Kaplan Amo-Vivo violin strings

September 28, 2014 at 05:36 PM · Hi,

As I don't find any discussion about the new D'Addario Kaplan Amo and vivo strings I submit this subject.

Who did try them and have any comparison with the New Zyex and/or the PI Thomastic..?

I have made un order of both sets as I always liked the outstanding response of Zyex strings...I hope they have more overtones..than Zyex

Replies (25)

October 16, 2014 at 08:06 PM · I have the Vivo set strings since 2 weeks now...and I am higly impressed by their sound quality,not really bright(at least on my violin,a modern one Amati copy..).They are high tension ,even more than the Titanium solo strings..

They are good for spiccato,sautille.The response fast,but not as the Titanium.They worth a try.I think will be my preferable strings taking on accountsound quality and price together!

I have hear a Vieuxtemps Etude played with Vivo(the E is obligato gold).


October 19, 2014 at 08:06 PM · I have a demo coming soon for ViolinStringReview.com. I should have the review up VERY soon. From my experience so far they are loud, especially the Vivo. Very good soloist strings.

October 19, 2014 at 09:50 PM · Shawn, have you tried the regular Zyex composite as a comparrison to the new sets?

October 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM · These kaplan Vivo I find them much better than the old and also the new Zyex.On my Amati copy violin I dont find the sound brilliant but rather warm,they have a large sound.Its not just loud as the Zyex..

I added the E string 4 days ago and is perfect for me;Just before I had obligato gold.

November 8, 2014 at 01:06 AM · My experiance with the Vivo set is not as favorable as others recorded here. My violin has a rather dark sound so I thought the Vivos would balance that well. They are bright enough that I would say they are even rather brittle. The E is unremarkable and tends to whistle. Even the A whistles from time to time (a first in my experience.) The sound carries well but not so much as I had hoped. In a month I will be soloing with our community chamber string orchestra; I need to work pretty hard to be heard. I've had them on for a month. I'll give them a month more to see if I change my mind. I would give them a grade of B-, I.e., better than average but not a standout for me.

November 13, 2014 at 05:00 PM · I have changed them now to Amo set as I bought both together..

What I didn't like to vivo now I find it much better to Amo(D and A string,mainly D is excellent now)The g sounds harder to play for this 2 first days..I shall try it better with the Rondo Of Spanish Symphony!For the moment I find difficult the sautille on g string(as I play Saint-saens violin sonate).

But the whole set sounds more than the vivo...and better response...

November 26, 2014 at 07:21 PM ·

November 28, 2014 at 07:26 AM · I purchase the Kaplan Amo set around one month ago, and they are still going strong, except for the E, which was rather shrill. I have swapped that for the Oliv E which is lovely. I want to try the set with the PI E too, as the Amo don't match the Olive E perfectly, but then it's hard to find E's that are 'just right' for matching other types of strings. As for Amo, they do what the packet says, they sound wonderfully warm on my Aussiewood made violin which tends to be quite bright with dominants on. I love their sound, especially the D, it's just dreamy!

November 28, 2014 at 08:29 AM · I love the Kaplan cello strings!!! The G and C not as much, though they are pretty amazing too, on my cello. However, I also wanted to comment that maybe we should try to balance our instruments out with strings that don't fit character. Try putting dark strings on dark instruments, and bright ones on bright instruments. It worked on my instruments! Really freed them up, they sound amazing now. Probably why I love the Kaplans on my cello.

December 8, 2014 at 10:21 PM · I just got a set!

I found the E to be quite pure and clear on my violin.

I will wait for the rest of the set to break in before commenting on what I perceive to be their characteristics.

March 3, 2015 at 11:36 PM ·

March 21, 2015 at 07:34 AM · I was very excited to try the new Kaplan strings after discussing them with a D'Addario rep at the NAMM show. I requested a set to try during their introductory trial period and received the Amos I had requested in the mail. Thanks D'Addario!

The strings sound is as described in the promo materials. The slightly darker timbre and rich harmonics works well on my Ming Jiang Zhu violin, which leans to the bright side. What I get from these, which I have not experienced as much from other strings is so much character. They turned my violin, a two-year old instrument which is obviously still evolving, into a very rich sounding instrument with depth and vibe.

With the original Dominants, The instrument sounded great to begin with. Clear projection and lots of ring and brilliance on the high end especially. The Kaplan Amos tame any piercing high notes on the A and E strings while adding overtones and harmonic richness. But the really amazing thing is the low end, the G string. I feel like I could play at a Gypsy wedding. There is so much vibe, character and growl when I dig in, yet when I want them to be warm and smooth, my wish is their command. Phenomenal! They project as well as the Evah Pirazzis I tried, yet have more character and last at least twice as long. They are going way past the longevity of the Evahs and show no signs of slowing down. The only other strings I've tried are the Infeld Reds and Obligatos. Obligatos, though very nice, were two dark and too quiet for me. I removed them even before they wore out. The Infeld Reds I really liked. The Kaplan Amos are in the same vain but have more depth and projection. Amos are the best strings I've tried so far on my violin. I sound like an ad, but really, try them. You won't be disappointed.

March 21, 2015 at 09:37 AM · How long do they last?

March 21, 2015 at 06:21 PM · They last a long, long, long, long, time. I was testing the prototypes before they hit the market and I had them on for 4 months with almost no sound degradation. I will probably add them to the IUStrings.com inventory in a week or two. I personally prefer the Vivo (I like loud), but the Amo are really pleasant to play on.

