Here's my review of the Timbres!
I've had them on for a couple weeks, and my A snapped on me at the ball. I was told it was my fine tuners (the ones not built in to the tailpiece), and that they are not designed for synthetic or gut strings, and may have sharp edges. I've removed them (besides E) So, I currently have the Evah Gold A from the trial set (which I played for a few weeks and the A is already unraveling around the B spot).
As far as the sound, I liked the A and D string, but not a huge fan of the G. It's still a bit fuzzy and not as responsive on my instrument (which is already dark and rich) as the Brilliant Vintage. I like the Amber Forte E better as well, but the Timbre E is definitely nice. I haven't whistled once with it and it responds so well!
Aesthetically, they're gorgeous. I love the wrapping (if that matters), and they feel nice under the fingers. They're very smooth and it's easy to shift without any sort of discomfort (all steel strings or lower quality synthetics used to make my fingers sore from pressing down or sliding up or down the string [obviously I didn't gliss, but you know what I mean])
I think, however, I will be returning to my previous setup, with the Brilliant Vintage G and D, Russian A, and Amber Forte E.
Sidenote: is there any way to make the fine tuners safer for synthetic strings? My tailpiece is custom, as well as my pegs, so I don't want to replace them. My pegs were left a little fat so they don't turn super easy, which makes tuning annoying sometimes. One small turn up makes it too sharp and turning it back makes it too flat. I might ask my luthier to remove a little bit more off the pegs.
The diameter of the pegs contacting the peg holes is constant (the diameter of the peg hole).
I use the rubber tubes from my E strings as fine tuner sleeves.
I agree with Carlos. If your pegs won't turn easily (and a round of peg dope when you change the strings doesn't fix it), it's probably time to speak with your luthier about making some adjustments. Does your tailpiece have to have the fine tuners installed?
The pegs I ordered were made a bit too big for the holes (they're also African Blackwood, if that matters) so my luthier had to profile them to fit. He said he intentionally left them a but fat so I might take them to him to have him take more off. Later, I will upload a photo so you can see.
Unfortunately what Carlos says is not correct. Neither the pegs nor their holes are of constant diameter but are tapered (the holes reamed) at 1:30. Your pegs may stick out a bit too far but they should still fit snugly and turn smoothly. You could try "greasing" them slightly with a soft pencil. Then maybe you won't need fine tuners on the A, D and G strings
If it were me, I'd see about getting the pegs adjusted. You may find that you prefer not having the extra weight of the fine tuners on your tailpiece.
actually Kristen is right, fat diametre pegs are harder to tune because a smaller twist makes a bigger change in the tuning, so fine tuners might be needed. The expensive solution is to bush the pegholes and fit smaller diametre pegs.
I want to keep my pegs, since the set, along with the tailpiece was $500, so I'd just need the posts to be a bit skinnier. It would seem silly to bush the holes when I could get a bit more taken off the posts, wouldn't it? :) They don't turn smoothly, and even slip sometimes when I'm doing another peg. My E peg completely lost traction when I was replacing the broken Timbre A, so they're probably just too fat for the holes (which is saying something, considering standard diameter violin pegs don't even get snug in my pegholes. The ones I have are actually viola pegs).
This is an "easy" fix for an experienced luthier (perhaps not too affordable, however). Good, expensive pegs such as the ones you have must turn smoothly-otherwise, it all misses the point. Best wishes-hope you can work this out soon.
$500 should have covered bushing and smaller diametre pegs, I charge $120 to fit a set of pegs, doesn't matter if they're viola or violin pegs. the diametre of the pegs is governed by the size of the pegholes, unless he's going to route down the area of the pegs between the pegbox walls.
Ah, no, I ordered them from Hansell Violins, in the UK (I'm in NY). It was $500 to make and ship them. Installation was extra (he gives me good prices so it was nominal). The pegs themselves are extremely well made, smooth, and my luthier profiled them well. He just didn't take enough off, which I'm going to go to him for.
Guess you've never seen a viola.
It's not a viola, and frankly, I don't appreciate your comment, joking or not. I've taken it to several luthiers and all agree it is a violin.
taking wood off the pegs just makes them stick further into the pegbox, the diametre showed to the the strings remains identical, because the pegholes haven't changed in diametre, only bushing would reduce the diametre shown to the strings
The pegs barely stick out the other side of the pegbox, does that make a difference with things? I really hope I don't have to bush them. That's so expensive...
no that does not make a difference, its the size of the holes that matters, the pegs are just made to fit the holes, to change the size of the holes requires bushing, or just keep using fine tuners like you are.
