Warchal Brilliant or Amber?

March 20, 2019, 10:32 PM · Hi all,

My current set of Dominants are about dead, so I was considering experimenting with Warchal Ambers or Brilliants. For reference, I'm playing on an early 20th century French violin, which I would describe to be fairly resonant and warm. I've experimented with Peter Infeld's before, but were disappointed as they dampened the projection and took away the warmth and sweetness the Dominants had prior. I'm not really too sure what the main difference is between the Ambers and the Brilliants, and I was also wondering if I should go with the normal Brilliants or the vintage version. Given my experience with the PIs, it may be that my violin responds better with lower tensioned strings, but I'm not too sure if my instrument would fit the "vintage" label.


Replies (19)

March 21, 2019, 4:25 AM · They are all good strings but if you are looking for advice I would try the Ambers first, then the Brilliants and Vintage Brilliants. I do not think any of them will disappoint you.The Ambers are simikar to Dominant for comparison sake and the other two somewhat stiffer with higher tension.
March 21, 2019, 4:45 AM · So I did a little digging and found that: for whole set string tension, from lowest to highest:

Brilliant Vintage < Amber < Peter Infeld < Brilliant

March 21, 2019, 4:15 PM · Why are you only considering Warchal Brilliant and Amber? Anyway Brilliant is, as its name implies, supposed to be brighter and more forward, while Amber is supposed to somewhat emulate the sound of gut.

The Amber E is very popular on its own -- it's a non-whistling, deep-sounding yet powerful E that is produced by twisting a steel strand into a helix. (The Avantgarde A is a steel A string produced the same way -- and it's my favorite A string)

For the D and G I have tried Brilliants, Karneols and their new brand the Timbre and didn't love them. So I've gone back to Vision Solo D and G.

Anyway this is always a helpful site:


Also, you should ask your local luthier, sometimes they have strings you can try in the shop if you want to see how they sound on your fiddle.

March 21, 2019, 4:59 PM · The Warchal Anetyst set is low tension and I was pleased with them on one of my violins. Very affordable set as well
March 21, 2019, 8:10 PM · Depending on the violin of course, there is a similarity between Ambers and Dominants, but the Ambers have been to College.
March 22, 2019, 7:40 AM · I've used Warchal Ametysts on a violin that preferred Dominants over PI's, with great results. If it were me, I'd probably start with that set. You could also try Brilliant Vintage.
March 24, 2019, 10:27 AM · I play a early 19th/ late 20th century violin and I use Warchal Ambers on mine. It sounds fantastic, I really love the colours and sound that the strings create. Not all strings work for every instrument, however I love the Ambers. The brights are nice strings, but I have an already powerful instrument, so I needed to tame it as opposed to make it louder and obtuse in orchestra rehearsals! Good luck with your experimenting journey!
March 24, 2019, 10:33 AM · "I play a early 19th/ late 20th century violin"

And I thought current makers had long waiting lists.

April 4, 2019, 10:25 PM · I switched to Warchal Amber strings last year after having used Thomastik Dominant strings for over 30 years. I will never go back to Dominant strings and probably will never use any other strings ever again. Choosing strings that fit your playing style and your violin is not easy. You will need to experiment a bit before you find what you are looking for. It won't hurt to try the Warchal Amber strings. I'm sure you will be pleased.
April 5, 2019, 1:29 AM · For the older instrument I would start with Brilliant Vintage, which is lower tension.

By the way, I think Brilliant Vintage G-D-A is good with the Amber E.

April 5, 2019, 1:37 AM · I've tried Amber on two violins, they sound good, but the Amber e string can be louder than the other notes, needing soundpost adjustment etc.
April 5, 2019, 7:53 AM · For older violins, I really like the Brilliant Vintage. My guy is German, 1880, and extremely rich in tone. The B.V.'s really brought out some gorgeous colors in the lower strings, and I combined it with a Russian A (steel, like the Avantgarde A) and an Amber E.

I had used Obligatos prior, and before that, a set of Dominants. My instrument likes the lower tension, I think, and was extremely free and lovely with this set. It was worlds different from the Pirastros and PI's.

It's got the Warchal Timbres (with an EP Gold A because the Timbre A snapped two weeks after having it on...) and the violin just isn't as happy with them. Some days it cooperates, but others it sounds choked, and almost without the overtones I noticed with the combo set.

You could even try Amber Forte E if you like a more powerful E! I have yet to try it, but it'll be next on my list once I can scrounge up the cash for the B.V. G and D, and Russian A.

April 7, 2019, 9:26 PM · Warchal is in Slovenia
April 7, 2019, 11:05 PM · I've tried the regular brilliants with the amber e the summer before I left for my first year of college in fall 2017. They seem to me to be a better dominant. I was able to get a much warmer and round sound with them which does kind of deter from their name. The amber e was amazing. Plenty of warmth and power and it truly doesn't whistle. Perfect for Bach. For my return to Warchal, I plan to try the brilliant vintage for the G and D since they are closer in tension to dominant than the regular brilliants and although made in 2017, my violin prefers lower tension strings i.e dominants. In addition, I will try the Russian Style A and then, of course, use the amber E. If I like this set then I will try the same thing, but with the advantgarde A instead.
April 8, 2019, 2:00 AM · @Craig: Actually no, Warchal is in Slowakia.

As to the topic, I think I found "my" strings with the Amber. They bring out my violin's warmth and richness in overtones much better than many of the strings I have tried before.

April 10, 2019, 5:04 PM · Jeremy - have you asked your luthier for her/his opinion. That person can hear your violin with your current strings and can probably give fairly good advice. We can only speculate based on what we know about how these strings sound in general on violins or on specific instruments which may be different from yours in terms of characteristics. Good luck!
Edited: April 11, 2019, 1:38 PM · I am trying out an Amber set these days. Two weeks ago I played in a small orchestra in Bach's Johannes Passion, and in the interval a lady in the audience asked me which strings I was using. They sounded so well, she said, and she wanted to order a set for herself!

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