Viola String Review

December 18, 2007 at 12:21 AM · Well ever since I started playing the viola forever ago(8 years ago I'm 14) I've always been fasinated with strings and how they work. So about 3 years ago I started makeing a journal of strings and what I thought of them. Ofcourse, I am a violist so this may not be much help to other violinist but I think that alot of viola strings(excluding C) are quite similar to violin strings.

Strings in order by pitch(A,D,G and finally C)

A strings:

Larsen A -- Overall and amazing string. Goes impecably well with all strings be it gut, or synthetics. The only really problem would be Pirazzis which clash horribley with Larsens.

Jargar A -- Good string with Dominants and Visions. Doesn't really sit well with gut strings. The medium gauge version gets a little scratchy in higher positions. The forte is rather hard to play in higher.

Kaplan Solutions A -- Probally not the best A string I have ever tried, matches decently well with the Kaplan Golden Spiral strings.

Dominant A -- I don't like this string at all I simply destest it I will never, NEVER have a Dominant A string on my viola again. To me it doesn't have the "A string sound" that most violist want to syntheticey.

Obligato A -- Nice with the Obligato set other than that don't try one just to try one out. . . it's a waste of money.

Pirazzi A -- Well. Compare it a Larsen that that is pretty high tension. Though it lacks something vital that I can't really deside which sperates it from the Larsen.

Eudoxa A -- A bit dull on my Sderci(1924), but it could just be my viola. This string is much more stable than the Oliv.

Oliv A -- Sort of just like the Obligato but unlike the violin E they're different. I still wondered when I used this string "What if it(A string) was gold-plated?". Matches with the set and really nothing much else.

Zyex A -- Four words only "BRIGHT AND REALLY LOUD"

D Strings:

Larsen D -- Really powerful and strong at first and then like fireworks dies leaves just as quickly as it came.

Dominant D -- Metalicy for a little while. Nice Neutral string good if u don't want to darken or brighten your instrument.

Obligato D -- Amazing!!! Best D string I have every tired matches really really well with my C string(Oliv or Eudoxa depends on which is available). Darker sounding string

Pirazzi D -- Bleck. I don't like it AT ALL. In my opinion don't waste ur money. PLEASE. Overly Bright

Eudoxa D -- Once again is a bit dull for about a week. Matches really well with my G(Obligato). On my viola it is the brighter of the guts

Oliv D -- Dislike this string ALOT. Great tone just no pitch stabilaity. On my viola the darker of the guts

Zyex D -- Again four words "BRIGHT AND REALLY LOUD"

G Strings:

Larsen G -- Pretty much the same as the D. Nice and strong in the begining adn then leaves just as quickly as u put on the string(acutally just about a week)

Dominant G -- Lovely sound but again a bit metalically.

Obligato G -- My ususally G string along with the D it is a great combo. My ALL-TIME favorite G string.

Pirazzi G -- Bleck!!! I really dont like the entire set accept for th A. Sorry Pirazzi lovers

Eudoxa G -- Well. Only tried the Eudoxa G once but it was a mediocre experience. A little bit bland compared to the Oliv.

Oliv G -- Nice string but sadly it couldn't beat the Obligato on my viola, but has a nice tone but it wont ever stay in tune.

C strings

Larsen C -- Keeps its strength a week or mayb two longer than the D and G, but still the nice tone dies just and quickly as it came.

Dominant C -- This string used to be my favorite C string that is until I tried gut(Oliv being my fav)

Obligato C -- To me it lacks something which I can't describe that the others(G & D) have. Don't stay in tune as well as the G and D do but still a nice string

Pirazzi C -- Again Bleck dont waste your money. If you oddly want a "bright" viola these are your strings. I'm sure violinist LOVE these strings but we violist(most of us) try to aim for a lush, velvety sound.

Spirocore C -- I'm not a huge fan of steel steel strings but these is an exception. It has a tunenstun covering which gives the string an amazing clarity.

