New Larson Il Cannone

Edited: September 7, 2017, 1:53 PM · Did anyone already have a hand on those?

Replies (41)

September 6, 2017, 5:39 AM · Another day, another new set of strings to test.
Edited: September 6, 2017, 9:08 AM · Right on, Douglas.

In the past I have thought highly of Virtuoso and Tzigane strings and they sounded good for many months. The last few years I have used the lower price strings in the $40 price range and have been just as contented with the variety available and saved a lot of money. I do not necessarily equate higher priced strings as being superior to Tonicas and Warchals and Dominants. Olives yes.

I should spring for the expensive platinum E as many have touted,(( Andrew V.)), to see if it improves the balance of the lower strings. Maybe a present to self this Christmas.

Edited: September 6, 2017, 10:09 AM · To me Dominants are one of the most expensive strings on the market! 25$/month is more expensive than $15/month for PI (one platinum e included) for example, still PI are considered more expensive.
The virtuoso worked for tmy a string, but the rest of the set was just too bright for me. Tzigane are nice if I play in orchestra, and very easy to play. What I dislike is that they loose resonancy fastly.
Ill canone seem not to have a good description yet? I have no idea where to put those. Also the name does not make them easy to google! In my opinion bad marketing to choose a name already very fix in the google database.
I still have not tried Warchal, maybe on the next set.
September 6, 2017, 4:46 PM · I used Tziganes recently. They were awesome for about two weeks, then not so great, and by three months, I changed them.

I'm curious what the tension of these new strings are.

September 7, 2017, 7:20 AM · Lydia - I think I'm around the three month mark with my Tziganes and am ready to change them - they feel/sound flat. I have one more set of them, so I'll be using them and likely switching to something else - although I love the feel of the Tziganes under my fingers. Who knows, so many strings, so little time...

Will be interesting to see what folks have to say about these new Larsens.
September 7, 2017, 10:34 AM · I'm about to change my current set (Warchal Amber / Avantgarde on the upper two strings, which have lasted a year and more and actually still sound good! and EP Golds on the lower strings) and think I am going to put it off for a bit so that I can try out these new Larsens.
Edited: September 7, 2017, 11:41 AM · @Lydia -- you going to try the medium or the "solo" Larsen Il Cannone?
Edited: September 7, 2017, 11:41 AM · Medium. I prefer lower-tension strings. (Based on their tension charts, it appears that these are basically the same tension as the other Larsen strings, which are all moderate-tension.)
September 7, 2017, 1:26 PM · Yeah its spelled Cannone, that might help in your search.
September 7, 2017, 1:36 PM · Yep, smartphone eats some of my typings sometimes...
September 7, 2017, 2:06 PM · Is this true;
List Price: $179.50
I found this on If this is true, its amazingly high!
September 7, 2017, 2:25 PM · Not really...

That's the LIST price, not the selling price. For comparison, the LIST price for a set of Dominants is $102.94.

Edited: September 7, 2017, 2:28 PM · sound compass

They seem to be as brilliant as the virtuoso.

Edited: September 7, 2017, 2:30 PM · On sale for $82, in 2 gauges.
September 7, 2017, 2:31 PM · Woha, was not aware of the us list prices.
September 7, 2017, 5:24 PM · Ironically, not all instruments sound "Solo" with higher tension. Medium or less often sound more "Solo"-and I would also choose "medium," if I was interested.

Unfortunately, the marketing for this one set seems fairly extravagant and hyperbolic (a fault shared with advertising for EP golds and Infeld Pis) and I have no interest in shelling out $82.00 for them. For the prize, you can buy other technically "better deals" out there. I mean, I am sure they will be fine and "soloistic" ("biting"), but they have no relation to Paganini or his Caprices dedication.

Hope they work out well for all of you, though.

September 7, 2017, 6:10 PM · A year? Wow... Even when I played a lot as a youngster I still changed my strings every three months. Maybe I like to change them frequently? Too frequently??? (I used to play on Dominants.)
September 7, 2017, 6:27 PM · Pamela,

She means her steel strings-the G&D I am sure she changes regularly. Steel As are great for their durability, stability, and playing response, and can sound good even if not gut/synthetic.

Changing strings every 3 months doesn't sound excessive to me-some people do it even faster. I tend to play them at least 3 months, sometimes just a bit more, though I may change E strings faster.

Edited: September 7, 2017, 8:50 PM · The Warchals have been shockingly long-lasting, actually. The G and D have gotten changed about every 3 to 6 months, depending on the brand.

When I was a kid I only changed strings (Dominants) once a year, and then generally only when my teacher told my parents it was absolutely necessary because the strings had reached unplayably false levels. My parents thought they were a horrible expense.

