Zyex String Sound?

May 13, 2012 at 02:37 AM · I used Zyex for awhile on my old violin, and am re-experiamenting on my new violin. So far Dominants have been the best, PI strings were dull after a couple months, and not worth the price. I put a pair of Zyex on, and the sound isn't too bad (except the G is a bit dull), but when I shift, I can REALLY feel the wrapping, and can even hear it, like it is a guitar string. Is this normal? DId I just forget what D'addario wrapping feels like?

Replies (22)

May 13, 2012 at 03:23 AM ·

May 13, 2012 at 01:40 PM · For me I've had Dominants on for about 5 months, and the PI strings lasted only 2. I decided last night to put a new set of PI on. They sound amazing, but we'll see if I have the same experience. D'addario said they re working on a full set of Kaplan for Viola, and Violin. I will be trying them out when they are released, but I think I am done with Zyex.

May 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM · My experience with PI strings is that they are the best ever (on all 4 rather diverse violins I've got them on). These violins had never before been able to be their best with the same string brand (and I've been experimenting with them for 40 years).

It is critical that I use the platinum-plated E string with the PI sets. When a dealer mistakenly sent me sets with the (cheapest) PI steel E, it spoiled the sound of the whole set.

EDIT: This added on Sept. 7, 2013: My PI sets did get dull and I replaced the A,D, and G with some Thomastik Vision Solos that I had, but kept the PI platinum E on both the violins. The result is better than ever.


May 13, 2012 at 03:09 PM ·

May 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM · Ok ok... back to the original discussion. I this normal for Zyex wrapping?

May 30, 2012 at 02:07 PM · I used Zyex all through high school, and then college on my second spare violin. I don't recall ever having a problem with them, but perhaps it may be something with how they react on your violin? Is it loud enough where people standing a few feet away would hear it, or loud enough where it distracts you?

May 30, 2012 at 02:58 PM · It wasn't so much the loudness of it, but the feel if it. I thought about the next time I put them on to try using some fast fret on the strings.

May 30, 2012 at 03:03 PM · I never had a problem when I used them, either. Maybe the individual set was defective?

May 31, 2012 at 03:38 AM · Did you say Ricci? That is someone I would love to see interviewed here. What an amazing person.

July 31, 2012 at 02:11 PM · I work for D'addario. Feel free to send me a message - I'll be happy to help sort out any quality issues you might have.

August 13, 2012 at 12:27 AM · The original Zyex had high tension and I disliked them. The current reformulated ones have a nice sound and the tension is more moderate. Comparing them to Dominants, I think the A has a more pleasant sound, but the G is less resonant. The Dominant G is a very nice string. The price is right and they have been quite durable on the violins I have tried them on.

The quality is good; the strings are smooth and easy to play. I have never noticed any roughness on a new string, though it can happen with any string if the winding starts to unravel.

November 27, 2012 at 03:06 AM · I just put on my replacement set from D'addario. They are light gauge with a silver D. They are fantastic! They might replace my Dominants for good. The G seems a but too light of a tension, but we'll see as they set in.

November 30, 2012 at 01:46 PM · I tried Zyex several years ago and really didn't like them much, but when D'Addario reformulated the Zyex line I really like them a lot now. They seem to work well for a lot of players I know as well.

David Blackmon

December 5, 2012 at 08:21 PM · I was fun of the previous Zyex which I used in heavy tension on my modern violin.Now with the new Zyex it works fine the medium tension.The sound is smooth,less bright than the others but they are ringing more(you must try them on harmonics notes).Good quality sound and price.I used to play the lasts 2 years with Titanium orchestra and solo,comparing with them the response is also fast..Maybe Zyex are a lttle bit darker than Titanium.

The PI aren't heavier in tension?

September 4, 2013 at 08:18 PM · It has been a week since I put a set of Zyex medium gague on my 3 years old copy of "Del Gesu" made by Isabelle Wilbaux.

Tension: they are somewhere in between medium and heavy gauge of Dominants. So, definitely inclining toward high tension, a bit hard on fingers, but still bearable. They may not work with violins that choke under the pressure. I will try light gauge next time, which again appears to be just a bit under medium gauge Dominants.

E -sting: beautiful and ringing, but does whistle, so had to be replaced with 0.27 Goldbrokat.

Sound: in the lack of a better description: healthy, full and powerful. I don't have any problems producing piano or pianissimo. Responsive and clear, in all positions. So far, they seem to be rather neutral on my violin, not masking anything or filtering low or high frequencies.

Stability: very stable

Play-in time: 2-3 days. It took A string a bit longer than the others to stretch.

