Larsen Il Cannone strings

October 17, 2017, 9:53 AM · This is a continuance of a previous thread (LINK) that got archived for some reason.

I put a full set of Larsen Il Cannone, regular medium-gauge, strings on my violin this morning. I would normally use a Warchal Amber E, but they weren't in stock at the shop.

My immediate impression is that they were clean and responsive but not very colorful. (I had a Tzigane G and D previously that were nicely rich on this violin.)

They are definitely changing with settling, adding a bit of complexity, but not as much as I'd like to hear. They've smoothed out much of the edge that my violin has under the ear, but I'm wondering if that's going to be at the cost of projection.

The rest of you folks who have been trying them, how are the strings evolving for you?

Replies (19)

October 17, 2017, 11:53 AM · Have them on my violin for 4 days now. I can second your opinion. I am so far ok with the clarity of those strings, but I do not think, that they will develop into a colorful string. Also for me the first 3 hours of playing were very harsh sounding. But for a conclusion I haven't played them enough yet. Also I want to test the "solo" version before judging the strings
October 17, 2017, 5:32 PM · I have heard that the A for the "solo" set is not up to par, so maybe it would be nice to use the solo version with the regular A. Please do let me know how they come along.
Edited: October 17, 2017, 10:07 PM ·
Edited: October 17, 2017, 10:08 PM · The catching problem can happen to lower tension strings, esp if you have some side movement during changing.
It does not sound like strings for me, so I thank you for your comments helping to decide to pass them!
I would love Tzigane 2.0, longer resonance keeping strings.
October 18, 2017, 10:39 AM · @ Lydia @Simon -- it might help if we state what strings we are usually running as a point of reference. I keep a set of Dominants with an alternate E on my Burgess, and a full set of Vision Titanium Orchestra on my Ming Jiang Zhu (bench) violin.

@ Marc -- I have tried nearly every string on the market and the catching issue is not common to low tension strings. It might have something to do with the way the surface of the string is finished, the girth of the string, or the torsional stability of the string corpus.

Edited: October 18, 2017, 2:55 PM · I've yet to really settle on a string combination on this violin. Initially I had an all Evah Pirazzi Gold set -- that's what it came strung with. I also briefly tried a full set of Peter Infelds, with the platinum E -- not good on this violin. After that, I switched to Warchal's Amber E, and then tried:
  • Brilliant Vintage G/D/A
  • Brilliant Vintage G/D + Avantgarde A
  • Passione G/D/A
  • Passione G/D + Avantgarde A
  • Tzigane G/D + Avantgarde A
  • EP Gold G/D + Avantgarde A

Various other strings not great on this violin: regular Larsen, Larsen Virtuoso, Vision, Vision Ti Solo, and probably some others I'm forgetting. (I went through a bunch of tester strings at a shop.)

October 18, 2017, 4:24 PM · I switch strings quite often lately. Usually I play lower tension strings. Peter Infelds were on my violin before I went to the Il Cannone
October 19, 2017, 3:09 AM · Lydia, how did you feel about the passione on your violin?
I am still looking for something like Dominants in the range 2-8 weeks of playing.
I might try Vision Ti Orchestra again, maybe it suits my violin, on my old one I prefered Solos which are to bright now.
October 19, 2017, 5:44 AM · @ Lydia - it looks like you tried a lot of good strings. Anything you didn't like about the EP Golds that made you explore other options?

@ Simon - Do you prefer the Peter Infelds to the Il Cannone?

@ Marc - Passiones I consider really good strings if you want to go the gut route. Vision Ti Orchestras are fantastic -- probably the most hidden secret in the Thomastik lineup because people get turned off by the name. They are plenty projecting, just warmer and richer than Ti Solo.

October 19, 2017, 6:45 AM · I really like the Passiones on this violin. They are very slightly better than the Brilliant Vintage in terms of complexity and warmth, but I'm not sure the difference is enough to warrant the hassle of less tuning stability. (The Passiones were not good on my other violin, though.)

On this instrument, EP Golds sound a bit... overdriven, I suppose is the word. It can be mitigated by adjustment, but overall the violin sounds better with less tension. The violin doesn't really need help from strings, so to speak; it's got plenty of power and character of its own.

October 19, 2017, 7:04 AM · @ Lydia -- I agree, Passiones are fantastic but a touch too unstable for what I need. I know what you mean with the term "overdriven" -- that is how EP and EP Gold sound on an instrument that speaks for itself well. Have you tried throwing a set of Dominant or Tonica on it to see what you get?
October 19, 2017, 7:30 AM · I haven't. I've never been all that keen on the Dominants sound ever since other strings showed up in the market, although my luthier suggests that Dominants would be just fine on this violin. I've tried Tonicas on two other violins in the past, and while I prefer them to Dominants, I didn't love them.

By the way, the sound of my Il Cannones has really changed now that they've been on the violin a few days. They are now far louder under the ear. A little more complex but not as rich or colorful as I'd like. I like them more than I did when I first put them on, probably enough to tolerate them for my $90, even though I've got a bunch of performances coming up in the next few weeks, and I'm wondering if these will die in 3 weeks like other Larsen strings I've tried.

October 19, 2017, 7:46 AM · I think Dominants require a bit of messing around with E strings (and possibly setup) to get right. Maybe try the aforementioned Vision Ti Orchestras -- they are like a more colorful Dominant with more focus, stability, and can take more bow pressure.

The Il Cannone strings continued to get better on the violin they remain installed on. I'm at about the 5 week mark and assume they have plateaued but I can't be sure. I don't find them to be incredibly complex strings -- more punchy and clean sounding. Not a bad string by any means, but not the sound I'm interested in.

October 19, 2017, 2:58 PM · I can't tell that yet. I want to give the Il Cannone a full life circle on my violin, before I draw a conclusion. But Peter Infelds are great strings, that is for sure!
October 22, 2017, 6:15 PM · I gave up on these strings. (My teacher described the sound as "flatline".) I put on a set of Passiones again, with the Amber E.

If anyone in the DC area is interested in trying them, I donated them to Gailes Violin Shop for their test-string library.

Edited: October 22, 2017, 8:30 PM · I will leave them on my backup violin for a while, but I probably won't buy them again for these instruments. Perhaps for someone else on a different violin, they will work beautifully.
October 23, 2017, 10:14 AM · Lydia, did you ever try a full set if Ambers?
October 23, 2017, 7:55 PM · I did not. I like the Brilliant Vintages a lot, so haven't experimented with the rest of their string line. This time they were out of stock at Shar, as well as two local shops I tried.
October 24, 2017, 7:09 AM · A bit off topic, but since the Ambers came up: I have tried the Amber set and like them a lot. Longer lasting than EP Gold and much better sounding than ordinary EP. My trial with EP Gold was far from the Amber in time but as far as I remember the Amber was softer to the touch and not quite as loud. Among the synthetic strings I have tried they are the closest to "gut sound". I still prefer wound gut, though. Oliv stiff G, Oliv silver D, Passione solo A and EP platinum E is my preferred combo at the moment. Expensive, sure, but they last me longer than the synthetics I have tried and after the initial stretching I have no problems with tuning stability.

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