Eudoxa C -- Nice, Gut sound I use this as my C string(or Oliv). This string give me a lovely, lush, chocolatly sound that I, my orchestra members and quartet members adore.

Oliv C -- AMAZING STRING I LOVE THIS STRING!!!! BEST VIOLA STRING EVER!!!!! 'Nuf said.

Replies (65)

December 18, 2007 at 05:21 PM · Thank you for your review! I agree with you! I'm mostly a viola maker now. My choince in the past was for Jargar A and Dominants for the rest. But when I started working with high octane young players I moved to Larsen A and Evahs for the rest, and I like this combination.

You can see pics of some of my 17 inches violas here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7875988@N02/with/465247167/

Ciao!

December 18, 2007 at 06:28 PM · I love your list, it shows that you really put in your dues. I had no idea that you were as young as you are. I would have never imagined sincwe you speak so maturely through your writting. And also, bearing all this in mind and reading your Blogg regarding your Juliard audition, man oh' man you are going places!

December 19, 2007 at 12:41 AM · Manfio -- Your violas are beautiful, but as I said I'm not very fond of the Evah Pirazzis. Have you tried Obligatos with a Larsen A? That is a really nice combination, but if you really want to get a really nice, chocolaty sound I would take the C off and replace it with a Oliv or Eudoxa! My Sderci is 17 inches, which most people find rather hard to play, What made you choose such a large size. Have you tried to make a viola around the size of 15.5 to 16.5 and just make the lower bout larger like a Tertis Model?

Evah Pirazzis on my viola are just blah and I really don't like the strings: to me their to high tension, their overly bright. Obligatos allow me to have the rich, chocolately sound that I love. Ofcourse, on a old viola which I had . . . two, three years ago? had Evah Pirazzi's on them ofcourse the viola was extremely dark much muh darker than my Sderci is ever with Obligatos on!!

Thanks for your genorous comments!

~~Blake

December 19, 2007 at 01:37 PM · Hi,

Blake, that is a very nice review.

Cheers!

December 19, 2007 at 03:13 PM · Hi Blake,

I find the Obligatos to be relatively quick responding strings, and I'm wondering if the Olive or Eudoxa C respond much slower than the Obligatos next to it (i.e. I'm wondering if there's a big difference in response between the G and C)? Sounds like an interesting cominbation.

Andy

December 19, 2007 at 05:20 PM · A few weeks a go I strung up one of my violas with Warchals "Brilliant" viola strings.I heard the viola again this week, after they had been played in a bit.

Very, very nice,This viola sounded best with the whole set, A included. that would be another one to experiment with, Blake.

December 19, 2007 at 05:48 PM · I used to really like the silver Dominant D, as opposed to the regular one. It had a very sweet, vocal quality. The latest catalogues I've been getting seem to be truncated in string selection, though.

I see fewer makes and variations rather than more. Is this an erroneous impression? Or are we being victimized by wholesale price breaks to the sellers based on volume?

December 19, 2007 at 07:00 PM · Christian -- Oh my gosh!!! The God of Strings replied to my post. I'm SO HONORED!!!!

Andy -- I really dont see/hear a big difference in speaking(response) time of the Obligato strings and the Oliv/Eudoxa string. My luthier gave me the recomendation of using the following set-up which I altered to my personal taste.

Luthier's Recomendation:

A -- Larsen Medium

D -- Obligato

G -- Obligato

C -- Tungenstun covered Steel string

My altered set-up:

A -- Larsen Medium

D -- Obligato

G -- Obligato

C -- Oliv/Eudoxa

When I changed the steel C to a gut C. My luthier said that it would be fine, so I just mess around with my string set up.

Darren -- I was planning on trying a set of Warchal strings soon, but are the Brilliant's a high tension string.

December 19, 2007 at 07:24 PM · Oh and Julie, I am going to have to ask you to make your reply simplier!!!! hah. I dont really understand your reply.

and

All who read this please excuse my horrible spelling.

