Ideal E string

June 27, 2013 at 08:48 PM · Dear colleagues, could you describe beriefly, what do you expect from ideal E string please? (Power, sweet tone, whistling resistance, durability, or something else?) Your comments will be highly appreciated.

Replies (50)

June 27, 2013 at 08:55 PM · The sound of a gut E, without the hassle?

June 27, 2013 at 08:57 PM ·

June 27, 2013 at 10:17 PM · Hi Mr. Warchal,

I look for the same qualities that you listed in you initial post. For me, I do like something that is non-rusting as I find that through perspiration & humidity this can be affected. I guess this goes into durability, but I thought I would add it to the list.

Cheers!

June 27, 2013 at 10:41 PM · Whot Darrett said. Thats exactly what I want - I'm using a Lenzer Goldrokat heavy right now - Darrett how does that compare with the ones you suggested?

June 28, 2013 at 06:09 AM · Hi. Mr. Vachon,

I think that corrosion resistance should not be a problem nowadays. As for the sound qualities such as Projection (Loudnes), Warm tone and Whistling resistance, how you would order them as for the importance?

June 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Whistling resistance is a needed factor for me. So I don't use gold e strings anymore.

I like some sweetness, but consistency over all positions is more important. I use heavy or medium E-strings and my favors are the westminster forte/medium and jargar medium (not so much forte). Problem with those heavy strings is, that they tend to be screamy and can sound nasty in quiet passages. But if you sometimes need some cutting sound in high positions a heavy string is the way to go. As I said, I like sweetness and flexibility in sound, but you cannot have all... at least the bow and the violin does matter too of course...

June 28, 2013 at 02:55 PM · Now there is a hope we will be able to have both, plus unmatched whistling resistance. As for the conventional E strings, heavy gauge is fine as for the projection, however not everyone knows that it affects the projection and playability of the rest of the set in a negative way.

Now we have made a revolutionary invention. We are now designing E string with much warmer and clearer sound, without a typical metal distortion, that is hearable particularly in the lower positions in forte dynamics and in particular on double stops. We will not need to use such a heavy wire to achieve a broad dynamic range and the total whistling resistance is just a bonus. The E string has even a positive influence on the whole instrument, which sounds more relaxed.

Although we are able to achieve unmatched level of all mentioned qualities almost without any compromises, we are still able to tailor the final sound character of course. This is what we are doing now and this is why I started this survey.

I am still not sure is the new string will be produced in more gauges since it is really very universal. Maybe we can make a few samples of heavy version and wait for the feedback…

June 28, 2013 at 03:52 PM · I like everything the goldbrokat E has, so if you can make one like that and as cheap as that it'd be good :D

but in the meantime I'll keep using goldbrokat :D

June 28, 2013 at 03:53 PM · Hi Mr. Warchal,

Thank you and to answer your questions: for me, the first thing is quality of sound and resonance. I don't think that loudness equates with projection, resonance does, and I agree about the negative side of the heavy gauge strings (unless the violin needs the added tension to respond). The string should sound great up close and at a distance so that it is good for recordings and live performances. Personally, I like a string that is flexible enough to not choke the violin yet respond to variances in bow speed. I think that some people like a heavy gauge string because it will tolerate more bow pressure. Whether or not that is a quality depends on how one approaches sound production. As for whistling, it is great if it can be minimized, especially in humid conditions, but since that is also greatly due to errors in playing or excess rosin on the string, I would put it further down on my personal list.

The one thing that I do find with most E strings is that they tend to highlight the friction of bow against string which can be a problem in recording under certain conditions. So, a string that can be centered in sound to avoid this would be nice at times.

Hope this helps...

Cheers!

June 28, 2013 at 05:00 PM · Thanks for your comment Mr. Vachon. However I am not totally sure I understand what do you mean by the increased friction. Do you mind the friction itself, as a physical quantity, in other words, the force you transmitted to your hand by the bow? Or has it something in common with the sound quality?

Thanks again,

Bohdan

June 29, 2013 at 12:10 AM · The Big Question:

So when will this new E be available?!

