Shrill A string after changing OTHER strings?

Edited: November 18, 2019, 3:03 AM · After using Vision C/G/D and Larsen A strings for almost two years (three sets of them) and being quite happy with the combination, I decided to give Vision Solo a try with my most recent string change. The A string in the new set remained Larsen. Unchanged gauge too -- I've always used medium gauge for all strings regardless of brand.

Now that I've had Vision Solo C/G/D and Larsen A on my viola for about six weeks, I've come to an evaluation I find interesting. The Vision Solo strings are slightly brighter and quicker to respond than the old Vision strings, which I like on my viola. But oddly, it's the Larsen A, the one string that didn't switch brands, that now sounds shrill. I'm wondering what the cause is. Is it that the Larsen doesn't play well with the increased tension of the other strings? Unconsciously increased bow weight from my hand and arm getting used to the Vision Solos? Or is it possible that I just have a defective A string this time?

Replies (11)

November 18, 2019, 9:52 AM · I wonder if your old Vision A is picking up vibrations from the new Vision Solos that perhaps weren't so prominent in the old Visions, and therefore making the old A sound shriller?
November 18, 2019, 10:10 AM · I never join in threads on E strings, because my A string is always the one that gives me more gyp, lol! (Dominants and Tonicas)
Edited: November 18, 2019, 3:27 PM · Perhaps I should clarify. I changed all four strings. My earlier set was Vision C/G/D, Larsen A. My new set is Vision Solo C/G/D, Larsen A. By "unchanged" I mean the brand of the A string is unchanged, not the string itself.

But it's possible different overtones from the Vision Solo strings are causing it.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced something like this, with either a viola A string or a violin E string, and the one string whose brand is unchanged seems to have the biggest change in sound.

November 18, 2019, 3:33 PM · With different tension strings the balance of forces on the two bridge feet will be different than before and the way vibrations transmit into the viola corpus is different.

It is also possible that more than that is going on - probably so.

November 19, 2019, 3:07 AM · Have you tried reinstalling your old Larsen A to see if it sounds different from the new one?
Edited: November 19, 2019, 3:50 AM · Another thing: we always compare strings with many hours' use with brand new ones....
So even with the old E the new strings of a different brand may have their effect.
So ? If you have the patience, you can also try the new E with the old lower strings..

In any case, after removing and replacing the same used strings (for cleaning, etc.) the tone will seem different.

November 19, 2019, 5:09 AM · Another thing to consider is that if strings sound brighter, the upper partials of the overtone series become more prominent. And the higher one goes in the overtone series based on different but harmonically related pitches the more the overtones match between the different series. So it may well be that the Vision Solo strings are simply bringing out more of the higher overtones of the A string than the non-Solo Vision strings did.

One way to know whether or not the new Larsen A that you installed is defective is to put back the old Larsen A that you took off and see if you get the same shrillness from it.

November 19, 2019, 8:06 AM · Vision solo (at least on a violin) is an extremely ringing and powerful string. It's not overly bright, but it does excite many higher harmonics, so the high pitched harmonics and hiss becomes really prominent.

I suspect this rings out new (perhaps unwanted) qualities of your A to prominence.

On a violin, a proper E string will tame the rest of the strings, in term, vision solo set will brighten up the sound of E string.

Could it be, that vision solo brightens up your A just slightly too much?

November 20, 2019, 2:31 AM · Interesting thoughts. I'll try the old Larsen string when I have a bit of extra time.
November 22, 2019, 12:39 PM · Or try putting the old Visions back on and see what happens to the A.
November 23, 2019, 12:48 AM · I had Dominants on all strings and my A recently broke. I had a Jargar medium to replace it. I really like the Jargar A and was thinking today that the sound of all the other strings had changed
for the better as a result of the new string. So I believe it's possible.

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