Warchal Amber Viola D string buzzing
Today I received a set of Warchal Amber viola strings to replace a set of Evah Pirazzi Gold. The A string is nice and soft without the "trumpet" quality of the EPG. Also C and G strings work well on my viola. But the D string was extremely "gritty" sounding. And it varies on different notes. It sounds alsmost as if something is buzzing, but I could not find anything. I put the EPG back on and the buzz is gone. The Amber is slightly thicker than the EPG (0.8 vs 0.7 mm) so it is not a question of the groove in the bridge or nut being too wide.
Has anybody experienced something similar?
I will try to mount the string on another viola to see if it is something wrong with the string or if it is the combination of this string with this viola. I have tried a few other stings on this viola and never had the problem before.
How about just letting it play in for a couple days? I once had a Karneol G string on my violin and it sounded like a duck for a day, and then settled in quite nicely.
Is the thicker Warchal D sticking in the grooves of the nut and bridge, causing damage to the windings as you tune up?
There is no visible damage to the string. I have tried a new Warchal Brilliant and it also has a similar effect although not as pronounced. And I tried a Pirastro Obligato that was mounted on another viola. With the obligato the buzzing is not barely noticeable.
There are multiple windings on a synthetic string: damage might be internal?
Try another bow and see if it makes a difference.
Try tuning the D up, then down a semitone to see if it is the actual F# or rather the finger placing which buzzes.
I am aware that many violas have a F# wolf, but on other instruments I have tried that had that wolf it was much more pronounced when playing the F# on the G string. I don't get that at all on this viola. I will have to experiment some more. It seems like the A string affects it also - with the Amber D the buzzing is more pronounced when the A is an Amber also compared to EPG A.
@Bo: There is a difference between silver and aluminium strings in general. The aluminium ones have more texture and what is beeing called "sizzle". It is the part of the overtones spectrum, that might be a bit annoying close to ones ear, but that help to carry the tone into the concert hall.
Hello Mr. Warchal: I'm the guy who was complaining about the bouncy Karneols. For reasons too lengthy to explain, I've ordered a set of Brilliant Vintage, which should be here soon.
I am going to take the viola to the luthier and have him check it out. I will do it with the Amber strings mounted so the problem is as obvious as possible.
From my experience with violins and less with violas, some strings can bring out the weak spots of the instrument.... buzz means different thing to different ears and brains. From the world of guitar.... thinner gauge strings tend to hit the frets more than thick - you may want to make sure that there is enough clearance and that fingerboard is shaped properly.
equating guitar fret buzz with viola finger board seems like a bit of a stretch to me. I'm guessing Amber doesn't agree with the viola.
" equating guitar fret buzz with viola finger board seems like a bit of a stretch to me"
I think the finger board would need to be more than a bit irregular. Bo said that with the Amber D the buzzing is more pronounced when the A is an Amber A, compared to an EPG A. a thinner gauge string should have enough clearance, unless the string height is way lower than it should be, and a poorly shaped finger board severe enough to cause this, would also prolly cause intonation problems.
I decided to give the Amber strings a chance to play in. And I tried to tame the wolf with a weight on the C string afterlength. That makes the problem a bit smaller with the F# but there is still a big difference in tone between the G and D string. The D string sounds thinner and very gritty. Today I took the Amber D off again and mounted a green Evah D - an old string from the "might-become-useful-one-day" string drawer. And the problem is gone! This viola already has some "sizzle" in its sound with the silver wound D strings and it is apparent that it does not want more of it.
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