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Bohdan Warchal

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Everything posted by Bohdan Warchal

  1. You can alternate or even blend different kind of rosins on you bow hair (in spite of the official recommendations of rosin makers).
  2. It is not easy to explain the original pronunciation, since there is the sound "ch" that is not used by English language at all. The sound is commonly used in all (or almost all?) Slavic languages and also in Hebrew, Dutch, German... e.g. (Johann Sebastian Bach). So the same like you modify Bach's name, you will modify mine. If such a giant like Bach does not complain, I am also fine with any pronunciation . Word is large and in spite the globalization, there are still many nations, languages and even dialects. We (Slovaks) neither pronounce foreign names correctly mostly . As for the rosin, it really depends very much on the result you want to achieve. If you have chosen Brilliant set in order to make your violin sounding louder and you want to emphasize the effect even with the rosin, go ahead with Andrea solo. Should you found the sound a bit too loud or even harsh close to the ears, try A Piacere or Vienna's best. Or you can try another type or rosin, there are many of good quality nowadays available. We do not have any list of strictly recommended or even authorized rosins. The aim of the test have been just to give our customers a clue where to start in case they do not want to try many rosins.
  3. Micheal, I am not here to argue, but there are a lot of wrong information circulating via internet back and forth about strings globally nowadays. The strings promoted by Mr. Harrell are not synthetic at all. They would sound differently for sure. They just share the same name with violin the version made by the same manufacturer, which is synthetic. No many of stringmakers has courage enough to offer synthetic strings to cellists, since it is generally known, that they have got stuck with metal solely since the middle of 20-th century.
  4. I have just checked his website and he states he uses metal strings there. In any case, the sound is not very nice, hearing just the string, not the instrument.
  5. This is why I am not a big fan of metal core strings. I do hear just the string instead of the instrument. I believe people come to concerts in order to listen the beauty of music and the sound of violin, cello e.t.c., not in order to hear the monochromatic vibrations of the string itself...
  6. The ability of recognizing the sound quality and remembering the particular sound timbre does very a lot at a particular people without regard to being player, maker or just a music fan. I know even some professional orchestra players who don’t know what kind of strings they play. They even don’t know whether they are gut, metal or synthetic core ones. They simply play the strings until they break. Than they grab the same package in the shop. This type of musicians are mostly not the best players, they don’t care about the sound they produce. Some other players care a lot about their instrument, bow and instruments set-up including strings. They know precisely what kind of strings they play and why. The same is about rosin e.t.c. They mostly can describe the sound differences very precisely. The same applies for violin makers. Although most of them are not able to play the instrument well, I have been astonished how precisely some of them can describe the tone character of a top instruments and a tiny tone changes caused by string change e.g. I believe that building such ability is the very same as any other kind of ability building– product of a talent and training. Players not knowing what strings they play simply don,t care, so they can hardly improve their listening (probably neither playing skills). The same applies for makers. I can hardly believe any maker would be able to make new instruments (neither a setup) without a clear tone pattern notion. Everyone from you have such a notion, otherwise you would be able to do just a furniture, not instruments. Maybe some of you don’ trust yourself and your notion enough. But it is the only tool you have and it deserves to be improved.
  7. By using always the same strings (even if it would be Warchals only :-) you deprive yourself of the chance to set-up the instrument ap to its best potential. This is what has always fascinated me on stringmaking and this is what I stil enjoy. Having the power of improving the sound (and also playability of course) instantly, in a minute, whithout needed to cope with making a new bridge, new bassbar, trying to adjust neck angle e.t.c. Moreover, string change is always reversible, whilst most of the other set-up changes doesn't.
  8. There has been a huge progress in civilization and technologies during the last century. One hundred years ago you could have just a hay in your mattress. Today you can choose springs, latex memory foam, coco hair, water, air and whatever else and their combinations of course. The construction matters, you can feel the difference and your spine will appreciate your right choice...