And is it going to be a solo string like your Russian A, or is it part of a new set (you had hinted earlier about developing a very warm sounding set)

I am currently enjoying your Ametyst set, and the E seems quite pleasant in that set.

June 29, 2013 at 02:30 AM · NM

June 29, 2013 at 07:16 AM · You are right, we are currently developing a new set, that should match the sound quality of gut strings. We have developed a n entirely new core. This is why I was so frustrated by completing such set with conventional metal E.

So, the solution could be either changing the formula of metal E completely (which is not easy, for the 100 years of its existence there was almost not any progress which would have real impact on sound) or trying to make E string from completely new material. We was musing about this ideas for years, but now we have intensified the research in order to release a completely new set. We have achieved very promising results recently thanks to God.

Am not able to guarantee any exact date but this project is our priority now. We are working literally 16 hours a day on the development, I hope the new set could be introduced at the upcoming Mondomusica Cremona.

Ametyst E is not a bad strings of course, but it is still the conventional metal E. In fact, there are almost not any good or bad E strings, since all E strings are the same. If there is any difference between various E strings on the market, it is just the gauge (thickness and therefore the tension). There are some metal coatings of course, some of them even very expensive, but the real impact on sound is negligible. This is why said there has been almost not any innovation since the beginning of 20th century.

In other words, if you compared all available conventional E strings OF THE SAME GAUGE, you would be most likely not able to recognize them in a blind test. It does not apply for other strings of course. You would be certainly able to recognize many of diffrent G strings, even if they would be the same gauge.

June 29, 2013 at 09:52 AM · All E-Strings are the same? I think I could notice the difference between a wound-E, a Goldplated-E and an plain steel-E (all medium gauge). Thats actually 3 types of E-strings. But I am curious, what your invention will be! From what you say about it and what I know about the russian style A, it will be a good string. I can just hope you will test it on many violins, good ones and bad ones, if you really want an universal-E.

Do you intend to make it able to be used with very different GDA-String setup? Should it work for gut aswell as for Evahs?

June 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM · Hi Mr. Warchal,

It is not the physical aspect, but the sound quality. How can I explain this... It is the small airy "hiss" that is the result of bow hair against string, even if one does not press. In a hall, this gets lost, but it is annoying in the studio as the microphones seem sensitive to it (especially if they are close). It can be hidden with a slight amount of reverb. Does this make sense or should I explain it differently?

Cheers!

June 29, 2013 at 01:33 PM · Mr. Vachon, now I understand completely what do you mean. Clarinet players face very similar problem with recordings :-). Have you ever tried to use "Vienna's Best" rosin for recordings?

June 29, 2013 at 02:08 PM · Hi Simon.

I don’t watch reality shows commonly, but there was one very good on German TV called Wetten dass (betting that..). There were a lot of people with outstanding skills. I have seen helicopter pilot who wrote a writing with a small paintbrush attached to the helicopter within a few seconds, excavator driver who lit the cigarette lighter by a tooth of a huge machine, a few guys placed a heavy track on four thinnest type of beer glasses or hung a car onto a newspaper. There were also some people with outstanding taste and distinguish skills. They were able to distinguish between 50 sorts of coffee, tea, cheese, or what else, some of them even just by smell.. Some of them failed, but there were a few of them, that was so skilled and trained, that they were able to do what they promised.

This is why I cannot dare to question what have you just said, I have admit that theoretically it could be possible. However, the reality use to be different. Although I am a violin player, I never relied just on my opinion. We have made a lot of hearing and playing tests, many of them blind. Almost all players declare they are able to distinguish between particular E strings. In fact, vast majority of them are not able to distinguish even plain and would E strings of the same tension. The only exception is the gold plated one. But this string is being recognized not by its tone in fact, but because of much higher friction of gold compared to other metals or coatings. This is also, why I never played gold plated E strings. I was simply not able to shift safely into high positions due to increased friction of the sliding left hand fingers.

So in vast majority of cases preference of any particular brand or product is more or less just something like placebo. If I spend USD 30 for one E string, I need to believe it sounds better :-)

Gauge importance is a bit different story. It needs to be adjusted to a particular violin, at least some of instruments seems to be quite tension sensitive as for the E string. However, I am still speaking about conventional metal E strings. Our new solution seems to be much more universal and less gauge sensitive.

