What E string do better players choose with nylon strings

November 14, 2019, 10:57 PM · I've just been looking at nylon strings online and noticed that some come with an aluminum wound e string and some don't. One set even comes with both. D'Adario Pro Artes are $2 a set more with an aluminum wound E while individually they are 5 dollars difference per individual string. They seem to have a silver wound set that I saw but can now never find- anybody know?

What do better players prefer? Is the wound E a better balance, or is the pricing just due to more production process.

I thought that aluminum winding on steel strings on my first cheapie violin wore particularly quickly. Does aluminum wear better on nylon cores than steel?

Silver and nickel nylon wrapping seem likely better but harder to find.

any thoughts? Sorry if this is old news.

Thank you.

Replies (10)

Edited: November 15, 2019, 2:20 AM · There is no nylon E string available. All E strings are either plain gut, or coated steel or wound steel. There is also one consisting of steel rope and winding. E strings wound with silver are neither available. There are silvery steel strings, but silvery steel has nothing in common with silver.
November 15, 2019, 7:17 AM · What Bohdan said.

And all these varieties of E strings exist so you can match one to your violin. E string is a difficult and annoying string to match. Some instruments can not stand plain steel wire, others whistle like crazy with coated wires.

Aluminium wound E strings whistle less, but also project less and do not have that ringing associated with plain steel.

I hear mr. Warchal's amber E is a sweet ringing string that does not whistle, because of it's special coiled construction.

There's always some room for experimentation, but most people conclude their search with Goldbrokat or westminster E strings. And nobody beats Goldbrokat in terms of price...

November 15, 2019, 8:21 AM · I'm sorry- my last couple of sentences were regarding the string sets as a whole- and I guess I said aluminum wound instead of coated.
November 15, 2019, 10:08 AM · Your first description was right, aluminium coated E string is a nonsense :-)
Edited: November 15, 2019, 12:05 PM · I can confirm from personal experience that the Warchal Amber E indeed has a sweet ringing tone that extends to very end of the fingerboard and beyond. Furthermore, it does not whistle - not that I've ever had a whistling E. Needless to say, the Amber E works very well with Warchal's steel "Russian" A and their Amber D and G, and also with low tension strings such as plain and wound gut. I'd say it is now my preferred E string on my 18thc violin.

A word about the innovative construction of the Amber E, a plain non-coated steel string. On taking the string out of its packet you'll notice that a section is coiled fairly tightly. This coiled section will lie more or less in the bowing region. On installing the string, as you tighten up the E peg the coil straightens out until it is scarcely visible except under a bright light. I leave it to the manufacturer to discuss why this coil feature enables the string to work so well for tone and playing.

Although I normally use a micro tuner on the tailpiece for the E I have found that the Amber E can be tuned from the peg alone - obviously with care in the early stages until you get used to it.

November 15, 2019, 10:55 AM · Mr Warchal is our resident expert on strings. His Amber E is a good one, gaining in popularity. In your search for an optimum E string, you can start at the low end of the price list with Goldbrokat, try all three gauges. It is very common to Not use the E that comes in the complete set. Ex. Those that use the Dominant set usually do not use it's E. I have always been suspicious about E's that are electroplated with another metal; gold, platinum, etc. The layer is only a few atoms thick and should not affect significantly the mass, density, elasticity. But, I recently tried the Goldbrokat Gold, only $6, and it is different, better, than the regular plain steel ($2). Aluminum is a soft metal, wears and breaks easily, so I prefer a silver wrapped D, plain steel E. The A string is tricky, you have a choice of aluminum wrapped A or steel A.
November 15, 2019, 11:49 AM · Trevor, I know it is possible. Nevertheless, I do not recommend you tuning Amber E (or any other Warchal wavy strings) by peg. By overtuning them (even if just for a short moment) you do straighten them more than necessary and therefore reducing their whistling protection effect.
Edited: November 16, 2019, 6:47 AM · Well, I guess this is some of what started my questions:



So it is "wound".
I'm still also wondering about some Pro Arte Strings I saw with a different designation- an "S" after the description, I think denoting a string or two more silver than aluminum, yet a quick search eludes me on it.

I'm afraid that may be my current limit price wise- under $30- and the Alice or Pirastro seem less expensive alternatives. The cheap china synthetics I got on auction a few years back for less than $5 a set are to me nicer than steel, warmer and easier on my own ears-except the E which is creepy. I'm ready to try something perhaps nicer.

Before long I want to put nylon on the viola too.

so any web pages for better E's or whole sets?

Would a Baroque violin be more inclined to be set up with nylon to imitate gut? I'm toying with the notion of getting an unfinished baroque or pochette violin.

November 17, 2019, 8:04 PM · You can simulate a baroque violin by getting a regular violin and then just saw off the last couple of inches of the fingerboard.
November 18, 2019, 5:32 AM · i haven't the slightest idea why sawing off a fingerboard would be good for anything...
Baroque instruments have a completely different neck angle, which sawing off will not emulate.

Nylon strings are excellent choice for all violins, regardless. True baroque violins will - however - sound right only with gut strings. That's what they used up until 1970.

@Nancy - go for Goldbrokat. It's excellent and by far the cheapest. It was good enough for Heifetz. If you feel like splurging a bit, Warchal Amber E or Westminster are your best bet.

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