I currently play one of two fiddles:
One is a recent purchase - a Rod Ward violin which I bought from Rod when I visited him in his workshop recently. It is absolutely gorgeous, has a clear, bright, and full sound, and is a joy to play.
To find out more about Rod Ward and the string instruments he makes see his website: http://www.wardviolins.com/.
My other fiddle is a French fiddle, probably made in the late 19th Century in Mirecourt, possibly from the JTL business. It is stamped inside 'NICOLAS DUCHENE A LA VILLE DE PADOUE", in a triangular shape. Whatever, it is another lovely fiddle, very much on the loud side whilst still maintaining a good tone across the range.
Strings: As with most fiddlers and violinists, I have tried a number of different type of strings, For many years I used Zyex by D'Addario and I still like them. I little while back I moved on to Larsen's Virtuoso strings, which again I found very satisfactory. Then Rod Ward introduced me Warchel's new Timbre range. I had already been using Warchel's Amber E string on the recommendation of a another friend - an excellent E string, but I now use Warchel's Timbre across all strings. Not the cheapest of strings but I find them a really good set of strings. However, of course what is best for any one player depends on the fiddle, bow and the player. These are just the ones that I have to suit me and my fiddles, and the Warchal Timbre are definitely very good on both Rod Ward's violin and my French fiddle.