Anyway, we seem to be assigned some new homework here. At least reducing the “hiss” which should be avoided at least in recording studios…

June 29, 2013 at 05:06 PM · What do people think of aluminum wound E strings, like the Tonica? I've never put one on my violin, but a friend is very keen on them, and I recently tried out his instrument. I'd expected it would sound excessively bright, but in fact on this violin (a Millant) the Tonica wound E sounded very smooth and silky. And of course, it doesn't readily whistle. (I am accustomed to a Pirastro Gold Label steel E, and I was intrigued by the difference in sound).

June 29, 2013 at 05:59 PM · Thanks for the detailed explanation! I am sure its hard to distinguish between different E-Strings in a blind test. But blind tests are for me not the reality. If I play an wound E I can mostly distinguish it from an plain steel, but I am also not blind... If someone else would play, I would not get it at all, I am pretty sure. There is so much you can do with vibrato and bow-technique to make it sound the way you like, that there is actually too much room to say "this is the sound a wound e produces". Also it comes down to the instrument to an high extent. I sometimes like to play the wound Eudoxa E because it has a better soudn in low positions, wich is good for recording for example, but one day I wanted that effect, put a eudoxa E on and wondered, why it sounds like a jargar forte, very screamy and not really like I knew and liked it. It may be the weather, the player, the bow, the rosin. Its so hard to tell. My conclusion was, that sometimes its better to focus on the playing and forget about the strings. As long as they are fairly knew, most of them sound decent.

Once a very good player asked me before competition, if I have a E-string for her and I asked wich kind. She said: "just a knew one".

June 29, 2013 at 11:51 PM · The ideal E string is the one on viola!

June 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Hi Mr. Warchal,

I have never tried Vienna's Best rosin but will look for it (if it is available in Canada...). I also look forward to trying out your new E string when it becomes available!

Cheers!

June 30, 2013 at 01:30 PM · me too :) We should create a V.com string testing consortium...

June 30, 2013 at 01:52 PM · So far only very few players have tested this E string due to high classification level of this project. Just now I have finished a patent application, so a few first pieces could be released soon.

July 2, 2013 at 11:51 AM · When, in the 1960s as a viola player beginning to flirt with the violin, I tried a gut E: lovely, but capricious and very short-lived (and thus expensive..)

My luthier explained that nylon stretched too much to make a wound string for the violin, so I stayed with Eudoxas. I then tried half a guitar plain nylon E as a substitute for gut. The tone was pleasant, but it stretched a lot, and even got flattened where my fingers pressed!

Now, with polyester (Aricore), Perlon (Dominant), and the newer "composites", perhaps Mr.Warchal can make us a plain synthetic, multi- or mono-filament E.

Perhaps I could try "undressing" a wound Dominant string to leave just the core?.....

July 2, 2013 at 07:11 PM · How about an unwound synthetic E with a single strand steel core to prevent stretching?

July 11, 2013 at 04:03 PM · It would be quite strange formula :-).

The metal construction seems to be the only possible so far, if we consider nowadays requirements of tuning stability longevity and reliability.

But we needed to solve the biggest flaw of all common E strings - the terrible lack of longitudinal elasticity. We just started to distribute samples to our business partners, the string could be in sale at the end of the summer.

July 11, 2013 at 04:17 PM · I've been very happy with the Thomastik Peter Infeld platinum-plated E string for the past couple of years. I've got them on 4 violins now.

I've even removed the other strings (A/D/G) of the PI set from two of those violins and replaced them with Vision Solos with even better results.

Not only do I find this a good strong, responsive, non-whistling E string, but it improves the overall response of the other strings on the violin in a way I have never experienced from any other E string.

Well worth the $25 - $30 price to me!

Andy

July 19, 2013 at 07:51 PM · Looks like it's here!

http://www.warchal.com/amber.html

When will they be available for sale in the US?

July 20, 2013 at 04:56 PM · I was just informed that the product is already available on our on-line shop accesible via warchal.com. As for availability in local shops, the distribution may take a few weeks time I am afraid, especially in this summer vacation time :-)

Anyway, we have already dispatched samples to our partners.

