Kaplan Amo viola A string - is the ball end removable?

January 8, 2021, 7:33 AM · I recently ordered a set of Kaplan Amo viola strings, which I have never tried before. I haven't received them yet, but I realized soon after I placed the order that I hadn't chosen a loop end A. I then learned that there is no choice - in fact, D'Addario does not appear to manufacture any loop end strings at all. I then figured that it must be because the ball ends are removable - but the Shar representative I chatted with informed me that they are not.

Can anyone confirm that this is true - i.e., that the Kaplan Amo A string ball end is not removable?

It seems crazy that D'Addario would limit its market in this way. And the price for the set seems like less of a deal now that I have to purchase a separate A string. Yes, I should have done my homework before buying, but I think it's a strange business decision by D'Addario that anyone who needs a loop end A has to purchase 5 strings to be able to use Kaplan Amo (they are only sold as a set, as far as I can tell).

Replies (7)

January 8, 2021, 9:59 AM · It's not crazy. The ball from that string is indeed removable.
January 8, 2021, 10:18 AM · @Andrew - thank you for clarifying this.

I was implying that it would be strange - perhaps "crazy" was too strong a word - to sell only NON-removable ball end A strings, and to require their purchase to use any of the strings (by only selling sets) as Shar told me was the case.

January 8, 2021, 1:15 PM · I'll bet Shar would remove the balls for you if you asked.
January 8, 2021, 3:14 PM · @Paul, Shar's response to my inquiry was that the ball is not removable and I should get a different set of strings. I'm also not sure that they would be likely to send out strings in anything other than new, unopened condition - it's one of the reasons I tend to trust them for strings.

But I wanted to put this question to the viola playing community, as it seemed odd to me that D'Addario would limit their strings to players with ball end A strings. Seems like at least 50% of the market would be gone, unless you were so enamored of their strings that you were willing to buy their sets and then replace the A string with another brand.

Edited: January 8, 2021, 3:35 PM · Ouch...
Paul, did you ask them to remove yours?
January 8, 2021, 4:47 PM · Odd - I've removed the ball before. Maybe Shar suggests against it, etc., but I've done it.
January 10, 2021, 7:58 PM · Update: the strings arrived yesterday. I removed the ball from the A string and installed them. So far so good. Shar may not be able to recommend this officially, but the string has yet to snap, with lots of initial installation tuning.

Also, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I like these strings! I wanted to try them due to their relatively reasonable price, but I didn't have high expectations. It's not quite fair to compare them to a set of Obligatos/Larsen A that was >1.5 years old, but I never loved the Obligato D; the Kaplan Amo is warm with much less of a nasal quality. The C and G are powerful. They still are a bit metallic sounding, but I can already tell that there will be some nice warmth to complement their power. The A is a bit quieter than the Larsen, on my viola, but I think it sounds nice.


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