Reflections on Pirastro Gold vs Jargar Forte e-strings with Dominants

Edited: October 31, 2020, 2:54 PM · I was experimenting with these two e-strings since these are the most often recommended ones for Dominant a-d-g.

Here are some of my reflections on each string:

Jargar Forte: The first thing I noticed is the volume. My violin is much louder with the Jargar, including on the lower strings. The Jargar seems to open up the sound of the instrument. The e-string itself plays very well. It is easy to articulate in high positions and it has a bright, projecting sound. However, the e-string does stand out as different from the lower Dominant strings. I think the Jargar Forte is good for soloistic playing and romantic concerto repertoire.

Pirastro Gold: This string gives my violin a sweet sound. The whole sound, including the lower strings, gain a little bit of mystery (maybe this is what is described as a darker sound). The e-string plays well and has a beautiful singing sound. It just sounds very nice. It integrates well into the set of Dominants in terms of sound and tension. I think the Pirastro Gold is good for Classical and Baroque repertoire and chamber music.

Both are good e-strings with Dominants. As I mainly play for myself or in an orchestra section, I think I will stick with the Pirastro Gold.

Do others have a similar experience with these two stings?
How does the e-string affect the sound of the lower 3-strings?

Replies (2)

October 31, 2020, 10:02 PM · (Caveat: my violin had a recent, major repair during summer. My E comments concern earlier experiences, pre-accident.)

Gold Label is actually powerful and edgy-may only seem "darker" compared to the Jargar forte. I have never used stark Gold Label, so I cannot directly compare heavy vs heavy.

I used to be a fan of stark and heavy Es some years ago. On my violin, I discovered after years that a lighter E opened up and added brilliance the sound, while heavy Es added an impression of a bigger, thicker sound to the whole violin, but at the cost of brilliance, so in my case it did not help the lower strings as much. Though I am sure some players may experience something else altogether.

So for the Jargar forte, despite the thicker sound of the whole violin over all, I felt it was too much compared to good medium Es of many brands. The string itself sounded good, but I did not like its total influence on my violin.

My favorite stark/heavy Es have been the Westminster ("27.5") and the Oliv E. I also liked but did not love the Jargar forte.

Nowadays, I prefer medium Oliv/medium Larsen Gold plated E/medium Hill/medium Goldbrokat/medium gold label/Titanium Solo E (very brilliant-beware!)/"weich" EP Platinum E, etc. I like warmth as most players, but prefer the clarity of lighter Es, at least for my particular violin.

I like the Gold Label E more than Pirastro's later "silvery steel" E. The GL is richer while still being very clear and powerful, while the silvery E is a bit thinner sounding. The Hill, however, sounded a bit richer than Gold Label to me, but it is a nitpick; both are good Es.

Note that I am not saying the popular Jargar Forte is not good, but rather, that it may not be the best for my violin. Hope you enjoy it, especially if it may be working well for you.

November 1, 2020, 4:29 AM · Adalberto's comment "...is not good, but rather, that it may not be the best for my violin . . ." is something everybody needs to keep in mind in any string discussions. Each violin (even the same models of factory-made instruments) is unique in how it responds to any given set of strings. Also complicating the discussion is how each of us interprets the use of words like "light, dark, strong, weak, open, closed" to describe the sounds we hear while playing the instrument. And one more factor that really complicates things is that the audience hears a very different tone from what we hear under the ear while playing.

Ultimately if our curiosity is piqued about a particular string or combination of strings, we each of us needs to try it out for ourselves on our own violin. And we need to be prepared not to like the combination. Unfortunately violin strings are not priced like guitar strings, so most of us can't afford to try new strings every few weeks. We have to find what works well for us, always aware that there may be a better combination around the corner if we only had more money . . .

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