I typed and posted this at a very early hour in the morning.

December 19, 2007 at 07:24 PM · Hi Blake,no, they don't feel like a high tension string to me, but I don't have any specs. to back that up.Might be worth e-mailing Warchal about that.Stringing up the A-string, it felt like much less tension than the Kaplan A it replaced.

It seems they come in two scale lengths, the Ones I tried was the shorter length. which fit a 373 mm string length just fine.

December 19, 2007 at 08:27 PM · Darren -- Are Warchal strings synthetics or guts?

December 19, 2007 at 08:32 PM · Synthetic

December 19, 2007 at 09:11 PM · Do they stay in-tune well?

I placed an order for the Karneol set!!!!(the place that i ordered them from sai they were soldout of the Brilliant set. so ill buy those later)

~~Blake

December 19, 2007 at 09:17 PM · Hi Blake, The strings were tested out by one of my customers who owns a viola of mine.I put them on, and then didn't see him for,I think, about three weeks. But he did mention that they stretched out a bit, and they took about two weeks to break in.

So I don't really know how long they last, either.

But when I did see him this week,after that break in period, they were sounding fantastic.They sounded good with three brilliants on the lower strings, and a kaplan A. When we put on the brilliant A as well, that's when things got exciting.

December 19, 2007 at 09:38 PM · I called my teacher and she just told me that her set of Karneols that she tried lasted about three weeks before her D broke. Looks like a set of grave news for me.

December 19, 2007 at 09:55 PM · Hi Blake! Thank you for your kind words on my violas! I'm making 17 inches violas following Michael Tree's advise to make big violas. I met him in NY about a month ago and he chose one for one of his students. But Toby Appel told me I should make smaller violas too, I'll make my next 41.8 centimeters.

December 19, 2007 at 10:11 PM · Sorry to hear that, Blake. Don't have any experience with the karneols, but sometimes string breakage means there's something not quite right with the instrument. For example, there might be a sharp area at the nut, the string groove at the nut may be too small, the string may be touching the pegbox, etc.

Some strings are certainly more delicate than others, which means these areas become more important.But I can't say anything for sure.

But as a maker, if some one says they are breaking strings, my first thought is to check the instrument over for any problems,not so much the srings. There are exceptions,though.But I wouldn't worry, blake, you most likely will not have the same experience.

December 19, 2007 at 10:06 PM · OMG!!!! I completely forgot about you and Michael Tree(he is the most amazing living violist next to Mr. Yuri Bashmet) but Toby Apel isn't he viola smaller size? How much would one of your violas run(price wise) or maybe I could come see you when I move to New York next summer. I would love to use on of your viola in the JPC(Juilliard Pre-College) that is if I like the viola(hahah).

December 19, 2007 at 10:13 PM · Darren -- Well. about that the string broke in an odd place which amkes me think it in the string. It broke about an inche from the end of the tailpeice.

December 20, 2007 at 03:23 AM · Blake -

Thank you so much for your review. I've been using Dominants for all my strings. I've tried the Oliv guts (again all strings) and wasn't very happy. I think I'll try switching out the C (I still have the set) and see what it does.

Again, thanks! I'll be experimenting now over Christmas!

December 20, 2007 at 04:37 PM · Hi Blake! I've sent you a personal e.mail (using this forum system).

Toby Appel told me he used a big viola, now he is using a smaller one (perhaps 42 or 41.5,made by Guy Rabut) but he has also a quite big Cremonese viola (more than 17 inches). He can handle them all, he is quite a good player indeed and his spresso cofee is the best I ever had.

As far as the sound is concerned, here is small sound sample of Harold in Italy played in one of my 17 inches violas (made in February 2007). The soloist is Alberto Lepage, with the Cordoba Orchestra:

http://www.maestronet.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=4&threadid=316779&messageid=384189

December 21, 2007 at 03:33 AM · Manfio -- Your viola sounds amazing!!! I played that particular peice quite sometime ago(4 - 5 months ago?)