Edited: September 8, 2017, 10:47 AM · Larsen "Il Cannone"? As in Paganini's Del Gesù? Please spare me...

I for one am not impressed by hype alone, and my company introduced Larsen Strings to Italy and was exclusive agent for 18 years. They seem to have had a hard time making a popular violin string set - Tzigane, Virtuoso... let's see what the market says with the latest offer.

And let's remember that Paganini played on Pirastro strings, yes, even back then!

September 8, 2017, 11:22 AM · The funny part is, as far as I know the "Il Cannone" del Gesu is not exactly liked by most players.
September 9, 2017, 11:44 AM · I realize that most people change their strings quite often. (I used to when I was younger and played more.) I'm now an ancient miser on a fixed retirement. I no longer play regularly. My strings generally are on my violin until they start to unravel or break. I go about 10 years on a set. (My classical guitar's strings are at least 20 years old, but I did change them annually when I was teaching an estudiantina class twenty years ago, and playing every day.) Often when one viola string goes, I do replace the entire set. I also love PRIM Swedish stainless steel strings. I feel they sound good on my particular instrument, not too dark, not too bright. They often stay in tune for MONTHS at a time, and are very resistant to temperature changes (unlike gut, perlon, nylon, other synthetic strings) which allows for outdoor playing like summer park concerts.
September 10, 2017, 2:47 AM · @Dmitri. "Paganini played on Pirastro strings"

It's good to know I've been doing something right for the last 3 years (Pirastro Chorda set on my main violin, and mixed Pirastro steel and gut on the other one)!

September 10, 2017, 2:43 PM · I have been personally a faithful customer of Larsen strings in the past. I discovered them when I was looking for a good A string in combination with wound gut strings (by pirastro) As I tried a Set of Tziganes, my violin back then seemed to like them, maybe due to the low tension.
As the Virtuoso came out I was already excited, because other brands, like Pirastro and to some extent Infeld as well seemed to go the route of more tension for more sound. While I like more sound, it brings many down sides to have high tension strings on the violin. For example the playability, but also the narrower colour palette. I was happy, that Larsen continued with their virtuoso strings the path of low tension strings and I am sure that the Il Cannone will be an interesting string. I somehow think, that Larsen strings could be much more dominant in the violin string market, but seem to be so different in their approach, that many people are shocked by their first feel and quickly go back to their transoceanic cables.
That being said I like the Evah Pirazzi strings a lot and recommend them to most of my students. The Virtuoso set was also not always on my violin as I experimented with new brands and every now and then with the PI back and forth. But the Virtuoso is a string, that delivers every time you put them on. I often get compliments for my sound, when I play Larsen strings on my violin. That could be random, but I think because of their playability they can ease your shifts and vibrato. I will get the Il cannone as soon as they are available in my favorite string shop and test it in depth ...aaand make a video about it on my YouTube Channel as I did with some other brands before.
September 11, 2017, 3:11 PM · I can echo that Warchal strings seem to last quite well - I use them on my viola. I change them about 3 times a year, along with the Larson "soft" A string which is a good match on my instrument with the Warchal Brilliant D, G and C. And I just switched to the Warchal Brilliant "Vintage" strings on my violin - wish me luck there.

Whenever I've tried high-tension strings, I end up regretting it BTW.

September 11, 2017, 4:31 PM · I did think Warchal Vintage were excellent strings but I did slightly prefer the Brilliants to them. Have not tried the Amber yet.
September 12, 2017, 7:28 AM · @Simon -- if you prefer Larsen strings, why do you recommend Evah Pirazzi to your students? I find that Evahs sound quite nice, but have a very short optimal lifespan, and therefore I have trouble recommending them for students.
September 12, 2017, 9:34 AM · I agree. On the plus side for students: they can take a good amount of bow pressure.
September 15, 2017, 3:05 PM · Hey, Douglas. I think the Evah's are more the all rounder strings and as Marc said, they are a little easier for the bow and more forgiving in terms of bow pressure at the fingerboard. For most students that should be priority. I think also that Evah's sound pretty good on most student violins. For Larsen Virtuosos you need a fairly dark sounding instrument, which isn't the case with most student violins. But maybe I will give it a try once and put some Larsen strings on a students violin! I am sure it will be a successful try! Most of the time when I recommend Evah's the student also had them on before or had the Pirastro Tonika's on, which I feel are quite similar to the Evah's in terms of playability and the Evah's are simply an upgrade. Some of my students also play dominant strings. I actually don't care too much as far as the strings are not too old.
And you are right, that the down side with Evah's is their short lifespan! After some time they get very boomy and one dimensional.
I think, that Peter Infeld's and larsen Virtuosos are better in that aspect and make up for their slightly higher price tag I think.
Edited: September 16, 2017, 7:01 AM · Simon -- I agree that Evah's can change some students instruments for the better, but the result is so short-term because of the short lifespan of Evah's that I can't recommend them. It is not worth it for the few weeks that they sound good and the high price. I find that Vision Solo or Vision Titanium Orchestra often produce a similar result but last for many months, so these are my go to strings for "pumping up"the sound of instruments and creating more resistance to the bow.

