New Larsen Tzigane Strings

January 6, 2007 at 09:02 PM · Hi, i would like to know if anyone has tried these strings and any opinions you might have of them.

Thank you

Replies (46)

January 8, 2007 at 09:55 PM · hello danny,

i have them on my violin right now and quite like them.

difficult to describe them,

the tone feels more mature and broader than on infeld vision,

mellow/dark but still singing...

they take a longer time to play with too little rosin.

i will continue trying them out.i was playing different infelds for a very long time

that was my impression on my violin -it could be completely different on any other instrument/player

January 10, 2007 at 06:51 PM · I ordered a set. I balked at paying $30 to have them expedited to Alaska! It is just as easy to mail something to Alaska as New York or LA but everybody seems to think we are a foreign country a million miles away. Grump!

So, when they arrive I'll give them a try and let you know what I think. Unless it is right before our symphony concert next week; then I'll wait.

January 12, 2007 at 04:55 PM · Got my A string. I'll report later today.

January 13, 2007 at 02:06 AM · Got a set in the mail this afternoon. Was using Dominants with Jargar E. Violin is an 1846 Pierre Sylvestre. A rather sweet French fiddle.

My first impression right out of the package was that the A was a little metallic, the D and G were strong and rich and the E also just a slight bit on the bright side.

After about 15 or 20 minutes of tuning, warming up and messing around the whole set lost the metallic overtones and seemed responsive and loud in a good way. They reminded me quite a bit of Evah's.

The acid test: I got my daughter Jessica to play piano and we did some Scottish and Irish airs. Jessica, who is studying to be a conductor, and who has the pickiest ear and absolutely no sympathy pronounced them very good. Louder than she expected. I found myself using more pressure than necessary and when I lightened up the strings were very responsive and gave me different voicing dependent upon sound point. They were very "gut like" in that respect. The volume seems to come from resonance rather than just loudness.

Two hours later: the E is the sweetest E I have ever played on my fiddle. The D and G are full and robust. The A is the weakest especially from 3rd position on up. But A's are always the worst on my fiddle. The D and G sound great in higher positions.

My first impression is that they are sort of in between Evahs and Olivs except that the E is stunningly good on my particular fiddle.

Now we will have to see how they are tomorrow and how long they last.

Disclaimer: These are my impressions only. I paid for these strings and am no way endorsing the strings or the maker except to share my experience with the people on this web site.

January 13, 2007 at 03:45 PM · Hmm, very interesting, thanks. I'm using a regular Larsen A (not tzigane) with Oliv D and G and Goldbrokat Larsen A blends pretty well with the Olivs, it's very powerful and just *occasionally* a little on the brash side. You might want to try one of those if the Tzigane A is weak?

Edit: Hoo, I just followed that link to the SW Strings online catalog--these things are dirt-cheap, especially compared to Olivs! I gotta try these....

January 13, 2007 at 07:37 PM · I got the Tzigane A, it sounds great after about 2 hours. It has an interesting sound.

January 13, 2007 at 07:48 PM · Can you be a little more specific than "interesting"? :) Is it a dark sound, bright, warm, powerful, piercing, complex...also, have you tried ordinary Larsen A, and if so how does the Tzigane compare? :)

January 13, 2007 at 09:39 PM · The regular Larsen A is stupid.

The Tzigane for me is like what the Pirazzi couldn't be. It has the more complex sound of a dominant after 1-2 days, with a bit more presence. A nice slow bow draws a nice sound without having to do much, kind of like gut. It accepts nuances and subtleties in the bow a lot more than Visions and Pirazzis do.

I think it's a good string. I'll see how well it fares over the next week and I'll order a G and D. However, I still haven't found a better G than the Pirazzi.

January 13, 2007 at 09:48 PM · I agree with Peter. My set has been on almost 24 hours with about two hours playing yesterday and about two or three today. They smoothed out a little more overnight ( or maybe my fiddle is just adjusting)

My daughter says they sound pretty much like new Dominants, maybe a little better.

For me, the E is still effortless to play and the whole set feels much more like gut; very responsive to soundpoint and bow speed.

