Warchal Timbre

September 30, 2018, 5:57 PM · Hi

Any updates re Warchal Timbre? I’m specifically interested to know how they compare with Evah Pirazzi Gold?

Thanks in advance.

Gurdip

Replies (42)

September 30, 2018, 10:25 PM · They project well. There are a lot of overtones, and the E is amazing. I found the silver G can get a bit strident, but Mr. Warchal contacted me and told me they are working on a warmer G options.

I think they are good for cutting through and being heard. The craftsmanship is top notch.

Edited: October 4, 2018, 5:30 PM · In the link below, at the bottom of the page, Warchal gives a useful tip on breaking in new strings very quickly. Admittedly, the strings they are talking about are their latest product, Timbre, but I would imagine the method they describe could be applied to other synthetic strings of a similar nature.

I have applied the Warchal breaking-in method successfully to my new Amber set. The tonal and projection improvement was noticeable and quick.

https://shop.warchal.com/products/timbre

October 1, 2018, 3:42 PM · I'd buy them again if I need to perform in recital. They project really well while have lots of tone colours. My violin is a dark sounding with little projection so this set works amazingly well.

I hope Warchal can come up with an option that let customers buy Timbre online.

October 4, 2018, 3:21 PM · An update: I just received the "warmer G" prototype string in the mail from Mr. Warchal. I will test thoroughly and post my findings in a separate thread.

Over time, I like this set more and more. This might be my string set.

October 5, 2018, 7:19 PM · After thorough testing of the warmer G that Mr. Warchal sent me, I can say the difference is subtle as he predicted. But the new string really has power (while singing!) in the upper registers. The string balance is even across strings, and this is definitely a powerful set of strings.
October 5, 2018, 7:42 PM · I am really looking forward to trying out the new spiral-steel A and the warmer G. (I got mine from the Warchal online special when there wasn't a choice of A, or I would have gotten the steel one, I think.)
October 5, 2018, 7:43 PM · How do we get to try the warmer G?
October 6, 2018, 5:42 AM · Yea, I'd like a trial for the warmer G as well.
Edited: October 6, 2018, 7:49 PM · Also what's the promo code for v.com members (it says there is one in the ad)?
Edited: October 10, 2018, 12:06 PM · Mine arrived in yesterday's mail and I installed them first thing this morning. I've replaced a set of EP Golds.

So far the Timbres seem marvelous, glorious overtones (I think) that I could hear much more if my ears were 50-60 years younger. But I'm still using my PI Pt E string (it's a perfect match to the Timbre set, which it was not to a set of Tricolores) - anyone have advice about that?

October 10, 2018, 12:13 PM · I'm waiting for mine in the mail! I got the synthetic A, but now I kind of wish I got the steel A. My Russian A was wonderful, so I expect the Timbre steel A to be amazing too.

I will also be replacing a set of Evah Golds. I liked the warmth of the A and D, but the gold G is super fuzzy on my already warm violin, and the E whistled like a train. I couldn't stand it anymore so I switched it out with an Amber Forte E. Much better! I also noticed the Evahs go flat and I have to tune every time I play, whereas the Warchals I mention below were super solid and never went out of tune. I probably tuned a dozen or so times in the 8 months I used them!

If I don't like the Timbres, I'll definitely be going back to my favorite set so far, Brilliant Vintage G and D, Russian A and Amber E.

October 10, 2018, 12:53 PM · @Kristen: I'm using a Brilliant G&D/Russian A/Amber E combo on my secondary violin, and I like it pretty well, myself. I can't wait to try the Timbres on my primary violin and see how they compare with PI's.
October 10, 2018, 1:49 PM · Jen, how did the PI's do? My teacher first recommended either getting Obligatos or the Pi series when I switched from Dominants, but the Infelds were way too expensive so I've never gotten to try them.
October 10, 2018, 2:50 PM · Are you folks getting these strings direct from Warchal? If so, how would someone go about that?
October 10, 2018, 2:53 PM · Yes. Go to warchal.com
October 10, 2018, 3:29 PM · I've really enjoyed the PI's on my violin. They're higher tension than Dominants; one of my regular stand partners has a violin that seems to prefer low tension strings, and she didn't have a good experience with them. Personally, I do like the platinum E, but I often skip it in favor of an Amber E or a less expensive Evah Pirazzi platinum E.

I've also had good experiences with Obligatos, although they don't last very long for me. From a cost-vs-time standpoint, I actually spend less money on PI's that I would on Obligatos. Compared to Dominants, I either break even or come out slightly ahead on PI ADG + Amber or EP E - I never could go more than a month or two on a set of Dominants before I have to start replacing strings. Usually it's the A that goes first.