Oh, nuts. Hm I'll have to see what's the better option.
Now may be the time to lose the $500 pegs and install geared pegs. They will solve your problems.
Why did you order $500 pegs, just out of curiosity?
I didn't want Chinese or Indian pegs, so I went the european route. The pegs, combined with the tailpiece, were around £450 (I think?) and with shipping and the upgrade to non-animal ivory and African Blackwood (the same wood as my oboe and English horn), plus the upcharge for larger diameter, it ended up being around $500 total. I take pride in my violin, as it's an heirloom and means more to me than almost anything, I want to give it the best gear. The outfit is absolutely gorgeous, and I don't regret spending that much on it.
you dont have to give up the fancy pegs if you bush the pegholes, you just have to get the pegs shaved down in diametre by a competent luthier.
Kristen, would you mind sharing the dealer that you got the pegs from ? I'm interested in buying some carved boxwood pegs.
"my A snapped on me at the ball" has nothing to do with the fine tuners - if a string is new it is manufacturing defect, period. Loop-end strings do snap because of sharp tuners, but it is typically E string.
I'm still curious about these pegs. If they haven't been trimmed to fit the holes, the heads must be sticking out a lot. If that's the case, I am surprised that the Luthier left them like that. I think there's a normal distance from the pegheads to the peg box. For aesthetics but also for tuning comfort.
Mr. Nguyen, I believe Hansell violins is what she used. https://www.hansellviolins.com/fittings-2-c.asp
I'm also curious why you ordered larger-diameter pegs (apparently for an upcharge) rather than standard diameter.
Lyndon, I said that exact thing before, and everyone refuted me... *Sigh* I just need my luthier to take some more off my pegs...
This case has a lot to do with fine tuners I am sorry to oppose you Rocky. Recently I have found this quote on a US retailer website https://www.lashofviolins.com/why-strings-break.htm I do not have any relation to Lashof violins, neither they write about Warchal strings.
Kristen, you had mentioned putting graphite on the pegs. I don’t think that is the proper solution. Graphite is an excellent lubricant, but pegs don’t just need lube (or they won’t hold tuning), they also need a certain degree of sticking.
Thanks Bohdan, your posts are pure gold !!
Thank you for your input, Mr Warchal! I was told the same thing by one of your customer service representatives, who was very kind!
Hill compound alone will make most pegs slip, you need a sticking agent like chalk to stop slipping as well
Kristen I told you you can't reduce the diametre of the pegs unless you bush the pegholes. The fattness of the pegs is because of the fattness of the holes in the pegbox.
Kristen, another thing you should consider is that when pegholes are excessively large, that correlates with pegbox walls having a smaller distance from the pegholes to the top edge of the pegbox. And that, unfortunately, correlates with a higher probability that the pegbox wall might crack. It would be far better to bush the pegholes before that happens than to wait, and be confronted with a more complicated repair later. Sorry if this is alarming to you, but if it were my violin I'd be concerned about it.
I think that a picture of that pegbox would be necessary to advice without speculation.
Back to the original subject: I received my TIMBRES a couple of weeks ago and installed them that weekend. They are now stably in tune and sound wonderful, rich, clean and clear. I might have thought that with that clean sound the instrument might lose some "liveliness" but with a good vibrato you can hear that all the overtones are still sounding. I have them on my Strad copy and get a cleaner 2-octave scale on the G string than ever before (I've played this violin for 67 years through countless string families).
Strings available only through a luthier will be ridiculous and frustrating for violinists everywhere. If Warchal would make all of their strings available only via luthier, the sales would drop dramatically.
I didn't even order them because I knew that I would not be able to get any more if I liked them.
See, this is why I don't believe this distribution plan helps the "common" player too much.
I think she loved the violin and wanted the best pegs she could get, but still bushing the pegholes would be a good idea and would still preserve the same pegs she loves so much.
