Warchal Brilliant Vintage review

March 29, 2018, 1:48 PM · I just strung them up and played them for about 10 minutes. my very first impression is that I like them, and I think I'm gonna really like them. I think I may have been able to go with Brilliants, but the Vintage feel good and perhaps the lighter tension will be better for me for long hours of busking. they don't feel like they're 'too low' tension and just a bit of getting used to.

as for sound, I think I'd hafta say warm/bright with lots of color and some nice ring (but not too ringy) in general warmer than the EPG I took off but I like that also. I can hear some sizzle, but not near as much as my paranoia thought there might be, and sounds nice to have a bit of sparkle.

I left the EPG steel E on, and it seems to go great, matching the volume and warmth of the Vintage.

I'm going to leave the EPG w/silver G on my other fiddle. Someday over the rainbow I may try the Brillants.

Likely have more to say later.

Thank You Mr. Warchal

Replies (11)

March 29, 2018, 3:35 PM · IMO you can't go wrong with any of the Warchal strings.

Glad to hear your hand is slowly healing up Dave.

April 4, 2018, 3:22 AM · after my initial enthusiasm wore off, I began to notice the negatives, which out weighed the positives, which was largely the tension thing. among other things, I found it extremely difficult to do double-stop shuffle type bowing. so... the EPG are back on.

I may need a 'sponsor' to call if I get the urge to fall off the EPG wagon

Edited: April 4, 2018, 4:25 AM · If I recall correctly, the company has explained that Warchal brilliant vintage with its lower tension was ideally for violins that weren't constructed for higher tension common nowadays, usually therefor for older violins.

It might well be that the strings were the bad choice for your violin and the review is of the interaction between the strings and the violin than a review of the strings themselves. Of course this is nearly always the case to some varying extent but it might be moreso in his case (given the particularity of the strings). I've read positive reviews that suggests the strings were fine when matched with the violins.

April 4, 2018, 1:09 PM · I totally agree with your post. However, I'm not going to risk trying a set of the higher tension Brilliants.
Edited: April 4, 2018, 1:32 PM · Do you own a vintage violin? If not, why would you put Warchal vintage strings on it? Any violin made after 1900 or so would probably do best with the standard "brillant" set.

With that said, I do feel that Warchal would be smart to make it a bit more obvious what "vintage" really means. I think a lot of people get the impression that it gives a "vintage" sound or something, rather than the idea that the strings are designed for the health and playability of old violins that weren't designed for modern-day high tension strings.


EDIT: my theory on the vintage vs the regular brilliants isn't that they are only lower tension, but that they are much more elastic, to mimic the way gut strings would vibrate (very widely). Just thought I'd throw this in here, since Warchal doesn't like giving out precisely the difference between vintage and regular brilliants.

April 4, 2018, 2:21 PM · Warchal's marketing between the Brilliant and BVs is pretty clear, I think -- the BVs are intended to be used on older instruments that benefit from less tension.

I find that BVs behave like standard modern synthetics. They're not gut-like in their response at all.

April 4, 2018, 8:06 PM · at Erik Williams: why did I put Vintage on a new student instrument? just stupid I guess. I was afraid they might be too elastic and Lo & behold, they were. the only excuse I can think of, is at the time I had injured my hand and I thought they might be easier to play on...nope.

wouldn't be the first time I've made a mistake with strings. a while back I got a set of the so called 'new formula' Zyex...nope. I gave them away to a guy on another forum who used them.

so...any body want a very slightly used set of Vintage. this time I need 30 bucks, to cover shipping and buy a pizza and a soda-pop with whats left over.

April 5, 2018, 12:13 PM · A full set of Warchal Amber is also a good choice, if you like a soft feeling string that produces a warm but brilliant sound.
April 13, 2018, 7:23 PM · Im triying the Warchal Brilliant (not the Vintage) now. They've been on since yesterday and still settling but so far I'm very pleasantly surprised. The feel is great, the way with which they response to the bow...very discernable advantages even to someone like me not really qualified to judge per se. As for tone too early to tell, but I can hear a smooth yet also broad enveloping sound.

Let's see how they develop and hold over time.

April 13, 2018, 7:39 PM · I also just tried the regular brilliants. Very, very physically thick strings, almost like mini cello strings.

The sound is what I would describe as "big", and this largeness extends up into the A string. They are quite dark in their core tone, with a shimmer of brilliance on top of that core. A very interesting string, although they somewhat choked my violin. They are high tension and combined with their thickness, I think their vibration patterns just didn't match well with my particular instrument.

Soundwise, though, I like what they're trying for, and I think if my violin wasn't a "tight" instrument then they would work well for me. I would assume they work well with instruments that have a more relaxed, warm and "large" sound. Probably guarneri models rather than strad models. I bet on the right violin they'd be really extraordinary to play on.

Previously I only have experience with the brilliant vintage and honestly, the regular brilliants seem way different, but I think this perception is somewhat colored by the particular violin that the vintages were on.

Edited: April 13, 2018, 7:56 PM · "They are quite dark in their core tone, with a shimmer of brilliance on top of that core"

I was thinking along those very lines but didn't want to give too definite a description as they're still settling ...and I'm not an expert with a lot of experience. But glad to see this is also what you thought of them Erik.

As for the thickness, I would say this is not at all an issue given that the feel is so smooth, it's a very discernible feel. No harshness on the finger.


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