Rondo D strings

Edited: July 9, 2019, 1:09 PM · Anyone having problems with Rondo D strings breaking?

Replies (34)

July 9, 2019, 3:07 PM · No, and we go through a couple dozen sets a month.
July 9, 2019, 3:54 PM · I'm curious what the playing-life of these strings are expected to be.

Took about three or four days for them to break in on my violin. During the break-in period they were ultra-resonant and just the tiniest bit over-brilliant. Post break-in they are very stable, slightly less resonant but with a little less edge.

As far as I know, none of my local shops sell them, which is going to present a problem as soon as I need another set.

July 9, 2019, 4:23 PM · Thanks Michael.
July 9, 2019, 7:04 PM · I am finding that they last a relatively long time. In my main axe, I am on their 4th month— admittedly not with fantastic amounts of playing. But they don’t fall off the table like EPs, and fade more slowly than Dominants. I don’t like the E, but the rest are very good.
July 9, 2019, 7:05 PM · @Lydia: How would you compare Rondo with Dominant, Warchal Timber or Amber?
July 9, 2019, 7:59 PM · Good stuff! I just bought a set a few days ago and am waiting for them to arrive!
July 9, 2019, 8:06 PM · Interesting description Lydia! Right now I'm weighing the difference between Warchal Amber and PI Red, your description has me curious to hear your response to Kevin's question.
Edited: July 9, 2019, 9:30 PM · Jamie, where did you order from? To my knowledge they are not sold online.

This is arguably the best set of strings I have tried on this violin, and I have tried a LOT of strings on it, courtesy of a local shop with trial sets. I might like Passiones better for greater warmth, but the Rondos have a ton of power while being easily shaped. I am using the Warchal Amber E that I always use, and the medium gauge Rondos on the the other strings.

On my violin the Rondos are more even than the Timbres, and there is more brilliance to the sound. They are more focused and have more bite than the EP Golds I've used. I have not tried a full set of Ambers on this violin. Infreld Reds were dull. Dominants were simply okay.

I will note that my desire from a string may not match yours. Rondos on my violin punch effortlessly through an orchestral texture in a concerto; there is a cutting edge to the brilliance. They will take a lot of arm weight without the sound cracking and they are very responsive. There's excellent volume under my ear too. I don't want strings to change the sound, so much as I want them to just bring out the natural character of the instrument.

Edited: July 9, 2019, 8:40 PM · Some people have told me that the G is the first string to go bad, but by that time it has been so long that they feel guilty and change them all.

Agreed, the E is the worst of the set and we often substitute a tin-plated carbon steel Dominant, which is an excellent string when it works.

Edited: July 9, 2019, 9:12 PM · Thanks Lydia, you told me what I needed to know. It will be a bit before I'm ready for my teacher's string orchestra. It will likely be Warchoal strings - torn between trying Amber's or Brilliant - when I do pull the trigger (and Warchoal gives a heavy discount for that first order to sweeten the deal). Have read mixed reviews on Infeld Reds, many saying what you did, and I have Dominants + Piastro Gold E already.
The Rondos sound amazing!
July 9, 2019, 9:04 PM · Hi everyone! Here is the link to order a set. They are from Connolly string!

https://www.connollymusic.com/thomastik/rondo-luthier-strings

Edited: July 9, 2019, 9:33 PM · Thanks, Jamie.

Michael, how's the steel A for the set? I really like Warchal's Avantagarde A; the E on my violin is pretty intense, and a steel A means less of a big color break going from E to A. (With the Warchal Amber E and the Rondo synthetic A, the color change is immense.)

Catherine, note that "PIs" (Peter Infelds) are totally different from Infeld Red/Blue. They are all Thomastik strings, but PIs are a very expensive, very high-quality set. I've used Warchal's Brilliant Vintage previously and like them very much; they last a long time and aren't very expensive and are thus a great budget choice.

July 10, 2019, 12:33 AM · Rondo strings are wonderful, and they last a very long time. I get over double the lifespan on a set versus things like Evah Pirazzi.
July 10, 2019, 4:27 AM · Thanks Lydia, that company has so many string offerings that I get their names confused. Curious about the PIs, but not at my level. I've read the same thing on the Brilliant Vintage. I'm curious about both the Avantegard and Russian A, but I want to try one of their full sets before starting to mix things up. I want to see how my violin responds to something other than Dominants.
July 10, 2019, 7:04 AM · Talk about a first-world problem.
July 10, 2019, 10:45 AM · Gene, that's good to know. EPGs have lasted about 3 to 4 months for me, but I suspect that's the point where they annoy my teacher so much that I feel obliged to change them, as opposed to when the sound really drops off a cliff, which is probably closer to 2 months. I've had better luck with Passiones going 6 months sounding okay even though optimal is probably just 3 months. Warchals I've been able to keep around 8+ months, and the steel strings often last through two sets of synthetics, so close to a year.