~~blake

December 21, 2007 at 05:26 AM · Why are we talking about violas on violinist.com? I never have seen so much discussion about violas in my life : - )

December 21, 2007 at 05:31 AM · *vomit*

December 21, 2007 at 06:49 AM · Vive l'alto !

December 21, 2007 at 07:48 AM · Hi Blake, just wanted to say thanks for your summary. It`s really well done - I hope after all your work you`ve finally found a combination that suits you.

You might like to try Spirocore G and D as well, they`re very similar to the Larsen but perhaps a little drier and with a bit more volume.

Another thing is the use of a tube on the A string to protect the bridge. I don`t want to give you any more work but it changes the sound quite a bit if you play without one.

I`d like to ask if anyone has ever used a bridge with an ebony graft under the A - how does that sound?

Cheers

December 22, 2007 at 11:48 PM · Hi! Thank you Blake!

Yes, the plastic tube has an influence, I will not use it unless the player complains the E or A string is too agreesive. I think the ebony insert (the insert fitted by luthiers, not that type of bridge with a ready made insert) will have no (or almost no) influence in the sound.

December 24, 2007 at 05:47 PM · i personally swear by the vision viola strings and i hear that theyre making a vision solo string in early 2008 so i cant wait to get my hands on those. i tried dominants, but those sounded a little bit too plain and the pirazzis made my viola sound like i was scratching my nails on a chalkboard. the visions are incredibly warm and give fantastic projection. my viola is rather new, so i dont know how these strings will behave on older instruments, but i really think that these strings are everything that the dominants arent. at least on viola, cause i hear that the vision violins are pretty bad.

January 30, 2008 at 06:58 PM · Hi Blake

Nice review, very informative. One question: Which Oliv C do you use, ordinary or tungsten wound or rigid/tungsten? The G and D Oliv you tried, where they ord. or rigid?

I hear from Pirastro that Passione strings, that I love on the violin, will come out for viola in 2008. Looking forward!

January 30, 2008 at 09:25 PM · Well actually my favorite string is the

Oliv/Eudoxa string with a tungenstun winding.

I know I heard that somewhere but I wasn't sure if it was true

January 30, 2008 at 10:34 PM · "I hear from Pirastro that Passione strings, that I love on the violin, will come out for viola in 2008. Looking forward! "

Awesome. Stable gut strings, what a concept.

February 10, 2008 at 02:56 AM · AMAZING review!

I really want to try your combination but will it work nicely on a relatively bright viola? I switched from violin to viola and on my violin (1843 German) I used the Eudoxa set and it had a very deep and rich sound (supposedly it works well with old instruments) but when I got my viola, it's only 1999 and it even sounds pretty young/new...it's really bright compared to my old violin which I am used to and like...Do you think the Larsen-Obligato-Oliv/Eudoxa set will make it much more deep and rich in tone as well as dark? Would it also make it smoother?

December 9, 2008 at 05:47 PM ·

I must definatly say that it is very nice of someone to be going thru the different strings and trying combinations.  I have been doing that myself, but for my violin. (I have recently picked up viola, and getting ready to switch strings.)  The only negative comment that I have to say about the variations of the strings is that there are different violas out there, in which have different sounds.  I am sure that anyone, or everyone, that reads this post will agree with me on that. But, trying to find out which string is best for their own personal insturment, is up to the teacher/student/player. I used Dominants for a long time on my insturment, but now I love the Infield Reds on my violin, where as my viola it has Exoda strings for now, but guessing to try Obligato next, but I will be taking the suggestion from this post and trying for myself.  So, overall I do appriciate someone looking for whats best in the string's sounds and flexablity.

January 11, 2009 at 02:09 AM ·

 

Hi everyone,

I've been doing a bit of a viola string review myself.  Every time I change the strings I use a different type.  I have a 16.5" Newton Viola made in 1986.

