Violin strings

January 30, 2019, 5:12 PM · Can someone(s) compare the sound characteristics of the Tonica and Dominant I am aware that the violin is critical. My violin sounds a bit unclear, subdued for lack of other words. I have used Dominants and Tonicas. The former sounds more clear to me?? Any suggestions?
I have a machine made Strad copy worth $2000 and what seems to be an Amati copy made between 1830 and 1850. The only marking inside is “H.M.Cusack violin maker and repairer”. Toronto. No date.3 Luthiers said the same thing independently and $5000 value. Given to me. It was his father’s asinine didn’t know when or where he got it. I am certainly NOT selling it?


Replies (14)

January 30, 2019, 5:47 PM · Terry, before you spend a lot of money on string safari, go to a good luthier for setup review. "Unclear, subdued" may not be solved by proper choice of strings.
January 30, 2019, 5:52 PM · Hi Terry. You probably can't go wrong with either set of strings. I used Dominants for over 30 years and was satisfied with them until I tried Warchal Amber strings. I won't be going back to Dominants. I'm very happy with my Warchal Amber strings. You ought to have your violin checked out by a good luthier to make sure everything (including the bridge and sound post) is in order. It may also help to refer to the Shar string comparison chart (see link below). Both the Dominants and Tonicas appear to be similar in characteristics. Trial and error is really the only way you will find out which string set is best for your instrument and best for you. Good luck!
January 30, 2019, 9:07 PM · For more clarity (in order of increasing pain-in-the-bottom-ness) you can increase the afterlength, move the soundpost closer to the bridge, or make the bridge thinner.
The afterlength is a bit finnicky. If it's too long it also causes some tone problems. And if you've never done any of that, read up on it first or give it to someone else.

The violin hardware makes a much bigger impact than strings, especially with Dominant and Tonica. They're both fine, middle-of-the-road strings.

January 31, 2019, 7:31 PM · Thanks for all of your suggestions. I had forgotten to mention that I had my violin assessed in November/116 by very good lutier in London Ontario Canada. It was in good condition. The bridge feet were sanded, fingerboard levelled. I also bought an Eastman fibre bow which I like very much. I got some good info from Sharma.
Any additional suggestions are very much appreciated. I bought my present Tonicas in November/16 and have 700 hours on them. I suppose it’s no wonder I am asking. I play in a 12 member ensemble. I played in the Kingston Ontario symphony while attending Medical school
Kind Regards

Happy playing

Edited: January 31, 2019, 7:36 PM ·
January 31, 2019, 7:34 PM ·
January 31, 2019, 7:35 PM ·
Edited: January 31, 2019, 7:44 PM · 700 hours on your strings? No wonder they're "unclear" or "subdued"! I've let strings go as long as 200 hours when I get too busy to remember to change them, and they sound very dull by that time regardless of brand. Most recommendations I've seen for string replacement are in the 100-120 hour range.
January 31, 2019, 7:49 PM · Forgot to mention that I took it to a very good lutier in London Ontario Canada. Was in good condition. Only had to readjust the bridge and smooth the fingerboard. While there I bought a set of Tonicas which he recommended. I have 700 hours on them. Guess it’s no
wonder I have questions!
Good advice from Sharma.
Thanks to all.
Happy playing!
January 31, 2019, 8:36 PM · Change your strings every 100 hours or so of playing -- and certainly at least once a year.

Your problem is not the string brand. The strings have given you everything they have to give, and more.

February 1, 2019, 6:51 AM · For clarity go for Vision Titanium Solo... They have power and focus and they last longer than Evahs.
February 1, 2019, 2:24 PM · I had an Evah A that only lasted about 60 hours
Edited: February 1, 2019, 6:14 PM · Hi Terry,
May suggest you two sets ... Lakatos and Il Cannone soloist.
Lakatos is a darker version and easier to play of the Dominant.
Il cannone soloist is interesting for the G string too.
I made a sound test which can give you an idea, those two sets are able to completely change the sounding of your instrument ...
Think about your Rosin too which is the first to be in interaction with the strings.
I use a William Salchow rosin and it changes everything.
Best regards.

February 4, 2019, 9:09 PM ·

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