Does string tension relate to sound quality
Given the same brand or type of strings, and disregarding a players ability to play or not play them-
Is there a trend in the difference of tone between, say, medium tension strings and heavy tension? Or medium tension and light tension. Do heavier strings sound better?
Heavy strings: louder, stronger tone and slower / stiffer response.
Different tensions for different fiddles. In fact even different string tension relationships between the strings on each fiddle for different fiddles.
I would like to add to Cotton's description of heavy strings sound: "louder, stronger tone and slower / stiffer response". It does sound louder mainly close to ones ear, since the basic frequency do manifest louder. On the other hand, there are less overtones, so the sound may turn even to dull and choked side with tension increase. This is why such strings may be even less present from the distance or if played with orchestra etc.
I tried light gauge strings once, they felt like rubber bands. I suspect the bridge needed to be raised to increase the tension and volume. Maybe the bridge height needs to correlate with string tension.?
Every single detail on instrument ant its setup does correlate with others of course. However, your violin may be simply to stiff and heavy for light gauge strings. In such case there is no much sense to try adjusting the bridge to light tension strings. The strings tension will be not affected by increasing the bridge height in fact. The force the bridge does press against the top plate will be affacted only. String tension is simply a mass (weight) in motion. If it is not enough to move the plates, you are out of luck. If you will be looking for a new violin one day, I recommend trying those, working with light(er) gauge of strings. They will be much closer to old Italians in general.
In my violin's case, light tension works the best, even with synthetics. Barring a few outliers, I do not feel compeled to try modern synthetics, as the general standard is "medium" being "medium heavy", and my violin doesn't sound as airy and free with them. For some gut strings, I use heavier gauges when the "regular" tension is a bit low, even for me.
Interesting how the light gauge felt much looser ( like rubber bands ) than the heavy gauge on the same bridge.? And heavy gauge on a very low bridge resonate much more than on a very high bridge.?
I don't want to hack the thread, but I wander how you all seek for the right string combination. I really like the strings I have now, but I can only hear how they sound under my ear. I don't now how they sound from a distance (and if there is an effect like mr Warchal explained)
if you have a pro mic with a pro spectrum meter, for me whenever i'm deciding on strings i have my tutor playing it while i take couple steps back and listen.
I have frequently checked my violin and viola sound by playing the instruments in cello position (vibrato is lots easier that way too - and not just because I am also a cellist). This puts the sound source further from my ears and in an orientation closer to that of the typical listener. I know it is too close to my ears for a full evaluation, but the result tells me more than from under the chin.
I'm currently using Warchal Amber D and G, Russian A and Amber E.
Thanks :-). Have you tried Timbre already?
I have been a Warchal fan for many years and have used all of your strings except for the newest Timbre, and somewhat disappointed that I have not tried them because I am unable to purchase them conveniently through the usual sources such as Shar or Southwest Strings.
Yes; why doesn't SHAR sell Warchal strings? This is nuts.
They used to sell us in the past, but we did not make a deal then. It happens in business from time to time. Nevertheless, even if we would renew our cooperation (and I hope there is still a chance to do it in the future), Timbre would be not available there. It is excluded from on-line sales except of our corporate on-line shop. So answering the question thoroughly, you can get Timbre online directly from us. In any case, I would still like to encourage you asking Timbre at your maker or restorer. You might get it even cheaper there. Our stockists are not obliged to keep the official Timbre price unlike us.
Hi Mr. Warchal,
The force that the string applies to the bridge equals the force that the bridge applies to the instrument exactly and always of course.
Wow- lots to think about- and not enough money or time here.