I had Helicores on my viola when I bought it and a Larson A.  I love the way the Helicores feel under your fingers.  They have a very smooth feel but they sounded "whiny". 

Evahs were nice on the G and D, not so good on the A and C.  So I put a Spirocore C on and an Obligato A-not a bad combination. I agree with Blake, the Evahs with the Larson A is yucky.  You have to be careful with the Spirocore C.  It's really powerful.

I tried all Obligatos and this is not too bad.

Right now I have Visions on and I really like them.  The C string is really thick but The sound is consistently rich across all the strings.  They settled in very quickly.  They are Medium but wow are they powerful.  The are just as loud as the Forte Obligatos I had on before.  I think these are the best so far.

I'm interested in trying the Warchal strings and the Passiones which are supposed to come out in May 2009.

Keep you posted.

Lisa

April 11, 2009 at 03:42 AM ·

I am considering the normal visions right now to replace my dominants as I've read that visions are " designed as the professional replacement for Dominant" but I'm a bit confused if they really are because the vision D,G, and C string are priced lower than dominants in the online stores I've looked at. 

So are visions really an upgrade to dominants?

While on the topic of viola visions, what is the difference between the solo version and normal ones?

Thanks.

April 11, 2009 at 04:35 AM ·

It might help if you described the kind of change you wanted . . . were dominants too bright? Did you want more depth of sound, more clarity, better response, greater ease of playing?

Dominants have been around for a long time, and many professionals and soloists use them, especially on viola. Dominants with a Jargar A and (possibly) spirocore tungsten C make for a relatively well balanced, clear, well-projecting sound.
If you have a brighter instrument, you might want to try obbligato. If you want more volume, try Pirazzi. I'm not sure about the difference between Vision and Vision Solo, but I imagine the solo is probably a bit brighter, and clearer. They might be an upgrade . . . it depends on your instrument. I've seen more Amatis with Dominants than anything else.

 

April 11, 2009 at 12:56 PM ·

I used to use Dominants (with a Jargar A), and about a year ago I switched over to Visions (with a Larsen A). I think they have all the benefits of the Dominants (clear sound), but they are more nuanced.

It also doesn't take 10 days of metallic sounding torture to break them in. There still is some break in time, but they sound pretty decent during that time.

April 11, 2009 at 04:47 PM ·

The string choice may fit the instrument and the player's style.  A given brand may sound good in one viola and bad in another.

Personally I don't like VISIONS, but a player used it in one on my violas to play Harold in Italy.

I received a sample of the new PASSIONE viola strings and I want to test it soon and report my impressions to the manufacturer.

www.manfio.com

April 11, 2009 at 06:06 PM ·

Several things:

  1. Blake, is this a list compliled by you and your own use and experience?
  2. Ifshin has a "critique" of strings on their site    http://www.ifshinviolins.com/features_guide.html
  3. as for strings that I use...Eudoxa gut, no fine tuner used 1974 16½"  G. Marten Cornelissen viola

 

April 11, 2009 at 06:20 PM ·

Sam- Blake hasn't posted since '07, he's at Juliard. And from a blog/dicussion before this one, this is a list of strings that are his personal evaluations.  He's tried all of these and this is his findings with one or more Violas.  You may ought to email him using his profile page.  I doubt he's been reading the posts, when he did he commented very regularly.  he's an awsome humanbeing I might add!

royce

April 12, 2009 at 03:04 PM · On Visions vs. Dominants on viola (by the way - hey Chris...) I feel that in general, Visions have a slightly more brilliant, more focused, and also less full, less 'fluffy' sound than Dominants. I also agree that they are slightly more nuanced than Dominants to the extent that they seem a bit more sensitive to bow speed and pressure. I feel the same is generally true on most violins that I've tried Dominants vs. Visions on. It comes down to personal preference and what your instrument wants. I'm thinking of sticking with Visions on my fairly mellow-sounding viola, but I tend to really prefer the warmth and fullness of Dominants.

