My current violin came with Obligato set with Warchal Amber E. I've been playing with that combination for almost 3 months and swapped out to Warchal Karnoel.
I'm learning how spoiled I've gotten with the Amber E's whistle-proof, and re-adjusting to playing on open E again. How many of you had similar results from using Amber E then switching out?
The Amber E has a spiral in the point of contact area, visible only prior to installation. It's on the warmer side of E strings, and definitely reduces incidences of whistling
Karneol as a set tends to be darker and warmer sounding with less projection compared to their Brilliant set, which has more projection. At $30 a set, it is a bargain, and helps a lot on plain-sounding violins.
Hello Gene Wie: a Global Moderator on another site was a fan of Karneols for quite a long time, and got me interested in them. I asked him if he thought Karneols were on the brighter side or the warmer side. He said on the brighter side. I was a bit disappointed, as I was looking for something on the warmer side, but decided to try them anyway, and yes, I thought they were on the brighter side... so the Brilliant set must be very bright? I wonder if you are comparing them to strings within the Warchal family, or string brands in general?
I am however quite curious about the spiral in the point of contact area that you mentioned and as you say, on the warmer side of E strings. I may think about special ordering one.
I have tested the Amber E when it came out and after testing it and having to switch to another set I get it to one of my students. I miss using it and what is worse... I see it once a week on another violin! lol
Dave, how strings sound depends on other factors such as the set up of individual violins (bridge, soundpost in particular), and the bow that is being used. Hence, an E that is "brilliant" on one violin may be less "brilliant" but "warmer" and just as projecting, on another.
I have several bows, each having its individual sound color and response. For instance, two of my bows are Late Baroque replicas (after a 1750 French design), one being snakewood producing a more brilliant tone than the other that is otherwise identical but not snakewood and produces a warmer tone than the snakewood. Which bow I use, and this goes for my other bows, depends on the music, the ensemble, the room acoustics, and how I feel on the day. It occurs to me that changing bows can be just as useful as changing violins, and a lot more convenient.
You can still see the spiral shimmer on the Warchal Amber E post-installation (and on the Avantgarde A, for that matter). I use both strings (paired with Brilliant Vintage D and G) and like them a lot. I think of the sound profile of the Amber E as being pretty neutral, and it pretty much never whistles.
"so the Brilliant set must be very bright?"
No. They are louder and project more. They are more of a soloist string - made to be played loud and firmly. Karneols are more versatile, friendly towards being played quietly. If I remember correctly, the Karneols actually seemed brighter than the brilliants.
I have no idea how specific e strings compare. Sorry about the thread drift.
On my violin the Amber E definitely is a bit warmer than E strings I've tried before.
It doesn't appear to project as well when I get to 6th position as say a Jargar or Hill but the difference is small.
Just as a reference, my current violin makes very complex and dark sound, which is ironic because the violin is physically bright in colour.
I am finding myself drawn more and more into brighter and simpler strings with this violin, because I can't really hear my vibrato under my ear. The sound is very powerful and somewhat distorted under my left ear because it's too loud. I can tell it's not my technique because I can hear it very well in recordings and when I have a mute on, or if I play with another violin.
I kind of like the switch from Obligato to Karnoel, except I am constantly whistling on open E now. It's almost like having to re-learn bowing on specific parts because Amber E allowed me to bow clumsier on open E.
I think I am still most fond of Infeld Red E though.
@Aaron Wilman: Thanks for clearing up my question about the difference between Karneols & Brilliants.... sounds logical.
Also, sorry about my flagged post. I guess I can be TOO opinionated about strings.
l tried the amber E a couple of years ago, and was hooked. Smooth, warm, no whistling. Switched out to try a Westminster E for one round, and enjoyed the sound at first but eventually but found it too steely and aggressive. So now I'm back to the Warchal. I'm using it with Passiones on the other strings, and I find it an excellent match on my violin. Didn't have much trouble with whistling on the Westminster, though, when I switched out.
This is an interesting question. I use the exact same string setup as Lydia: Brilliant Vintage G & D, Avantgarde A, Amber E. Could it be that I am now a spoilt E-string player? I guess if I don't switch to another E, I'll never know ...
I found Karneol very soft and warm sounding on both my violin and viola, and not anywhere near as punchy as Brilliant.
However, it isn't as "textured" sounding as some of the synthetics (Kaplan Amo, D'Addario Zyex, Warchal Amber, Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold). I think that the kind of sound that can be pulled from it can account for the disparity of experiences with the string. Certainly it's not like Pirastro Obligato, but compared to strings like Corelli Cantiga, Thomastik-Infeld Vision, or Pirastro Evah Pirazzi, it's definitely on the "warmer, darker" end.
With me, the Amber E still whistles occasionally, but probably less than with other E-strings (I used a Warchal Ametyst E-string before that, I think it did whistle a bit more often). When I had the Amber E installed brand new, it even whistled the first time I stroked it!
