I was hoping to get some suggestions or information on what you’ve generally found to be dark strings. I have a viola that is bright and very clear so it can Handle all the dark fuzzy ness a string can throw and still be clear. I currently use obligato and am happy but I feel like I would enjoy trying strings now (when it’s on my parents dime) than when I’m in say college. I was thinking passiones but that may be a rotation away because I live in Georgia where 80% humidity or higher the whole summer is pretty much the norm.
Do the PIs or korneol have some of these characteristics because those are the options I’ve heard but wasn’t sure.
Thank you for any help
I think it's hard to achieve a dark sound with just strings. You could darken your sound with a variety of setup adjustments, such as getting a thicker bridge made for your viola.
I'm pretty new to viola world, but I know lots of violists love Larsen, if only just for the A. I haven't gotten new strings for my viola since it was restored in February, so I haven't done a ton of research. Warchal doesn't sell a set of Ambers for viola, do they?
You can also darken your sound with your technique, you know. Less vibrato, bowing over the fingerboard.
Warchal Ambers are available for viola. I've been thinking about trying a Warchal Amber A with my next string change, in fact.
For some instruments and players a mixture of string brands/manufacturers is required to get the balance that works best for a particular player. But a different mix might work better for some audience listeners.
What Andrew said. The general categories of strings are bright or warm and shades in between. Shar has a table showing the general characteristics of strings they sell. You might want to have a look.
Agree with previous posters -- different instruments will respond differently to the same strings. If you can get a luthier or another experienced player, maybe your teacher, to evaluate your current sound and setup, this person should be able to give you some direction on which way to go next.
Pirastro's Aricore are sweet and warm, and cheaper and longer lasting than Obligato. They "absorb" bumpy bowing, but lack "bite".
Well, if you can’t afford dark strings or a better viola, maybe use a small mute. Not one of those mutes that cover all the strings, but the small and passive circular mutes.
Sorry but I got stuck on: 'when its on my parent's dime'??
I'm with Andrew and Tom.
Get a life clue. This is what students do all the time. They aren't generally rich.
Interestingly, if you look at the gut strings on the Shar chart, they are all clustered in one corner in terms of characteristics (Warm/Subtle) except for Passiones, which are wound rather than pure gut, unlike the others Shar sells, and are in the middle of the chart with Dominants. I liked the Passiones on my violin until I took it to my summer house on Cape Cod and found that I was having to tune about every five minutes. So, I went back to Obligatos, which work well on both my instruments. That said, as others have pointed out, there are a number of factors which affect how your instrument sounds.
If you like Obligato, you might like Kaplan Amo very much. They are a bit cheaper, too.
Kaplan Amo (and Vivo) have an uncomfortably rough texture under the fingers, in my opinion.
Yes I mean trying strings while my parents are willing to help pay for them also I am using obligato but am not totally satisfied but I will be using another set because I’m heading to Brevard where it’s genuinely a rainforest so they are the most stable option. But gut may be something I try for the winter.
My viola (a decent chinese workshop instrument) came with obligatos. They were terrible. I switched to obligatos (recommended by my luthier Patrick Toole) and they were much better. I don't want anything darker. If anything I'd like to find strings that might give me more playability since this is somewhat a weak point of my viola. In terms of sound it's a cannon but it's not super responsive.
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