Low tension synthetic strings

April 23, 2016 at 02:16 AM · Hi,

I'm searching for a synthetic strings medium set with a naturel low tension but must give a warm sound and long lasting.

Can you give me some exemple and your experience about it ?

Replies (26)

April 23, 2016 at 02:52 AM · If you don't mind a less-complex sound, Pirastro Violinos might fit the bill.

However, if you want lower tension, why not consider a string set in a lower tension rather than in medium?

April 23, 2016 at 03:33 AM · yeah, I was gonna say Violinos. I use them on my China, lower tension, easy on the fingers for long hours of busking. I agree that they are not that complex sounding, like say PI,s which I think are quite colorful and higher tension. But imo, they are warm without sounding muddy, and quite clear on this China. Out busking yesterday and a fellow put a fiver in and said 'sounds very sweet'....they might work for you.

April 23, 2016 at 04:33 AM · Warchal Karneol or Ametyst.

April 23, 2016 at 05:12 AM · The Alphayue are low tension. I like the Violinos.

April 23, 2016 at 05:17 AM · Ametyst, I agree, Karneol, either I had a lemon, or my violin hates that set, I've had a bad experience with it.

April 23, 2016 at 08:37 AM · The lowest tensions, usually with nylon (Perlon) rather than "composite" cores, are Dominant, Tonica, Larsen, and Aricore. Violino is a low-tension composite core.

I have found Aricore to be the warmest, most gut-like, and also long-lasting: the tone is warm and velvety staight away, and loses its "bloom" very gradually, without losing its precision. It even masks clumsy bowing to some extent!

April 23, 2016 at 08:37 AM · Oops!

April 23, 2016 at 08:58 AM · @Lydia Leong : I prefer medium they have a better projection, and not difficult to find. (I buy online, don't have choise in my country)

@Adrian Heath : Yes, I want a more gut-like sound, it's sweet more for my 16.5" viola. Do you have also other exemples like Aricore ?

April 23, 2016 at 10:49 AM · Hi, Amine

Tonica is warm and responsive, but brighter than Aricore.

Other warm-toned nylon viola strings are Crystal and Pro Arte but they are both much higher tension, and thicker and stiffer (which make intonation more difficult.) I have used Crystal "medium-light".

I find the Crystal violin E horrbly tense and metallic.

April 23, 2016 at 12:13 PM · Warchal Ambers are warm and nice

April 23, 2016 at 04:44 PM · I used Tonicas for 8 years. They are much warmer than most other strings. They last a long time, are fairly inexpensive, and are low tension. They did everything I needed them to do.

I switched away from them because I got an instrument that was much warmer/darker and I felt I needed more clarity/focus than the Tonicas could provide.

April 23, 2016 at 04:47 PM · Amine,

I think that your assertion that mediums project better than light/weich might be flawed.

I am reminded that Aaron Rosand used light gauge dominant G and D with a plain gut A.

For a viola, I would try the Aricore. The Vision Solo viola strings are lower tension, so much so that the C doesn't work on shorter string lengths.

April 23, 2016 at 06:24 PM · Obligato soft gauge.

April 23, 2016 at 06:53 PM · Ironically, more often than not lighter gauges do sound brighter, having slightly less of a core sound. Then again, players don't necessarily mean one thing when referring to brightness/warmth.

April 23, 2016 at 08:30 PM · @Aaron Wildman : I'm surprised by your review about Tonica, I read a lot of reviews, they said that Tonica are neutral sound (like Dominant).

April 24, 2016 at 02:41 PM · Dominant and Tonica seem to me "warm" but with an brighter "edge" than Aricore lacks. Dominant are metallic when new.

April 24, 2016 at 06:03 PM · I agree. On the whole, I prefer Tonica which sound sweeter than Dominants and more like the Eudoxa I used for many years. They're a great string for chamber music.

April 24, 2016 at 06:12 PM ·

April 24, 2016 at 07:55 PM · @Amine: My experiences with Tonicas and other strings tell me that Tonicas are less neutral than people would lead you to believe. IMO, they are less focused than Dominants by a decent factor. I would still classify them as 'neutral' but definitely put them towards the warm end of neutral.

An experienced maker/dealer told me that many shops put Tonicas on bright instruments, and especially on student instruments, to tone them down. I can totally understand this approach.

April 24, 2016 at 08:17 PM · ....one thing about(medium)Tonica's tho, which you may or may not like, they are a smaller diameter than most, unless you compare them to something like Spiro Core, which are also smaller.

I put them on one fiddle and seemed to have some intonation problems thru the nut, which seemed to be cut for a thicker string like dominants etc.

but I also agree with Aaron that they're not all that neutral, and have a portion of complexity and color. I always thought they brought out the sound of the wood, as opposed to the sound of the string itself.

April 24, 2016 at 10:53 PM · I want a more gut like sound, I read several reviews about Tonica, it can't give me what I hope in term of dark and warm sound (like Aricore and Obligato...). But of course, Tonica are a good deal !

April 25, 2016 at 03:40 PM · Aaron, it sounds to me like you might have been using the old-formula Tonicas, not the new-formula ones?

April 26, 2016 at 01:01 PM · Thin strings in wide grooves? I put a tiny piece of thin leather in the groove of the nut. This avoids intonation problems, and avoids the whistling E, and buzzy A and D (especially the thinner, silver-wound ones), and give the open strings a more "fingered" quality.

April 27, 2016 at 04:51 AM · re: Adrian's comment...open strings a more fingered quality.

I've passed on fiddles that had 'boomy' open string(s). just can't stand that degree of unevenness. Fortunately, the open strings on both my fiddles don't have that problem. However, I wouldn't go to the extent of using thin leather in the nut grooves, as that would be too much 'Doctoring', and the thought of needing the leather would bother me.

April 27, 2016 at 05:44 AM · So, what should I use for an ivory nut? I like the sound of the open string supressor

April 27, 2016 at 06:57 AM · Dave, I was more concerned wit the jarring sound of the open synthetic strings (and the whistling open E) as I arrive on them in a slur.

Steven, perhaps a tiny piece of chamois?

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