I just received two sample sets of strings I've ordered from Warchal, and with a surprise free sample Amber E. Now I am hoping for Karnoel set to wear out so I can try other sets.
I swapped string sets, keeping the Amber E but going to Passiones on the other strings. Thus far it seems like a good combo, with the Amber E blending well with the set.
Interestingly, less of a tonal difference from the previous all-Warchal set than I expected, given the gut/synthetic hybrid of the Passiones. The A is obviously quite different after the Avantgarde steel A, and the A/D/G all take a bit more effort to get going, but at least the sound under the ear hasn't changed all that much.
By the way, at six months on the violin, the Warchals were still playable and pleasant, but I didn't think were sounding quite as good as they did new. Serious props to great longevity at a low price point.
I tried one, mainly because of the discussion about them here, and another person on another site is using one. I thought it was a very good string, nice color, good feel, but just not right for my fiddle which is quieter than average and the string didn't have quite enough power on the quieter fiddle.
I use a cheap Prelude E on it because it has good volume, rather neutral sounding, but very clear, which I like. It's also a thicker gauge and medium tension which I also like. the other strings I use on this 1893 German trade fiddle are: PI G, Evah Gold D, ViolinO A.
Dave, have you tried the Forte or the standard version? The forte is supposed to fix the lack of power in some violins. I haven't tried yet, but I think I am going to order one just to try.
Just out of curiosity, I can definitely tell when GDA strings are worn, and doesn't make good sound, but I am yet to be able to tell the difference in E string being worn or not. Due to my student budget, I cycle through used sets until they are just 'done for'. Basically, I cycle through strings until the set makes the violin sounds choked, and dull. I "cycle" through them to keep a good reference on what a "good set" sound like. Eversince I've going to my current luthier for setup, I never had a single string break on me.
When I used to always get Infeld Red, I often used the same E string for over a year, and I couldn't notice the deterioration.
I'm still using the original Amber E which I had on from September 2015, and I will going to switch it finally once I put Brilliant set on.
The feel under both fingers and bow of most gut strings is to die for. It's very hard to replicate this sensation even with Dominants or other nylon core strings (which are slightly closer than a few modern core-ones.) Supposedly "hard to play", they are actually "easier" in other regards.
Have yet to use the Amber E, though no doubt it's a quality product. I'd care more about great tone rather than the "no whistling" feature. However, I only fear ahout the Amber's E projection on the highest register and/or projection-perhaps an ill-placed reluctance to try it on my part.
Tested a "new" E this week and was thoroughly impressed at the tone, bright character without shrillness, and very clear and powerful tone "up there"-the old, humble medium "Hill" E. As far as I remember, only the Oliv beats it sound-wise, though the Hill plays more easily. I was thinking that perhaps the Hill was going to be a weak-sounding or boring E (as so many can be), but it really surprised me-in similar fashion, maybe I should try Amber one day, rather than just trust what others claim online.
(Perhaps the Amber is more powerful than I am giving it credit for in my mind, based on other people's opinions-I am generally wary of supposedly "warm" Es in general, fearing lack of brilliance or projection, especially in the highest register.)
Needed a non-whistling E (playing a lot of Bach), just didn't like the Pirastro No. 1, just too flat. Amber E is a lot more resonant on my instrument and is very whistle resistant. I still like the power of the Westminster E better but Amber is a really good compromise.
I'm actually using the Amber E right now with my gut G/D/A...it's a nice match!
Hi Steven, I tried 2 or 3 times Warchal Amber E, but I still using Goldbrokat N27 (Lenzner). The Goldbrokat n 27 has very clear sound, In my experience this string does not whistle. I used it with vision titanium solo. The other point is, E amber is nice, but if you compare the price, I prefer to change 2 times the golbrokat if my violin need it.
In an ideal world, I'd love Warchal Brilliant Vintage G,D Infeld Red A(I also really like their E) and Amber E. As on a student budget. I am grounding myself to Tonica for several years.
This way, I can change strings 2-3 times per year instead of once a year.
Imho Karneol could make a better job for you - for the same price.
My personal experience with Karnoel was abysmal at best.
I've had Karneol on a number of instruments, but where they really shine is with smaller violas (15" range).
I think there's a bit of a divide. Some instruments that are great with Ametyst vs some instruments that are great with Karnoel. I personally found Ametyst very enjoyable.
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December 5, 2015 at 05:24 AM · I've never heard of this E, but different E,s have always intrigued me and I'm always on the lookout. How does it sound tonally? I hafta say, I've tried Karneols and found them too bright and too bouncy for my tastes. I don't have a whistling problem with the E's on both my fiddles, so that wouldn't be a major factor for me. I would think there would be quite a contrast between Obligato's & Karneol's, both in sound and feel. I've always thought Obligato's to be a bit 'rigid' in contrast to my opinion of the bouncy-ness in Kaeneols. Are they gold-ish in colour?
....and yes, I am somewhat opinionated about strings.