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String price/quality?

 
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johngia
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Joined: 10 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:07 am    Post subject: String price/quality? Reply with quote

What are the mechanical differences between a 10 dollar set and a 100 dollar set?

I would think that the actual manufacturing process wouldn't be much different. Or does it actually take more time to manufacture the expensive strings? Are the synthetic material costs that much different?

Is it hype? Or supply and demand? Or perception?

Is there no answer to this question due to trade secrets?

Thanks. I've always wanted to know, as guitar strings --- even the highest quality --- or so much cheaper.
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kjb
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I only have used $50 sets so for what it is worth, yes they are much nicer than black diamond.
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johngia
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To clarify: I realize that there are differences in sound and quality. Just wondering about the manufacturing --- why the huge difference in price.

(I'm a retired design engineer --- we ask a lot of questions like that Smile )
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L P Reedy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sure don't know all the answers, but first, guitar strings have a solid core with a single-layer winding, as far as I know, and no silking on either end. The round wound Black Diamond violin strings are made that way and are extremely cheap.

The more and finer the strands that make up the core, the more critical and time-consuming each step becomes, whether steel, nylon, kevlar, etc. I'm sure that some of the core materials are more expensive than steel but I don't know more than that. Mechanically, there are no solid core strings in the higher price ranges. Look at individual strings. Plain E strings are pretty cheap. Wound ones are higher and gold- or platinum-plated ones are much higher. Most G strings (and some Ds) are silver-wound. I haven't seen a silver-wound guitar string. And some of those Gs and Ds have multiple layers.

I'm not saying that fiddle strings are all fairly priced, although there is enough competition to encourage that, but you certainly cannot compare them to guitar strings in any way.
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Michael Darnton
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a Dominant D string. It's definitely not a guitar string!

What you can't see is the metal filament running through the center. All of this is strung on with the core at tension, so the wraps don't separate when the string is tuned up, and I gather there's a trick to that. There's also got to be a trick to winding on flat tape this nicely, in pairs, in opposite directions, tightly enough, and not making a mess of things.



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MANFIO
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long life to good strings!!! Even if they are expensive!

Life is too short for playing with bad strings!!!!

It may be difficult making good strings, otherwise the Chinese would already be offering playable cheap strings, wich it is not the case.
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johngia
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned guitar strings, as I was more interested in the big difference in prices in various brands of synthetic violin strings.

I suspect that there is too much technology and proprietary methods to fully answer this question.

I also suspect that what the market will bear is a factor in the pricing.
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I automatically put Obligato Light on my violins when finished, and generally am pleased. I recently noticed a deal at Howard Core for Warchal Amathyst, which is a light string, for $23 per set, but you had to get the ball E. Any thoughts on these Warchal strings? This is a third what I've paid for Obligatos.

What strings to you usually put on your finished violins as a starting point (hoping not to have to change anything more than maybe the E)?
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DonLeister
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't tried the Amathyst strings but have tried the Karneol's which are okay, maybe a bit bright to my thinking. I have not used them enough to really get a sense of how they work for players.

Dominants are such a familiar string to most people that I go with them and then people know where to go from there. I'm hearing good things about their new carbon e string but have yet to try it out.

I'm seeing a preference for the Vision Titanium Orchestra strings, with experienced players and if cost is not an issue. They are a little more pricy than Dominants.

I think your question about what to put on is pertinent to who your market is.
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FiddleDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a retired engineer, you can appreciate that extensive, and continuous research cost money. The big string companies put big money into R&D and quality control. Cheaper companies don't do that.
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johngia
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys. Haven't checked in here for quite a while. Instead of making violins, been making music.

Surprised to see activity on thread.

Originally asked the question, as I wondered if it took four times longer to make an $80 set than a $20 set of the same or similar material. Or such a large difference in material costs. I guess R&D could have an effect?

I use Dominants on my builds, and like I've told you guys before, I have made 24 violins. After I finish them, put them in the closet. Still have them all. Many are not traditional materials or look. I've spent more on strings than the other materials used. Even make my own fittings. Dominants at $50 X 24 = $1200. Collecting dust.

Thanks for the info. Getting the itch to make another. Oh, this past year I did do a restoration on a 100 year old violin that someone gave me. Top was all cracked. Took it to a pro to have the top removed. Was scared to. Good thing, as even he had a difficult time. Glue to strong.
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kubasa
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I like Dominants but I also like Corelli Crystals. To me, they give a nice rich sound but I do know that the G is a bit mushy. At $25 - $30 a set, I can't complain!
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FiddleDoug wrote:
As a retired engineer, you can appreciate that extensive, and continuous research cost money. The big string companies put big money into R&D and quality control. Cheaper companies don't do that.


I've bought superior products in almost every line of commodity I can think of, and not always from the one with the biggest advertising budget.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased with the Warshal for the price, the E a bit bright, the rest seem to be good for the money. A step down from Dominants or Obligato, but not bad for a fiddle sound. I have a couple sets of Yargar that I really don't like, same with Enfeld Red, Tonica, and some others. All disappointing.

I also recently discovered in my box of "misc strings" a pair A&E Passione, and an odd G&D gut strings, not sure brand (Gold?). Pulled the Obligato off my favorite fiddle and put these on, and my god what a difference. So warm, easy to play, intense, nearly got blisters playing all evening. Next morning, like a hangover, everything was just brash and uneasy. Now I remember why I like the Obligato, never let me down. Not some thoroughbred that has off days.
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to use Tonicas, which were about half the price of Dominants but just as good. Then they doubled the price, and that was the end of that. Then they changed them, and brought them back at something more like the previous price. I haven't tried the new/cheap ones yet, but I've gotten several good reports.

Another string thing is that recently we started using the relatively new Dominant tin plated carbon steel E string. It is not only a much better E than anything we've ever tried, but it also does really good things to the way the other strings act. I bought a pile and am putting them on everything.
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kjb
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the tip on the e string I will try them out.
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