The epidemic hasn't been kind to my finances, so when I had to replace a very dead set I remembered the John Pearse Artiste - a Perlon string I used some years back on my student violin.
It's a medium tension string in the same class as the Dominant or the Tonica. But it comes in at about half the price - or a quarter the price of a high-end set like the Evah Gold.
And I was delighted to find that on my nice modern fiddle it's more than acceptable.
It stabilised quite quickly, with just a touch of a metallic sound that quickly faded.
The set is well balanced, with a warm but powerful tone. (In the US you can buy separate strings - the UK importer only offers the set).
My fiddle responds best to a Forte e, so I'm using a Goldrokat, but the Artiste e was very playable. Surprisingly, the A is almost as responsive as my normal Warchal Russian. The G and D sing nicely for slow airs, but can take a good dig when I want a darker, grittier sound for Strathspeys. So, plenty of scope for expression.
So on my fiddle they are playable and sound good. What's not to like?
When I used them in the past I played them to death and they lasted at least as long as the big-name brands. I gave up on Dominants because of the A unwrapping - no such issue with the Artistes.
So I can't think of a negative thing to say - except perhaps that the silk wrappings are in exceedingly dull tones of grey!
I simply don't see any reason to spend double the money on Dominants or Tonicas.
The nearest competitor in the price range would probably be the Warchal Karneol, but they didn't work for me at all and went dead well before their time. Plenty of people love them, though.
So if your instrument likes this class of string, just a heads up that the Artistes should be well worth a try. It's a professional quality string at a student price.Tweet
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