Tonica's are pretty good strings, and excellent for the money. Dominants are still quite good, despite being around since the beginning of time. Peter Infelds are great on some instruments and awful on others, I find.

It will be interesting to hear your opinion on the new Il Cannone strings. I have a set on the way to try.

September 16, 2017, 3:49 PM · Great advice with the vision strings! I tend to forget about them. And yes, the short lifespan of the Evah's is also the reason why I don't use them myself. In the beginning after settling they sound better than almost every other string I know. But the effect faints rather quickly. But still even after some time, they are above average strings.
I personally have more experience with Evah's than with the vision strings. I had visions once on and found them pretty good back then, but I also missed something. Back then I was also coming from Oliv's and Oliv stiffs for D and G and had a totally different setup.
So I usually recommend strings, which I can appreciate correctly. Some strings I never tested in depth. So input is always very welcome!
September 16, 2017, 6:30 PM · if you haven't tried the Vision Titanium Orchestras, they contain the warmth that the VS and VTS lack on some instruments. I prefer them over the other two most of the time. They sound sort of like a middle ground between PI and Evah strings in many regards.

I played on Evah's for years before becoming fed up with the sudden death scenario they go through. They are great sounding strings -- unrivaled in some ways perhaps -- but only for a short time. "The bulb that burns twice as bright lasts half as long" as they say. Pirastro does some interesting work though.

We shall all report back here out tests with Il Cannone!

September 19, 2017, 3:32 PM · Thank you for that input! i will take a look on the vision strings in general... after the Il Cannone! :)
September 26, 2017, 2:33 PM · Anyone have any new feedback on these strings? Regular or solo? Thanks in advance...;)
September 26, 2017, 8:18 PM · There are so many string options available today, but still this stuff intrigues me.
October 4, 2017, 6:23 AM · I tried the soloist version. Nice strings, similar to the Tzigane but maybe a little brighter and louder, harder response for he bow although not too bad for the left hand. They gave my violin a terrible wolf, had to remove them.
October 4, 2017, 9:26 AM · Thanks Jose for that excellent feedback, gives me a good idea about them. Very strange about the wolf. Have you had this problem on your violin before with other strings? Which ones are you using now? I've been using a full set of PIs with platinum E...
Edited: October 4, 2017, 1:24 PM · I’ve been using a medium set of the strings for a couple of weeks. My impressions are very good and include:

1. Strings very good on the left hand
2. Very colourful and rich
3. They do not crack under bow pressure
4. Very clear and responsive
5. They take a week or so to settle - I haven’t been playing very much recently - due to work demands
6. Able to play quietly and the strings have plenty of volume when needed
7. Well balanced strings
8. Nice tension.

Overall they are a great set of strings and a good improvement over the Larsen virtuoso set. I always found the Virtuoso G and A strings lacked fullness and sounded thin. I will definitely use them again !

October 4, 2017, 2:18 PM · Thank you for the review. If you can tell something about how long they last you compared to other sets at a given time I it would be greatly appriciated.
October 4, 2017, 2:51 PM · I go from regular Pirazzi to a combo of PI and Vision or Larsen superior, most of the time with Prim Lisa E forte. The wolf is in the upper B of the G string, but can be pretty much controled with the right strings. Probably the regular Larsen Cannone were a better choice,I will try them in the future.
Edited: October 5, 2017, 7:25 AM · I tried them on two violins in the medium tension. They have been on for 3 weeks so far, so I can't speak on longevity yet.

Overall so far, they are great strings. I find the D on both of my instruments to inferior to the other 3 strings -- almost as if it is from another set entirely.

Here are my notes on these strings:

+ Responsive to bow speed and pressure changes
+ Good LH feel
+ Rich/Brilliant character
+ Nice packaging
+ Easy installation, nice windings/wrappings
+ Excellent vibrato modulation response
+ Crisp response to spiccato

- Sound character of D isn’t up to par with G-AE (it's more lifeless)
- Pitch can "bend" excessively is not careful with pressure at the bridge (almost like a steel string)
- Sometimes bow doesn't "catch" G string at bow change (had similar problem with Tzigane G)

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