If not Dominants then???
Flew put from Portland, Oregon this morning, currently hung up in O'Hare waiting for the last stage of my trip that keeps getting delayed. So I've been thinking on my next set of strings as my current spare set of Dominants were all installed while I've been out of town.
I prefer warm over bright strings, and my Chinese workshop intermediate level violin is on the warm side. Piastro Gold E works well for me.
There are a lot of options out there, I've seen all of the charts which are frankly confusing to this returnee.
What would be a good next set to try? I like having a spare set in case a string breaks so it would, in theory, have to play well with the Dominants and P. Gold E.
Suggestions? Thanks! Meanwhile they just delayed my flight yet again...
What have you used besides dominants? Obligatos are typically warm strings. I have them on my Chinese workshop viola and they're great on there. But have you tried a good set of brighter strings like Vision Solo or Evah Pirazzi? You might like the extra sizzle you get from them.
PI strings might suit you. They are like a better version of dominants. Although I don’t necessarily peg them as a warm string.
I have wondered if I should try a decent bright string, all I've used are Dominants and the Gold E (hated the Dominant E). Good thing to consider Paul and Duane. I should at least try the extra sizzle to be had from brighter strings - only way to find out if they would work.
Cantiga medium light.
Vision Solos are thought of as warm for some people rather than bright. I haven't tried them personally, but I think they could be a good match if they are in fact warm. I've been trying many different strings lately while being in college. The ones I have tried so far are:
I've 4 fine tuners, does that decrease my options with the two types of string ends?
Obligatos or, if you basically like the Dominants but want something a bit warmer, Infeld Red.
PI = Peter Infeld
I used the same combo you mentioned -- Dominant A-D-G + Gold E -- only once, 13-1/2 years ago, on my 1921 fiddle. The overall sound was good on this instrument. My only gripe was the
If you have a tailpiece with built-in fine-tuners you have to get ball-end strings. I recommend ball-end for other tuners as well. If you have such questions one thing you can always do is call Shar and ask for advice about your particular setup.
Thanks everyone! I wasn't sure if all string sets were available with ball-ends - shows you how much I know. I appreciate the ideas and things to consider, and will also discuss with my teacher.
Warchal Amber is good set, you can swap the A for Russian style steel A which is very long lasting.
I've used Infeld Red (and Blue) in the past. They are warmer-sounding Dominants, more or less; they have a similar feel to Dominants (same manufacturer, too), with a similar lifespan. Red and Blue are designed to be swappable, letting you customize the combination on the instrument for darker and brighter sounds on individual strings.
I’ve tried Infeld Reds on a few diffferent instruments.
Hmmm I might have to try infeld reds then. I have tried spirit before and I liked them but they didn't seem to last that long to me. But if I liked spirit then perhaps I will like infeld reds.
PI strings are Peter infield strings. They’re made by Thomastik, the same company that makes dominants. To me, they sound like a midpoint between Dominants and Evah Pirrazi strings. They’re louder than dominants, but not as bright as Evahs. I will say I’ve heard that these strings have the biggest dependence on the instrument. I think Lydia mentioned one time that they sounded terrible on a certain instrument of hers, but great on another. Also, I personally hated how obligatos sounded on my violin. I think they are such low tension that they just sound muddy, I think the A string was decent though. My teacher uses vision titanium solos and loves them.
Spoke to Luthier today when picking up my violin from the shop, he suggested that I give a set of Evah Pirrazi a try the next time I'm ready to change strings. He said that they are richer on the low end and brighter for A/E and he thought they would match my violin well.
To comment on Obligato: they are not "low tension"-perhaps only so in relation to EP. They sound fine, and only sound dark after their initial sheen/edge is gone. They are medium+ tension. I think regular Dominant mittel maybe be less tense than regular Obligato (there's no more weich/stark Obligato sold.)
Catherine - speaking to your luthier is the right thing to do. Different strings sound different on different violins. So asking questions about which strings to use, when addressed to people who cannot hear your violin, is likely not going to be very fruitful. As you can see, you have gotten a half dozen different, well-meaning recommendations, but from people who cannot hear what the current strings sound like.
The main thing to watch for with EPs-- apart from whether they are too high-tech sounding for your taste and technique-- is how quickly they become useless. Unlike a lot of strings that will fade gently until you have forgotten how good they can be, Pirazzis will fall off the cliff quie noticeably. It can become impossibly to play double-stops in tune, etc. But if you like them and they work for your instrument, enjoy them!
I was using PI for a while with a Jargar E, but just switched to Passione G and D, Evah Stark A and Kaplan E, which my violin likes and seems to be a warmer set-up. It took a minute to feel the set-up out in terms of bowing pressure, but I like the gut G and D.
Hahaha Christian - my violin hates Dominants too.