Hello all, my friend has a very bright violin and we're looking for some strings to tame it down as much as possible without sacrificing tone. Dominants, Obligatos, Pro Artes, Zyex, Warchal? How do these stack up and compare to each other? He's fairly new so a warm/dark sound is much easier for him to play.
You might want to search the site for similar threads if you haven't already. There are generally some strings that fit your needs (I've heard Obligatos and Pro Artes fit the bill, but have no firsthand experience to back it up). Opinions on strings can be quite controversial for a multitude of reasons.
I have and thank you for your input:) I've noticed string companies change their formulas over time, so I was curious about the latest into, if possible.
My favorite for warmth with strong sound are the Larsen Tziganes.
I've had only good experiences with Pro Artes, but I would recommend getting a different E string. The Pro Arte E whistles quite often.
Pat, do not waste your money on marketing hype.
I recommend Obligatos with a wound e string, Obligatos are darker, and a wound e string is less bright than an unwound.
I think it is a tricky business. The starting point is for the advisor to know what strings are on the fiddle now. But I agree with Lyndon about the characteristics of Pirastro Obligatos - and a wound E being a good "dark" combo.
We can't hear your friend's instrument; but, even if we could, our responses to it, and our recommendations, would probably be as individual as we are. Better to have your friend visit a luthier or another experienced player and have this person play your friend's instrument for him at a distance of 10-20 feet.
I second Obligatos.
Aricore -warm gut-like tone. Looser feel. Pro-Arte - ok on a budget. Obligato- Not as dark as Aricore, but fantastic responsiveness. Corelli crystal- fatter string like Dominant, but warm and less $$&. Kaplan Amo- my current choice- extremely responsive with a wider dynamic range. E strings- Warch amber- current favorite, Pirastro gold, Goldbrakat is cheap but good, Kaplan Amo.
I'm not sure of the current strings, as they're from the saler. I'd say they're some sort ot steel core string though.
If the obligatos are too bright, consider their darker sibling violinos.
Another vote for Aricore, warm and sweet.
And polyester is not a "composite"?
A few years ago, Sharmusic constructed a coordinate graph comparing many strings based on having several of their people play, change and then rate each brand of string according to a pretty well thought out criteria.
Duane, Pirastro describe their core materials as "polyester" (Aricore), "nylon" (Tonica), or "composite" (Violino, Obligato, & Evah)
Duane, the term "composite" refers to combined usage of multiple materials. So polyester is certainly not a composite, as it is a single material. Carbon bows are sometimes referred to as "composite" bows due to the combination of carbon and epoxy (or similar binding agent).
Warm and dark is good when the sound is focused, otherwise we will have a hollow, unfocused sound that will not project.
On my violin the Peter Infelds PI (with aluminium D) have a very warm and gutsy lower register with a still projecting quality. I would disregard the E-String though.
An article from this site had a few good suggestions.
Simon, the Peter Infeld strings have three E string options. Which one are you talking about?
Tonicas I heard were pretty dark. Eudoxas I have on my violin now are pretty dark, too, but that might just be because I switched from Evahs and Olivs.
Maybe your violin is pretty dark????
I use a lot of Tonica and they don't make the sound dark unless the violin itself is dark.
Old Tonica were warmer-I used them once or twice too long ago to remember. I do recall, however, people complaining online about the new Tonica formula losing some of that "warmth" (even if Pirastro disagrees.)
+1 on Adalberto’s comments
I wouldn't call Tonicas dark, either. Or particularly warm, on a variety of different instruments.
So the reviews on Amazon said D'Addario Pro Arte give instruments a warmer, darker sound. So I tried them. Of course it will vary depending on the violin, one size does not fit all, but on my violin they just sound cheap.
Heeding Andrew Victor's long time recommendation just ordered two PI platinum E strings for $25 each on sale. It seems a huge sum to spend for an E string but looking forward to giving it a try.
About PI platinum E: on my violin that string is too strong (18.3 lbs). It gives a strong tone, yes, but lack of resonance on the E. Some kind of choking effect. The E doesn't sing like a bird on MY violin. For the PI strings G,D,A: I use strong version (26,7 mm) of Gold label. My violin likes that string better. Even the medium is ok.
FWIW, I tried the Evah Pirazzi Platinum E on my violin with PI lower strings (because it was cheaper than the PI platinum E) and it was a complete disaster. The E was unbelievably brash, whistled like crazy, and would often give this unusual squawking sound if you pressed even the slightest bit too hard. I can't recommend it. Not sure if the PI platinum is better but I'm not minded to try it at that price.
Don’t ignore the rosin. Some sound brighter and others darker. Some work better with different strings and can realy sound and play differently
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