the distance from the nut to the 12th fret (octave of open string) and double it for the distance to the bridge.  I suppose if you know exactly where the octave harmonic on your violin "should" be, you can use that the same way...

Page: 1  2   Last Page (2) 

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Fiddle Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.28125