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Pauline Lerner

I love my Infeld Reds!

June 10, 2007 at 6:25 AM


I fell in love with Infeld Reds when I heard them recently on the violin of one of my students. I especially loved the E string. I’ve never heard an open E sound like that – so warm, sweet, and full. It looks pretty, too, because it is gold plated. I did some research and found that the Infeld Red series is generally described as warm, rich, full, and dark. I like warm, rich, and full, but not dark. Perhaps it’s a matter of nomenclature. “Dark” reminds me of melancholic Tchaikovsky. I suppose it is intended to be the opposite of “bright.”

I’m supposed to be on a no frills budget, but what can I do when I’ve fallen in love? I’ve used Pirastro Tonicas for years, but I had them replaced with Infeld Reds. The difference was incredible. At first, I just played on the E string over and over, and it thrilled me – so sweet, warm, rich, and full. Not even a faint suggestion of the cursed falsetto. Next I noticed how different the G string sounded. The G on that violin had always sounded a little fuzzy, but the Infeld Red has a well defined, but not thin, sound. It has a warmth that I didn’t know my violin was capable of. (I realize that some of these changes may have been related to the adjustment of the soundpost which my luthier does when he replaces strings.) Finally, I noticed the new beauty of the A and D strings. They are warm, sweet, rich, and full, too.

I played on my new strings with a group of singers. At first, I played somewhat more loudly than usual in order to be heard, as I always have with singers. Then I tired playing more softly, and as far as I could tell, the sound carried just as well. I checked this out a few days later by playing for one of my more advanced students, standing near him and then farther away. He confirmed the carrying power of the strings.

I noticed a real increase in the sustain of these strings relative to the Pirastro Tonicas. With the PTs, my violin always had good sustain. Often when I played in orchestra and we all stopped at exactly the same time, I could hear the last note I had played lingering in the air longer than anyone else’s. With the IRs, the sustain is even better. I tried playing colle, and I was able to get a good sound (smooth, not squeaky) with a tiny bit of bow contact with the string. My vibrato has gotten much better and much easier with the new strings. I suppose that is related to their elasticity.

Only one of my students noticed the change in the sound of my violin with the Infeld Reds. He is an incredibly sensitive and perceptive nine year old. He told me, “Your violin sounds different today. It sounds like the sound is coming from deep inside the violin.”

I’ve got to stop transposing things up an octave so I can play them on the E string. I’ve got to remember that my violin sounds extra good on all four strings.

I love my Infeld Reds!

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