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Put my old viola strings on my fiddle
Putting heavier strings on a violin
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Justinvs
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March 18, 2015 - 6:52 pm
Member Since: January 17, 2015
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Background to this post is earlier this year I decided to change the strings on my old very cheap, fiddle, and using the theory that any strings would be better than the ones that came with it, I picked up a set of the cheapest strings I could find. Big mistake. The new strings sound horrible and scratchy and I can't even get a clear tone on the open E.

The other day I decided to change the strings on my electric viola. I went with Preludes and so far they seem better, except for the A string which I promptly broke while changing it! sf-embarassed

I realized I could put the now shortened A on my fiddle. I did and it sounded really good. So, sitting there with the used strings from my viola I thought, 'what the hell,' and went ahead and changed out the C and G as well. I'm not tuning it down as a viola, but just a violin with heavier strings, GDAE (I have a better E string coming) I can't believe the difference in the sound. For the first time since I've owned it this cheap little AB-10 actually sounds like a violin.

 

Any of you guys ever put viola strings on a violin? How did it work out?

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Violaman
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April 6, 2015 - 11:53 am
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I've never tried it but why do you say that those strings have a heavier tension?
I have taken full size violin strings and cut the ends to have them fit fractional size violins when we have been out of that particular size. Personally, I don't hear any difference when doing that. I imagine it could be the same thing with the viola strings on the violin. :)

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HeadCheese
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April 6, 2015 - 6:58 pm
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I think perhaps he means that the viola strings are a heavier gauge than standard violin strings. I've handled both, but never side-by-side to make that comparison.

The important thing is that Justinvs is happy with the sound, I suppose.

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Justinvs
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April 7, 2015 - 2:30 pm
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Yep, that's it exactly! It's sort of like when you put heavier gauge strings on a guitar it gives you a fuller sound at the expense of being harder to play. I think that's why my cheap fiddle sounds better with the thicker strings. It hasn't changed the pitch, but the sound has more body with much less scratching and the weird 'static' overtones I had with the cheap strings.

 

FWIW, I think the strings were a light gauge viola set, since the Preludes I'm using on my electric are definitely heavier strings than it came with.

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Violaman
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April 13, 2015 - 3:05 am
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What ever works is usually great. :)

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