Your most disappointing and surprisingly-good string?
My most disappointing: TI Vision Solo. Complete crap.
My most surprising: Kaplan Vivo-- amazing projection. Lasted forever.
What I use now: Evah Gold.
PI E Pt. Wonderful addition to so many sets.
Can't really say it was disappointing, 'cos my expectations weren't all too high to begin with, but dear god, are alphayues absolutely horrible in every way. Worst strings I've ever used.
I was positively surprised by the bump in color that Warchal Timbres gave to my contemporary violin.
Evahs have been disappointing, Tonicas very good.
Hmmm. My own experience with Warchals was a disappointment. Pleasant tone on their own, but overtones clashed in ways that made strings seem never quite at home with the instrument, or perhaps with each other.
@Holly, do you mind telling us more about the octave strings? Personally, I am tempted after I saw a video of it on youtube.
I was really disappointed in how Larsen Il Cannones sounded on my violin. They work well on other violins, though, so it's really one of those YMMV sets.
Larsen Tzigane didn't work for my violin. To brassy sounding, even after a week of settling time. The E string was really good though.
Sivrit, both D'Addario and Sensicore make octave strings... it is fun to watch them in demos on Youtube... that's what got me so curious. They even ring as advertised ... although it would have been less of a chore to get them to do so with a viola bow than with my heaviest violin bow.
Jargar Forte E - one would think it's the "best E" on reputation alone, but I wonder if violins are setup so that it works with this Jargar, making it more popular than it should be (rather than the string being a natural fit). Sounds good on its own, if a bit stiff (naturally, as it's heavy). Makes the violin be loud/warm on the E, but too warm/muted on the lower strings in *my* experience. Had better experiences with heavy Es with both Westminster and Oliv. Finally, their unforgivable fault is horrible quality control, which shouldn't happen at that price-many (at least 3+!) of the ones I used were defective where you would tune and the loop would get smaller until it finally disappeared, making it unusable (not user error-bad defect corroborated by another customer at the violin shop, when I returned to the shop with one of the bad Es-I always felt as if I was gambling every time I used Jargar Forte, so I won't ever try them again.)
I was also disappointed, ultimately, with the Larsen Tzigane GDA on my violin - it was too grumbly/growly (the E was very nice though).
I am always amazed at how fragile Evahs are, and I'm not a hard player but lately I've settled on Tonicas, my teacher is still pushing me to try dominants but I had them on one of my old fiddles and I didn't liek the resonance
@Holly, Thank you very much for sharing. I only have one violin, if I try those strings I will have to buy another one. If that happen, I probably will buy either a viola bow or a cello bow with it.
My experience is probably more limited than the others.
Most disappointing: Warchal Timbre. I have liked other Warchal strings, but the Timbre were horrible on my instrument. I understand that others like them.
Evah's. So loud. Sooooooo loud. Never again.
Interesting question. The responses merely prove what many of us continue to respond to people who ask what strings they should put/try on their violin: what sounds good on my violin may not sound good on yours. The same strings are likely to sound different on different violins. Under most circumstances your luthier can help you avoid "most disappointing." S/he can hear your violin with the strings you have on and make an educated recommendation concerning what might sound better.
Disappointing: evah pirazzi. I think many people have had the same experience that they are terrific (strong, tone) for a couple of weeks but then become very ordinary. Contrary to the comment above, I had much better experience with the Evah Golds, they suited my darkish projecting violin. However, the Evah E (I wonder if this is the same for the golds and pirazzi) is very nice.
Thomastik Vision - so cold sound on my violin, and last just a few weeks (2 - 3).
Worst I've tried: Obligatos, yuck the muddiest non-projecting pieces of twine I've ever heard. I think the A string was somewhat good, but it was so very quiet it was pointless.
Most disappointing. I can name two that were a letdown -- for me. I tried both of them about 13 years ago:
Surprising -- Warchal Avangarde A. Never would have occurred to me that a steel A would make such a wonderful sweet sound. It's easy to play, projects beautifully and lasts a really long time. Pairs well with an Amber E (on the mellow side) or a Westminster (more punchy but also sweet sounding).
It is obvious from the above experiences and my own that most opinions of good and bad strings are totally dependent on the reference instrument's properties.
Thomas, if you like the Amber E and Avantgarde A, try the Warchal Timbre D and G. That's what I currently have on my violin. The D is a particularly good blend.
Not mentioned here but remarkably good: the new Thomastik Rondo. A/D/G, anyway. For the E, I prefer the PI platinum to Rondo.
Impossible to answer, except with reference to a specific violin. For example, I used Infeld Blue on a dark sounding antique for years, they really woke it up. It sounded well balanced with them. The same strings were dreadful on a bright modern instrument. They made the violin really metallic and aggressive. So is it a good or bad string? It all depends...
Surprisingly nice: Wondertone Solo (WS) G, D, and A, pleasant and colorful tone with a lot of depth; I am really surprised for the unpopularity of these strings. They are the default and on 1/3 of my violins. I recently replaced EPG, had been strung meagerly for 2 days, with WS on my best violin (an old Italian). I use Larsen Tzigane E to pair with WS G, D, and A because
Hmm, most disappointing strings on my violin has to be the dominants, they just did not suit my violin at all. I now use Warchal Amber with my violin, and it sounds wonderful!
@Zhi-Yi Zhang: how was the longevity of wondertones in your experience?
@Carlos, they are overall pretty good. I am an amateur, and do not play everyday, and I have several reasonably decent violins for me to enjoy myself interchangeably. They could last for quite a while, often >6 months, especially G and D, and never break.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.