@Douglas: Not only string business became digital. The same is wood carving (CNC machines). In spite of this, the very best instruments and bows are still shaped by plane:-). You can purchase food in vending machine, but the best food is available in good restaurants only :-)
@Bohdan -- String purchasing is largely done digitally via the internet. I don't think most folks would argue with that statement. I wouldn't go so far as to equate the method of purchasing strings to making violins with CNC machines (which would be more like me saying that your stings should be MADE by machine). And the vending machine versus restaurant thing is a real stretch :-)
I'm surprised by how many string players don't know about peg dope. Think of it like adding oil to a car engine. If you use it regularly, your peg issues really will disappear and you'll be kinder to your pegs because you won't need as much force to turn them.
Gurdip, The Timbres are more different to the Evah Golds than any strings I have had on that violin for at least 10 years (losing my long-term memory???). They are cleaner sounding, maybe more powerful to player's ears (on this fiddle), play cleaner fingered harmonics and good strong sound up the E string and clean sound way up the G string.
Boyer covered the peg dope pretty well. You can see the marks from the peg box on your pegs when you remove them and that is the only place the dope has any effect (obviously).
Bohdan, I'm someone who deliberately tries to support my local shops by buying my equipment at the shop rather than online, but the way that Warchal strings are sold in the US makes this pretty tough.
Hi Carlos, thanks for the review. It is obvious that violin has never been traditional instrument in Asia, but I expected better position of bowed instruments in Vietnam. It is curious how some of Asian nations fell in love with classical music (Japan, China, Korea) whilst other did not so much obviously... However, poor availability of strings at luthiers in general is a bit of vicious circle. They do not stock strings, since almost all customers do search for bargains on amazon or e-bay (complaining the poor quality afterwards :-)
The income level is very important in the appreciation of classic arts. Vietnam has been traditionally very poor. I guess that at the level of development speed that this country is achieving, it will be not too far that we will see the interest for bowed instruments. Now they are in the first wave, which it's interest from the more affluent for piano. I am starting to see some demand and supply (new academies opening and new teachers advertising), but even if the classical music "industry" would grow at the 8% of the country, we are starting from very low numbers. It will take some years to create critical mass for international suppliers.
I think the decision to sell exclusively via violin shops and luthiers is an awesome strategy to bring business back to the local communities. The violin trade thrives from shops that are small business "mom & pop" businesses that can give back to their communities. It can also spark discussion about needs of a musician during visits!
I decided to put the Timbre D and G strings on my Vuillaume yesterday, but I kept my Avantgarde A and Amber E. My Brilliant Vintage D and G strings were sounding a bit dull, and my luthier suggested, post-adjustment, that my complaints about after-ring could probably be solved with new strings.
I haven't yet got Timbres - bought a set of Ambers only last month - but the time will doubtless come. I am therefore in no position to discuss Timbres, but meanwhile would like to share my experience of transferring the Ambers from my 18th c violin to my Jay Haide, which I did yesterday.
We have got several requests, especially from you, Americans asking us to reconsider our policy and release Timbre for on-line sale. At the same time, I have been (just arriving to Cleveland) contacted by our customer service, asking if we could do even more as we do for educating our customers. They do process a lot various of requests daily, let me quote the most recent string claim I have been just resent:
Mr. Warchal, I told my luthier about your string concept of only selling the timbres directly to Luthiers so they can actually make a profit on strings. He loves the idea because he's tired of getting crushed by giant online music stores that can stock up in bulk and then sell much cheaper, and then to compete with them he has to sell strings at cost, or at very minimal profit.
Are incompetent users the real reason for your Timbre marketing policy, Bohdan? If so, I guess I can't blame you for that, and I can understand your frustration, but it would seem unfortunate. I once sold a string set that I didn't need, at a deep discount from the normal street price, and received a complaint several weeks later that "the e string broke." There was nothing wrong with it, but because I had sold it on eBay, I felt that I had no other choice than to buy a replacement and mail it to the buyer at my expense, only to protect my feedback history. (I never received positive feedback for my efforts either.) There are many unskilled and unreasonable people in the world, and sometimes we just have to deal with them as best we can.
No, it is certainly not the only reason. We would like to distribute Timbre in straight condition, and that would be not easy to keep with on-line sale. Moreover, I have to admit we are going to support makers, they deserve it. Luthiers are expected stocking strings, but it only troubles them. Many people nowadays search for bargains, mostly on Amazon or E-bay, getting either old stock or even fake products. They complain the quality afterwords of course.
