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Direct-sounding synthetic or steel strings

Edited: July 20, 2022, 6:46 PM · I have a 5 string that I built that I use for soloing, and pulling guitar and sax lines and whatnot. When I made it I was aiming for ease of playing and a pleasant sound over projection, but it sounds a bit more delicate than I'd like.

Right now I have Amber A, D, G, an old Zyex C I had lying around, and a guitar E on it. The treble side is ok, but the lower 3 strings could be brighter. I've been using gut strings for years so any suggestions are appreciated.

Also: steel strings? I've never tried them on violin. I'm curious if they can sound any good (I really hate the typical fiddler tone but I'm not sure how much of that comes from the strings vs setup).

Replies (5)

July 20, 2022, 9:18 PM · Helicore violin strings are ok and definitely direct. Not great complexity of sound and hard to spicatto on, but not a lot else wrong with them.
July 21, 2022, 7:45 AM · Spirocore C may work depending on the string length. I was not very fond of its sound on my viola, but it's definitely direct.
Edited: July 21, 2022, 6:40 PM · I've been using Pirastro "Permanent" D and G string on my main viola for years now. I think they sound gorgeous. I use Dominant Weich A and C.

The (supposed) equivalent for violin would be Pirastro "Flexocor Permanent"

On my cellos I've been using steel strings for decades. Pirastro makes both "Flexocor" and "Permanent" (as well a s "Permanent Solo" brands - but there are many other brands of steel strings for cellos including multi-strand G and C strings and alternative metal windings on them.

July 21, 2022, 6:58 PM · I use synthetics on all my violins, but when I have used metal stings, I vastly prefer Prims over Helicores. Helicores are a bit bright and brassy for my tastes, whereas Prims come the closest to synthetics in feel and tone than any other metal string I have ever tried.
July 21, 2022, 8:25 PM · In addition to the Helicore line, D'Addario also makes the NS-Electric strings. They are all steel, intended for the magnetic pick-ups on some electric violins. They probably sacrificed some volume, in favor of tone quality. I was pleasantly surprised how good they were one one of my acoustic violins.

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