02 March 2012
Strings for a five string violin
There are special five string fiddle sets: D'Addario Helicore, Super-Sensitive Sensicore, Pinnacle, Red Label, Old Fiddler and Thomastik Infeld Vision all come in a sets with a violin length C-string.
The Helicores also comes in a heavy gauge set which makes this set good for mixing and matching.
I have done a lot experiments with different strings on my three different five strings and found some alternatives to the special sets that I would like to share.
My first choice for a C-string must be the Spirocore 1/2 length C-string - I find it important to use the 1/2 size cause this matches the violin string length.
Another good choice is the Pirazzi heavy gauge C-string. To my knowledge this string only comes in one length, but it does not feel floppy.
On G D A you can use your preferred violin strings. I like Zyex, Vision Titanium Solo and Evah Pirazzi on my five strings.
Looking at the E-string my experience is that most five strings need a heavy gauge E, which sort of tightens up the entire instrument. I prefer the Jargar Forte (red color), but also liked Westminster and Pirastro Gold.
I have not had any good results using a 1/2 or 3/4 size viola set for the four low strings and adding a violin E, most viola strings are slower in response than the violin.