Belcanto for Viola

March 24, 2018, 10:31 PM · There seems to be a new viola string from Thomastik... I don't know how new but I did not notice them until this week. After my long hunt through violin strings, I am now going through what seems to be everything out there for viola. I like Evah Pirazzi (green) a lot but sometimes I just need the clarity of a metal string. Kaplan is nice but a it rough under the fingers for me. Spiricore on my old viola sounded a bit too bright although I need to test them on my new viola. I was never a big fan of the Helicore, it sounded too bland to me. I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with these strings. I have not heard much about them yet.

Replies (7)

March 25, 2018, 4:54 AM · I found out about them a couple of years back and wanted to give them a try. However, for some reason, they don’t seem to sell them here in the USA.

I’d be interested in your evaluation if you can get your hands on some.

March 25, 2018, 5:50 AM · I will probably get them either way. I'm having my local shop look into them and possibly get a pack for me. I need to change my strings soon, although I just stumbled upon a set of unused Kaplan (steel core) sold on craigslist from an estate sale. Odd find but I can't really turn that down.
March 25, 2018, 9:55 AM · When choosing new viola strings it is good having in mind what do you want from the new string? Do you want your viola sounding brighter, darker, more or less edge, less tension under the fingers, quicker response, etc?
March 25, 2018, 2:41 PM · Claudio, perhaps you’re not aware of it, but Shawn runs a string review website and so I think he simply wants to explore yet another string choice, not necessarily trying to find a specific “solution” for his viola.

I’m a fan of string experiments for its own sake as well.

March 25, 2018, 2:47 PM · Ya, I'm just looking to experiment. I finding that viola strings are a bit harder to pin down as it's much easier for warm strings to be muddy with the longer vibration length and I am finding that I hear a lot more nuance in each string compared to a standard violin set. It might just be my ears being a bit more comfortable with the lower frequency.
Edited: March 25, 2018, 9:28 PM · Hi Shawn,

They’ve been around for awhile but are not widely available in the states.

I wrote Thomastik, who directed me to Connolly Music, and Connolly offered to send me some, but I didn’t follow up.

I think Paganino (shop based in Germany, I think, with a website) sells them and will ship here.

I wonder if you might like Superflexible a bit better if you found Spirocores too bright.

Edited: March 25, 2018, 7:30 PM · I spoke with the rep about them about 4 years ago. He seemed to imply that they had a certain quality of sound that wasn’t usually what American ears we’re accustomed to. That’s a recollection of the conversation, so I may have misunderstood or forgotten something. At any rate, he steered me to the Thomastic Vision Solo for viola, which were excellent.

I still wonder what the Belcantos are like, seem interesting if nothing else.

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