'A' String recomendation (similar to Obligato)
Hi! I've been searching for a good combination of strings for my violin. Up till now, I LOVE the obligatos sound and gauge but the A just isn't strong enough as my violin is weak on the A...
Anyone who can recommend a 'A' string with similar string sound/gauge to obligato but slightly more powerful in sound? I've tried EP but they dont work so well to my liking..
I used to have vision solos some years back and I loved the A sound but its not warm enough by itself. Have yet to tried pairing that with the rest of obligatos, so I don't know if I can expect the obligatos to help with warming up the A. Anyone tried any similar combination?
Also, I'm considering Eudoxas, anyone has any comments for obligato vs eudoxa?
One way to explore this issue is with Infeld Red and Blue A strings. Thomastik designed and originally sold the 8-string Red & Blue double package for the price of a single 4-string set. Their goal was to allow a player to mix strings to tailor for specific instruments (and ultimately to become a steady customer for a particular mix). At that time I think I had 3 violins and found it helpful to mix strings differently according to how they responded on each instrument.
I had the same issue awhile ago, and asked Pirastro what their suggestion was.
Opinions are mixed but some do like EP Gold. It does sound warmer than the standard green box. Eudoxa comes in a number of different gauges, I think. Not sure what the point of equivalence is vs standard Obligatos. Your luthier might have suggestions, if they still bother to carry strings. Most don't, these days.
I have good memories of my plain gut viola A & D in the 1960s, in packaging promoting their "true fifths" as a selling point!
Thanks all for the inputs.
Different theories on that. I know one excellent luthier thinks of strings in pairs-- E/G and A/D.
Most people used them many years ago without complaints. I feel it's more a matter of people trying to fit in, as in not wanting to "stick out" for having to ocassionally retune. In any case, if you prepare accordingly, mostly zero issues for live or group practice venues.
You may consider Pirastros Eudoxa-Aricore A string. It is a synthetic string but designed to blend well with gut strings. It is my preferred A string on the viola. I have not compared it directly with obligato, though.
Eudoxas are only "weaker" than Obligato in Pirastro's marketing. Have you actually tried them? Something tells me not.
That's another idea regarding the Obligato chrome A - maybe that would work well in this case.
As I said, I don't mind trying gut string just to see if the A fits and if it's the one I'm looking for. Thanks for bringing up the Aricore A, I'll look into that as well. I just hope the sound blends with the rest of the synthetics. I should be able to withstand all the retuning etc if the sound is what I want. We gotta sacrifice some things sometimes to get what we want, right?
the groove on your bridge a string might be too deep and tight, the edges are supposed to be rounded off not square also, either thing could damage the string
Note that Aricore and Eudoxa-Aricore are different strings. The latter comes in 3 different gauges whereas the former is available in one gauge only. I have no experience with regular Aricore so I cannot tell you how different they are. Eudoxa-Aricore is available only for the A string (and sadly not for viola anymore).
it looks like the heavier gauge of Eudoxa-Aricore might be the first thing to try
Obligato is supposed to be the closest thing to a synthetic Eudoxa or Oliv, and Eudoxa-Aricore A is a synthetic that blends well with Eudoxa, so without actually trying it I'm going to go out and say Eudoxa-Aricore A might be the closest to Obligatos and it comes in three gauges so you can get heavier gauge, as you said your A is a little weak.
Evione, in my experience, the Aricore A is a lovely string, but not that strong, even compared to a Eudoxa A. The sound is very smooth and warm without sounding as hollow as a violino A.
Oh I've ALWAYS wanted to get my hands on Warchal to try but none of my local stores sells them, and I'm very particular about getting them online so I wanna just try whatever my local stores have first.
I used the Aricore Eudoxa A on my violas: it went very well with both Obligato and Tonica sets. But they have stopped making it, and I shall try the violin version, which has the same gauges (my vibrating string length is only 14", and the A peg is nearest the nut) or the Aricore violin A: sweet and clear, right up the fingerboard.
@Adrian - are you in Europe? I know an online dealer in Germany who still has the Viola Eudoxa-Aricore A in stock. Just got 5 string from them.
@Bo, yes I am in France, and pay in Euros!
David, there's a lot more to the different Pirastro strings than just tension. Tension is important but it's not the only factor. All the Pirazzi-family strings (Obligato, EP, EPG, Violino, Wondertone) have different formulations (metal content, core diameter, and who knows what else) that greatly affect the sound. A light gauge EP green is very different in sound from EP Gold or Obligato - I quite liked it on my instrument, more so than the rest of the family. My instrument always like lower tension - so I appreciate any string that gives options. I'm not saying lower is always better - but it's good to have the option.
The discussion hasn’t been about Warchal, but you wrote that “Most others are guilty of the same regardless”. I completely understand your frustration in case you are no able to find a product that perfectly matches your particular instrument of course. But, let me explain the reality from a perspective of a manufacturer briefly, please. Other manufacturers may face the same problems, although the well-established brands do deal with different figures of course.
Adalberto, there has been no reason for getting offended at all. We are just discussing and I have just shared my perspective with you:-) Moreover, I got some feedback and this is why I would also like to thank Laurie for running this great discussion forum. It never hurts to learn that there are customers who would appreciate more gauge choices. I am also glad to hear you used to buy strings at luthiers. They deserve to be supported.
It was fortuitous, but I knocked over the soundpost on one of my violins and the top was contoured in such a way that I was unable to resurrect it and with the COVID-19 pandemic there was no way to have it worked on quickly by my usual shop 18 miles from my home - SO I tried the shop I had not previously known about DOLCE Violins in San Rafael, CA, a mere 2 miles from home. It turns out they sell the full range of WARCHAL strings.