Warchal strings

December 19, 2012 at 07:29 PM · I'm considering trying Warchal brilliant strings, I've tried many different sets of strings on my violin but nothing beats Peter Infeld strings for me. But the only brand I haven't tried is Warchal, and I'm sort of itching just to find out what they're like.

Where I am, I've never seen or known anyone use them, are they good strings? As a music college student, I can't afford to try all the strings I want! I'm sure many of you feel this pain :P

Also very insterested in the Warchal russian style A... anyone have any info/opinions?

Replies (30)

December 19, 2012 at 09:56 PM · The Karneol sets especially their ver. 2 are excellent for the cost. For around $28 you get a set of violin strings with a lot of warmth and richness in the sound. The initial ones I tried (different color winding for each string at the tailpiece) didn't last very long, maybe a month and a half of playing 4+ hours a day. The newer ones (same color winding at the tailpiece, all strings) have made it about two months and haven't lost too much of their sound.

The viola set is good for the price (~$39), especially for the wound A. The D and G strings are quite good for the middle register, although the C isn't quite as big sounding as Obligato or Larsen.

Overall, the Karneol line offers a very good "bang for the buck." I usually use Obligato, but have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of Warchal's product.

December 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM · I have an older instrument, and the Warchal vintage brilliants (not to be confused with the Warchal brilliants, which are made for newer instruments) have been great.

December 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM · I am testing a hand made 2003 violin with Warchal brilliant strings. My impression that the instrument lacks response, precision and resonance. Not sure if it is due to the strings or the instrument itself. Since the instrument is not mine, I will not bother to spend $ on another set of strings.

What I dislike about this brand is that they do not provide tension charts. There is explanation on their web-site, but I can not accept that, knowing that Thomastik and other producers happily provide technical data for their strings.

What may attract some violin players on the budget is that the first set is more affordable - comes with a big discount.

December 19, 2012 at 11:55 PM · I've been using the whole set of warchal brilliant (not a vintage one) (D hydronalium), for a week now (first time to try out this set and put it on my violin on 12/12/12).

The sound is kinda warm and also bright, but my violin has a warm tone, so far, i like this set. Especially on G and D. With this set i can control dynamic more, i meant, for instance, if i play forte, i only need a little of bow pressure. I find this set match with my violin because so far, there was something i didnt like from the previous strings sets i have used (for example dominant D, and larsen tzigane set was only good for the first one-two weeks -- but i like tzigane E).

But my opinion is only based on my first week of playing with this strings set. And based on how it sounds on my violin of course....i think that my violin doesnt like a warm sounding strings (i have ever used corelli alliance vivace and my violin sounded like dead strings...after this bad experience, i kinda avoid strings with warm sound...and oh,,corelli alliance vivace is kinda expensive here, in the price range of Obligato, while i think that Obligato sounds much much much better!)

I may stay buying warchal brilliant. I am still in awe every time i hear the sound. I dont know how long this set lasts, maybe this set won't last me that long, seeing that i spend lot of time a day to exercise. Thomastik dominant lasts 4 months for me, but i think it's quite normal.

I think, violin with bright tone won't like this set. It will sound very bright....



December 20, 2012 at 02:54 AM · I have purchased three different sets from Warchal. I liked the Karneol. Much like Dominants but softer and looser wound. They sounded sweet on my instrument ( J.Wilfer). The G string once hit a wolf tone when breaking in.

I presently have Ametyst set on my violin and I think I like these better than the Karneol. Perhaps because to me it gives an old world sound. Also the ring tones are easier to land and it really does pull out the acoustics of my violin. The E string looks thin to me, not too sweet but holds the notes well. I thought Karneol E was sweeter.

I have yet to try the Brilliant set. Can't wait! Also, I too am intrigued by the Russian A and will probably try it. I must state I am not an expert or string connoisseur, just a violin enthusiast.

December 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM · It is great to see violinist.com members discuss Warchal strings. I am ready to answer your questions if there will be any. You can ask us direcly or on our FB site too of course.

I would like to answer Rocky's objection. Do you really believe the data published by some of the other string brands are informative and relevent? Try to measure the real tensions and compare it with the data. You can make the measuring tool easilly using almost any digital scale for travellers or fishermen. I have made my first mesuring tool using such simple device for about USD 30 or so. Some of the scales are surprisingly precise although they are cheap.

Besides such tensometer you will need just a plank with two "bridges" imitating playing length of your violin and a screw for stretching the strings. Using such device you will be able to find out that a string with declared data 4,7 kg is much less tension that another string with declared 4.4 kg very often. This is why think there is no much sense of such charts.

