Dominant E-string

July 26, 2020, 6:42 AM · Through years of trial-and-error I have found that medium Dominant strings give the best sound on my instrument. Yet, my Luthier recommends that I should not use the Dominant E-string. I've followed this recommendation but I'm wondering what is wrong with the Dominant E-string?

My guess is that there are others on this forum who use Dominant E-strings as part of the overall set and are satisfied.

I've never heard this kind of approach to Eudoxa or Pirastro strings - back in the day you bought and used the complete set and they were always well matached.

Your experience will be appreciated.

Replies (14)

July 26, 2020, 6:59 AM · Dominant E's whistle quite a lot
July 26, 2020, 7:01 AM · My Gewa factory violin came supplied with basic Dominants - plain steel E. I've never had a whistle from it nor any other problem.
July 26, 2020, 7:18 AM · There’s nothing wrong with Dom E. They have many different version of E (gauge and material) that gives you plenty of selection and choices to best match your instrument. And they are highly setup dependent.

Your current setup may work well with current combo, but with new soundpost or etc, you may feel another set of string combo or E is needed.

Whatever works best is the best combo for you, and the rest is for reference only.

July 26, 2020, 7:26 AM · I'm sure some also feel that for the price of the Dom. E, it isn't a good value. There are "better" E strings on the market for the same price or less. But if you like it, who cares. Thomastik would change it if they really didn't sell as many. I personally think that they are a good E string but the Pirastro gold label is a little more responsive and practically the same price.
July 26, 2020, 7:42 AM · George. Same experience here although I tried two sets of Obligato strings and I especially loved the soft feel of them under my fingers and the deep sound. TheIr cost drove me to Dominants and I two was told to not use the Dominant E string. Vendors on Amazon even sell prepackaged sets that include alternate E strings.

What E string are you using? I am using a Pirastro gold E. No whistling

Edited: July 26, 2020, 12:27 PM · Thomastik has struggled to make a good E string for decades. The Dominant E is fairly dull. As a response to the negative opinion of their E strings, Thomastik came out with a new E, but that was not a success. The reason their E strings still sell is that the boxed set with the aluminum D and their original E is cheaper than other sets. Many people buying strings online are unaware of the silver D and the options to get a good E and get sucked in by sales on the boxed sets.

The bookkeeper at a shop where I worked in the past thought he was a genius for buying a big box full of Dominant sets when there was a sale that made the boxed cheaper than the bulk tubes we normally bought. It turned out he’d ordered the cheap set. We ended up giving the E strings away as spares in every set we sold and we had to buy extra tubes of D strings to have the silver D. The aluminum D strings just filled a drawer and sat along with the leftover Dominant E strings.

For everything I set up I use Goldbrokat or Gold Label E strings, unless a customer requests a different E (that almost never happens).

July 26, 2020, 12:46 PM · The only Dominant E I have ever tried is the aluminium-wound version.
I find it sweet-toned, and it doesn't whistle.
July 26, 2020, 12:59 PM · For decades, people have been replacing the dull Dominant wound E string with the Pirastro Gold Label E string, which is an inexpensive string that pairs well with Dominants and sounds nice on most violins.

Even though there's now a new, better Dominant E string, it's not the one included by default, as Rich said, and thus the typical player that defaults to Dominants doesn't think about which E string they are getting.

An awful lot of players also have whatever strings were put on their rental violin by the shop -- which are often default Dominants.

July 26, 2020, 1:09 PM · A vendor, who I will not name, about a decade ago accidentally ordered a gross gross of Dominant would E strings instead of a gross. The sold them off, as a wholesale distributor,bulk in tubes, for a couple of bucks a piece.

I am still using them on my rental instruments. Thomastik has been trying for years, as Rich said.

July 27, 2020, 12:06 AM · they sound a bit harsh and tinny on mine, my teacher had me swap it out for gold e after a month of me complaining about the change of characteristic whenever i transition to e string.

to me the dominant e doesn't sound like it belongs with the rest of the dominant. then again my teacher use the dominant e and his violin sounds excellent.

July 27, 2020, 1:33 AM · The plain steel E just doesn’t sound good on some violins. If it works on yours then there’s no problem. I didn’t like the plain steel e with my dominants. I also tried the tin e and while it was better tonally it whistled on my violin. Eventually I just started using the goldbrokat medium e with the dominants until I tried the amber e string and never looked back unless I wanted to buy the goldbrokats in bulk since they’re dirt cheap.

Recently thought I’ve been turned onto the rondo strings by Thomastik which I LOVE. To me they’re like dominants that went to college and so far I haven’t noticed a decline in sound quality or response after a month. With other sets I find that after a month other strings start to decline in sound quality and responsiveness at different rates depending on the set. But rondos to me play and sound the same as when I first put them on.

July 27, 2020, 2:33 AM · Gold label E exists. Better sound, lasts long, cheaper.
Edited: July 27, 2020, 3:05 AM · Rondos are good, but I don’t like their E very much. [Not that it matters, but I have also moved to Warchal Timbres for synthetics right now.]
July 27, 2020, 4:06 AM · Yeah the E string is alright, nothing special. I’ll probably swap it out for an amber e once soon.


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