  9. One more note. Martin is right with his remark to a certain extent. I never suggest nor use Brilliant as a first choice string set. Karneol as a budget set, or Brilliant Vintage and Amber as premium sets are much more universal products. Let me explain the of Brilliant Vintage difference. Some people ask, if it is not just a marketing trick, if any string may be designed differently for violins 100+ years old (although not intended for baroque set-up). Violinmaking changed quite a lot around the year 1920. The first metal began about 1920 starting by E strings and followed by others. The idea of metal violin string was not completely wrong at least with the E string. But the “golden” metal strings era 1920 – say 1970 or 1980 was certainly the darkest era of violinmaking. The string makers literally doubled the string tension by switching to metal overnight and violinmakers had to follow the new trend. This is why 1920 – 1970 violins are mostly very heavy and massive, even including the reputable Italian ones. Players still playing gut strings had often problem to buy a new instrument. They rather bought either expensive old instruments or cheap German ones, which was made before the “stringmaking revolution”. There was also a few top makers who was able to design and make the violins for gut strings of course, but the general trend was obvious. At the end of 20-th century the situation improved. Synthetic strings turned to be a suitable substitution for gut, moreover without the humidity sensitivity problems. The string tension returned back partly, although never on its original level. However, players have at least much more choice today and makers are not forced to make furniture instead of violins. So Brilliant has been designed mostly for heavier, massive violins. Since it is not only loud, but also quite bright strings set, it also works well on any kind of bland and dull instruments. If you have a warm violin and would like to put power, it is a good choice too. Otherwise Brilliant Vintage is much better. We named it Vintage because of the historical content I have just described, but admittedly it works well on many modern instruments, and even on some 1920 – 1960 instruments. It is better to say that it works on instruments “which does not need to be forced to play”. Many people ask if Vintage is just a light version of Brilliants. No, it isn’t . There are also some other differences in the formula. For example, there is a completely different D string, nor aluminium neither silver. So it was not easy to explain all of this to customers by one word on the package. Here is enough space the explain on the Maestronet forum, but you can hardly write “It is designed for old violins, but sometimes works well with contemporary ones as well” there. It would be totally confusing J As for our premium products, I have already explained Brilliant. I suggest choosing brilliant Vintage if you like clear sound, and playability and response is an absolute priority for you. Amber is a bit more projective, definitely warmer. Our goal was to go as close to gut as possible with Amber. All my descriptions are valid for most of “standard” violins. We all know that an individual interaction between a particular strings and particular instrument may be sometimes specific and may surprise us of course. One more word to the end. I have hesitated to write about our products on MN for a long time, since such posts might be considered to be a spam or advertising. However, I believe if someone is not convinced to try a new brand or product, any laudatory description posted by manufacturer itself does not convince him/her at all. So the only reason why I decided to explain is that such explanation might help to save you some money that would be otherwise wasted by experimenting with choosing a right sets for your instrument (in case you would like to search among Warchal string products).
  10. We have been manufacturing such version from the very beginning, it's product code is 701 B IFT or 701 FB IFT for the Forte version. However, I just realized, that we have somehow forgotten to include it to the product chart http://warchal.com/amber-strings.html . Thank you very much for the notice, we willtry to fix it a.s.a.p.
  11. From time to time I have been notified that there has been a discussion about our strings on MN. Thanks, great, reading such discussions can help me to learn where we are strong and where we need to try harder. Snapped string is always unpleasant experience even if it would happen just at home. However I would like to say that most of such accidents are caused by misunderstandings of string handling and use. There has been not much of enlightenment provided by string makers, so I decided to take any occasion to inform. Any string may snap on any spot theoretically of course, but vast majority of synthetic core strings failures happen at the ball end. It happens when the string is attached to the adjuster that has never been designed for tuning synthetic core strings. I mean the additionally mounted metal adjuster, so called Wittner type. They are suitable for tuning metal strings only. The shape of their edges differ from piece to piece, but they are mostly sharp like a knife. Unfortunately, many players still try to use them for tuning any kind of strings. There are at least four ways how to remedy the problem. 1. Removing the adjuster and tuning by peg. Pegs should be in a perfect condition and right vertical position of course. Even if they are, it is the less comfortable way I have to admit. Many pros do it so, but I fully understand if someone is afraid to take the risk on the stage. 2. Built-in fine tuners tailpiece. Such type of adjuster forks are much gentler to the strings. They used to be made of plastic. The tailpieces can be wooden of course. 3. Geared pegs. Very comfortable solution with only a few disadvantages. However, they costs some money and the pegs needs to be installed by violinmaker. 4. Switching on metal A string. This is one of two reasons why we offer metal A alternative to all our viola sets. Although I prefer synthetic alternative soundwise on violas mostly, we tried to design the metal A strings to match the rest of the set. Metal A strings are also much more durable, especially for players having salty perspiration. For violinists we make Russian Style A, that may supplement every synthetic or gut string set. Violin loop end E and violin and viola A “ball” fails are most common string fails for sure. Some of our customers even tried to claim A strings made by other manufacturers at us – not recognizing the silking codes. I am quite sure that nobody has been able to guarantee the flawless function of synthetic core string in this case. However, I would like to give one more advice to those, insisting stubbornly on their set-up. Be sure to place the string balls at least in the right position that means hole line horizontal (fiber circle notch vertical). Placing string so like D string on this photo https://guide.alibaba.com/sport/shop/4-violin-fine-tuners-4-4-3-4-gold-plated-string-adjusters-one-set-free-shipping-with-violin-and-bow-wholesale_466705.html will cause instant break for sure. There is no much chance to survive for the synthetic core string (there are metal strings on the picture).
