Stark Gauge Strings + Forte E String
I'm about to purchase an instrument from a luthier and he suggested I try out stark strings on the instrument because he believes the instrument can definitely take it. Unfortunately, I haven't heard the violin yet, and I plan on traveling so see him in about a week (which will decide whether I want the instrument).
I am a little afraid to try a gauge I haven't before, but I think I am going to trust the luthier and buy some stark strings on the way up. I'm thinking of getting Evah GDA + Jargar Forte E, but i haven't seen many reviews on this combination (which may be partly due to my lack of research skills). I'm testing out different E strings at the moment, so unfortunately Evah Stark E is currently not under consideration. (even the platinum E, although I don't even know if they make the platinum in heavy gauge).
What do you think of the combination? Are there any other I should consider?
The most I can go from is the luthier's description that the violin sounds really strong, and he strummed it over the phone with a Tonica set (I know for a fact that's THE BEST way to hear how the instrument sounds) and it sounded promising--which means I actually don't have much to go from in terms of the colour of the instrument (it's dark brown, but I don't think that's as relevant as I want it to be).
Thank you all!
EDIT 1: or should I just bring up medium gauge for now so I have a frame of reference?
Hmmm...heavier strings may show his instrument in a better light, but may be punishing on your fingers. Heavier strings may also help 'break in' the violin if you believe such things. However, a great new violin, in my opinion, should operate well with medium gauge strings...to give you a frame of reference. Heavier is a matter of taste, feel and sometimes to compensate for a flaw (i.e. if the violin is very unfocused).
I dont think I would try an instrument with EP stark first. They are already very heavy in tension in medium gauge (for non steel). EP in general have a very own sound before they are played in. Maybe you have the chance to have them strung on another violin a couple of days before trying the new violin with it, so they can loose the metal touch.
Higher tension strings will give more "core" sound, often at the expense of brilliance and colour. Dominants are as low tension as Eudoxas, with Tonicas a little higher. Even medium Evahs are as tense as many steel-cored strings.
Thank you everyone for your wonderful feedbacks!
Well...if you're used to Olive and Passiones, heavy Evahs will be a rude wake up call. After playing a violin for 5 or ten minutes in a violin shop - you're probably not going to notice the effect on your fingers. I can play Evahs fine for a short while...it's after a few hours that you start to really feel it (if you're not used to it). Imho...
EP are already high tension - going for more tension on an old-ishis calling for trouble.
When trying out a violin, it could pay you to have it set up by a competent luthier, 1st. I am a violin maker and player that has set up violins for violinists over a 50 year period of time. Each violin is different and reacts differently with strings, sound post, bridge, tap tones, base bar, wood, de-dampling, graduation and other considerations.
Cassio, I don't think there's much harm in trying. But I think you'll likely find them too difficult to play.
Thank you everyone!
I think you should try the violin with its current strings. After all, strings fine-tune a violin's sound.
He currently has Tonicas on which I'm not familiar with at all and I'm usually not in love with Dominants. I'm more familiar with olivs and passiones, but the luthier suggests something less soft, even as far as going to suggest stark strings.
"Example: A really old violin, such as in the 1600`s or 1700`s should not have high tension strings on them. "
I'm sure the violin can take stark gauge, but can you? Why not just regular Evahs, if you wanna try something new and high tension? Or, if you're used to Olivs, ask him to make the violin work with that. Something smells fishy...I've never met anyone who would recommend stark Evahs out of the gate...
I agree Peter, it sound a bit like the violin is missing power.
I agree with Peter also. It's a strange recommendation. I wonder how much the luthier plays himself.
EPs are great strings, but you really have to theoretically "press more" with them-even moreso with Stark gauge. I once tried Stark Obligatos many years ago, and although playable, the feel is very different not only on the fingers, but also the bow (apologies for stating what perhaps is the obvious.)
Tonicas are great strings, and they'll sound different on every violin because every violin has different traits. These discussions can be quite controversial, but it seems that this one isn't as controversial as other string discussions.
I think I'll take the general recommendation and go with the regular Evahs! (: (or even Larsens which I've been wanting to try out for months).
Update: I bought the violin and dressed it with Evah GDA + Westminster E, all medium gauge. I'm happy with the way it sounds, though I can see myself wanting a little more out of the G string. I'm letting my violin awaken, so we will see about stark gauge in a couple months.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.