Matching strings for an Avantgarde A & Amber E Combination
As I have been browsing V.com, Warchal's 2 spiral metal strings, are quite popular. I can also say that I am very happy with them. Surprisingly smooth sounding for metal, and flawless playability.
In a way it is an update of the famous "Russian setup" of 2 gut lower strings and 2 metal top ones.
Happy as I am with these 2 top ones I would like to search for the best possible match for the 2 lower ones. I am now using Tzigane G & D. Tzigane G hast lost some power and response, although I don't know if that came from the 2 new metal ones or that they are on the way out (6 weeks at 3 hours per day). Tzigane D goes very well with the Avantgarde.
I have read many comments of Lydia Leong who experimented with those metal strings and different ones for the bottom 2 (Passione, Tzigane and Brilliant Vintage). I wonder if she would have an update on those experiments. Which was the best combination?
I also read that you were going to try Olivs next, how did it go? I was going to put next Rigid Eudoxas G & D and I wanted to know what to expect.
One more thing I was thinking... I have a PI Platinum E hanging around...Any idea how would that match with the Avantgarde A and Gut G&D?
If any other of those who tried this combination have any input, I would be very grateful.
I have tried the Avantgarde A, but must say that I prefer the sound of a gut A. If you are going for the two gut two metal setup I highly recommend that you try an Oliv rigid G and the silver wound D. It is a very good combination on my instrument and they are very long lasting. I currently combine them with Passione solo A and Pirastros platinum E. I haven't tried the PI platinum E. But the pirastro platinum E really lifted the whole instrument.
Thank you Bo. I aim to try the Oliv/metal configuration, but I start with Eudoxa.
I did try the Rigid D, but simply prefer the sound I get with the silver. Mostly as I recall it was high up on the string that the silver was clearer. Your instrument - and your preferences - may be different.
I'm currently using Passione on the bottom strings plus the Amber E. I'm kind of waffling on it still. The Passione A has a richer sound than the Avantgarde A, but because my violin has a really brilliant E, the tonal break between A and E is huge, and the Avantgarde A masks that more easily.
Perhaps just use warchal amber?
The Amber set is very good. For a synthetic. Still prefer gut, though. But Amber is the synthetics I would use if I for some reason couldn't use gut. I have sometimes used Amber A and E with gut D and G and liked it.
My violin doesn't have special issues. It behaves well with the standard Dominants or Tonicas but I want to experiment with Gut strings in my climate (extreme humidity, but constant).
The older, nylon cored, synthetics (Dominant, Aricore, Tonica, Pro Arte) last much longer, or at least die more slowly, maybe because of their lower. tension
FWIW, Warchal sells an "Avantgarde A Combo" through their online shop that pairs the Avantgarde A with the Amber G, D, and E. I've been thinking about giving that set a try on one of my violins later this year. I live in an area where we have consistently high humidity during the warmer months; one summer I experimented with Oliv and Eudoxa strings, and while I loved the sound of the gut, the awful tuning instability eventually drove me back to synthethics.
I'm using an Amber E with Pi's (GDA) and like it. I've been playing about an hour a day on average (likely closer to 1.25hrs depending on the week) with this set and my three month string change was due April 13th and they are still going! (I'll probably change strings in a month, which is unusual for me.) Not the same amount of playing that you do, but it gives you some kind of gauge to go on - possibly?
I think we discussed this on another thread. I had been pairing Amber E and Avantgarde A with Vision Solo D and G. Recently installed Warchal Brilliants and I like them -- sound is comparable to the VSolos -- responsive, forward, sweet sounding -- and lower tension which is always good. We'll see if they last as long. I try to weigh cost vs longevity -- if a string lives 20 percent longer, that is effectively a 20 percent lower price.
I think you have to redo the math on that one. If it lasts twice as long is it free then? ;-)
The suggestions at the Warchal webpage are interesting. For Avantgarde, it recommends to match with the Amber. For the Russian A (Which is not that different...), it recommends to match with the Brilliant, so I suppose that both options are good mixing and it depends on the kind of sound one aims to create.
Let the steel A sing without much effort. Use more speed for the D. On some violins it can be darker, but that Eudoxa D is not "muddy" (an old/worn Obligato or Infeld Red are not as clear.) Sometimes the steel A-and even pure gut A-sound much brighter than a wound gut D. You either get used to it and change fingerings taking that into account, or alter your bowing to accommodate this. Or both. Don't press hard on that steel A-use its full power when required, being instead more gentle when intending to blend a phrase with the wound gut D.
I have not found that I needed to change my approach for the Avantgarde A. My luthier did suggest that he should modify the nut of my violin for the thinner steel string if I was going to use it on a regular basis, though.
Thank you for the advice, Adalberto. I know that the Eudoxas are good and so is my instrument. I am aware that my technique is the one needing improvement. Patience it is, then.
You are welcome, though I also believe Ms. Leong's account. Violins and players (technique, etc.) are so different from each other.
I use the EP platinum E and agree with your description. It is like it lifted the whole instrument when I put it on.
A couple of updates. I persevered on the D strings and it turned out good in just some hours. Very, very nice. The Rigid G and D made me look for pieces that were played mostly on those strings.
The Gold Label isn't too humble, just taken for granted a bit. Its tension is normal, at 7.7 kp, I believe. It's pretty good (I never loved the Silvery Steel E in comparison.)