Question on switching to Passione strings
I am contemplating trying a set of Passione strings in medium but wondering if it will require me to enlarge the notches in my bridge and nut, as I realize that generally gut and wound gut string are larger in diameter than their medium synthetic counterparts, which is all I've ever used to this point.
If I do indeed have to enlarge my bridge and possibly nut notches, correspondingly I assume I will have to replace those items to switch back to synthetics due to the notches now being too deep, correct?
I would appreciate feedback from those with similar experience in this regard. Thank you
I would not deepen the notches, just widen them.
You do not need to change anything. Passiones are a hybrid gut-composite string. They are much like Pirastro's composite-core strings in diameter and feel.
Thank you Adrian and Lydia. I should have checked the the string diameters of the Passiones but I was assuming (insert cliche here) a larger diameter. Good to know not a significant difference. It's just that I'm particular of my setup, including maintaining a general ratio of string diameter and notch depth.
I use Passiones on my violin, coming from Evah Pirazzi. All of Lydia's characterizations are my experience too, including no need to change your set up to accommodate them. FWIW, of all the strings I've tried, the change to Passiones was the biggest favorable change for me. Folks frequently say it takes about a week for them to settle in. For me, it was 2-3 weeks. But not too much of a chore since my violin has Wittner tuners.
Thanks John. When you say settling in, I take it to mean tuning stability. If so, that would be the longest settling in period I've experienced so far, but not surprising. This is my first experience with any type of gut, even a hybrid such as the Passione's.
Notch depth in the bridge and the nut should surely depend on the desired clearance between string and fingerboard, not on the diameter of the string.
According to the luthiers I've dealt with and the luthier I worked for while in college, their process was to make the notches and average of 1/3 the string diameter and the bridge and nut height then adjusted for string height.
Fair enough, but I'm referring to adapting a good existing setup to thicker strings.
Sorry, I misunderstood. For me, if the diameter of the new strings is larger, I would feel the need to deepen the notches to maintain an approximate 1/3 of the string diameter, therefore changing my string height, which may or may not appreciably change action or cause problems associated with too low of string height.
Even with thick, pure gut strings such as Tricolore, you may not need an adjustment at all unless you have a particular problem or are picky about specific measurements. If it plays well and sounds good, those are your main "measurements". The guidelines are always good, but what works, just does.
@Skip - correct. I primarily mean tuning stability. Unlike Lydia, I haven't experienced any seasonal tuning annoyances, but that's most likely due to the fact I'm in the SF Bay Area.
I’m using Eudoxas right now. I find that you just get a lot better at tuning quickly after a few weeks of humidity fluctuations:)
Adalberto, thanks, that's good to know. And no, I'm not as concerned with the specific dimensions as I am the sound, which I fear might possibly be altered with those very dimensional changes. But as Adrian mentioned, if they had been thicker, just widening the notch would allow me to maintain string height while trying the strings but still allowing me to go back to synthetics if I so choose.
I am a beginner-intermediate and I am using Eudoxas. There is this meme that you have to be advanced to play gut, but I think that it's not true. Except for the tuning issue, I believe that beginners and intermediates benefit greatly from using gut. They encourage naturally better bowing, they are kind on the left hand fingers, they sound always beautifully and they last several times longer than synthetics (IME).
I agree that gut forces better bow discipline. My violin is also bright so benefits from the warm gut tone, so it’s great except for the instability, which isn’t so bad after acclimation.
To be fair, Passione are a good introduction to gut, enough that it may tempt the player to try the more affordable options out there at the cost of the "stability technology" involved with them. Only thing is that they are more forgiving than Eudoxa, et al (or pure gut for that matter). But they remain a softer, easier string to play than even Dominant, even though the latter is not too tense.
Passiones are sufficiently like synthetics that your bowing technique from synthetics should likely work just fine. I have no issues getting power from weight with the Passiones.
Lydia, every time you change strings, slather a little of this on your pegs Basically it's a wax/graphite compound. Pretty much takes care of peg issues for me.
Does that peg paste perform differently than Hill peg compound?
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