  12. I have forgotten to mention that the pitch flattening effect occurs when you bow slower that the current string speed on the particular contact point. You certainly know that although the oscillation frequency remains always the same (whilst changing the bowing contact point), the speed of the string increases if you bow farther form the bridge. If you bow slower, you brake the string not only during the "sliding" , but also during the "sticking" period.
  13. There have been two pretty different topics discussed here. The „pitch flattening“ effect has been thoroughly explained by Ctanzio. It is a bowing technique imperfection and is almost completely independent of the string quality. No any string can cope with such bowing mistake. But the original question describes a different phenomenon. When you bow fast (especially open strings, mostly G), the pitch may increase, sometimes even a semitone. It is a string imperfection and you can observe it mostly on junky metal core strings. It is the lack of longitudinal elasticity as David Burgess mentioned in his first post. The elastic core of the gut or synthetic string increases its tension (whilst being deflected) in much less extend as the typical metal core string does. This is why gut and synthetic core strings can mostly avoid this type of behavior. You can imagine a pendulum for example. The frequency depends on the pendulum length only. The amplitude does not change the frequency. But try to install a spring (or rubber block) at the stop points of the pendulum. It will accelerate the pendulum and increase its frequency. The string is being accelerated by its tension increase two times per oscillation the same way.
  14. It does not explain the huge difference in the sound quality at all. String makers do compensate the different density by the amount of the wound metal (thickness of the wound ribbon) so the final weight (and therefore the tension) of the different formula strings used to be more or less the same. There used to be just a small difference, silver D have been usually made higher tension deliberately, but there would be no any problem to equal the tension completely. String manufacturers try to compensate the a bit bland character of silver (in violin D formula) by increasing its tension. On the other hand, aluminium or aluminium alloy D may have too much "sizzle" on some particular instruments. This is why we have combined the hydronalium with silver in one winding in some of our violin D formulas (Brilliant Vintage and Amber). The balancing effect is amazing, the string has an amazing blend of warmness and brilliance we would not be able to achieve by neither of pure-blooded formulas. However, there is also some disadvantage. If the player has a salty and corrosive perspiration (and therefore facing the problem with short lifetime of aluminium wound strings), this formula is least appropriate for him/her, even worse than pure aluminium or hydronalium. But for at least 95% people it works very well fortunately.
  15. Wider notch would not be a problem, if it would be V shape. But notches are usually made U shape. Such notch does not provide the vibrating string enough support and direct contact with the instrument. It simply roll back and forth loosing its energy in the notch. Maybe nut is a bit more "forgiving" as bridge, the string is hold by a longer spot there. Moreover, the notch is bent down, there is definitely more chance for contact as on the bridge. However, on the bridge even slightly wider (and shallow) notch may cause serious problem with projection and especially with response.
  16. Of course, there are many other factors in the string construction, including torsion stability, surface friction coeficient e.t.c., we can hardly describe all of them here.
  17. I am not here to argue, but the first point of the “higher tension list” contradicts the third and fourth one. If there is less response (and it is really the true statement), “the same bowing conditions” can be hardly applied. More mass requires more bow pressure and may also require bowing farther from the bridge. This is in fact, why the fourth point correlate the third one. The most important fact is that the high tension tone volume benefit line is not linear (unless the response benefit/lost chart that is always linear). As mentioned above, by increasing the tension from the lowest one, the tone changes from bright to warm. At the same time it becomes louder. But going behind some limit cuts most of the overtones, so such tone does not carry anymore although it still can be perceived as loud close to ones ear.