July 20, 2013 at 06:18 PM · i went through the ametyst in 2 months. too bright for my violin, but a nice set nonetheless. i am looking forward to your new set of strings, which you promised to be gut-like. good luck with the new string. will definitely try it once my new strings wear out.

July 22, 2013 at 04:45 PM · I LOVE the Ametysts on my violin!

The Karneols sounded a bit "sour". They did work rather nicely on a brighter violin than I currently use.

Bohdan: is the new set going to also be called "Amber"?

July 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Hi Bohdan

This new E looks interesting. I assume that the spiral seen in the picture on your web page becomes almost completly stretched out when mounted on the instrument. Does that spiral cover the whole length of the string? In other words: Does the picture show the whole string?

July 23, 2013 at 01:44 PM · You are right, the new set is going to be called Amber. We aim to achieve the sound quality which gut strings provide.

The spiral becomes almost stretched, but not entirely at all. There would be not any sense making such spiral. The length of the spiral is the area between the bridge and fingerboard, plus a few cm on fingerboard. In other words, the area, which doesn’t use to be used for shifting.

I have been just informed that the new E string is available for free to our FB fans for two days time.

July 30, 2013 at 07:56 AM · I feel exonerated, thanks to Mr Warchal. I, too, cannot hear differences in tone between bare E strings of the same gauge. I have discussed this with many players over many years, and too often with heated comments coming from them. Even between gauges, the tone differences are slight, to my ears. I would say I hear more tonal differences between wound and bare E strings. The greatest difference in tone is between violins! I consider Mr Warchal to be a true expert for strings and the violin, and I wish all players could read this post.

For those who have not yet tried, IMHO the Brilliant brand is an excellent set of strings: response, balance, projection, tone.

July 31, 2013 at 02:12 AM · My August "Strad" magazine just came today. On p.21 there is a full page ad for this string. I see that it is pictured with a ball end. But from the side view, I can't tell if that ball has a hole in the middle, allowing it to fit on a Hill style tuner as well as the larger, two-pronged type.

Now what is this free offer again?

BTW I've been pretty happy with Goldbrokat E's for a while now. They're good and cheap - quite a combination! But if this is really a better mousetrap, sooner or later, everyone will beat a path to your door. However, I find that a string choice involves chemistry with a particular violin as well as violinist. I have found for a number of my violins that Vision Solo (non-titanium) for the G,D, and A - usually medium gauge, along with the afore-mentioned Golbrokat E,.27. work well for me. But I'm still open to some experiment.

July 31, 2013 at 04:39 AM · The hole in the ball is irrelevant in this case. Amber E loop and Amber E ball are not interchageabe due to diffrent distance between the end of the string snd shaped area. Amber E for integrated fine tuners tailpiece is coming soon.

July 31, 2013 at 12:16 PM · So, for a Hill type tuner, you recommend which? As I mentioned in another thread, my approach of using a ball end with a Hill tuner - by fitting the hole in the tuner where a loop would otherwise go - has worked very well for me for years. An E string usually breaks at the loop. I can't remember the last time I had an E break on me with my approach.

July 31, 2013 at 06:31 PM · If all E strings are basically all the same: a simple strand of steel wire.

What is it that wears out?

BTW- I love the innovative approach of your company!

(I'm an engineer, so I love tech-geekery stuff)

Great offer for the free string FaceBook deal. I would have jumped on it, but I refuse to sign up to the info-vampire empire that is Facebook.

July 31, 2013 at 07:38 PM · Great offer for the free string FaceBook deal. I would have jumped on it, but I refuse to sign up to the info-vampire empire that is Facebook.

The same with me.

I'd like very much to try the string, but I'd rather pay some €s instead of signing to fb.

Let's see wher I can order one.