April 14, 2009 at 02:29 PM ·

Hi all!

Sorry for bad english..(  I`m from National Philarmonic of Russia, we have tour in USA now. Anibody nows about musicshop in Chikago? We need strings and other accesories for violin,viola and chello.. bases.. Where we can by it?

Thanks!!

January 22, 2012 at 01:36 PM · Here is the article someone mentioned earlier , which had a bad link... here is the correct one:

http://www.ifshinviolins.com/Articles/tabid/145/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/411/categoryId/81/Guide-To-Choosing-and-Using-Strings-for-Violins-Violas-and-Cellos.aspx

May 4, 2012 at 04:29 PM · I didn't like the normal Vision strings for viola at all. For my taste they sound by far too thin and bright. Vision solo viola strings on the other hand are in a completely different class. They sound strong and warm, last a long time, stay immediately in tune and work on most violas. I sometimes use a Pirastro Passione steel A string instead of the supplied A string that comes with the set. The Passione string is comparable to the Larsson A in quality but quite different. Not as dark, rather silky sounding.

May 4, 2012 at 04:31 PM · I didn't like the normal Vision strings for viola at all. For my taste they sound far too thin and bright. Vision solo viola strings on the other hand are in a completely different class. They sound strong and warm, last a long time, stay immediately in tune and work on most violas. I sometimes use a Pirastro Passione steel A string instead of the supplied A string that comes with the set. The Passione string is comparable to the Larsson A in quality but quite different. Not as dark, rather silky sounding.

September 2, 2012 at 05:22 PM · I use Tonica mediums (with a tungsten C) on the C, G and D and a Larsen medium A - works very nicely for me. I tried Spirocore on the bottom 3 and Larsen on the top but it made my viola sound very one dimensional and, whilst adding clarity, I didn't appreciate the reduced colour palette available to me. I kept the D for a while but eventually replaced it. My viola is not very expensive (£450 including case and bow) though it makes a lovely sound.

September 3, 2012 at 02:11 AM · I like the Tonica/Larsen combination on a viola I use as well (a relatively expensive one).

September 4, 2012 at 02:53 PM · That's handy! Missed it the first time around...

I use D'Addario Helicores with a Larsen A.

Restringing it today!

February 2, 2013 at 07:13 AM · I agree that Larsen A is good with Obligato, but I hate Obligato C because it seems so high tension. From reading everyone's suggestions, I see some people use Oliv and Eudoxa for C with the Obligatos...I wanted to make sure that is correct and are Oliv and Eudoxa gut strings?

February 2, 2013 at 07:20 AM · I found there are more comments and I see everyone saying Eudoxa/Oliv are gut. I am worried to mix gut with high tension strings. I am trying to find strings that blend with Obligato or 3 strings that mix well with a Larsen A. Cs are always the problem...usually sets have ugly Cs and then when I use a C that I like, they don't blend with the strings next to them, but some sets have horrible Gs or Ds...I am so confused and don't want to spend tons of money trying strings.

February 2, 2013 at 05:26 PM · You could try a light-tension Obligato C. It worked surprisingly well with the medium G and D when I tried it, although I didn't like how the response felt slightly different from that of the G and D during fast passages - but it might not bother you.

I have a lightly used one that I will send to you for free, if you want it (send a message if you do).

February 11, 2014 at 09:17 PM · Hello Andrew ! I'm a french viola player and I'm looking for the right C string for my old viola.

It would be a pleasure to accept your proposal to try yours :-) And it would be a nice trip for the string :-)

February 15, 2014 at 10:14 PM · Jill - Have you tried the Eudoxa-Stiff C string? I haven't mixed it with Obligatos, but I have tried the Obligatos in the past, and I find that the Eudoxa-Stiff C is much less flabby/mushy once it breaks in.

