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C String Replacement on a 5 string Violin


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#1 Guest_erich_zann_*

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:35 PM

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#2 Michael Richwine

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:23 PM

Without having to buy a complete set.
And understanding that a viola 'C' won't work,
What would I use to replace the 'C' string on my 5
string violin ?


A short scale viola string works fine. Full scale viola strings are designed for a scale length of 15 -15 12 inches, and are too light weight for a violin scale of 13 inches / 330mm. Short scale strings are designed for scale length around 13 -14 inches, and work OK. Several manufacturers also make 5-string sets. Unfortunately, I don't yet know whether those C strings are available separately, or whether they in fact differ from short scale viola strings. Need to find out.
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#3 duane88

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:37 PM

Helicore makes a violin C-string. I seems to be the same as a viola , and is the same price (wholesale) as the Helicore viola C, so it might just be the same string with the winding in the right place for a violin.

I have also used 14" viola C strings. I also suggest stark/heavy tension, if available, but only for the C.

Nonado, the C is available alone. My last one came from Connolly.

#4 BarryD

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 05:08 PM

according to D'addario the Helicore viola "C" and the "C" in the 5 string Helicore set are the same.

Like I always say sometimes, Generalizations are made because they are generally true! <BR>www.dudleyviolins.com
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#5 go_oa

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:30 PM

Supersensitive makes strings for all instruments.
I use their sensicore strings on my 18" viola.
Much better than the Cello strings I used before!

They really do make decent strings.
They have advanced beyond the strings
I used in high school.
And they make everything from
violins down an octave to Hutchins soprano violin
(up an octave.)

#6 Guest_erich_zann_*

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:48 PM

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#7 Michael Richwine

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 09:51 PM

OK, here is, I hope, the definitive answer, at least as regards Helicore.

Their violin C string is product no. H315, and is available in medium and heavy tension, designed for a 328mm scale.

The Viola C string, H414, is available in four lengths:

400mm Extra Long scale length for 17 inch violas and over, medium gauge only

380mm Long for 16 inch violas and over, L, M, and H gauge.

360mm Medium for 15 - 15 1/2 inch violas, medium only.

330 mm Short for 14 inch violas, medium only.

The H315 violin medium C could be the same as the H414 short viola C in different packaging - they both have the same tension and are "tungsten / silver"- but the heavy gauge violin C is not available in the viola line.

The short scale viola C has been working fine for us on the fiddles we make.
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#8 Allan Speers

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 04:37 PM

Hey, folks. Long time me no here. Missed the place.....


I recently purchased the new Yamaha SV-255 electric 5-string. I'm absolutely floored by the sound & response of the G-E, but the C-string is a bit flabby. You have to play very lightly, or it goes sharp.

It is also rather 1 -dimensional. It is also a tad dark. Mind, you, I'm being picky. Overall I could live with it. - But of course I'd like to find something better.

I am more concerned with the stiffness than with the sound, if I had to pick only one. Better to be in-tune than rich & full, especially on the low notes.
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According to Yamaha, it ships with Zyex G-E, & a Helicore viola C. - All med. gauge, aluminum wound.

Now that I know it's a viola C, I'm thinking of trying the Spirocore viola C, in silver. Spirocore should be a little more complex. Am I right that the silver winding will be a little stiffer than aluminum?

As for length, I can't find any choices, and certainly not 330mm. All the vendors simply list "15+"
Shouldn't this still work, or might it be too thick?
-If too thick, I could order it in light gauge, no?

Any suggestions for an alternate C string, with more complexity than the Helicore, and good lateral stiffness?

(Hoping for some thoughts from Barry Dudley, among others.)

#9 go_oa

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 05:04 PM

It seems counterintuitive but:

Small violas need heavy strings.
Big violas need light strings.

To get a heavy thin string you need the heavier metal.
Silver is heavy. Tungsten is even heavier.

#10 Allan Speers

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 05:36 PM

Ah, that seems to jive with what Nonado wrote, above. Quote: "Full scale viola strings are designed for a scale length of 15 -15 12 inches, and are too light weight for a violin scale of 13 inches."

So, if using a 15.5" viola C, it would be better to use heavy gauge?

That makes sense, since my Yamaha's med gauge is flabby. - and it seems to be about the same diameter as the G string.

Heavy gauge will affect the tone, though, and the volume balance with the other strings. (On an electric, there is no volume problem with the C, in fact it's almost too loud.) Knowing this, and using a heavy gauge 15.5" viola C, would you guess that silver or aluminum would be best?

Or wait - I guess any C made for a 3/4 viola should do, yes?

Obviously, I'll have to do some expensive experimentation, but all thoughts would be welcome.

#11 StuartRochon

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:57 PM

http://band-orchestr...s/viola-strings

Here is a link to a lot of different short scale viola strings.

#12 Allan Speers

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:08 PM

Here is a link to a lot of different short scale viola strings.


Thanks, Stuart. Sadly, they only have the same as everywhere I've looked. The best offered are Dominant and Helicore. Well, Dominant might suffice, if it's stiff enough.

There is supposed to be a 14" Vision Ti "C" (and a 5-string violin set !) I think that would be perfect, adn they are very complex and on the stiff side. - but the best I can ascertain, it's only available in Europe. I've emailed the USA importer, so we shall see.

Assuming the Vision or Dominant works well, the question still remains of whether a heavy gauge 15.5" C-string would be better. I guess the only way to know is to try them all.




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