July 31, 2013 at 11:53 PM ·

August 5, 2013 at 05:50 AM · I've had an Amber E-string on my violin for two days now... in my humble opinion it's doing what Bohdan and his company have been claiming for it. The tone colour of the E-string is more similar to that of the A-string (apart from the E-string I'm using Passione Solos) than any other E-string I've tried. The tone is rounder than I've been used to with other E-strings, which may translate into less power, but the instrument seems more balanced overall. The spiral has turned into an almost invisible waviness between the bridge and the fingerboard... the string has been stretching, and the waviness becoming less visible since I put it on, I do wonder whether the string will eventually stretch out completely and lose its special properties. For now, I like it very much and expect to keep using Amber E's in the future. Incidentally, it took 8 days from placing my order for it to travel from Slovakia to where I am in US.

August 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM · My daughter has an antique Italian violin. We strung up the Brilliant set, and have excellent tone, timbre, and projection from these strings. Today, we strung up the Amber E for the first time. The Amber makes a remarkable difference to the entire violin. All strings have more depth, especially the E in all positions, and no harshness. The Amber E creates a very sweet tone and I cannot discern any reduction in projection. I'm convinced. The Amber is truly remarkable and the first advancement in 100 years.

August 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM · I just ordered the Amber E, I am very excited to try it. I have a set of Warchal Amethyst on the violin now, with a different E, the original one with the set broke a couple of weeks ago. I love the Amethyst set and don't plan to switch anytime soon, unless it is to the new Amber set when it comes out ;-)

Melinda

August 17, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Sometimes I can enjoy 2 bits of good news.

1 The Warchal Amber E strings arrived today & deliver a warm ringing tone on the superb Stanislav Marinov violin INDEPENDENCE.

2 The violin case redesigned for me by Karura to protect INDEPENDENCE from up to 900kg pressure is a great success with larger accessories section, room for a Bon Musika shoulder rest diagonally across the scroll, vertical stand capability etc.

My initial impressions of the Amber E string which replaces Oliv Gold E:

A) Amber matches the Warchal Russian A a bit better than the Oliv Gold.

B) Even better the Amber E plays cleanly at the slightest finger pressure & stays clean to the highest notes.

C) Perfectly intoned notes ring like a bell.

D) The spiral length needs no rosining period to sound cleanly.

Warchal has not disappointed. Delighted.

Will try on an old violin on Monday & on a 1880 Stainer student violin on Tuesday.

August 18, 2013 at 09:57 PM · I took advantage of the Facebook offer, but my string hasn't arrived yet. My post office is probably sitting on it. I'm jealous hearing everyone else's reports and can't wait to hear how it sounds on my violin.

August 31, 2013 at 01:24 PM · I have put on the Amber E string on my violin.

It is quite nice and feels soft under the fingers which is good, however the price tag really 'puts me off' so will not buy it in future. I will stick with Goldbrokat E which I like far more and the price is about a fifth of the Amber.

Good E string but not the one I will personally use in future.

February 5, 2014 at 08:52 PM · "Permanent" Effect of Heavy Gauge e

Much has been written here about the effect of the e string choice on the sound of the other strings. Following a suggestion in several of these posts, I put a heavy Westminster e on my violin which has medium eudoxa g and d and a heavy Gamut a. Sure enough, to my great surprise, the violin became more powerful, and I generally liked the effect on the other strings. However, I did not especially like the sound on the e itself. (I prefer a Hill or Passione silvery steel)

Now the surprise. When I took the heavy Westminster off and replaced with Hill medium, the sound of the violin seemed to have permanently changed. More powerful, but perhaps "tighter" and a little less resonant. Does this make sense? Could there have been a subtle effect on the soundpost, e.g.?

I would also like a somewhat more powerful e sound. Could I put on a heavy Hill or Passione without further reducing the resonance? Thanks! Bob

February 6, 2014 at 12:48 AM · Hill thick e is the best e I've tried.

February 8, 2014 at 05:20 PM · Bohdan, I think you have it cracked with the Amber E. I put on a set of Amber strings (We're lucky here in the U.K.) and I love them. I'd been using PI, and my immediate impression is that the Ambers are softer and warmer. They feel lovely under the fingers. The E is a revelation. I can't make it whistle at all, and it's a beautiful warm sound - I even feel happy using open Es on occasions, whereas previously the open string would have really stuck out.

February 8, 2014 at 05:22 PM · Oh - and good luck with the patent problem I've been reading about.

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