Why does gold E string sound the way it does?
Does anyone know the exact scientific reason why gold E strings sound warmer and have more upper overtones than plain steel (assuming you agree)? Plain steel E's ring for a longer time on the open E and have a decent bass, presumably because it's just 1 material, but of course doesn't have the same quality as the gold E. I know that people complain about the Gold E whistling more (which is true) but I don't see why you would trade whistling for a nicer tone, especially since to some degree you can control whistling, but not control the upper limit of your tone quality? It's not that much more expensive either; I bought a Lenzner gold for 5 euros at the local store. Literally a third of the price of the much more famous Olive gold E. To be fair though, haven't tried it...
Anyway enough rambling, just wondering if anyone can explain.
As a chemist, I cannot explain this phenomenon, but I can speculate wildly that the warm sound has its origins in the same relativistic inner-orbital stabilization effects that are used to rationalize the characteristic yellow color of metallic gold.
Ähm... In my experience the "Pirastro gold" is one of the most stable, non-whistling strings, and warm. But I don't know, is it really gold plated or just named like that...?
The Pirastro Gold (Wondertone), which people call "Gold Label", is not an actual gold plated string, it's steel, more specifically, Tin-plated carbonsteel. The "Gold" name comes from the set to which it belongs, funny enough, the other three strings of the set also aren't gold strings, but gut strings. Gold is just the name Pirastro decided to give them.
Gold powder mixed into rosin makes the sound warmer? And all this time I thought warm sound only came from vacuum tubes.
I am not into believing whayever I am told. Indeed I question most of what string makers say unless I can corroborate it with personal experience. So please forgive me in believing there are distinct differences between gold-plated strings and other platings, for better or worse.
I suppose by warmth, I'm referring to more middle substance in the note? Lenzner plain E sounds like it has great bass and some high overtones, but very empty in the middle, which for me makes the thin upper overtones stick out with a shrilly sound. The 'warmth' of the middle overtones helps to support the upper overtones of the note, to give it a more cohesive sound, even if it means sacrificing some of the bottom and top to give to the middle. I could be talking out of my ass though lol... I have no idea. But it's really what I believe, also the same for good violins. The really great old projecting Italian violins have a vocal sound closer to EEEE as opposed to AAAH. If you just sing a note with those 2 sounds, the shape of your mouth will produce more higher overtones with the E sound.
Can you make the same distinctions in recordings of yourself? I find most of the differences between violins that I'm intensely aware of while playing become pretty insignificant in recordings made just a few feet away, which is not to say they aren't important to me! As for "science", if you have Audacity or similar software you could compare the frequency spectra and see if any differences stand out.
I can believe that the surface of a string can have an influence on the adherence of the bow. And steel is not just "steel": it blends iron an carbon in varying proportions. Ane string is not just wire, it is "spring" steel, like a a piano string.
I can believe that the surface of a string can have an influence on the adherence of the bow. And steel is not just "steel": it blends iron an carbon in varying proportions. And an E string is not just wire, it is "spring" steel, like a a piano string.
Speaking of...I have switched out my EL34s for Genalex Gold Lion KT77s.The soundstage is much more open resulting in greater detail and depth.Not only vacuume tubes but dont forget the tonearms Paul.Never mind the sonic differences in power cords (i.e copper wire vs.silver, rhodium plated plugs which gives a warmer sound as opposed to chromium).
Aha! There's the trick: they imbue the strings with the power of vacuum tube amplifiers during the manufacturing process to get that raw, natural sound. The gold plating is just a marketing gimmick to divert attention from the true secret.
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