Catherine, try Tonica and Visions, both reasonable cost strings that are pretty neutral, if you don't love the Dominants. If you like your Dominants but want to tweak slightly darker or brighter for individual strings, Infeld Red/Blue is useful for that.

July 10, 2019, 12:38 PM · Lydia, which tension of the Amber E do you use? If you've tried both, what are the differences? Thanks
July 10, 2019, 12:47 PM · I've only used the medium-gauge E. Heavy E strings don't work well on my violin; they choke the sound. (My previous violin did well with a Jarger Forte E.) My current violin is pretty prone to whistling. The Amber E never whistles unless I do something really incorrect with the bow.
July 10, 2019, 3:28 PM · Does anybody know the differences between the Rondo strings and PI strings in terms of warmth/brightness and playing response? I'm thinking of making the switch back to synthetics and PI's were very nice but slightly one dimensional and high powered compared to, say, Larsen Tziganes. Also are Rondo's pretty high-tension or on the lower side? Thanks
July 10, 2019, 5:30 PM · Catherine,
If you're considering the Warchal strings I've found them for a really compelling price at concordmusic.com. $57 for the Amber and then $44.65 for the Brilliant and $46.50 for the Brilliant Vintage. I use the Amber with the Avantgarde A myself. If you ever want to try the Avantgarde or Russian A after trying a full set they have them, but you have to search for them in the search bar for some reason.

Amber:
https://www.concordmusic.com/products/warchal-amber-violin-set

Brilliant/Brilliant Vintage:
https://www.concordmusic.com/collections/warchal-brilliant-violin-strings
Brilliant Vintage:

Edited: July 10, 2019, 5:39 PM · For lack of a better description, EPG starts to sound very "crunchy" after about 5-6 weeks for me (on the instrument average ~4 hours a day), and by that point it's darned near impossible to play pianissimo tone color near the fingerboard. I will admit that the first week or so with them is absolutely thrilling though. :)

In contrast, I have been getting about three months of use on Rondo sets before there is a noticeable degradation in their sound quality--despite their price I keep buying them because of this!

July 10, 2019, 6:03 PM · For me the EPGs were really good on the D and A strings. The e was so so, but the G choked really bad up in high positions. My guess was that the G string was too high tension for my violin, so I tried to see if there was a lighter gauge for the set, but they only come in the one. So I first tried Tonica and they worked but the sound wasn't as warm as I wanted so then I tried Dominants. They were better but still not quite there. To me they were just slightly more complex than the tonica which made them seem a bit warmer. Finally I tried the Warchal Ambers and now I couldn't be happier.

I have thought of trying Eudoxas and probably still will just so I can try gut. Looking back now I suppose I could have tried the Gold G in the EPGs since it's a lower tension but oh well.

Edited: July 10, 2019, 9:05 PM · According to Thomastik's catalog, PI and Rondo are at similar tensions, which are slightly higher than Dominants. The sound has a lot of brilliance and edge on my violin, whereas Tziganes are a rich, complex sound (but they are brutally short-lived). I would compare Rondo more to EP, PI, and other strings on the very bright end of the spectrum. They have a broader range of tonal colors than EP on my violin, but no matter what, there's a lot of high-frequency edge. They are a bit closer to the way EPGs sound, but with a more open ring and a bit more sharpness of focus. (To get EPGs to work on my violin requires a setup adjustment, too; they have a tendency to squeak otherwise.)

The EPG silver G is nice. The gold G seems warm but unfocused.

Edited: July 11, 2019, 7:00 AM · Thanks Lydia! My Luthier suggested Vison Solos or EPG when I saw him yesterday- or Passiones if I want to try gut- which I do but not for my first non-Dominant strings I think.
July 11, 2019, 9:30 AM · Rondo will have a bit of bright balance, but are much woodworking sounding than PI, which can be somewhat one-dimensional. So most of the virtues of PI and a huge reduction in the faults.
July 11, 2019, 9:58 AM · Lydia, I didn't know that there was a steel A until I looked at the link. I have never seen one. We just use what comes normally, except for the E, usually.
July 11, 2019, 10:48 AM · What E’s are you all using with the Rondos? How is the Rondo E itself?
July 11, 2019, 10:53 AM · I'm not familiar with strings that sound "woodworking." Is that like fruity? Or mineral?
July 11, 2019, 12:06 PM · To me EP sound woodworking - like resawing on a tablesaw or cutting a dado with a router ??
July 11, 2019, 12:44 PM · James, I didn't try the Rondo E itself, since I usually swap Es in sets anyway, and I like the Amber E that I normally use. (I'd tried a number of other E strings on this violin previously.)
July 11, 2019, 4:42 PM · For me, Rondo E sounded tight and tense. Normally I use PI platinum, but would be willing to experiment to get something a bit warmer.
July 16, 2019, 9:42 PM · I am loving the Rondos so far!
July 17, 2019, 3:12 AM · Woody. Stupid iphone.
July 19, 2019, 5:12 AM · If you are considering testing the offerings from Warchal they have a free shipping offer today....


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