Edited: October 10, 2018, 4:05 PM · So at least 3 people are using Warchal combo: Brilliant vintage G D + Steel A + Amber E. Maybe I should give it a try when my Timbre set wears out
October 11, 2018, 9:03 AM · I used my Obligatos for about a year before changing them (yikes!!), and I didn't notice how dead they actually were until I put on my Warchal setup. What a difference!

Daniel, just be aware that the Brilliant Vintage are specially made for older instruments. The webpage on the Warchal site says what they consider vintage.

I've also heard good things about the Avantgarde Steel A, but I had gone with the Russian instead. Anyone with the Avantgarde have any input?

October 11, 2018, 9:41 AM · I use the Avantgarde A. It has much of the warmth of a synthetic; most people won't be able to tell it's steel.
Edited: October 14, 2018, 7:18 PM · Timbres have been on for 5 days now - still stretching, but I don't play much but I've been tuning them up several times daily and running through a but of playing.

I find the sound to be very sweet and clean sounding, the strings to be very responsive. Very nice on chords. Not as powerful to my ears as the Evah Golds they replaced. (Of course I can always turn up my hearing aids to give me more sound - and more highs - but that will not help in ensemble playing.)

I may remove my PI-Pt-E and try either the Timbre, a Brilliant or a Warchal Amber-E that should arrive in tomorrow's mail - unless one of you advises me to keep the PI on.

October 15, 2018, 10:44 PM · I just put on my Timbres! I'll be keeping the brand new Amber Forte E as a spare, but I'm pleasantly surprised that the Timbre E has the same coil as the Amber. I think it makes a heck of a difference! I already can hear the lush overtones just from plucking (it's 11:42EST so my dad would not appreciate me playing ff right now... That'll have to wait...) but I already like them better than the EP Golds.

People rave about Evahs, but honestly I've never liked them. The greens sound terrible on my instrument and the Golds were warm, but that gold G was too warm. Too fuzzy and not enough projection/response!

I also love the wrappings on the Timbres. They stand out so nice against my violin's dark red/brown varnish. Aesthetics are important :D

October 16, 2018, 9:35 AM · Kristen, on your advice I replaced my PI-Pt-E with the Timbre E this morning. Quite a string, very powerful.

One thing I have noticed about the Timbre strings on this violin:
Normally, on my violins or viola, when I install new strings, try a different bow, change rosin or sometimes just to check tuning, I will also play the instrument in cello position to get some idea of how it sounds away from my ears. Usually it sounds fine, with good tone and balance and similar to how it sounds under the ear. The TIMBREs however sound much richer and louder in cello position than under my ear. I'm not sure what that means, but there is obviously more sound 2 feet from my ears in the direction of the scroll than just inches from my ear at the tailpiece end.

October 16, 2018, 4:14 PM · Huh, I should try that! I never thought about doing it in cello position, but that makes a lot of sense.

I broke them in this morning, and they weren't kidding around when they said 12 minutes! I did their advised break in motion (it's on the website, kind of interesting method. You're supposed to play ff with the bow not straight, but flat hair, with the tip more towards you and then away from you. It felt so wrong to do!) actually worked! I definitely heard a difference in projection and tone. Warchal is probably my favorite brand. :)

Edited: October 16, 2018, 5:07 PM · I've had the Timbres on for about 5 days so I can offer some first impressions.

The 12-minute break-in is true in the sense that they sound nice right away, they open up almost immediately. But tuning stability is a question -- I'm still retuning a lot 5 days later. We have had very wet weather so it might be the humidity more than the strings.

Sound -- Warchal calls it a balance between rich overtones of gut and projection of composite. On my fiddle it's a lot more of the latter -- these strings are loud and powerful and brassy, like Evahs or Vision Solos. I'm not sure I will love them for what I do, which is a lot of chamber music, but they might be terrific for soloists.

These are not easy-playing strings, they need good bow technique, but the G and D are outstanding -- bright, rich, nice and clear.

The E is indistinguishable from the Amber E which I have used for a couple of years now. It's got the helical twist in the same place and it's a warm yet powerful E, and the twist makes it a non-whistling E which is very nice if you're playing chords.

Haven't made up my mind about the A. I play the Warchal Avantgarde A which uses the same technology as the Amber E. It's a little brighter and thinner than a composite A but it certainly sounds nothing like any other steel A you'll ever hear -- it's a gorgeous sound but clear, very fast responding and -- as you would expect from steel -- very easy to play in high positions.

