Steel wire in bulk
Does anyone know where I can buy spools of steel wire appropriate for instrument strings? I'm sick of overpaying for E strings. I mean, really, at $10 US a pop, on average, before shipping, it's getting ridiculous how expensive strings are up here.
I used to use 6 different gauges of piano wire to string up my hammered dulcimers and would think that the right gauge might serve your purpose at minimal cost. The wire does seem to be a bit oily maybe to prevent rusting in storage and could be wiped off .
The wire that's available probably wouldn't be as good as the Dominant e string, there are hundreds of formulations for steel, and the ones used for violin are custom made for best sound I would guess.
Goldbrokat is a good string too. But you can measure your string diameter with a micrometer and order wire from places like Grainger.
I agree with you Lyndon and change it once a month and imo it is inexpensive. I sort if think these strings are my favorite E but when I sometimes pay 25 dollars for a titanium E then my mind wants me to think it is better for the higher cost.
It would be acceptable for me to buy Goldbrokats if I did change them once a month, but of course they only last about a week for me before they go false.
Goldbrokat is $1.65 for a standard 26 E.
I just found out that I can buy A POUND of spring-steel wire at 0.255 mm for 20 bucks, so I think that works out to be quite a bit cheaper than Goldbrokats if I change my E every week.
I will be interested in hearing how you make out with your roll of wire to make custom strings. I wonder if the wrapping on both ends of a string is necessary for optimum performance. And I thought I was bad as an amateur changing my E each month and not because of it being false but just for the brighter cleaner sound.
The silk wrap at the bridge is for aesthetics, and, at the other end, so that the string doesn't slip out of the peg. It's easy to wrap strings by hand with thin wire or thread for the same purpose, though.
Surely the silk windings change your tone ...
Go to rockler.com. You can get a 1/4" x 3" x 48" piece of maple for under $15 and a basic scroll saw for under $250. You could cut and fit yourself a new bridge every week too then. If you're feeling extra frugal, skip the scroll saw and buy a basic jeweler's saw for $25. Just think of how much you'll save.
I can certainly understand being inventive and trying to save money through unorthodox practice as I grew up without much and learned to appreciate the simple things in life, not every child is blessed with well-to-do parents and can be given everything he needs and wants, and I feel that those who are brought up with this lack have learned to foster ingenuity in all aspects of one's life and I also feel that this trait should probably not be mocked if one is fortunate enough to have a wallet full of shekels for all of your needs. I am not sure why some people like to constantly belittle other people , it is okay to opine a different but civil view but not to mock . If I can purchase my apple cider vinegar at Aldi's and save 40 cents instead of buying it at Walmart then I do so and these small savings add up to many dollars over time.
My grandfather was a violinist. I found a spool of surgical catgut in my father's inherited possessions. My grandfather had made his E strings out of it during his working life.
Jeff, unless one is truly destitute, making your own violin E strings is a false economy because of the amount of time it will take to fashion each one properly. How will the loop be created at the end of the string? My point is not to belittle someone who has (might have) less, but to question the obvious failure to include one's time in the value equation. Even poor folks value their time. Two hours spent fashioning an E string is two hours that could have been spent busking (or some wage-earning activity) thereby generating enough income for
The ball end is no big deal, especially because of how I designed my tailpiece (baroque style slots). With a pair of pliers, you can easily loop the end of the string and add wrap at the pegbox end in 5 - 10 minutes or so. IMO entirely worth the $20 savings per individual string shipped.
I have used a Steel guitar string for the upper string on a 3/4 violin set up as a piccolo in order to get it thin enough. Just twist the end to form a loop. A guitar string is about 1 $ and long enough to make two violin strings
Much as I enjoy playing on a gut E I have to be practical when it comes to several hours per week of orchestral rehearsals. My experience of a gut E is that it starts to fray within the month and, although the tone may still be ok, the fraying becomes a distracting nuisance under the fingers.
I think it is somewhat related but not totally.
You don't have to glue the ball ends. Just save one from an old string and pop it in to the new one.
my favorite supplier has- https://www.mcmaster.com/music-wire
12-15 thou is waaay too thick for an E—that's around .35 mm. The standard heavy gauge is .27 (11 thou).
I been using a Rondo E string for past year and it’s still pretty good.
I will second Timothy's precaution that there are all sorts of grades and types of steel wire, including the degree of heat treatment and the degree of "work hardening" from being pulled through the forming die.
Not in Canada, my friend.
At least make sure you get steel music wire then there's at least a small chance that it will be good enough for violin strings.
or simply google stainless steel music wire
Here's a store in Toronto that's offering the Goldbrokat E string for US$1.66 (2.20 CAD).