Karneol Viola Strings

June 15, 2019, 10:44 PM · Hey!

In March I posted a question about the Karneols, and I finally got around to getting some!

I just put them on about an hour ago, and even just tuning them up without the bow (I don't want to wake people up), I like them loads more than the Dominants.

I'll play them in a bit tomorrow and post an update!

Let's hope it stops raining and the humidity goes down in my room... It's 55%, which I like normally, but my pegs are sticky! I can get them almost to pitch, but I'm not quite strong enough to get that last bit without using the fine tuners. Maybe it's a sign that I should head to the gym... And get a dehumidifier... I applied graphite to them before changing each string.

Replies (11)

June 16, 2019, 12:58 PM · I love Karneol viola strings. At $42 a set, they are an incredible value and sound good on many instruments. The only criticism I have is that the wound A string is not always a good match for some violas because of the way it responds, thus I am currently using the Karneol C/G/D with a Larsen A.

Thomastik also released their Alphayue Viola strings, and those are also a good value at around the same price point, but their wire A string sounds tinny on some setups.

June 16, 2019, 11:39 PM · I am looking forward to try Karneol strings on my violin. But I don't think that will be my perfect string match because my violin is quite dark, but let's see :)
June 17, 2019, 10:34 PM · Martin, if it's really dark, and your violin is an antique, I highly recommend the Brilliant Vintage!! They have a combo with the BV D and G, Russian A, and Amber E and my dark violin LOOOVES them. I've got Timbres on now, which are just okay, but will definitely switch back to the combo when these die. If your violin is newer (I think the vintage strings are for instruments 100 years old and older) then I bet the regular Brilliants would be perfect!

I played in the Karneols a bit yesterday, and I really do like them. I got the synthetic A instead of the steel, and it's a little bright, but it's worlds better than the Dominants.

How long did it take you guys to break these in? My Timbres took like three days, and the combo I like took about the same. I ran through scales and some Bach for an hour or so yesterday and will do more tomorrow.

June 19, 2019, 12:40 AM · Hello Kristen,

I think it is a good idea to try. My violin is not yet antique, it was built in 1914, I don't know when I can call it antique :) (but I would like to). I would try them on Your recommendation, Brilliants are on my long list "to try", but I did not think about Vintage version, but yes, You are right :) And I also like to try more Warchal strings.

A funny and little bit sad about the fact that the company is from Slovakia (I am from the Czech Republic) and we were one state Czechoslovakia between 1945-1992 and we have almost similar language (compatible). I have many Slovak colleagues and we are talking with our languages on both sides. And You must order Warchal strings from abroad :( cheapest are from England (people let me know where to buy in my country all of the variants for a reasonable price) ... But they have my plus points because are Slovak and it is small family company :).

I'm glad You like karnelos, it is a great moment to find good strings. Thanks and enjoy the music :)

June 19, 2019, 3:31 AM · Martin - you can order directly from the Warchal web site. And if you register an account you can get your first trial set of each type at half the price.
Edited: June 19, 2019, 5:43 AM · Oh, yes Martin order right from them! It took me a month to get mine, but I'm in the US so you're a lot closer.

Your instrument would "qualify" for the Vintage set! I'd go for it!!! They're amazing. The Russian A is a steel A, but it's so warm that it sounds synthetic! And the Amber E is coiled where it spans the gap between bridge and fingerboard, which allows it to be squeak-proof! I didn't whistle once when I had my Amber E on!

And, if something goes wrong, their customer service is amazing. I've emailed them twice (my Timbre A snapped two days after putting it on, probably due to the fine tuners, she said, and this time I thought my Karneols got lost in the mail) and Klaudia has been extremely pleasant and helpful each time! :)

Edited: June 19, 2019, 7:34 AM · I know, they are amazing, I love their company, but from their website, the price of Brilliants Vintage is 90eur (not at first shop in here). And on British e-shop (I will give a link) is the same strings, but 27usd cheaper, and the same thing for all Warchal strings. Incl. shipping, from Slovakia, is shipping 6euros and from England 2 pounds (almost same as 2 euros). But it is an option.

Same price at Thomann from Germany (and few less known shops). Little bit confused from the price politics.

30 usd is significant money for people in my country, you can have good bow rehair high level concert (Joshua Bell) or food for my family for a few days :).

I have already used first shopping discount, I think it is amazing.

I am ordering from England (here: https://www.thestringzone.co.uk) almost every string set, I am just sad, that in my country, with a lot of violin history, too many players, in Prague (capital, where I live) is around 30 luthiers and many shops, you cannot buy strings from Slovakia.

EDIT:
This is not just Warchal that you cannot find options here and you must order from abroad. Many string variants are unavailable, I am just sad for it, we have a really huge concentration fo musicians, I know tons of people playing strings. But it is a market, maybe older musicians are used to buy same strings for decades and younger people finds comfortable to order, maybe. There are companies with huge variants and order possibilities but not so rich like in Germany, England or France.

June 19, 2019, 7:31 AM · Kristen, yes You motivated me :) I will definitely try as soon as my strings go out. :) I tried Ametyst and Nefrit already, they are great, but it did not match my violin for 100%, these can I think.
June 19, 2019, 8:06 AM · I think you are allowed to use the trial discount once PER STRING TYPE. So even if you already tried Ametyst you should still be able to get the discount on the Brilliant
June 19, 2019, 9:44 AM · You can use the discount for the combo, too! But, if it's still too expensive (it's expensive for me too, I almost didn't order the Karneols), then I'm sure ordering abroad is good too! :)
June 19, 2019, 11:10 AM · Bo: Oh, great I will ask before, thanks for hint :)

Kristen: Yes it is a good option, I am just a little bit sad sometimes from that situation. No problem with ordering abroad, also I don't have a problem to support good company, like Warchal or my luthier (I rather buy violin case from him than big company, to let him earn money).

It is interresting the temperament of the instruments. My violin is around $1800 instrument (these price categories did not tell too much about instruments in Europe, in USA violins like mine are priced much higher and sometimes very good violin is cheap). Made in my country in 1914 by the family of Karl Hammerschmidt, after 1920 the family switched to make clarinets and oboes and they are doing them until today in Germany.

My wife has violin from one former luthier from famous violin family Vávra (I think abour 4 generations of luthiers, beginning the 5th with his son). I heard that from grand grandpa of Karel Vávra made violin for Otakar Ševcík (yes he was Czech violinist - also Ševcík is common surname, I had math teacher Martin Ševcík on my elementary school :)). This violin is great, it is 4 times more expensive and has absolutely different flavour. Built in 2004, bought by my father-in-law for my wife when she was playing like young girl in string quartet. It is bright very loud modern instrument.

My violin is different, little bit wild :D I am looking forward to try. Oh my :) I changed to Corelli crystal this weekend :D

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