Any strings to tame a cheap violin?
Hi. I own a Yamaha violín worth less than €400. It doesn’t sound bad for what it is, but I find the sound shrill, loud and not really pleasant. I’m very prone to get headaches, and the shrillness of the violin triggers them more often than I’d like. I know I should upgrade the violin, but I want to achieve some base technique before doing so (I’m currently studying double stops and 2nd position).
I’ve tried different sets of strings on that violin: the prelude strings that the violín came with were just unbearable. I changed them for dominants, which were harsh and really improved their sound with a pirastro wondertone E instead of their original E string. I also tried Tziganes, which hace left me with mixed feelings: On one side, I like their G and D strings and they ring beautifully. But the violin has been loud with them (even louder than before) and the A and D strings broke. The A strong got unwinded and the D strong broke in a strange way.
So I need some suggestions on what strings could I try next to achieve a calmer sound. I’ve read Violinos can be a good option for cheap violins like mine and I’m inclined to try them. What can you recommend me?
Thank you very much.
Preludes came on my Viola and I hate them. I'm trying the Zyex next before I sample anything more expensive.
You could try obligatos, they’re not that loud and cut down on some of the shrill brightness. I personally don’t like them that much, but they meet you conditions. Infield reds are supposed to do something similar, but I’ve yet to try them.
If practicing the violin is giving you headaches, you need earplugs or you need to switch to the piano.
I found this video review of different strings useful. If the larger strings like D and A are breaking it could be worth looking at the finish of the wood at the nut, to check its not damaging the strings.
maybe its not the strings, was the bridge and soundpost setup professionally, since you dropping all that money on different strings getting a luthier to check the setup for 50 bucks shouldn't be too hard.
Second call for the Obligatos. They are lower tension and one of the few string types that reduce wolf notes on many violins.
I agree with Kai. A slightly thicker bridge and with more wood left at certain parts could be a better solution. Keep the Dominants on during setup. Keep in mind that problem might be interested impossible to solve.
I agree that Violinos or Obligatos help to mellow an instrument, and Violinos are probably better for your case since they are cheaper and long lasting. I also second that you should probably get a musician's earplug or use a good practice mute some of the time since the instrument is giving you headaches.
I'd recommend Warchal Karneol. They're only ~$30 a set and I've put them on a number of the Yamaha student-line stringed instruments.
Pirastro's Aricore: sweet and warm!
Putting expensive strings on a cheap violin is money half-wasted.
I have a bunch of cheap violins I loan to students at my high school. They nearly all have tonica strings which I found to be a good neutral option (way better sounding than dominant). I also tried violino and amythyst which were ok.
The Yamaha violins need a set-up first. Bridge, post, and basic adjustment. That should come first. After that, you can put 600 buck tires on your 1k rims, but you will still be driving a hopped up Yugo.
Actually, quality strings on a cheap violin in many cases is an excellent investment, and can make a cheap violin sound pretty nice. Part of the reason student violins sound the way they do is because manufacturers put crappy strings on them.
Adrian: getting hard to find Aricore in the states.It would have been my first choice. That said, I have used Corelli Crystal forte for a clean sound to break in instruments. Liking Warchal Amber’s full set on my backup Chinese violin. Also Larsen Tzigane for playability and complexity.
Try Thomastik Alphayues! They're great. Better than Dominants at half the price! They made one of my kiddos'violin sound tons better.
My cheap violin gets along well with Tonicas.
I've been working on my adult grandson's Skylark Brand MV006 violin ("Made in China"). I can't be sure what the strings are, but the only match I can find on line are Prim A, D, G. What I can tell you is that the sound and response of this cheapo fiddle blow me away. I can play a 2-octave scale up the G string with no problems. The pegs turn smoothly and hold quite well. The volume across the strings is fairly even and the tone a pretty good match.
Oh don’t make us move to the regrets thread, Malcolm! ;-)
Hi,lol,Edward,'wisdom comes from experience""?
Hey! Thank you for your suggestions. I guess it’s a matter of trial and error. I’ll probably try the Violinos. They seem to be designed precisely to tame cheap violins.