Do you replace your E strings more frequently than the rest of the set? It seems mine start to sound bad before the A, D, and G. More whistling and more difficult to find the pitch. Tone that is kind of dull rather than silvery. But maybe it is my imagination? Fatigue?
I think an E loses its crispness after a month or so and as they are not that expensive I change if monthly. Not much of a whistling guy. I think my intonation always seems better on new strings.
I started using Peter Infeld (PI) (Thomastik) platinum-plated E strings 9 years ago (almost to the day). I found them marvelous. I continued using them for at least 8 years, first with the rest of the PI set, then with Vision Solos, and finally with Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold. I used these combinations on 4 different violins. Not only were the E strings great (never whistled) in every way but the two of those violins that had had some roughness in the upper octaves of the G string worked perfectly up there with the PI E strings.
Lisa E strings last literally forever unless you're like me and take all your strings off often.
I'm neither a metallurgist or a mechanical engineer but I thought fatigue was associated with repetitive stress (cyclic load). I would love to know what someone qualified in these areas thinks of the likely reasons behind the degradation of a steel E string -- why it would start whistling or why its tone would change or why it would become harder to play in tune. Is the material changing in some way? Are there initial (even small) defects in the material of the original string that are amplified under stress?
I am changing the E string more often. I am in a process of exploring the strings, so I don't have a candidate yet. I put the set on and after a month or month an a half I change E string (usually gold brokat E). It helps me to keep the sound.
Huh. I notice the opposite with my viola A string. (I use a Larsen A and Vision for my other strings.) It consistently stays good for the longest time; in fact the clearest sign that I need to change my strings is when I can easily tell the A string rings more than the D string.
Maybe I should analyze my PI platinum E string to see whether it's platinum or nickel because my experience is opposite to Andy's. This string whistles terribly. Goldbrokat E hardly ever whistled on my violin. I'm going to have to change out a $35 string for a $5 string!
Many E strings tarnish quickly if your sweat is acidic. When I was using a Jarger E, for instance, my local violin shop (Ifshin's at the time) recommended that I change it every 2 weeks; it would go false quickly due to the tarnish.
I guess I just don't have acidic hands. I realize some folks do. You'd think I'd have chemicals leaching out of my hands because I'm a chemist ...
CONCORDMUSIC.COM is selling Goldbrokat E strings for $1.65 each. They have 5 different gauges. I just ordered some of all 5 gauges to see what works best on what violin.
Paul - the PI platinum E whistles TERRIBLY on my violin. You are not the only one...
I find that E strings are basically instantly stable. The steel doesn't have to stretch the way that a synthetic or gut core string does.
Ideally, a string starts out with the same mass and thickness all along its length. A little wear, corrosion or dirt accumulation (contaminant accumulation is not as much of a problem on mono-wire E strings as it is on strings with multiple layers of windings), and performance deteriorates. An E string with a platinum coating is likely to be more wear and corrosion resistant than plain steel, depending on the thickness of the coating, and the formulation of the platinum alloy.
I don't like the Goldbrokat E strings, even though they're cheap. The plain steel ones turn black in about two days and the brassed ones turn silver AND THEN black in three.
Andrew do please update us on your findings. I've been thinking about trying a heavy gauge e string for a while and want to know how each e string effects each of your violins.
I love the Goldbrokat strings, they last forever for me.
I used the Evah gold E string without any whistling for years but for some reason this string whistles just in one note sequence - the 16th passage in MozartV (Ist A. aperto) at F, with the rapid string crossings. Its not a false string as I've tested two of them and I don't think its me either.
The whistling occurs because you fail to get the string to vibrate the right way. It is twisting rather than vibrating and typically it happens in rapid slurred passages going from A to E. The surface characteristics of the string play a role in how easily this happens (and the players technique as well). The spiral on the Amber E helps avoiding whistling either because it helps the bow grab the string or because it makes it harder for the string to twist.
--metal fatique. Carbon steel is stronger, and cheaper than chrome "stainless" steel, but it corrodes quicker. I tried a gold-plated E only once, and the gold layer wore off in fingering spots after only a few days.
I have to think about the metal fatigue issue. Normally fatigue is associated with cyclic (repetitive) stress. My ignorance of metallurgy is surely obvious here but I wonder if steel undergoes anything akin to the strain crystallization that affects many plastics.
I do not have acidic sweat, so my strings do not tarnish.
I find that replacing strings *before* they start to show signs of wear and start to sound strange is the best way to keep playing optimal.
The Evah Pirazzi Platinum E does not whistle for me (only "normally", as even a Goldbrokat could on occasion.)
A related question: Do you replace all the strings when you replace your e string? Or just the false string?
These days i bought a pirastro gold label heavy E with GDA Peter infeld. I think it suits very well with the GDA and gives extra clarity. I have the silver D but i ordered an aluminum D to try. I think silver D is extra warm and darkens all the set.
I'm trying Timbres on one of my violins now...but not sure about the E. Andrew Victor, do you use the whole set? Or with a PI platinum E?
Peter Moore--yes, the problem I'm noticing now is with the Timbre E string. I can't seem to find pitches, it's whistling, and it's dull. I don't want to knock the Timbre E, because this could be due to other causes, including my left hand, the weather, etc. I've had the Timbre on my violin for about 2 1/2 months. The G is the best I've ever had, the D is a little mushy-sounding in fourth position and above, the A is good; but the E?!?
Hey Jocelyn, I'm experimenting with different Es now too...at the moment I'm using Jargar medium which i found to be a slight improvement. For my violin, the G and D seem strong...not completely sold on the A...and am gonna try a jargar Forte E next.
Peter - I'm using the Timbre E on the 3 violins that now have the rest of the Timbre set. I have no problem with any of them.