Warchal Amber strings: Louder?????
A customer of mine has a disappointingly quiet fairly modern Belgian violin, by a supposedly respected maker, and kept shopping with me for louder instruments. He had it strung in Warchal Karneol and it had a feeble tone, not bad quality but muted. He was always complaining he couldn't hear himself in his community orchestra. Well recently he purchased a set of Warchal Amber for it and low and behold the instrument sounds twice as loud. How is this possible, has this happened for any one else using Warchal Amber
I have not used Warchal Ambers, but I have tried Warchal Timbres on 4 violins with mixed but generally good results.
Maybe this violin likes the lower tension of the Warchals?
Are Amber a lower tension string, how do they compare to Karneol which he had on before??
Karneol has even lower tension than Amber. Source: https://www.warchal.com/tension_chart_violin.html
Good points, I'll check how old the Karneols were.
Ambers have a lot of overtones. It may be that the violin responds well to those.
Funny the violin sounded kind of plain, moderate volume, not loud, whereas it used to be very quiet. He's trying out one of my violins that's quite a bit louder, and richer in overtones, with basic Tonica strings. He's very picky about all the notes having almost equal volume and resonance, he's tried a lot of my violins and always finds some fault with them, which is strange because his instrument is really flawed.
I really like Amber strings and feel they are comparable to Dominants.
He's definitely not happy with it, but thinks he has to get an expensive violin, while he only has the budget for what I am showing him.
He wants to be able to hear himself play when he's in the orchestra, he's going to try my violin in the orchestra and see what he thinks.
being Belgian myself I would be interested to know the name of that Belgian maker? not that it should imply anything bad about them in general.
Either higher-tension or lower-tension strings can make a violin sound louder/better, it depends heavily on the instrument, in my experience.
Oh its Danish, not Belgian; Amon Bilmark student of Sacconi, 1944
Evidently the old Karneol strings were two years old, so that might be a large part of the problem, as he plays quite a bit. He liked my violin enough that we just ordered Warchal Amber for my violin, they'll be here on Saturday, barely more than the cost of Dominants, twice the cost of my Tonicas.
I recently fitted a set of Ambers, together with an Avantgarde A, to my Jay Haide. The result is louder, both subjectively and objectively, a comment I can justify because I got my daughter to play it for me today while she's visiting from Belgium. I tried the Ambers on my 18th c violin last year, and although they were generally satisfactory they weren't superior to the gut setup I usually have on that violin, and didn't quite have the gut tone. In contrast, gut has never worked really well on my Jay Haide, but since I want to use the Jay Haide regularly in symphony orchestra it has now got to be the Amber setup to bring out what I'm convinced that modern violin should be capable of.
I have heard the opposite-that Amber are more muted than many synthetics. But also, Mr. Warchal and his team revised their core material for the newer and louder Timbre-which I also have not used.
Well my violin he is trialing is strung in Tonica, I hope the Amber are better for him, and especially not any quieter. I didn't originally know his old strings were so old when I started this thread, now that I do, maybe I'm not so amazed by the Amber's volume.
I think Tonicas are just as good as Dominant or Ambers and wonder if any soloist use them.
Aaron Rosand used light-gauge Tonicas after he switched from his all-gut setup. Other than that, I know of no soloists who use them.
I recently put a set of Karneol on one of my violins, and they are quite good, about the same price as Pro-Arte, Corelli, Tonica, and as good or better than Dominant. I have never tried the higher-priced synthetic strings, as I don't see much point in getting anything that costs more than gut. Yes, I am cheap, and I don't own a fine instrument. The Amber E is good, with that distinctive twist to prevent whistling. Otherwise, I use the very inexpensive Goldbrokat E, available in 3 gauges. Part of the problem in finding the optimum tension is that the total force on the top plate is function of the angle of the strings to the bridge, which the player cannot control. And- to the unnamed customer; if you are an orchestra section player and you Can hear yourself during loud tutti passages, you might be playing sharp- not blending with the chord.
Though I have never used them, the Karneol should indeed be good nylon strings, and their tension is quite "good" (low) for my preference. Glad Warchal keeps manufacturing their older lines like that.
This is not a Warchal thing. Replacing a darker string with a brighter string of any brand can make a violin sound like a completely different instrument. I think strings can have much more impact than, say, 20 years ago. The technology has changed a lot since Dominants.
I can assure you the soundpost is fit properly!!
I would not describe the sound of Warchal Amber strings as "muted", at least not on my violin. Less aggressive & with more overtones than many synthetics that I have tried. Ambers have a very clean sweetish sound, which improves as they age, and reminds me of Eudoxas as they use to be. And they seem to me last longer than other synthetics. My violin is a modern Del Gesu copy, with a powerful dark voice, and the Vision Titanium Solos I had been using seemed to make the instrument sound much too forceful. I had to learn to back off quite a bit when playing in a group. It's still powerful enough with the Ambers, but I like the sound better. I'm on my third set now. I can well imagine that with some instruments the Ambers could make make them sound louder as Lyndon describes, and they'd certainly improve the tone generally.
I think we've established that the reason the Amber sounded so much louder on the customer's violin is because his old strings were much to old and needed replacing badly.