@Erik, thanks for letting me know. It is obvious that there will be some annoyed as well as some pleased people with this project. I do not like upset people of course, but I have learned to deal with is being a member of judging panel at the competitions. There was say 60 applicants and only few of them used to be rewarded by prices. You can imagine how was the ratio of happy and unhappy people :-). In spite of this nobody has banned competitions so far :-)
I really agree with your decision to limit distribution channels. But with 110€ strings you can't talk anymore about a business strategy of "affordable". Limited distribution and in the top shelf, you are going to the gourmet or luxury strategy. Which actually, I think it's wise. European manufacturers who try to compete in price are doomed to fail or move to China. The luxury market is more resiliant to price shocks.
People aren't griping so much about a 3 year waiting list for "fresh from the pine tree" Baker's rosin.
@Carlos, the project is running well so far. Of course we were a bit naive expecting to be able to ensure worldwide availability until the end of the year or so. This is why we have now changed the number of allowed sets on-line to three. Our customers can span the time until their maker place order and get the strings.
I have tried three Warchal strings...Amber, Brilliant and Timbre. On my violin (and setup I guess), the clearest was the Brilliant, the more colourful was the Amber and the Timbre was the most 'rounded' (problems of clarity on the G string but I am not inclined to blame it on the strings). None of them was everything. And the combo player-violin-setup makes a big difference as I understand. Leaving the player and quality of instrument aside for the moment, decent but affordable strings on a an appropriately well setup violin might be much better than expensive great strings on a setup that doesn't work for them. But the overarching culture is to accept the setup from before and string the violin up with new strings until something techniqually wrong happens to the setup/violin.
I finally got to play some violin sonatas with my Warchal Timbre strings with "my" pianist in her acoustically live room. The sound was much better than it had been in either of the last two months with this violin and a different one both strung with Evah Pirazzi Gold strings below a PI-Pt E string. Main difference was this time I did not feel the piano was dominating the violin. The Timbre strings are very easy to play and very clean sounding.
"I would definitely prefer to not use fine tuners (gotta be professional!) so my violin isn't any heavier than it already is."
There are many tailpieces with built-in fine tuners that are nearly invisible and do not shorten the string afterlengths. The French Bois d'Harmonie tailpieces are probably about the best.
Try the Bogaro and Clemente carbon or Stradpet titanium fine tuners, the ones with a plate under the tailpiece and a string guide that curves up and through the slot. The ball goes through the slot and under the tailpiece and is safe for all types of strings. A’s are fine.
My 2nd & 3rd sets of Timbres arrived today and I replaced the Ambers I installed a few weeks ago with one set of the new Timbres on to my other #1 violin (I can't decide which is really #1 and I've had them 45 and 66 years, respectively, but they have very different voices - so they take turns).
On my Timbre set for almost 3 weeks now. Coming from Amber set, I’m so far really loving it. It’s a bit more edgy on my violin vs Amber. And the thing is that, after a day or so, it plays and sounds like if the string has been fully played in. And the sound stays like that until now. I wonder how long it will stay like this going forward. If I can get 4-5 month out of it, then it’s a keeper.
Thanks for review, I like Warchal strings, little bit sad that they are hard to buy in my country. Even that Warchal (Slovak company) is our neighbor country and we were with Slovakia one country until 1993 :) (yes, I am from Czech republic :))
Andrew, send them to me, for an independent review.
Lydia Leong: Dear Lydia, I am in a neighbouring country and Warchal strings sometimes can be bought in a huge guitar and all-musical-stuff mega shops, but it is a rare thing. I also need to buy via internet even when we have almost similar language with Slovakia :) and I am thinking about czech and slovak people still like one nation, like brothers (in violin arms :))
Sorry, Rocky. I don't need an "independent review."
Andrew, you prefer the Timbres to the new Perpetuals?
Peter, I have not tried the Perpetuals. Do you recommend them?
I've ordered some Timbres and will compare to perpetuals once I get them.
I do recommend the Perpetuals. Having tried the Il Cannone Soloist, Vivo and W. Brilliant from your collection of unopened sets I would recommend going to Perpetuals next ;). Look forward to trying the Timbres, wondering if they are similar in 'technology' to Perpetuals...
They are certainly not similar to Perpetuals. Timbers sound much nobler, with a texture that old Italians used to offer.
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