We would publish the tension, if there would be unified standard how to measure it, how is the deviation range e.t.c.

In fact, we try to be informative as possible. We are probably the only string maker who publishes all windings materials (all layers of metal windings), not only the one, which is more interesing from the marketing point of view (silver, tungsten) regardelss if the material is used inside the string or for the last winding. (Have you ever asked what is the winding material of "tungsten" cello strings? Manufacturers don't tend to publish it, since it is mostly nickel which can cause allergy.)

You can also find advices how to install strings, how to correct the bridge, how is our sound concept e.t.c on our website. If you have more ideas what kind of informatios we could share with you, let us know please.

December 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM · I've taken advantage of the 1st set discount Rocky mentioned. I liked Brilliants on my new violin, although I had to swap the E for something else to prevent squeals on the open string. I felt they needed changed after 6 months, so I've just fitted a set of Karneols.

These are also good, although I think I prefer the Brilliants. I can use the full Karenol set as the open E does not squeal for me. I am still a novice at tuning with pegs alone and find the Karneols quite stretchy compared to Brilliants.

December 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM · Mr. Warchal,

First of all, love your strings!

I had a few questions I was wondering if you could answer.

What is the life of your strings, in particular the vintage brilliants?

I've taken strings off, cleaned them, and put them back on my instrument, and they tend to sound better afterwards, sometimes a lot better. Can you comment on what you think about this practice?

You mention on your website recommended rosins for your strings. It seems that there are so many variables, most importantly the instrument (not only which violin but if it's a violin, or a viola, or a cello!), but also which of your strings, the bow, and the hair used on the bow. Can you comment on that and your tests?

Thanks!

Terry

December 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM · To Mr. Warchal,

Thank you for a detailed reply and explanation!

I have recently attended Thomastik string tasting workshop and they described exactly the same procedure as you did.

If there is any discrepancies from, or the lack of, the international standard, you could still publish the tension and print a disclaimer, or post it on your web-site.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers; trying out difference set of strings is costly and time consuming. The only common denominator that will help one with previous experience make an educated choice is string tension.

Both of us know that some violins will choke under the pressure, while the others strive for it. Long term exposure to excessively high tension strings can damage the top plate in some instruments beyond repair.

Be the one to establish the standard!

In the meantime, let us agree that we disagree.

December 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM · Someone who has a violin from the maker I just bought from loves Warchal strings for his instrument so I will definitely be trying them out on mine.

December 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM · I agree with Rocky about Warchal not publishing their string tensions. I find it very unhelpful and annoying. On the other I have found the published data from other manufacturers to be useful in helping me find my way around their product range, and in comparing across different makers' ranges. This in spite of their data apparently not being comparable according to Mr. Warchal.

Presumably, Warchal could manage to be consistent in their own measurements across their own products, and so we could have a more informed choice about their different strings without spending any money.

December 21, 2012 at 04:52 PM · Thanks for your questions and feedback. Please call me simply Bohdan.

As for the Terry's questions:

1. A am not sure whether such cleaning procedure could improve the sound quality. Instruments seem to soud better of worse according to actual weather, our mood e.t.c. :-)

If there is any sweat and dirt, it gets into the windings and core material easily and quickly. It can never be removed. The only spot, which needs to be cleaned is bow contact point. Any significant rosin coating worsens the response. I prefer dry cleaning, if you are able to endure the noise. Alcohol solvent can get the rosin inside the string. I use just a credit card edge and dry cloth.

Anyway, if you would like to protect your strings against excessive corrosion, always wash your hands before practicing or playing session.

2. You are rignt, there are a lot of variables. Even a shoulder rest matters. Thus, if I play bright and loud violin, I subconscioulsy prefer Karneol strings, melow sounding bow and Vienna's best rosin. On dark sounding violin, I prefer Ametyst or Brilliant strings, another bow, Andera solo rosin e.t.c.

However there are many details even in set-up, which are almost not visible (or not visible at all), but extremely important. Just yesterday I faced the problem of poor sounding D string. There was a silver D on the violin. I remembered that I used to use aluminium (hydronalium) D string before and the response was perfect.

There is a difference between the sound of aluminium and silved D strings of course. Aluminium strings are more aggressive, silver is mellower. However, good quality silver D has to work perfectly with high quality violin in any case.

Thus - I remembered that there is a diameter difference, aluminium D strings are always thicker. The difference is slight of course, it could be like two human hairs or so. Anyway, the thicker string shaped the bridge groove according its larger diameter. Afterwards, the thinner string was not supported by the sides of the groove, but it wobbled in the groove form one side to another inspite of trensmititng the energy to the bridge.

