G and d strings

November 11, 2022, 1:02 PM · I typically use PI strings, but would like to get a warmer, richer sound in the lower register. What strings would be similar or good to pair with PI to enhance the low register? I was thinking obligatos perhaps but would love to hear what other people recommend. Thanks

Replies (10)

November 11, 2022, 2:22 PM · It's hard to say, depending on exactly what you mean. Have you tried Dominant D (aluminum) and G, both medium gauge, before, and if so, how did they sound for you?
November 11, 2022, 3:56 PM · AW - different strings sound different on different instruments. We can give you all sorts of well-meaning advice, but your luthier is in the best position to advise you. S/he can hear your violin with its current strings and suggest strings that might help you achieve the sound you seek. Obligatos might work, but they might not. Same with dominants. You need someone with expertise who can hear your violin's sound and advise you, not a bunch of people who cannot hear your instrument.
November 11, 2022, 4:08 PM · Are your current strings too tight or too loose - or just right.

One way you might try to test this is to de-tune them about 1/2 step and then tune them an half-step higher. If either test gives you the kind of sound you seek - perhaps you need a string of the appropriate pitch that is in tune at higher or lower tension.

I have 4 violins and although they are not all strung with the same kinds of strings for very specific reasons, they have all sounded very good with Evah Pirazzi Gold G and D strings.

Edited: November 13, 2022, 1:06 AM · I would not recommend mixing your set that way, especially with Obligatos and PI. String sets are engineered to work together, but they don’t perform as well when they’re split up and used with other sets (cello strings are a different matter). Some of it comes down to string tension, some of it to the way the bow engages the string.

If the balance is off, it’s more of a setup/adjustment issue. It’s likely that the soundpost needs to be in a different position to accomplish what you want. Once you have the balance right, changing string sets can allow you to adjust overall darkness/brightness.

November 13, 2022, 6:50 AM · As I was reading Rich's response my first thought was "show me a cellist with all four strings of the same brand" and I can't immediately see why the rules are different for them. Plenty of members here have commented over time on their bespoke combinations of strings. You are limited only by your ears, your patience, and your wallet.
November 13, 2022, 7:01 AM · Rich, I could not disagree with you more.

Although my last installation of cello strings (Rostanvo strings) has worked great as unmixed sets (on 3 different cellos, my first "straight" set in over 50 years (since I quit gut and tried a set of Dominants on my first cello.. Also straight sets of Warchal Timbre are working great for me on 2 violins. Any set seems to work on one of my violas. My other 2 violins and one viola seem to work best with mixed sets.

What you write about breaking up string sets for installation may be true for some instruments, it is not true for all.

Some years ago several issues of the SHAR catalog actually described the strings used by their employees and mixed sets were typical.

November 13, 2022, 8:10 AM · A sound post can be slightly repositioned to emphasize the lower registers.

I have and really like Pi strings (including the E), and my luthier suggested a slight adjustment to the sound post for exactly that reason.

He sure has my encouragement to give that a try. I worry a little that it may have a bit of a deemphasizing effect on the A and E string. But as I indicated, it's worth a try.

November 13, 2022, 11:36 AM · Try Eudoxa or Tricolore. Gut will feel different than synthetic, so you'll need to give them a fair chance. But if you're looking for rich, warm, more nuanced sound it's worth a try. I was using PIs and EPs before I made the switch and there is no comparison. Gut is hands-down a superior feel and sound for me.
November 13, 2022, 6:53 PM · Thanks all for the recommendations. I ended up buying a set of dominant pros and obligatos. I'll try them and see how the lower register goes and then potentially mix and match. Overall my violin sounds get, but if I could emulate the sound of one violin I like above all others it would be the ex kreutzer strad with an amazing low register. I fully admit I will never have a strad nor play well enough to try one, but this is my next best bet.
November 13, 2022, 10:21 PM · Paul,

Thomastik finally got the formula right for a complete cello set with Rondo. That set has become quite popular. For a little while,
Pirastro’s new set got some attention as a complete set, but interest seems to have waned. Spirocore/Larsen is still the leading set in terms of demand, but Rondo is making up ground quickly.

Mixing and matching strings doesn’t work as simply as many assume; changing one string doesn’t just modulate the sound of that one section of the sound spectrum—it affects the rest as well. It’s important to also keep in mind the bow response to the string. I come across so many mixed sets that just fight each other rather than working in concert. If you’re trying to emulate the sound of another violin (assuming anything like that can really be done), just switching strings isn’t going to do it. The instrument has its own limitations, some of which may be related to setup, some to the body of the instrument itself.


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