In other news, has anyone been able to get their hands on the Evah Pirazzi Gold viola set? I haven't seen any shops sell them yet and I'm quite eager to try them.

May 30, 2014 at 08:28 AM · Hi there, some really great info in this blog! So thanks! Though i am just looking for some advice for a string combo. I currently have a dominant set on my modern 16.5" English viola and the D and G string are perfect for it. Though I am having trouble with finding a suitable C and A. It seems people find the oliv C works really well? Does anyone know if the oiv works against the dominants? (As olivs are pretty expensive ahah!) and I have no clue what to put on for my A string.... Though I am thinking of trying the Larsen or the jager....my viola is relatively dark in tone, has a lovely warm sound if hat helps? Any advice will be welcome thanks,

Dominic :)

May 30, 2014 at 01:42 PM · What don't you like about your current A and C strings?

May 30, 2014 at 10:56 PM · Hi Andrew....Well honestly, the c is not too bad. But the A just seems to lack in responsiveness and sounds slightly dull compared to the other strings. What do you suggest?

May 31, 2014 at 04:10 AM · I would suggest a steel a instead, in that case - Larsen and Jargar both seem to work well on a wide range of instruments.

May 31, 2014 at 04:26 AM · Have a look at the new Kaplan A (make sure the model is K411 LM). There was a topic on the set here; http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=23619. It's been out a couple of years now, the old version of the A is still available but I find the new one to have a much more interesting timbre.

May 31, 2014 at 07:17 AM · Cool... Thanks for the advice :)

May 31, 2014 at 09:07 AM · Jargar, Larsen, and Kaplan A are all go-to strings for us violists. The Spirocore Tungsten C is also pretty good.

I know a lot of people use spirocore C, Dominant G and D, and Jargar forte A, so that's a good set to try if you like Dominant G and D.

Cheers!

May 31, 2014 at 01:13 PM · I'll put in a pitch for the Pirastro Permanent C. It's also a tungsten string, but it's more affordable than the Spiricore (although I haven't tried the Spirocore yet for the sake of comparrison)

The Jargar is a brighter A than the Larsen. So depending on what you're looking for...

May 31, 2014 at 07:06 PM · Thanks so much, everything been said has been so useful so thanks :) I always tend to go for a warmer sound, as this suits my playing and viola. So I think I'm going to try the Larsen (I'll let you all know how I get on!) I like the sound of the two C strings... So thanks again... I might have to wait a bit for a new c string.... They are quite a bit ahah (student lifestyle!!!)

June 19, 2014 at 08:22 PM · Hi guys, have had the Larsen A on for almost two weeks now.... BEST A I'VE EVER HAD. so thanks!!! It's really warm and powerful... On my viola anyway! I'll let you know how I get in with a C... Can't afford it yet ahah! Thanks for your advice, All the best.

June 20, 2014 at 03:02 PM · I've said this often, but a synthetic A, e.g. Zyex, Aricore, Evah (en option), Tonica, Corelli, Dominant etc, work fine if we adapt our bow stroke: longer and lighter.

The Jargar A is fine if we want the same "resistance" as with the other strings. I was always taught to modify pressure and speed progressively across the 4 strings.

Although I don't want a violin sound from my A, I still want Sweetness & Light, and a clear, easy articulation from it..

June 28, 2014 at 09:29 PM · Anybody try a a Spirocore A? Supposedly a rather dark sounding A.

Anybody?

EDIT: I just ordered up a Spirocore A and Warchal Karneol A (I had a $20 EBay coupon that needed to be used by 6/30...)

So I guess I'll be telling you guys what I think, instead of the other way around...

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Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop
Metzler Violin Shop

Juilliard: Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies
Juilliard: Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies

Gliga Violins
Gliga Violins

ARIA International Summer Academy

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pluhar Violins

Potter Violins

Pro-Am Strings Ltd

Violin Lab

Violin Pros

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

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