Hi everyone. Just last week I bought a lovely Italian violin, made in 1832 and possibly made by Giovanni Dollenz. It's got a beautiful open, soloistic bright sound and is very sweet particularly in the higher registers. The dynamic range is very big. All the strings have good clarity as you ascend and don't lose power either. All in all I'm very happy with the purchase.
I bought through auction, which can be a bit of a gamble especially with regards to setup. Thankfully the bridge on the violin is extremely well crafted - no additional excess wood, curved very nicely for string crossing and double stops, and strings sit well in the grooves. I also lucked out with regards to the strings - it was set up with Peter Infeld G, D and A and a steel Pirazzi E. I don't know how old they are but I think they have a good 4 weeks left in them. This is the first time I've played on PIs and I'm quite happy with them but I have one or two niggles.
It may be because they're a little older but they seem to lack a bit of colour and character. I played the instrument for a good 3 hours the day after I bought it and discovered a whole range of different colour possibilities but playing it today I felt that even in just 5 days the G seemed less characterful and the D and A had lost some volume. The E is fine really but I think I will be changing the strings in 3 to 4 weeks' time.
I know there's no such thing as one size fits all with strings. Ideally though I'd like to find a combination of strings that suits solo and chamber playing mostly but can be used in an orchestra without sounding too offensively soloistic! I'm pretty sure that no string will cause the violin to lose its brilliance and clarity but I would like something that has a bit more depth and complexity on the bottom two strings and a bit more volume in the middle. On my old violin I used steel As almost exclusively because it was really unclear so switching to a synthetic A I did feel a difference in thickness under my fingers which I didn't mind in low positions but got a bit messy in higher positions for rapid fingerwork. I like the feel of the G and D just fine and generally am quite sensitive to tension on the thicker strings so don't want anything too stiff. I'm open to any suggestions!
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