String suggestions for warmer viola sound?
Hi. I'm trying to decide on my new strings for my viola. Currently I am using Dominants with a Jargar A but am finding that the strings (Dominants in particular) don't produce as warm or rich a tone as I would like.
Does anyone have any suggestions for any specific strings that have more of this characteristic?
Pirastro's warm, sweet Aricore has been discontinued, including their beautiful Aricore-Eudoxa A-string, for which I am seeking a replacement..
I second the recommendation for Warchal Karneol! Wonderful viola strings.
Obligato with Larsen A is a nice warm set. For a little more focus, Evah Gold with Larsen is excellent.
Peter Infeld PI strings will keep the clarity of the Dominants but give you a darker, warmer sound. (In many other strings, darker and warmer = less clear and worse projection.) Not cheap though!
Thanks for all the suggestions! The Warchal Karneol right now is looking to be my next choice. The price definitely has something to do with that! The PI strings are definitely not the cheapest. If it doesn't work, then I may find myself trying out the other stuff.
On a violin page, you're just asking for a response involving blowtorches!
The viola jokes never end, now do they?
I just corrected my list: Pro Arte are duller than Corelli strings.
Have you considered Corelli Cantiga? They sound very full and rich on my viola. Super responsive and easy to play, and not expensive, either.
Thanks Adrian! Amrita, I've heard of the Corelli Alliance Vivace, but haven't tried the Cantigas before. I will be sure to look into those as well. Do you know what the tension is like for those?
I've been very happy with Kaplan Amo, which I've used for the last year or so. Warmer than average, still very responsive to the bow.
The Larsen A is a nice upgrade from the A strings that come in the Pirastro sets. I use a Jargar with Dominants, but like the Larsen for everything else.
My preferred (i.e., "better"?) viola makes glorious sounds with Pirastro Permanent* D & G strings, but needs the lower tension of Thomastik Dominant Weich A & C strings. I have never liked the way the Larsen A "shouts out" over the lower strings on that - or on my other viola, which seems to be compatible with any viola strings it has ever worn. So it gets all the strings rejected by #1.
Rich, the idea of the Larsen A being an upgrade is interesting to me. Depending on the viola, I don’t find it to be better, just different.
Many, if not most, violists seem to expect their A-strings to scream!
I was advised to use a lower tension A string to reduce the raspy sounds of my C string (on #1 viola) by the clerk at Ifshin's who played my viola after installing new A and C strings. He had installed a Weich Dominant C for me and a Passionne A and played it for me in their large "cello room." (He really is a VIOLIST!) I could not hear the C-string rasp but it was still there under the ear. A month or so later I replaced the Passione A with a Dominant Weich (light) A and it has reduced the C string problem even more. I noticed no effect on the D & G strings. The Pirastro Permanent D & G strings have been on this viola since I started playing it in orchestra around 2015.
Ida, I don't know the specific tensions, but I have heard that as manufacturers have made string tensions higher and higher, the Corelli Cantiga LIGHT gauge is similar to what Medium tension strings used to be. Cantiga's "Medium" gauge is similar to what High tension strings used to be. Go for the LIGHT gauge. I got mine at Southwest strings.
Andrew, thank you for your detailed account.
Between the trombone C and trumpet A a couple of french horn G and D would be more suitable ;)
@Bo: I have one or two in reserve, but I shall try the
Pirastro is still making Eudoxa-Aricore for violin in 3 gauges: 13 1/4, 13 1/2 and 13 3/4. I think that the medium gauge I am using right now on the viola is 13 1/4, so perhaps a light gauge violin string would work if the string is long enough. Adrian - could you check the gauge of your spare string for me, please?
The viola versions had the same three gauges as the violin ones; my violas have a vibrating string length of (only) 14 inches, and of course the A peg is nearest to the nut, so I will be able to try them.
I managed to find a dealer in Germany who still has a stock of Eudoxa-Aricore Viola A, so now I'm good for another couple of years.
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