Pirastro Obligato Viola Strings Review

February 26, 2018, 11:40 PM · Recently, I acquired a 15.5” viola made in 2014 by David Yale, an American luthier. The viola came with a full set of Pirastro Obligatos. I am likely change the A & C string, but thought that before I do so, I might as well review them!

A String: Very responsive, but also bright. The peak of this string (for me) was playing the cadenza in Cecil Forsyth’s Viola Concerto, as well as the ending. It’s perfect if you play in a high position a lot of the time, although the thinness of the string may hurt the tips of your fingers a bit. The brightness that the strings produce is too much for my viola, thus I probably will switch to an A string that’s more neutral (would love to take suggestions).

D String: Again, very responsive and the tone is neutral. It really doesn’t alter the tone of the Viola but is rather neutral.

G String: You’re getting less responsive here. This is where the string starts to sound darker and have a deeper tone, but I found that I needed to pull more to get a fuller tone, unlike with a Zyex set on my other viola.

C String: It is necessary to apply more pressure to get a louder tone. I have a love/hate relationship with this string because the dark and mellow C string sounds awesome, but when I shift to 3rd & 4th position on this string, the loudness of it decreases significantly, unlike any other C String I’ve used. Probably will swap out for a Dominant or Peter Infield C here, as I’ve loved the responsiveness of both, and I am sure that both would still have the dark, but projecting sound I’m looking for.

Overall, I’m now a huge fan of these strings, and these will probably be my go-to’s for the G & D, and maybe, just maybe, the C string (if it ever kicks in).


February 27, 2018 at 05:11 PM · If you want to discuss this, I'd post it in the discussion board for more presence. A synthetic A (e.g Tonica) might be more neutral. Can't say much about the C string.

February 28, 2018 at 05:33 AM · Hi Ella, I just started using my account on this website after signing up a year ago. Could you please explain to me how I post something to the discussion board? I’ve looked all over but can’t seem to find a way to do so. Thanks!

February 28, 2018 at 10:12 PM · On any page, there's a link called "discussion". Click on it and find the "start a discussion" (or the like) button and go from there.

March 1, 2018 at 04:36 AM · There was a point when I ran:

A: Larsen (then Jager when it snapped, lol)

D/G: Obligato

C: Eudoxa

I had wanted to try a Zyex heavy for the C but I couldn't find one without special ordering it. I really enjoyed that set up and found it to work quite well on the 16.5 viola I had them on. If you have extra money to throw around and like messing about with new string combos it's worth giving it a try.


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