Maybe I'm just enjoying a nice new set of strings but they are sure fun to play.

January 14, 2007 at 12:02 AM · good news...I guess this means we have another string to choose from other than Eudoxas or Dominants

January 14, 2007 at 12:05 AM · Has anyone seen this string in the Strong gauge?

January 14, 2007 at 04:44 PM · in terms of lasting:

i have them already on my instrument for 6 weeks and they still didnĀ“t loose too much of overtones and so...

not bad i must say...

January 15, 2007 at 12:11 AM · $58/set is dirt cheap? I guess times have changed for the average musician.

January 15, 2007 at 12:37 AM · Compared to the Olivs I'm currently using, it's mere pennies...

January 16, 2007 at 06:57 AM · Well, I can answer my own question. The US distributor is sending me a couple of thick sets.

January 20, 2007 at 01:58 PM · so if it's effortlessly played and gut-like, does that mean that you can't quite dig into the string as much as you could with lets say the dominant strings? im not too familiar with different string types...

January 20, 2007 at 04:30 PM · you can dig in all you like...

January 20, 2007 at 09:05 PM · The impression I'm getting for you guys' comments on here is that these strings combine the best aspects of gut strings with the best aspects of synthetics. Is that a fair assessment?

January 21, 2007 at 01:08 AM · woah now calm down Maura... we were just saying these are some nice strings... don't go putting words in our mouths.

January 21, 2007 at 03:08 AM · I agree with Pieter. Very nice strings for my violin but for someone else's maybe not. Right now I am still struggling with cold dry air. Memorial service today at noon in a big dry church and concert tonight in a hall that was 29% last night. My fiddle likes it about 50% or more. The strings felt a little harsh and metallic but I was told the tone was still fine. So I am chalking it up to dryness which always bothers my Sylvestre.

If someone is not happy with their current strings I certainly think the Tziganes are worth a try. Maybe they will suit you, maybe not.

Still, the biggest surprise for me was the E. Just a plain tinned steel E that my fiddle absolutely loves. Silky, silky.

January 21, 2007 at 04:20 PM · Jeez, sorry Pieter...

January 21, 2007 at 05:50 PM · Sounds like I might want to try these, but $58 a set sounds like a lot, even a little more than Evah Pirazzis. I guess I'll have to save up.

February 20, 2007 at 04:11 AM · I got some Tzigane strings about three weeks ago. I put them on, and for the first day or so I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The strings just SANG like no other synthetic I've tried. After they completely settled in and streched out (which took about four days), they seemed to "dull" a bit. Since then, while not having the knock-out singing quality of the first few days, the strings still have a very clear, singing voice. They have all the focussed quality of Pirazzis, but are much softer in feel. The feel is more like Obligatos (as I was hoping when I bought them), but they are brighter, which is good on my violin, and it's quite easy to get a nice range of colors on them. I was using an Oliv gold E at first, but the Tzigane E actually blends in better. These are currently my favorite synthetics. My next set of strings will be gut, though; I've haven't used gut strings for 30 years, and am eager to try the ones that are out there now.

February 20, 2007 at 05:32 AM · agree with Michael. when i first put them on i was amazed.. they have dulled a bit over the next few days but still feel "softer" than the evahs.. brighter than obligatos but warmer than evahs.

this is my earlier response to a post on Titaniums:

I got my new set of medium Larsen Tziganes and put them on my least used and least pleasant sounding violin.. a bright somewhat flat sounding older American... these replaced the relatively new Evahs and a gold pirastro E that were on it. The difference was immediately noticeable.

The Tziganes are much better on this violin than the Evahs/Gold E. These have just as much projection but seem to have less tension so they allow for easier vibrato and color production. There is definitely greater complexity in the sound. The E is particularly nice with a strong core even at the highest registers - this is where this violin needed boost. i don't think i want to go back to evahs again.

I've kept these strings on for about 5 days now and i'm actually starting to like playing this violin that has long been a neglected third fiddle. at some point i'll try the Tziganes on my other violins.

i'm thinking the Tziganes outdoes the Vision Ts also, but i haven't used Vision Ts in a while so this opinion is based on recall rather than a back to back comparison.