March 22, 2015 at 03:41 AM · Fan Tao, the designer of all the new strings at D'Addario, is just amazing to talk to. You can clearly see his love and commitment to the craft of string-making, and it definitely shows in the products he is bringing to market for them. I spent almost 45 minutes with him at ASTA this past Friday, and wish I had more time to listen to everything he has to say on the subject.

Anyhow, Fan let me play his own violin, strung with Kaplan Vivo I think...it was fantastic. He also gave my 2005 Ran Dim violin a spin and suggested trying the Amo set on it (I should also mention that he is a superb violinist!). I've been playing with it for awhile today and so far I'm really impressed at the response and color of the set. On all four strings I can play a huge range of dynamics/point of contact from sul ponticello to sul tasto without losing the tone. The E string is really resonant and powerful, the A the D are very well balanced, and my only slight negative is that the G is a tad softer-sounding by comparison on my violin. I might have to try the Vivo G on there instead...since he gave me a set of Vivo as well to compare, in few months time I'll have a better picture as to the long-term behavior of the set and its longevity. My initial impression is very positive!

March 22, 2015 at 03:53 AM · I have a set of AMOs on one of my violins. I'm a big fan as well.

I don't find them particularly dark, but rather neutral in a good way (certainly not brash or harsh), but very resonant and powerful.

I've been a fan of their Zyex for a while. I particularly liked the Zyex G and D, but the A and E were a bit more plain.

With the AMOs I feel that the entire set is wonderful and balanced with each string doing its part to make a beautiful whole set.

Bravo DaDarrio!

March 30, 2015 at 09:29 PM · Thanks everyone for the comments - we appreciate all feedback on our strings!

Any future sampling inquires can go to CR-Bowed@daddario.com.

February 10, 2017 at 10:33 PM · Hi

I'm wondering if anyone has been using the Kaplan Amo strings as a regular user as I've recently switched to using them and I'm really enjoying using them. Previously I've stuck with the usual brands - Evahs, Evah Gold, Passione, PI, Larsen virtuoso etc. What I'm interested in knowing is how long they last? Do they get muddy or not, as well as knowing if they get more gutsy as they age or not?


February 10, 2017 at 10:42 PM · I used Amo when I could not get Infeld Reds locally. Was not happy with Amo at all; and the G string was defective. Took them off as soon as my mail order Infeld Reds were delivered. YMMV

February 12, 2017 at 06:52 PM · I personally think the have the texture of guitar strings, too rough.

I realize everyone has different taste, but I took mine off after 3 unhappy days.

February 12, 2017 at 08:55 PM · (Almost) two year update: I'm still using the Amo's when I have to play synthetic strings on my instrument, which is usually strung with gut unless I end up on gigs where temperature and humidity vary wildly.

A good match really depends on what your instrument sounds like to begin with; since my instrument is very clear and projecting, the texture added by Amo is a welcome addition. The Vivo set doesn't sound very good on my instrument, it practically shrieks. On other instruments that my colleagues play, the reverse has been observed as well, with Vivo working really well and Amo just sounding muddy unfocused. The set lasts me about two months of playing 3-4 hours a day until the quality of sound diminishes, but it isn't a huge falloff like some of the other brands. At the end of their life, the Amo set still functions, unlike Evah Pirazzi Gold which at end-of-life sounds like plastic toys being ground in a blender at low speed.

February 13, 2017 at 04:38 AM · Just put Amo CGD on my 1923 EHRoth 15.5" viola. In the first couple of days, they are stretching very little. I replaced the aricore D, then the obligato g and then c in that order, playing each of them in one at a time to get a comparison with bach cello suites. Keeping the Eudoxa a for now- not a fan of brash steel A's.The fundamental matched pretty well. They were more focused in pitch and easier to play chords in tune quickly. Louder with much more overtones in these first days. They respond quickly. Pianissimo is not quite as full as pirastro (yet?) and they are not as free in the upper positions - I would not say choked, maybe less elastic?. They are more resonant than the synthetic pirastros and I do prefer them to standard zyex. Will see how they break in with VW sym 5, Beet 9 and Peer Gynt in 3 amateur orchestras this week. Next week reading quartets.

My local shop owner is a violist who's taste and judgement I respect. She reports that they should mellow some and will last longer and die slower. She prefers them to EP gold and standard, partly for that reason.

February 22, 2017 at 10:37 AM · My violin is very clear and responsive. The Evah Golds are great on the violin. They are definitely richer sounding than the Amo strings and the Amo strings are higher in tension, but seem very flexible and comfortable to play on. I am enjoying playing on them. Will stick with them for a while.

Ps - Interesting to read that Julia Fischer has switched to using a heavy version of the Amo strings.

February 27, 2017 at 01:06 AM · I've had a chance to play the viola AMOs on Beethoven's 9th and in a string quartet reading session on 5 romantic and modern quartets. So far, I am very happy with the dynamic range, sensitivity, tambre, and rich overtones. They don't collapse at fff and they blend well in quartets and in ppp adagios. They can rip fast passages and project clearly in orchestra with my braided cf and are warm and rich with my pernambuco bow. Trying the A now and also putting them on my old German violin. Playing that with another community orchestra in the next few weeks and quartets this spring. (replaced obligato and aricore mix)

February 27, 2017 at 01:53 AM · An update on using the Kaplan Amo set...

I put a new Amo set on in December when I had a number of playing gigs where the temperature and/or humidity where all over the place. I normally play on gut strings and things were getting a bit unpleasant in terms of stability.

They settled very quickly and played/sounded great for the first six weeks. Now, they are near the end of their playing life, and they have lost their "color" and sound somewhat bright and plain. It's still better than the falloff in sound quality that the EPG set has, and I won't hesitate to use them again when they situation demands stable synthetic strings.

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