I was not sure, if it was the reason, since not any defect was visible. Anyway, there was a suspicion. I tried to mend it by aplying just one small drop of water onto the contact point (bridge-string concact groove. The problem disappeared immediately.

As you certaily know, compressed wood expand very quickly by applying water. Hence the enlarged groove did get its original shape in a few seconds. There is not a trace of any problem with my D string now. You need to consider all possibilities in acoustics, any single detail could matter.

December 21, 2012 at 05:08 PM · Thanks Bohdan!

One last question, about string life. What is the recommended amount of time between changing of strings? I understand that one can leave strings on for considerably longer than the point at which the sound may start to deteriorate. I've heard 200 hours as a typical number, but was wondering what you thought and if you'd run any tests. I tend to run my strings considerably longer than 200 hours - obviously things are cheaper that way! :)

I get the sense that your rosin recommendations are just a good starting point. And that one needs to try the rosins (with one's bow, horsehair, and violin, and playing venue, etc) for oneself.

Thank you,

Terry

December 21, 2012 at 05:09 PM · I am really impressed with the Brilliant strings on my violin. My teacher also thought they had a great sound. I played them for her, she was sitting a couple feet from me holding her own violin, and she said she felt her strings buzzing from the vibration of mine. She said that had never happened before, in her experience.

I would characterize them (on my violin anyway) as somewhere in the middle of the warm to cool spectrum. Quite loud, but pleasant to my ear as well as from a distance. I am looking forward to trying the other types they offer.

December 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM · Thanks, your compliments are encouraging after many years of our effort.

As for the Terry's durability question, there is no any ultimate answer I am sorry. Only you know, what quality of sound you expect form your instrument. As the sound deritorates little by little, the changing decision is always an "intersection point" of the sound quality, your needs and expectations, and your budget :-)

December 21, 2012 at 07:33 PM · A violinist who works in close association with a luthier recently suggested that I try Warchals so I will probably do so next time I have to replace my strings.

December 23, 2012 at 09:20 PM · After trying lots of different strings, I have settled on Warchal brilliants for my instruments. Other strings are also good, but my fiddles just like the Warchals.

They have surprising projection -- my wife commented on how they carried into the whole house, when I first put them on. The previous set was Titanium Vision Solos -- there was a dramatic difference in feel. The Warchals were more pliable under the fingers. They felt softer, but sounded more (dare I say) brilliant.

For me,Warchals are a very good value.

December 25, 2012 at 06:22 AM · @ Bohdan,

I currently use Olive and Passione mix, which string do you think I should try? Looking for a bit more carying power and a bit more brilliance on the uper register. Thnaks

Claude

December 25, 2012 at 08:32 PM · First off I like to wish Bohdan Warchal a Merry Christmas :) and TY for making such wonderful strings.

@Claude Roumain

I'm very fond of using Oliv G stiff + Passione D,A + Oliv E, this set has always gave me the best of everything I wanted since I discovered it years back. I think you'll be happy with Brilliant vintages, to me they seem to be the best set out of all Warchal strings I tried.

December 25, 2012 at 09:17 PM · I would like to wish Merry (rest of) Christmas period to all violinist.com members :-)

As for the Claudes's question, it is really not easy to disscuss the matter of sound and playability without hearing and even playing the particular instrument. However I believe that almost any good quality synthetic strings will offer you more overtones and brilliance than gut ones. Gut strings are unbeatable in warmth, not in overtones and projection.

As for the right choice from our product range, I suggest you Karneol, if you don't want to risk the huge difference (compared to your current setup). Should you need the maximum projection, Brilliant would be the right choice, but if your instriment is not warm enough, it might be a bit risky.

If your instrument is loud enough and if you prefer excellent response to maximum power, Vintage set could work for you well.

Your feedback will be highly appreciated. You can also write us directly, or via our FB page. In fact, I will be pleased to answer your questions about strings, stringmaking or even violin pedagogy in general here (so far I will be able to explain by my poor English :-). However I am afraid, any further disscussion about particular products could beak violinist.com netiquette, if it would be written by me. This is why I prefer our FB site for such concrete answers.

As for the tension chart, we will consider it again. Our goal is to be as informative as possible, there is nothing to hide as for the tensions. The only reason why we have not published it so far was, that we did not want to confuse you even more. I have never spoken badly about any other producer and I am neither going to do it now. However, so far I can tell you that the published tension charts are more illusion than reality in most cases.

