New Strings?

Edited: April 11, 2018, 10:38 AM · I’ve been planning to purchase new set of strings lately. I have a very cheap beginner’s violin. Costed me around $100.
This one:

Been playing since 1.6 years and I’ve realised that it doesn’t sound well, especially the D string when played beyond 4th position. Regardless of how hard I press, the D string doesn’t ‘ring’ and produces a sound that can be compared to the one when strings are not being pressed hard enough. Also, right before the first A on the D string, the outer-most steel layer came off. Which makes it difficult for me to shift positions on D string. [photogroph attached]

The violin too doesn’t sound all the ‘warm’. And sounds very sharp. I prefer a warm sound.
Strings aren’t available where I live, so I asked my cousin, who’s in U.S, to purchase for me a set of Piastro Obliagto from Amazon. I learnt tha Obligato produce a nice ‘warm’ sound.

Will it make my cheap violin sound marginally better? Consider the fact that I can’t afford to purchase a better instrument anytime soon. (Atleast for the next 2 years)

Replies (11)

April 11, 2018, 10:07 AM · I would try John Pearse Artiste on that. A set costs about $20.
April 11, 2018, 10:23 AM · Tonicas might also be a good choice and cost around $30. They should improve the sound a bit. Considering that your strings are in awful shape, it's worth a try.
April 11, 2018, 11:07 AM · @Lydia @Ella Yu, Might I know the reasons behind the recommendations? I like the warmth of obligato. They are expensive though.
April 11, 2018, 11:11 AM · Artistes are warm, decent-quality synthetics for a very low price, and they can tame harsh super-cheap violins like yours.

Otherwise I'd recommend Pirastro Aricore, but they run $75 a set these days, which is almost as expensive as your violin. I'd recommend Pirastro Violinos over Obligatos for your situation, but both generally run about $50 a set.

Spend less on strings, because they can only do so much to tame a terrible $100 VSO. Save the money towards buying something better.

Edited: April 11, 2018, 12:52 PM · I recommended Tonicas because they're cheap for good synthetics and they should warm up your violin a fair bit. How about Pro Arte, Alphayue and Spirit? I think they should all improve your violin somewhat.
April 11, 2018, 7:02 PM · Beginner's violins start showing limitations when going high in the fingerboard.

Also the set up, in particular soundpost going further than ideal towards the trebble, affects the high positions in G & D.

Larsen Tzigane has showed a capacity to deliver good notes in high positions in G&D, in violins that otherwise choked on them.

I also don't have regular access to strings and accesories. I have been ordering, internationally, from and the service and delivery time have been outstanding.

April 11, 2018, 8:38 PM · I agree with Lydia on Violino over Oblagato for warmth. Violino should be less expensive than Obligato, but more expensive than others she suggested.
April 11, 2018, 10:06 PM · Violino used to be less expensive than Obligato. Checking prices today, this seems not to be the case.

Larsen Tzigane is also a set in the $75 range, so way too expensive for a $100 violin.

Edited: April 12, 2018, 10:43 PM · "Beginner's violins start showing limitations when going high in the fingerboard."

Not only beginner's violins, some expensive ones as well!

Playing high up needs a different technique anyway with smaller distances, alternative fingerings, and a smaller faster vibrato. (All quite obvious I know!)

April 13, 2018, 4:57 AM · You can't take it for granted that Obligatos will make your violin sound warm. It depends on the instrument. On my violin I tried Obligatos and it just made it sound a bit dull. It's instrument dependent - the strings that sound best for my instrument are Thomastic PI (Peter Infeld) - but they are expensive, and probably wouldn't work on your violin.
Edited: April 13, 2018, 9:22 AM · I see Quinn sells Violinos for about 50/set versus about 90/set for Obligatos. That’s a big difference!

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