The Timbre A is powerful and rich, not as sweet sounding or responsive as the steel Avantgarde. Warchal has said they are going to release a steel Timbre A so that might be the right one for me.

As I said these are just first impressions. I will be interested in seeing how these strings are doing after 3 months, 6 months. For me durability is really important. Premium price strings are worth it if they are exceptionally durable.

Edited: October 18, 2018, 12:32 PM · Reading these replies are interesting. I would love to try the Timbre but no where in my location sells them and I have to order Warchal strings online as it is when I use them. Which is fine with me, but I don’t want to take the chance of falling in love with them only to not be able to use them in the future!

Trevor Jennings what are your thoughts of your new Ambers? I too just put a set on my violin this week. I have tried more strings over the years than I care to admit (what can I say....I’m a pretty big geek for new strings) but my violin always still sounded like my violin, there were differences in response, and other sound qualities of course between strings but it still had the same overall voice. After installing the Ambers.....the voice is completely changed. I’ve never had a set of strings do that before! Not even other Warchal strings I’ve used before. (Really love the Brilliants) They are quite mellow and nice enough under the ear, but unfortunately a bit tiny and almost closed in sounding if that makes any sense? One of my violins strengths is great projection so I’m really surprised. I’ve never had such an experience, perhaps it’s the first time I’ve ever ran into the situation where a set of strings truly does not work for my instrument. Curious to hear your thoughts on how they are on your violin.

Edited: October 19, 2018, 8:30 AM · Kim W, see my post of Sept 29 in this discussion. This is where I described applying Warchal's advice on their Timbre page on how break-in a new set of strings. Their breaking-in advice was for the Timbre, but it worked fine for the Amber, which appears to be a closely related string, and I would imagine it would work with other synthetics if you need to show them who's boss.

As I said in my post, the improvement in tone and projection from following Warchal's advice was immediate and has continued to improve. One thing I noticed, these Ambers stay accurately in tune for days of end, irrespective of temperature and humidity. Warchal are on to something with their new synthetic core composition! The only very minor exception to tuning is the metal E which tends to go barely noticeably flat when left in the case overnight. I think this may be due to the coiled structure of the metal string reacting to temperature changes.

I agree with you about the change in the violin's voice - for the better, I might add. The violin on which I have installed the Ambers is a late 18c long back with a darkish tone in the lower register, and the Ambers suit it well. The Amber G is the one synthetic which comes so close to the sound of the gut Eudoxa G that I could think I'm playing on one.

If a rigorous application of the Warchal breaking-in method doesn't work, I wonder if an answer could be in the violin's setup, or the bow and rosin combination. You could always email Warchal for their comments.

October 18, 2018, 5:07 PM · I did the break-in thing they say to do, but I must not have done it right. They're still new-sounding, and seem to not like to stay in tune.

However, this could completely be because in Buffalo, NY, October is ruthless on all my instruments. My violin hates the weather change and my oboe reeds die after one performance. 'Tis the season! It was 75 on Monday. It's 44 degrees F today.

Edited: October 19, 2018, 12:42 PM · Every autumn, many of my friends refer me problems with tone and response even if they don’t change their string combo (regardless the string brand they play). I myself have noticed the same, humidity changes may affect both, tone as well as response. There are dozens of various tiny causes and factors that may be involved and their effect may be combined and cumulated. I am no able to mention all of them, so just randomly, what comes to my mind now.

People in general, as well as you here refer two kinds of problems. Tone/projection problem (too bright, too bland…) and response. Tone timbre and projection is very tricky issue. What can be listened as loud sound close to one’s ear, used to fail at listening from the distance in larger halls. Many people have been surprised hearing great Strads or Guarneris in the soloist dressing room before or after performance. Only quite week, sandy, not focused enough tone has been hearable very often.

We always test any string both, in our acoustic studio as well as in concert halls. However, if you are not satisfied with the tone of your instrument, improper setup or improper string choice may be also involved of course.

Response issue is much more obvious. If the instrument ceased responding well, something got wrong for sure, there is no doubt. Higher humidity does not affect the instrument itself only. It also make creating rosin buildup faster. Regular cleaning is important, but never apply any liquid on strings. Please refer our article https://shop.warchal.com/blogs/what-s-the-best-way-to-care-for-our-strings

Less rosin on bow hair causes harsher tone surprisingly, not mellower one. Having enough rosin on hair is important. On the other hand, too much rosin just causes dust and buildup on strings. We recommend applying rosin sparingly more frequently.