  18. The relation of vibrato and tone is interesting theme. My former colleague, a guitar teacher at the conservatory explained me, how he choose the top quality classical acoustic guitar. He told me that some guitars “had a vibrato”, whilst others “hadn’t”. Why there could be such differences? The vibrato is supposed just to reflect the finger movement by moving the pitch up and down. Nothing else. So a vibrato should depend just on players finger movement, not the instrument itself. The finger movements are limited on a guitar compared to violin due to the frets. This is why guitar players feel and hear the difference and we don’t. Violin can be easily forced or even “raped” by a strongly vibrating (better to say rolling) finger. But there is not such a big difference in guitar and violin construction to refuse any similarity in tone principles. Thus, it is most likely, that there are vibrato-ready violins and vibrato-reluctant ones. Maybe there are violinists who are able to feel such tiny differences too. To be honest, a vibrato “availability” has been not my highest priority, at least since it is used in less and less extend in the modern interpretation praxis. I appreciate mostly the wide range of tones (not only overtones, since basic tones are also important). In other words, being warm and brilliant sounding at the same time. Than a balance and good response of course.
  19. I am not sure 4th finger could (neither should) be totally indistinguishable form the next open string. In such case there would be not much sense to create any "musical-phrasing" fingerings. Moreover, such feature is related also to the strings the instrument is equipped with.
  20. I have been at the only violinmaking competition as a judge several times. It has been the Violino Arvensis competition held in our contry. Not a big deal. They started just 2008 and there used to be just about 45 violins, mostly from Poland, Czech republic and diverse makers from Cremona. The competition has been quite specialized in tone evaluation. There is one craftsmanship evaluation round done by professional violinmaking judges. The sound is evaluated even in three rounds in three different halls, solo, with piano and with a symphonic orchestra in a large hall (about up to 6 instruments are accepted to the last round). Even that evaluation system could be still improved, there is quite a numerous jury, usually more than 10 judges (although the instruments are played just by one player). Any conditions, like the quality of the hall may be questioned and discussed of course, but I don’t find it very important, since the conditions are always the same for all of the participants. However, if any competition should raise its credibility and objectivity, I think it may be done by involving more judges. I also like Martins last comment about taking the results not too seriously. This was what the all community needed to do last time, when a Czech farmer won the "best sound" by surprise. He got bored by making just a lot of paperwork at his farm during winters, so beeing able to play violin, he has started to build instruments. I don't know, if we has been so good, or it was just an accident, but he did really get the best sound rate.
  21. As for my humble opinion, i would appreciate opening the tone evaluation for public (just for listening of course).
  22. We were also pleased by meeting you David. It is really not difficult to remember you. Although your violins have to be great and famous, the new type of floating violin you brought with you was really eye-catching .
  23. I was at VSA convention for the first time and I am glad I decided to come. I have met a lot of very nice people and seen many great instruments. The current US violinmaking seems to differ from the European a lot. Antique varnished instruments are not accepted to the competitions here in Europe mostly. Although I like both styles you are much more ahead as for the current market needs. Some of the instruments exhibited at the end of the convention have been incredibly pretilly made. Congratulations to all the winners!
  24. You can’t avoid it. The same tires will work differently on different cars. Maybe you don’t notice the difference if you need just to drive your kids to school, but you will definitely notice it if you drive up to the limit. The real measurable tension cause is very simple. It is just the weight of the string per any longitudinal unit (millimeter, inch) provided that vibrating length and pitch remains the same. As for the feeling under the finger, you feel the mix of the string tension, string elasticity and string height (above the fingerboard). As for the playing, high tension manifests by louder tone (particularly louder close to the ear), less overtones and worse response. Too low tension manifests by thin, rather bright tone and lack of projection. You are right that there are also other factors in the string formulas, that can influence the subjective feeling of the player. Many other factors affect the projection, tone quality as well as the playability. But the tension is one of the most important ones. The same applies on instruments, even more significantly. Whilst we can claim that 50 string of the same type and brand are the same quality (or they should be the same quality at least), we are not able to find two identical instruments. Whilst some of violins can cope with high tension strings, most of them are not able to do it without compromising response and playability. I am not sure whether we will be able to describe this kind of causality precisely one day. I mean the understanding the causality resulting in any guide saying how to design the particular instrument to work ideally with a particular type of strings. However, this is what I really enjoy on stringmaking and this is why we offer more kinds of strings. Any violinmaker or instrument owner can adjust the final sound quality by choosing the right strings. It takes a few minutes or hours and unless some other set-up actions, you can always return back in case of insufficient result.
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