Is it time to change my e string?? Any similar E's to infeld red??

Edited: November 15, 2019, 10:28 AM · Hi all! I've had my sets of infeld red strings on my violin for around 3 months and today my A just broke so I might want to buy different strings to try my A & E since I'm really loving the infeld red D & G

I do have a question on E's though.. I love how the infeld red E sounded; the warmth is just about right for me. However, it started to whistle from time to time..

Worst part is these few weeks i'm having major issues with it because it sounds really HORRIBLE when i tune on fifths with A string.. the E just couldn't sound properly when it's on open strings with A. it's the same when my teacher tried to tune as well..

Does this just mean the strings should be changed or does this got to do with the response??

Also, I would appreciate if anyone could advise on any E strings that sound similar to infeld red's warmness? and lasts longer & whistles less? I've been thinking obligatos but I did hear some reviews that the response is slow.. I would love if it had infeld red's warm, adding some sweetness and slightly more powerful (i don't know if that makes sense xD)

Also need some advice on A's! I do find that my violin tend to be weaker on A's. I remembered I pretty like the punch from vision solos but it's not warming to my ears, hence i kinda had a love=hate relationship with it. Infeld red ones didn't have any partciular warmness nor punch nor sweetness to it.

Thanks all in advance!

Replies (12)

November 15, 2019, 10:45 AM · When I used the Infeld Reds in the past I started to use an Infeld Blue A string with the set. I really enjoyed the blue as opposed to the red A string! You could give that a try if you were interested in trying a different A.

The e string in the set always worked well for my set up so I cannot comment on any short comings when I used it. I’m currently using an Evha Pirazzi gold e string and I very much like it!!!

November 15, 2019, 11:10 AM · I'm using Warchal Amber E, and the Russian A.
The E has a lovely warm sound, and the Russian A matches it nicely.
So I have the G and D with the richness you'd expect, and the quick response on the A and E.
November 15, 2019, 3:23 PM · Pirastro Oliv E medium or stark. Stark would be closer to the Infeld Red E in tension, but the Medium *may* work better for your instrument (I do not know what your instrument needs.) Both gauges are nice strings, though I have been avoiding stark Es for some time.

The aforementioned Amber E does not whistle. That said, it's possible to play plated strings without whistling for some players/instruments.

The Infeld Red E is a few dollars more than the Oliv.

November 15, 2019, 10:20 PM · Thank you all for the replies! Will consider them. I've read about warchal amber E too and I would love to try them but they aren't available at any of the stores in my country... And I'm not really keen on buying online. So maybe I'll give a try for the few other strings

Any feedbacks on obligatos or jargar?

November 16, 2019, 12:01 PM · I tried obligato’s once. They were ok, pretty but not quite focused enough for my personal taste. I didn’t dislike them per say but didn’t like them enough to buy again. After they had worn out I went back to the Infeld red/blue set mentioned above.

I had been using the full set of Kaplan Amo for quite sometime and this is hands down one of my favourite type of strings if you like warmth but still focus. If your interested in trying a completely different full set of strings I highly recommend these!

Edited: November 16, 2019, 2:22 PM · Hi Evione,

I have used many Es, including all but the Oliv Es mentioned above.

For my violins, Larsen Es, similar to Larsen A for viola, are the initial default, especially Larsen Tzigane E and gold E. Based on my experience, Larsen gold E keeps warmth and sweetness of Infeld Red E, but more colorful, brilliant, focused, projecting, and purer.

It is worth noting for two characters of Larsen gold E: (1) While Larsen strings are known for low tension, the gold E is indeed moderate to slightly high tension, i.e. 17.7 lb for the gold Larsen E (medium) vs. 16.1 lb for the steel (standard) Larsen E (medium), (2) While not everyone has used the Larsen gold E (as it is, admittedly, not that well-known or very popular), it indeed has the highest rating from the users. Just to have an online search to read the reviewer's comments to figure it out yourself.

I have more than one violin, and each of them prefers and thus is strung with a different string set (or combo). Coincidentally, the main violin is currently strung with Infeld Red G, D, A, and Larsen gold E (medium), although Infeld Reds are not my all-time favorite.

To your last point, Obligato gold E is very pleasant sounding, sweet and warm. However, the gold coated tends to be worn off very quickly and thus the string is short-lived in my experience. The standard steel Obligato E is a typical Pirastro E (pleasant, singing, and clear, with a hint of mellowness and sweetness, but a little vanilla, thin, and lack of personality), Jargar Es are prominent, particularly for combo use, such as in combo with Dominants and Obligatos. The Jargar E forte is very popular, and sounds round, beefy, full, warm, and projecting. the Jargar E medium is pleasant and mellower sounding. I use the Jargar forte E frequently, with the medium E only on one of the old violins with very thin table plate (a 18th century high arch German).