D (silver) is bit rough under the fingers, no like a guitar string, but not as smooth as I would like.

In overall.... these seem to be no-nonsense and affordable strings. A good choice for balanced violins with no issues.

October 30, 2013 at 10:27 PM · I agree with Rocky Milankov, except for harshness. But then again - I play double bass and bass guitar too, so my fingers are calloused... They sure glide better than Evah Pirazzi Gold (which seriously stink in playability).

The E string is hard to play properly and stands out as the least complex and brightest of the bunch. If only it didn't whistle... alas...

Compared to the richness of G D and A, E is just too plain and bright. I find myself playing in insane positions on A, just to avoid the E sucker. It has to go.

Other strings are powerful. They are like race cars. If you put the pedal to the metal, they will growl and skid and you will end up nowhere (at best). Not to be played with weight and strength, but broadness and airiness.

These strings take some nerves to use properly. People say they sound metallic? It's the instrument. They push it too much. If they sound harsh - you are pushing your instrument too far. Zyex can do more than your piece of wood.

They are simply a phenomenal string for the price.

October 31, 2013 at 03:03 AM · Just passed 2 month checkpoint, or approximately 120-150 hours - no degradation in sound whatsoever. The sound is more refined, or I adapted my bowing technique.... cant't tell.

The initial roughness on silver D disappeared soon, after 2 weeks or so.

Will report again after 3 months or 200 hours of usage.

October 31, 2013 at 01:50 PM · I had Zyex on for a month or so, and then went back to Pro-Artes.

Nothing to complain about with the Zyex, I like dthem fine. It's just that the Pro-Artes are a bit richer and mellower on my instrument. I'm a beginner, so I don't require the power that Zyex can bring to the table and I probably can't bring out the best in them as of yet (I still have two new sets of Zyex in reserve as I got a great deal on them)

I also found that my Zyex A string required slightly different fingering than the others. To play a D on the A string I had to be slightly higher than say playing a G on the D string or A on the E string. Maybe that A was starting to go??? I had no such issues once I went back to the Pro-Artes nor any other set of strings, so I don't think it was my instrument/setup.

November 28, 2013 at 04:11 AM · As promised, here is my report after 3 months of usage.

The sound remained the same. There is only a slight wear on D string in the 1st position, but the string is still holding well.

I moved them to my old Hungarian violin which always had problems with clarity, resonance and responsiveness. They sound great and help with all those issues, especially with clarity.

Will I buy them again? Probably yes.... and to be frank, they are somewhat "simple" and the sound is not nearly as rich as with gut strings, but stable and strong. Great deal within this price range.

December 1, 2013 at 02:19 AM · Rocky, cool to see your review.

I too have my Zyexes on for maybe a little less time than you. I replaced the sodding E string with Kaplan non-whistling aliminium wound E.

Now. The strings were nice before. The change in E completely redefined my violin. It now has a dark, austere tone in the low range, mellow, forcefull compressed sound in the middle and a wonderfully sweet pinch in the upper register.

These strings make my instrument output phenomenal sound pressure. Not loudness, just pressure. I played my violin in the NYC subway in the big hall just below times square and I have had people lining up and listening in the far end, even when a fellow busker played a bagpipe in the nearby corridor.

So. Deep, sweet and can take on a bagpipe. My kind of string.


February 15, 2014 at 06:26 PM · Here is a possible reason why Zyex are not taking over more of the string market:

I ordered light gauge G, D and A string over the internet from "String Emporium" in the States.

G and D came just fine, but A was all tangled up and with 2 spots where the surface is damaged; one 10 millimetres North of bridge, where the bow contacts it, the other some 15 mm after the nut.

I contacted the seller immediately and was asked to return the string for a replacement. A fair offer, but for a postage paid for $11 string, and waiting time of a few weeks for that string to cross the border back and forth, not worth the trouble. I also contaced D' Addario and it has been a few weeks and have not heard from them.

My impressions?

1st: poor QA; such a string should not leave the factory

2nd: poor customer support; compared to Pirastro, who sent me 2 Passione G strings (which broke a few days after installed) with no questions asked, and also improved the end wounding upon my complaint, this is simply not good enough.

Although the string response is much better, the sound is not as good as with medium gauge, but that is not a fault of a producer - simply a mismatch with my violin.

February 16, 2014 at 01:30 PM · Hmm. I ended up having great customer service after contacting them. Zyex might not have been the string for me, but I've had great success with their strings overall. Also keep in mind that the string might have been on the shelves for possibly a few years or gotten damaged after it left the factory in the packaging.

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