This is why I suggest you to rely on your own ears and experience primarily. Moreover, even if you would know the precise tension data in advance, you would be not able to predict the compatibility of any new (unknown) string with your instrument completely in advance. There are many other factors such a damping factor (not just one, but particular damping factors for particular frequencies), torsion stability, elasticity, e.t.c. Certain level of experimenting is simply always necessary :-)

February 2, 2013 at 09:23 PM · Thank you guys for the ideas. We decided to change our policy and we just published the complete tension charts for all our products. The charts are already on our website.

February 8, 2013 at 08:17 AM · Bodhan, I have just bought a set of 'brilliant vintage' to try on my violin....

I have yet to find a synthetic string which I 'really' like on my violin, and my violin does like gut strings a lot.....however the tuning sometimes becomes an issue (or having to re-tune so frequently), the best sounding gut string so far on my violin was the Oliv, they gave me a wide range of 'colours' and are quite loud....

I have only played on the Brilliant Vintage for an hour last night so of course they are 'scratchy' as they are new, but I am already VERY pleased with them, they are very responsive and have a wide range just like described on your website. They are also louder than the Olivs but still make my violin sound gorgeous and sweet, I don't like all loud strings, for example Evah Pirazzi are really not suited for my violin and I had to take them off quite quickly LOL

My violin is not an 'antique', it was made in 1997, however it likes strings designed for antique violins without a doubt!

I'll write back after a week or two once the strings have 'settled' to let you know how I am doing.

February 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM · Technically for build quality, I consider the Warchal Brilliants to be excellent. For other qualities, the violinist will choose according to personal preferences. For sound, projection and playability, I consider them to be equal or better than the other top brands. Also, they last longer for me than the others.

I use the Russian A, with very good results. It is a wound steel string, with very good sound, and plays easily. Some violins have the A string slightly duller than other strings, and this Russian A will give those violins a brighter A. I found it created on my violin a better overall balance in sound and projection from Brilliant D to Brilliant E, than did using Brilliants on all strings. Thus, it helped to solve an inherent deficiency in my violin.

So, if you have a violin with a tad dark sound and want a string set to brighten sound and liven up the violin, IMHO Brilliants with Russian A are a very good choice.

February 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM · There's a thread on the Russian-style A here:

http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=21458

I'm a great fan, and most of the other posts are positive too. Well worth trying.

April 13, 2013 at 06:15 PM · I tried both Brilliant and Brilliant Vintage and I found them excellent in many ways. I particularly enjoyed the Vintage version which is to me the closest one can get to gut strings experience with, at least on my instrument, other string being Pirastro Tonica similar that way... Anyway, I found it really refreshing to try strings which really work as advertised! Of course, in the end it is a matter of personal preference and that is a purely subjective thing. My strings of preference are still gut strings, but my experience with the Brilliants was very very good. If gut strings production stopped tomorrow, I would probably go with the Vintage label!

October 27, 2013 at 08:46 PM · I found a great combination with. The Warchal Amber set, but then I replaced the Amber A string with the Warchal Russian style A string. It made my whole violin just come in to its own and pop to life. I know this might sound strange but the Russian A string had a huge effect in smoothing any harsh harmonics that I had been having trouble with. My sound post was in the "classic" position with adequate tension to remain upright with out any strings on the violin. I use the Russian A string with success on one of my 5-string violins but this was the first time on this fiddle which is a nice Guarneri del gesu inspired from his middle period, back when he made more "normal" violins."........mid 1730's. I love the sound and response I am getting from this set of strings ......especially with the Russian A string. I had been using Helicore mediums with the Amber E string. The Amber set with the Russian A string takes this violin tonally, to places I didn't know it was capable of. A big thanx to the Warchal String Company.

David Blackmon

October 28, 2013 at 02:44 AM · I tried the Russian A for a grand total of 30 seconds before it snapped, and didn't get a reply to my complaint

November 1, 2013 at 11:46 PM · Any more long term reviews?

Are you guys still sticking with the Russian A. Or have you gone back to the A that came with your set?

November 3, 2013 at 09:00 AM · Dear Mr. Kurganov, I asked our staff to search the complete e-mail database, since your post sounded a bit strange to me. Generally, we reply every complain. It is no much burden for us, since we receive just a few of them.

You wrote us e-mail on May 10-th. I am not going to publish what you wrote us, however I can reveal there was nor any complaint neither any mention of any snaped string in your message.

November 3, 2013 at 10:32 PM · edit:

Mr. Warchal is very kind and even though the mistake was probably mine with email failure, he remedied the situation! Great customer service unlike gostrings....! Looking forward to give the Russian A a go

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