I'd like to hear if others feel the same about Tziganes versus Evah or Vision Ts.

February 20, 2007 at 07:19 PM · I have had my Tziganes on for a month now and I agree with the previous posts.

I do sense that they are starting to dull but I just got back from a concert where the hall was 30% relative humnidity and my fiddle seemed dry.

I will see how they are for the rest of the week. I would estimate that I have about a hundred hours on them now.

February 20, 2007 at 10:48 PM · Hi, bought a set for one of the violins I made recently. Very impressed, power, warmth, interesting texture..

Warchal and pirastro are aws good but in a different way.

March 12, 2007 at 08:34 AM · To Michael Schallock: If your violin is weak on the A-string from the 3rd position and upwards, you might try to get your favourite violin maker to move the sound post a fraction away from the bridge.

March 12, 2007 at 03:29 PM · Thank you...yes, when my fiddle gets dry and metallic sounding in the winter it does help to have the post moved a little further away. You are correct in this case.

April 4, 2007 at 10:41 AM · I've had a set of mediums on my warmest violin for about 4 days now. Amazingly, the strings are STILL settling. As the pitch stabilizes, I am just starting to really like them. Could be love, I dunno...

I'm striving for a rich, warm chamber music type sound, not a screaming soloist thing. I like that they are big & fat, but not at all boring. Mucho maximo timbral range. The E string is oh so sweet, with lots of mids and no harsh trebliness.

Good Stuff!

I'm going to try a heavy gauge E soon.

The only strings left for me to try are Warchals, and pure gut. As far as all the others I've tried, Tzigane is the clear winner.

April 4, 2007 at 08:22 PM · Has anyone found that the Tzigane (med) G and D take more bow pressure to respond after a few weeks? I notice it a lot when playing up bow staccato and when playing legato piano. Tzigane strings sound great but it would be nice ($$) if they would last a little longer. Anyway, please let me know if you have noticed the G and D not lasting as long as the A. I don't think the problem is with my violin, bow, or rosin. Thank you.

April 4, 2007 at 08:24 PM · Yeah, I definitely noticed that they needed more pressure as they started to die but that wasn't until maybe two months or longer. I guess I should look back at this post to check the time.

I am still using them an loving then and they seem to last pretty well. I'll check in as this second set gives out. Right now they are still great.

(edit): I just looked back and they faded between two and three months.

April 4, 2007 at 08:36 PM · Thanks, Michael. That's about when my D and G gave out, but I'm pretty sure I noticed it after about five or six weeks.

April 5, 2007 at 10:25 PM · I just noticed that the price seems to have gone down on these strings. ConcordMusic has sets now for $49.50.

April 30, 2007 at 09:57 PM · Now that people have been playing their Tzigane strings for awhile, I'm wondering how they are lasting? Mine, since the middle of January. Very stable. Don't like the e. I use the thicks with a thin goldbrokat e.

May 1, 2007 at 12:02 AM · Mine have lasted a month so far, though with only perhaps 1/2 hr playing per day. Still, Evahs & Obligatos would be in the landfill by now.

Importantly, Tziganes really hold their initial sound, as opposed to many strings that still sound "good" but change afer a few weeks.

Overall I like them VERY much, as they combine sweetness with cutting power, and also have good timbral depth. However, Since discovering pure-gut strings, the (med gauge) Tziganes now seem a bit thin to me.

May 1, 2007 at 12:10 AM · My Tzigane A lasted about two months--pretty good, I'd say. Right now I'm back to all Olivs but may well switch back to the Tzigane A soon, because the Oliv A is slightly more annoying than I remembered. (Plus, it absolutely bloody WILL NOT stay in tune.)

May 1, 2007 at 01:10 AM · Anyone tried the Pirazi Passione strings yet?

May 1, 2007 at 05:07 AM · I've given up Tziganes after going through three sets in nine weeks, and I wish I would have taken off my last set (at least the D and G) two weeks ago. I just put on an old used Vision Titanium A D & G and "wow"! Now I can play softly again on the D and G without extra bow pressure.

