Through a summer haze of bug bites, various skin infections and rashes, even intermittent sun poisoning despite the best efforts of La Roche-Posay, we’ve again dropped into the lap of another week. Without a story. But we are close. Like this week, stringing newly acquired ½ and ¼ size fiddles. The bench is littered with wrappings from D’Addario, their Helicore strings. Nearly every fiddle refurbishment gets Helicores.
While competitors put “student quality” strings on their fiddles, Helicores have proven, again and again, to product better tones, making my efforts so much more satisfying. The thrilling grin of a teacher giving feedback on a fiddle unplayed for decades, the student who buys or borrows the instrument, even myself, largely untrained.
Constant improvement, meticulous attention to quality, a true value despite their cost. It’s D’Addario for me. Mandolin, guitar, violin, even Pete’s bouzouki wears D’Addario.
Helicore violin strings are crafted with a multi-stranded steel core, resulting in optimal playability while producing a clear, warm tone. The smaller string diameter provides quick bow response. Premium quality materials combined with skilled workmanship produces strings known for excellent pitch stability and longevity. D’Addario
An errant New Year’s resolution beckons. Caught up with hobbies as a gentleman plumber, waiting for varnish to cure with the luthier practice, my attention turns to dead strings of forgotten manufacture on Hugh’s mandolin.
Nine long months since refurbishment, these strings have since lost their zing. Yes, the mando still plays wonderfully, resonance issues unnoticed or politely ignored. The pairs of wound G & D strings especially call for help. Since borrowing this Collings, along with further research into violin and viola strings, my shop now installs D’Addario strings exclusively.
Pete’s bouzouki has them. My Guild D4 and Hugh’s Santa Cruz wear the Bluegrass EJ19, light tops and medium bottoms. D’Addario’s Orchestral String Social Media Specialist was instrumental 🙂 at a critical juncture, after we received a mini-viola which required Extra-Small scale length strings.
This mandolin is now back to factory specification, wearing new EJ74 strings as originally installed by Collings. Highs are brighter and resonate longer, more sweetly. Lows power their vibration through the flame maple back, into my ample belly. Wow, hard to figure why I waited so long to replace my strings!
D’Addario goes way back to the Old Country in the Italian province of Pescara. There you’ll find a baptismal form filled out by Donato D’Addario in 1680, his occupation stated simply “cordaro” – the Italian word for “string maker.” ∆ In the early 20th century, the family began making strings in America. The rest is their modern history. The entire D’Addario Brand History cannot be condensed; I invite you to their website to read the entire story!