Warchal Timbre update

February 29, 2020, 5:55 AM · Just opening another thread to collect impressions.

I changed my Timbre strings last night a few hours before a concert. They stretch and break in remarkably quickly so that was a fairly low-risk enterprise.

A few observations-- the last set was three months old. While not at all false or obviously inadequate, they still sounded dull and had lost their juice maybe a month ago. I still don't know if time under pressure or actual hours of playing are the biggest variable with string senescence. This was after not-too-heavy use.

By the end, I was noticing some difficulty in getting the E string to speak, especially in higher registers. That may well have been a rosin issue. I was using Leatherwood Crisp, and perhaps that was the wrong fit. When I went back to A Piacere, things improved a lot. It is also possible (maybe) that the spiral in the top few inches of the string make certain things more difficult. Of course, there are a lot of other variables at play here, including a rehaired bow and new strings, plus modest tweaks in bridge position.

Anyway, we are doing much better now on that technical front. And the violin itself is sounding much brighter and more assertive, with all of the richness you expect from these strings. Will see how much past two months this set lasts.

Replies (13)

February 29, 2020, 7:02 AM · So, Warchal strings's durability is similar to Evahs?
February 29, 2020, 8:57 AM · The Timbres faded after 2 months. Nothing wrong, exactly, but no longer exciting.
By contrast, EPs fall off a cliff and go ludicrously false after 2 months, and sometimes before.
February 29, 2020, 11:16 AM · I’ve experienced a dull quiet bland sound with old evah but not them going off a cliff
Edited: February 29, 2020, 11:40 AM · Still, 2 months is very bad. 4 to 6 is the desired. Of course depending of how much you play.
February 29, 2020, 3:19 PM · Also, dropping from a very high level. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the ones I replaced were not at all bad.
February 29, 2020, 3:30 PM · I think it is my third set or so which I am currently using on my violin and I am pretty impressed. This one I have for 6 months with about 3h/day playing. I changed the other ones earlier, partially out of curiosity. So yes, a new set sounds different (more crisp, but this is mainly a thing under the ear anyway I guess), feels different for the fingers, but still I currently do not see a reason to change. Maybe the E.

My experience with 2-3 sets of EP Gold was that they did more collapse to unplayability (mainly in terms of response) after a while compared to Timbre.

March 1, 2020, 5:37 AM · Hmm... I feel tempted by the Timbres, but perhaps not just yet. Currently, on my main orchestral violin I have Warchal Ambers which are still giving excellent service after well over a year's busy use in rehearsals, concerts and home practice - I restrict my home practice mainly to dealing with the tricky bits of my orchestral repertoire, so more playing time goes into rehearsals and concerts than anything else.

I therefore see no reason at this time to change from Ambers, but who knows. Didn't someone say here once that Ambers are like Dominants that have been to university and come back with PhDs? I'd go along with that.

March 1, 2020, 5:56 AM · Perhaps I should go back and try those. For whatever reason, the one time I did try them, they didn't work so well for my instrument. Could have been an adjustment problem, of course...
Edited: March 1, 2020, 12:19 PM · @Stephen. Warchal have very useful advice on their website on how to break-in new strings. Here is the link:

Although Warchal's advice is in their Timbre section, it works for Amber - I've tried it.

Also, within the link above there is this link on cleaning strings, containing detailed advice on the topic:

Edited: March 1, 2020, 12:36 PM · Breaking in wasn't the problem-- it was overtones that never quite helped me out. They did stay on for more than 12 minutes.
March 2, 2020, 1:11 AM · All this talk of durability just makes me wish dominants broke in quicker.
March 8, 2020, 8:24 PM · I used Thomastik Dominant strings for about 30 years - until I tried and switched to Warchal Amber strings. They are superior to the Dominants in all respects. I have not tried the Warchal Timbre strings yet. Are they really an order of magnitude better than the Amber strings? I'm currently playing on Evah Pirazzi Gold strings. The warmth, power, and complexity are impressive, but their durability is not as good as the Warchal Amber strings. From a price to value perspective, I believe you may get more bang for your buck from Warchal Amber than from Evah Pirazzi Gold.
March 8, 2020, 9:55 PM · Everyone's violin, playing approach, and preference in sound is different. On my violin, Timbres are mostly as good as EP Golds, but the Timbre G is not particularly good on my violin. (I thought they were introducing an alternative G, but that does not seem to have materialized). They are, however, longer lived and thus more economical.

However, Thomastik Rondos work better than Timbres on my violin and are currently my string of choice, combined with an Amber E. Your mileage will, of course, vary.

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