New Strings: Corelli Solea

November 1, 2020, 12:15 AM · Just noticed that Savarez has released a new line of strings.

As usual the description promises to be the ultimate in everything - which we know isn't possible. My take is that - unlike most new sets - this appears to be focused on sound quality and responsiveness. This is bolstered by the tension chart, which is highly unusual - the G is what I would call medium-high while the A and D are lower tension than any other medium tension synthetic set. I think I'll buy a set and see. My violin likes lower tension middle strings.

Replies (4)

November 1, 2020, 4:08 AM · I don't understand your comment "unlike most new sets" -- don't you think that all string manufacturers are trying to focus on sound quality and responsiveness? What do you think they are trying to focus on instead? I'm truly curious since all the publicity I see about most sets of violin strings mention their tone and responsiveness. I can't think of what else other than longevity they might be trying to focus on. Certainly not price.
November 1, 2020, 4:42 AM · A company with a new product certainly wants to sell a lot to be profitable and when Dominant strings first came out they advertised everywhere to promote this new type of synthetic string and it worked for them . I think it is exciting and fun to try out new types of strings and rosin in the never ending quest for the best sound possible from our instrument and feel that lower tension strings are better for the longevity of our violins
Edited: November 1, 2020, 5:45 AM · David, you are correct in that my words are not well-chosen. I was trying to not ramble but the result was even more meaningless. I guess what I mean by sound in quality is a warm rich sound, which is easily modulated (using different contact points). Most recent string sets (Rondo, Perpetual, Timbre) are setting records for the highest tension "medium" sets. This is good for projection and focus but not as good for contact point flexibility and warmer sounds (although I think Rondo and Timbre aim to produce warmer sounding high tension strings). Compare say a Eudoxa to a Perpetual (an extreme comparison): Eudoxa had a much more rich and warm sound, and would win at orchestral PP dyanmics (don't underestimate this if you are an orchestral player) but when attempting to play FFF will always sound much much softer and diffuse than Perpetual.

In terms of responsiveness, if you compare the exact same string at different tensions I think you'll find that the higher tension string will always require more weight for an equivalent contact point, so I'd call this less responsive. This makes playing closer to the bridge more difficult. The opposite, too low tension, would result in the sound crushing at normal contact points. The higher tension string will be louder at the same contact point though (in my opinion at least). So when a new high tension string is marketed as "responsive" I alwayd read "responsive for a high tension string." Some are better than others but for violins that are sensitive to tension (like mine) it can be a problem. I know that if a D is over 4.5 kg of tension or so it will certainly choke my violin. If your violin likes it it's not a problem, and I've recommend Rondo to colleagues whose violins like higher tension strings.

In reality there is a disconnect between marketing speak and reality, with often a hefty dose of hyperbole thrown in (including, very obviously, the Solea marketing). For example, Rondo, which is TI's highest tension medium set (I believe) is marketed with the tension bar on the back of the package not even reaching the middle. Every string they make is low tension :) (not true).
Edited to note that I'm ignoring their steel core sets, which can be far higher than any synthetic set. But I still think the packaging doesn't make a clear enough difference between say Rondo and Vision Titanium Orchestra in terms of tension. The difference is quite noticeable.

So reading between the lines I think Savarez is trying to make a low tension string with a rich sound that is still projecting "enough," having identified this segment as underserved. I wish they could just be more clear in their marketing (same for everyone else actually). If every string has the loudest, best sound and best responsiveness things get confusing!

Their selection of tension is completely unique, so it's piqued my interest. Not sure if it will be "better" but it certainly should be different. It's good to have more options.

Edited: November 1, 2020, 6:16 AM · Thanks for sharing the news, Mr. Kruer.

Impressive that a modern, medium only string set is offered at such low tension! May be a record, as not even the medium Dominant set is as low.

Of course the marketing ad wasn't too specific (other than not too clean, not too warm, still projecting-in short, a balanced, supposedly musical tone), but I liked that none of the people in the ad tried to sell it as same or better than gut. They sold it as a new alternative instead.

4.6 for G is kind of a modern standard "mittel" (of course many mediums go far heavier), but I am surprised at the low tension of the D & A strings, and thus would be interested myself, also testing it out with different Es in addition to the one it includes.

To be honest, on my violin whatever volume may be lost on lower tension strings is not apparent, and the instrument gains a lot more dynamic range, playing ease, and great finger/bowing feel, so I rather have that. As the sound gets slightly brighter and more open, I doubt the theoretical decibels loss is that meaningful in my case.

Thus this Solea may be worth trying. Never did get around to try their Cantiga-according to their ad, the latter are theoretically warmer than the Solea. Since some in this forum have liked Cantiga due to lower tension in medium-light, I expect Solea to be "better" and brighter for what I know to be my taste.

Never expected a modern set being manufactured like that-"more is more" seemed to be the modern motto nowadays, and low string tension outdated, a thing of the past. "Why would you want to project less!?" may be what the research departments are thinking.

(Noticed a con-they may be very expensive, matching the dreaded Infeld Pi pricing scheme from what I have seen in Euros. But perhaps it is only that place that have them at that price. They appear to not be readily available just yet.)

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