The quality of rosin matters of course and should be matched to your instrument character, instrument set-up and your tone intention (playing at home for fun, or playing Sibelius with orchestra). There is big range of rosin available from very projective up to gentle and forgiving ones.

Depending on bow handling, your bow may get fat soon. You do not need to change the hair necessarily soon, you can prolong their life by degreasing even several times. The availability of chemicals does vary from country to country. In our country there is a solvent called (Clothes stain removal) available. It is mix of chemically pure petrol and toluene. If your skin gets affected, it immediately get white by degreasing. I simply remove the frog, hold it close the tip in one hand, fold the hair in the middle and dip it into the full bottle. Five seconds are enough, after removing the hair I wipe it by paper towel, but there is no much to wipe, since the solvent vaporizes almost instantly. In one minute, the bow is free of any smell (I do it outdoors of course). Never do it with water based cleaners as dish cleaners e.t.c. !! In the bow tip there is wooden peg holding the hair. It would expand and break the tip.

From very many causes I would also like to mention problem with bridge notches. The string diameters are not standartized of course, for example aluminium D is much thicker then silver one. If you put thinner string into wider notch, the strings will just roll here and there like on U-ramp instead of transmitting the energy to the instrument. Unfortunately, it is visible under strings magnifying glass or microscope only. This kind of set-up imperfection does affect response a lot. Unfortunately it is very rarely considered and therefore very rarely recognized even by very experienced luthiers...

October 19, 2018, 8:47 AM · I love it when you post, Bohdan!

As an aside; will there be a Timbre set for viola? Or is it violin specific only?

October 19, 2018, 8:50 AM · Bohdan,

I hope you will make a point of talking with the Ifshin Violin people at the VSA meeting next month. I've asked them to stock Timbre strings - I've got 3 more violins I want to try them on and you won't sell me any more on line.

October 19, 2018, 8:52 AM · Mr. Warchal, would you say that as the weather changes, the instrument would need some adjusting? I was thinking of taking it to my luthier and having the soundpost and possibly my bridge checked.

The climate in my area varies greatly, and we can essentially have all four seasons in one week in the fall and spring, as you can see from my last comment. We even got some snow in areas yesterday, and the air is very dry today, whereas a few days ago it was extremely humid.

How often would you say to get adjustments done?

After my rehearsal last night, my Timbres did definitely warm up, and I'm rather happy with them!

October 19, 2018, 9:41 AM · @Craig: We have already started Timbre viola development. However, there is no reason to hurry, we will not release it until it meets all our requirements.

@Andrew: Yes, this is why I am going to visit VSA convention in person. I believe Timbre deserves to be promoted there.

However, sellers always used to deal only with products required by customers. Convincing them takes some time, we need to let trying Timbre to public first. In any case, we are going not only to promote the Timbre strings, but also the new distribution way. I believe luthiers deserve to be supported. Everyone expect stocking strings from them, but they cannot make any profit from selling strings more. Everyone refers the price on-line, that means finding the cheapest bargains of old stock or even fake string on Ebay or Amazon. This is one of the reasons we are going to sell them via luthiers only. There are also more details customers can benefit from: stocking in original uncioled shape, string change free of charge... I am looking forward to meet the luthiers community in Cleveland again, let's see the response...

@Kristen: One can hardly react on daily weather change :-) although it would be theoretically possible with the recently introduced adjustable sound posts in fact :-). But annual set-up check, regular strings change and rehairing (combined with the right string cleaning method) should be enough.

October 19, 2018, 11:03 AM · Great! I look forward to the Timbre for viola. I've loved all of your offerings that I've tried so far:

Brilliant for violin
Ametyst for violin
Karneol for violn

Brilliant for viola (Seem to be great on every viola I've tried them on so far)
Amber for viola (Yummy!)
Just got a set of Karneol to try out on my newly acquired 16.5" viola as well.

October 19, 2018, 9:45 PM · Mr.Warchal and Trevor Jennings thank you for your responses.

Mr Warchal your attention to customer service really should be commended and thank you for weighting in on this. This is why I did not reach out to your email on your website....you and your team are busy....and I’ve had a feeling from the start the issue with the Ambers was probably one on my end, not the string it’s self.

Today I really couldn’t take the voice change any longer and to make a “fair comparison” I put my old brilliants back on (same Warchal brand). Even though the strings are old the voice I love and know are back so it is not something fundamentally wrong the violin it’s self, but obviously the Ambers didn’t agree with something in my set up, will not dispute that! But an interesting string none the less as I’ve tried many and this is the first time this has happened!!! It really could be an amazing string for some.

