Westminster E vs. Wondertone Gold Label vs. Evah Gold-plated steel?
I have actually tried all three, albeit not on the same violin.
Can anyone explain tonal differences that would be preferable as a soloist?
I can't answer your question specifically, as I am very far removed from a classical soloist, but I can comment. I have tried all 3 and on the same fiddle. are you talking about the Evah Gold gold, or the 'Standard' Evah gold? in any case, I find both too bright for me.
All of them are "soloist" strings, the gold-plated Pirazzi being the least common (not bad *due* to this, mind you.) If your violin and other strings can handle it, the Westminster 27.5 is very powerful, but thick, so hopefully your setup/string clearance isn't too high (or just don't press there and play "over the string", as it were.) Its tension will affect the others. I used to use it, but have been using "Medium" Es for a while now, for better string balance and a more open and brighter tone. For a similar reason, I also don't heartily recommend the Jargar Forte that many Soloists use because it may not work at all with your setup and/or instrument. But "soloists" can and do use all aforementioned options.
E strings are incredibly specific to a violin, and sometimes to its set-up as well. The best way to pick a great E for your instrument is to try a whole bunch of them.
Dave, Adalberto & Lydia, thanks for the insight! Very very, helpful.
E strings can also drastically change the sound and response of the other 3 strings. If you are testing different e strings, check how it changes the other strings, both up close and at a distance.
I second Lydia and Douglas’s comment.
Violins react to tension differently. I've never owned an instrument that liked heavy-gauge strings, for instance, other than on the E string (specifically for Jargar, and even that was more to stop a whistle than anything else). And high-tension is less responsive, which is not a trade-off that I normally want to make.