Obligato G, D, and A are often great on bright instruments, and indeed the lower two (G & D) are currently strung on one of my French violins, the brightest among all I have. My feel on the Obligatos would describe as chocolate dark, warm, big, gusty, but somewhat "processed". On the other hand, Jargar lower strings (G & D) are not usable (very dull and dry in my experience), in sharp contrast to the outstanding Jargar E and A.

Needless to say, each instrument is different, you will never know whether the strings are "right" until they are on your instrument.

Edited: November 16, 2019, 1:42 PM · I liked a light, regular larsen gold plated E I tried last year. Worth noting that they all sound different despite the gold plating. The Larsen has a bit more higher frequency extension, slightly less body than Oliv, but a nice, penetrating though non-biting edge. Both are good options, and all boils down to personal and instrument preference. The nice thing about the regular Larsen gold plated is that the tension is not too much-but they may have changed the gauges since last I used it (check a current catalog info.)

The difference *may* be that the Oliv and Obligato Es are "chromesteel", not a gold plated plain steel, but I have no factual evidence. The EP Gold pkated E is also not chromesteel.

In my use, the Oliv E (same as Obligato E) matched my gut strings a bit better, but I really enjoyed the regular Larsen E's tonal color.

Finally, the gold plating wearing off doesn't happen for me much-may depend on each player's perspiration and location's climate.

November 17, 2019, 6:45 AM · Thanks once again for all the insights! I might consider trying EP gold / obligato for the A's, and EP gold / obligato / Larsen for E's.

Talking about gold e strings, my infeld red E was gold. WAS. I perspire quite a lot so those golden sparkle was all gone in about 1.5-2months? I do realize as the gold plate wears off, the sound dried up too.

From what I see on the descriptions from my local stores, EP gold & Obligatos are "goldsteel" E's while Larsen are similar to infeld red "gold-plated". I suppose these 2 "types" of gold make a difference??

Edited: November 17, 2019, 12:19 PM · Obligato gold E is also gold-coated, similar to the Infeld Red and the Larsen. If do not necessarily go with a gold E, you may have a few better options.

For instance, Jargar E (forte), as you mentioned earlier, is great to be combo with Dominants (it is a default combo among many pros). I have used and like that combo. I would think it is very likely a good choice to be combo with Infeld Reds, given both Dominants and Infeld Reds being made by Thomastik. Personally, Larsen Tzigane E (stark) is the favorite. I start with Larsen Tzigane E (stark) on all instruments, then exchange to the others if necessary. The Tzigane has all the desirable attributes I like for a E string. Again, not to be confused with the gauge, the stark Larsen Tzigane is still of medium tension (17.8 lb).

If you are also open to wound E strings, I would think that Pirastro Universal No. 1 E is worth for a test. On my violin, it sounds pleasant, round, warm, and sweet, maybe slightly less brilliant or powerful at the high registry than the gold strings such as the Larsen gold.

Among A strings, I would think Vision Solo A is very difficult to be surpassed, which you have already used. Probably you may, if have not yet, give a try of EP (green) A. Interestingly, most people consider EP strings to be bright and monochrome. However, in my experience, they have mellow, textured, colorful and warm tonal character on more than one of my instruments.

EP gold strings are extremely powerful and soloistic. Unfortunately, they did not work for me. I would describe the tonal character as radiant, synthetic, and processed, much more processed than Obligatos.

As you, similar to me, prefer warm tone, Kaplan AMO might worth a try (I bought a set for the very same reason, but have not had a chance to play on them yet). Among what I have used, I would think Passione (regular) and Warchal Amber (excluding the no-whistle but bright/brilliant Amber E) should be also considered as they paired nicely with my bright as well as neutral sounding violins. When use Passione G, D, A, I often combo them with the wound Universal E.

November 19, 2019, 12:46 AM · I see thanks Zhi-Yi! Will have to consider again which to try first..

Meanwhile, I've changed my A back to my vision solo since my infeld reds broke. The first 2days were horrible, my G&D and A were practically CLASHING with each other. But magically on the 3rd day, they seemed to have made friends with each other and sounded even together.

But! It seems like my infeld red G&D gave some of their warmth to the vision solo A and the A also gave some of its brightness/loudness to them. Therefore my G&D doesn't sound as sweet&warm as before.. :/

I'm thinking whether if I change only my E will it help to bring back warmth for all the strings? (I did read that some commented that the E strings will affect greatly on the sound of other strings)

November 19, 2019, 6:29 AM · I seriously doubt that "goldsteel" is an alloy containing iron and gold.
November 19, 2019, 7:08 AM · Note that the bow can well have a dramatic effect on the tone, not just volume but the tone color. Which is why I, and many others, have more than one bow in the violin case.

As a general rule, it's usually better to use the E that comes with the other strings in the set, because the string makers generally put a lot of thought and effort into getting the optimum balance across the set. However, an individual violin/viola will sometimes still insist on its own idiosyncratic mix of strings, as perhaps we're seeing here.

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