As for season changes it is hard on anything where I am!!!!! Soon it will be -30-35C here plus wind chill values.......that could say something as well. I put the strings away and perhaps will try again n the spring.

October 19, 2018, 10:22 PM · Mr. Warchal, are you finding that a bridge should be re-cut for the use of the steel A strings? The bridge groove is a bit large for my Avantgarde A, and my luthier recommended modifying the nut as well if I was going to be using it over the long term.
Edited: October 20, 2018, 8:01 AM · Ms. Leong, I am still learning English, so sometimes I am not sure. By re-cutting you mean making new grooves into existing one (remodeling) or making complete new bridge?

If you would like to remodel the existing one, you have to be aware that the luthier can only remove wood, not to add it back. So any remodeling would decrease the current height of the bridge. If it is high enough and you don't mind it, you can go ahead, otherwise only new one comes into consideration.

However, it is no easy for me to answer the question (about bridge and nut change necessity) whithout seeing the instrument. We receive a lot of set-up questions and I myself with my team try to advise anytime it is possible, but sometimes I feel like repairing ISS via radio :-). Sometimes even photos cannot help since especialy if talking about grooves, every thenth of milimeter counts.

Anyway, just in general: bridge nut groove free play does matter much more than any nut free play does (tonally). Opposite (too tight and deep nut groove) matter a lot and always lead to string breakage. Bridge free play makes trouble especially on D and G strings. There is such a pressure under metal A string that even purring it in plain bridge, whithot any groove would make decent "grip".

On our metal A strings (Russian and so on) there is a small leather part. Do you use it? It seems to be a bridge protection, but its basic purpose has been balancing the bowing angles at thinner string gauge. If your bridge arching is cut for using synthetic core GDA strings, using metal A whithout that parchment would get A string too low for proper bowing. If the parchment is used, it also used to fill in the gaps in case the A groove has "synthetic" dimension. There is huge pressure and the compressed leather does act like wood.

However, if you are sure of permanent metal A string use, you may ask your luthier to cut new bridge, adjust the arching, and glue permanent bridge protectors on E and A positions. The leather part can be easily removed from our metal A strings. Unfortunately the plastic protectors on E strings cannot be removed, but they are suggested to be placed close to the peg string winding in case permantent bridge protector is installed.

Placing the plastic E protector there on Timbre nad Amber strings does require streighten the helix a bit first.

So once again, I am sorry tat I cannot give you strict advise always here on-line. However, there is still one rule of thumb. If your instrument sounds and responds well, don't touch it, just play. If not, try to improve the set-up :-)

October 20, 2018, 9:32 AM · Thanks Mr. Warchal. Informative as always.
October 20, 2018, 1:40 PM · Grain of salt time... retired, adult beginner with just north of 7 months of violin experience reporting.

I went for a relatively good starter violin (a Sima Traian) and added to that an Arcus "starter" bow (M4) thinking that good tools facilitate learning. That's a lesson I learned enjoying sports... or just plain chopping vegetables. So it was a no-brainer to want to try the new Warchal Timbre strings when I saw this thread.

They are giving my Sima a real Goldilocks tone. I thought it was weird that strings would be advertised as bright and warm simultaneously. Now I get it.
By comparison, the EP greens (+/- 200 hours of play) which the Timbres replaced were bright and sweet but less multi-dimensional. The Obligatos before that (+/- 350 hours of play) were, as advertised, dark-ish.

I was just getting to the point with the EPs where I felt like I was moving backwards in terms of sound production quality so it's a joy (and a relief) to have installed these beautiful, new Timbres.

I hope this thread stays open for a while so we can all check back and find out what the lifespan is for everyone on these luxury beasts.

October 24, 2018, 12:33 PM · Did anyone compare the regular set with synthetic A versus the metal A?
Edited: October 29, 2018, 1:36 PM · Deleted by me.
Edited: October 29, 2018, 1:55 PM · deleted by me too... hope this isn't contagious :-)
Edited: October 30, 2018, 8:25 PM · Bohdan, thanks for that advice. I'm not using the protectors on either the A or E. I have a permanent protector (very tiny) glued to the bridge for the E, though.

I have a set of Timbres that I'm considering swapping to in short order. (I just had the violin adjusted, and the luthier suggested that the last bit of missing responsiveness is probably string age, since they've been on the violin since June or so.) However, my Avantgarde A and Amber E are still going strong, even though the Brilliant Vintage D and G are sounding suboptimal now. How similar are the Timbre steel A and the E to the Avantgarde/Amber A/E?

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