String Choice?

Edited: January 26, 2019, 4:48 PM · My violin is ~ 170 years old, Italian, and naturally mezzo piano. I’d like greater projection. I can lean into it well-enough w/ the bow, but I’d prefer to not have to as much. Sound-wise I’d describe the violin as very neutral, dry in a good way. It is neither very warm, nor very bright. I suppose I’d prefer brighter than warmer, but that is because I, perhaps wrongfully, associate warm with tending towards a bit unresponsive or muddy.

Current strings: Dominant.

Any suggestions?

Evahs seem an obvious choice, as they're quite popular. I was considering about going green, and if I dislike them, golds.

Lasrsen Il Cannone seems like a good choice, too, but I hear less about these, so I am unsure.

The options are overwhelming, and am interested in what the community might suggest for this violin as described.

Replies (8)

January 26, 2019, 4:46 PM · Vision titanium solo are also loud strings, but Evans probably your best bet.
Edited: January 26, 2019, 4:57 PM · I had good luck with Warchal Brilliant, they aren't quite as bright as Evah P and a little less loudness, but they seem to have more color to their sound (at least on my violin). Warchal also makes Brilliant Vintage strings which have slightly less tension and are made for older instruments. They claim that older instruments were made for lower tension strings and therefore sound better with less tension.
Edited: January 26, 2019, 5:25 PM · Get high tension plain gut and move the soundpost way closer to the bridge.

The idea that historical strings were lighter is demonstrably false.

January 26, 2019, 5:45 PM · Evah Pirazzi are loud strings as others have noted.

"My violin is ~ 170 years old, Italian, and naturally mezzo piano." Your neighbors probably appreciate it! But if you want more oomph, as Cotton suggests, there are various adjustments. I'd recommend taking it to a violin craftsman ('luthier') in your area for a good overall checkup and adjustments. It shouldn't be too expensive unless (s)he discovers cracks or other issues requiring invasive repair.

January 26, 2019, 5:51 PM · At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will post the same advice I usually post when someone asks about strings. You have received some good advice on strings from well-meaning musicians. You will probably receive more advice and people will suggest a variety of strings, so you will be left with lots of options and no real way of choosing other than just generally in terms of sound.

The problem is that the people who make these recommendations cannot hear you instrument with its current strings; they can only rely on your description of the violin, its current sound with Dominants and what you are trying to achieve. Even if all of the people responding agreed on what you should try, there is no guarantee that their choice would sound good on your violin, even if it sounds good on theirs. What you need to do is go to your luthier. That person can hear your violin with the current strings and suggest some possibilities that might work for you. You can ask about the strings people have suggested, but there is really no substitute for asking someone with expertise who can actually hear you instrument with Dominants. Sorry to rain on the parade, and good luck!

January 26, 2019, 7:29 PM · Keeping what Tom said in mind, I would still recommend you *try* Pirazzi Golds. Greens are good strings too, but I prefer Golds for projection and sound quality.
January 26, 2019, 7:34 PM · You might want to give Rondos a try. I switched to them from Dominants and I found that I got more resonance.
January 26, 2019, 11:25 PM · Tom's advice is the best advice. I did not like certain characteristcs of my viola so I went to my luthier, Ifshin Violins, for advice and string suggestions. My good luck was that the salesperson I got was a violist. He suggested a different C string and to balance it a different A string (both lower tension than I had on there). I bought the strings. I LOVE my viola now and I get good (unsolicited) feedback from my musical colleagues.

When the salesperson said "I could play a concert on this" it made my day!

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