May 6, 2007 at 02:22 PM · I just tried the new Tziganes. My normal strings are Obligato. I used Titanium Solos for most of last year, but gave up on the one-dimensional sound I got. I always use the Wondertone Gold label E, as that is the only E that won't whistle.

Keep in mind that my violin really sounds best with a nice set of Olives, but I am not willing to pay the $$$, or deal with tuning every 90 seconds. I prefer playing on wound guts too, as they seem to work best with both my left and right hands.

So far, the Obligatos have worked okay, but sound a little woofy. I prefer the Tziganes. They speak a little slower (that's fine) and the G has an extra whoosh of surface noise that I've never heard before (that's fine too, as the surface noise doesn't carry). The E is not whistling! Wow, that's a first!

The lower tension seems to work well for my violin. The vibrato and bow nuances are more clear than the Obligatos. I like them.

May 11, 2007 at 05:28 AM · I have now put Tziganes on two violins.

The first, a 1970 Henry Meissner is a mellow violin, very even across the strings, one that gets its tone collor from the playr's vibrato and bow control. The Tzigane strings are the best strings I've ever had on this fiddle, they add an extra dimension to the tone color. My usual E string (on all my fiddles) is the Kaplan Solutions, but I found that with the Tzigane strings, the Tzigane E-strings seems important to get the right balance for all the strings. It may be that it provides the right force balance to the bridge.

The other violin now using Tzigane strings is a 1972 Fernando Solar, a very "colorful-sounding" instrument, especially rich on the G string. The Tzigane G actually seemed to add too much color to this violin, and I switched back to the (rather colorless) Pirastro Wondertone (synthetic) that I had on just before. This violin too profited from using the Tzigane E string to replace the Kaplan-S. Another problem with the Tzigane G-string on this fiddle, it seemed to increase the resistance of the G string to bowing and to sounding up the fingerboard (at least under my ear; when played like a cello, the G string seems to sound OK to me). It may be some acoustic-impedance mismatch of this strings resonance with that of this very resonant violin.

The Tzigane G string seems to me unusually thick for a synthetic violin G string, and it is probably this that accounts for it broader-than-typical spread of overtones and thus the resonance that it can add to an otherwise "calm" sounding instrument.

Powerful sound, regardless!

May 10, 2007 at 09:39 PM · Yesterday I decided to try a Tzigane heavy G, along with my heavy pure-gut D, A, E. I expected it to be a bit too bright and thin, but am happy to report that it blends wonderfully.

I MUCH prefer this G to either the Dlugolecki or Gammut wound G's that I've tried. It's stronger, fuller, louder, and actually blends better.


May 11, 2007 at 12:21 AM · I hated Larsens until these arrived. Excellent but you might also try Warchals- very impressive.

January 14, 2008 at 12:54 AM · Would anybody recommend using the Larsen Tzigane E with Dominants? i've been using Gold label E's but I need something warmer

January 14, 2008 at 03:19 AM · I experienced some problems with Tziganes (see above) and gave up on them. However, I recently purchased some Liebenzeller Gold II rosin and thought I would give the Tziganes one more try. So far, after two or three weeks, the combination is working. At first I had the same problem with the D and G requiring more bow pressure but applying more rosin has taken care of the problem. I can use more Liebenzeller rosin on my bow than Salchow. We'll see. I do like the sound and left hand playability of Tziganes.

By the way, it's difficult to read this discussion on my computer screen because the words go off the page.

January 15, 2008 at 12:20 AM · Something worth mentioning. Tziganes seem to be more sensitive to rosin buildup than any other strings I've played. That has been part of the problem, I now believe, with the D and G needing more bow pressure. If I swipe the violin strings with steel wool every few minutes to wipe off the rosin the bow bites more easily (for example on up bow staccato) and everything is fine.

January 15, 2008 at 04:36 AM · Interesting, Gary.

While I don't notice a rosin "build up" problem, I do feel that I need to re-rosin more often with Tzaganes, or else my bow gets a little slippery. I hadn't really thought about it much until you mentioned it.

It must be an odd winding alloy.

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