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  1. Important note: I will be updating this thread over the next coming days and weeks to try and show as much of the strings that I can and to see if it's just the honeymoon phase and how long lasting the strings are. I recently bought a set of Rondo Gold strings that were recommended to me by my teacher who's in Vienna. She recommended both the Dynamo and Rondo Gold sets as she had good experiences with them, but I aimed for the more cost effective Rondo Gold which came in at $110.95 (May have been a pricing issue by the shop, but that's what they quoted). The violin I chose to put these strings are is a violin that's around 100 years old from Germany. With the Helicore strings it had on before the projection was very good and it had a rich sounding tone, although I wasn't a huge fan of the Helicore strings as they didn't fit what I wanted from the violin's sound and I wanted a nice little upgrade since I've never done a set of strings over $75. We kept all 4 fine tuners on as the tailpiece had slight damage to where they would go. We also changed out the plastic tubes on the A and E for a parchment piece for the E string. We tried it out in the shop and I could hear a nice difference. But waited until we got home to hear the difference fully. We tried it out in the living room with several pieces. Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5, Brahms Violin Concerto, Bach Partita No. 2, Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3, Vivaldi Summer, Paganini Caprice 24, and Vivaldi Violin Concerto A Minor. The major differences I noticed are, the colors of these springs explodes, and it somehow gets better the higher you go on the strings. The projection and control now is insane, it can output so much volume when I need it to, and soften up to a nice Pianissimo where needed and without losing quality of it's sound. Before it already projected pretty good, now it's just a beast waiting to be awakened. It also has so much color to them which is exactly what I wanted. The strings also have a very nice grip to them. Other notable differences is I don't notice any whistle on the E string since I hear that some gold strings has that issue. But this one doesn't seem to have that as an issue at all although it could just be that my violin accepted these strings very well as all violins are different and will react differently to different variables and items. And the chords for Bach Partita No. 2 comes out very nicely on these strings. I have nothing but praise for these strings. They're affordable and come with two E strings, one being gold plated, the other is tin plated. I will add some recordings as I get them done and I will update this thread over the coming days and weeks, especially after my solo performance is done where it'll matter most.
  2. Hi everyone, Topics about octave violas have appeared on this forum in the past, such as Viola to Chin Cello and "Octave Violin" & "Octave Viola"; however what is now available on the market appears to have changed. I have a Yamaha SVV-200K with a vibrating string length of 373 mm, which the Electric Violin Shop modified for me to be able to play on the Super Sensitive Sensicore Octave Viola strings and tuned exactly like a cello. Initially these strings were fine; however within months, they would repetively snap by themselves inside the case (either at the ball end or the peg end) unless I loosened them a few tones down during storage. I did subsequently have the octave viola examined by two different local luthiers here; the second who further smoothed out the grooves in case the strings were being pinched and resulting in breakage. Although Super Sensitive kindly sent me free replacements, they did snap and I currently have one full spare set and a spare C and D string. I had a look for alternatives online. D'Addario only makes octave violin strings. From memory I found these 1/10 cello strings online, but quite frankly they are rubbish to play on and the vibrating string length is too long for my octave viola. These 1/16 cello strings were even longer than the 1/10 cello strings; hence I didn't even try them on. Any tiny adjustments either via the pegs or fine tuners results in an unusually large change in the pitch of the string. Without any viable options left, my octave viola was left sitting in the case unplayed for several years. Recently having started practising regularly on my acoustic viola, I curiously decided to check out the current market situation for octave viola options. The Sensicore options have seemingly completely disappeared from Super Sensitive's product catalogue, which makes me wonder if they have been discontinued. Larsen recently released their Aurora line of cello strings, the smallest size which is 1/16 with a vibrating string length of 420 mm (this information was accidentally omitted from their information PDF; hence I had to ask them via e-mail what the vibrating string length was). Currently I have e-mailed Pirastro and Larsen to see if they can make custom extra small cello strings with a vibrating string length of 373 mm, but I have yet to hear from them. I figured it would be cheaper to get custom strings rather than a custom-made large electric viola with a vibrating string length of 420 mm. I can probably play a massive viola since I have long arms and fingers though, but I have not seen any viola in Australia thus far that is bigger than my acoustic viola. Or as my friend says, just buy a good, old fashioned cello and learn how to play it, hahaha! Does anyone else here have any tips or ideas? 16 March 2021 Jargar has replied saying they were unable to help. D'Addario replied saying that they have actually acquired Super Sensitive and there are currently discussions on which strings they will continue manufacturing. I have yet to hear back from Larsen, Pirastro or Thomastik.
  3. I've been trying the new Dominant Pro, and I'm getting a lot a high tension feeling, fast détaché is hard to play and the strings feel stiff, unresponsiveness when playing with low bow pressure. That didn't happen with Obligato. So I've decided to check the tensions from the official websites, here they are: Obligato: G: 4.5kg D: 4.7kg A: 5.4kg Total: 14,6 Dominant Pro: G: 4.6kg D: 4.5kg A: 5.5kg total: 14,6 It's interesting how the total tension is the same, they're just distributed differently. Do Thomastik and Pirastro measure tensions the same way? I'm not sure if it's worth it to try getting used and adapt to Dominant Pro, or just leave them. Anyone has used both and experienced the same?
  4. Hello everyone, It has been a long time since I last posted. I am still playing my 17" viola and last year started playing cello too. I have been reading through old threads on this forum, but now that there are some new string options for viola, I wanted to hear what people think. I am at AMEB Grade 4 level for viola and am interested in learning more about string options. I play for leisure and I currently do not have plans to perform in the future, but it is a goal I am working towards. I had my viola serviced recently by one of the best luthiers in the area (both my viola and cello teachers go to him) who increased the bridge height and fingerboard and replaced the sound post. My viola projects very well and now has a deeper sound, but is still on the bright side and not very mellow. I am seeking strings to help darken its tone and sound more mellow. I know I won't be able to get it to sound like my cello though. My viola has a vibrating string length of 375 mm, which is not much longer than most violas. On this viola, I have tried the following combinations (all medium gauge): Full set of Evah Pirazzi Full set of Helicores Full set of Obligatos Spirocore tungsten C, silver G, chrome D with Jargar A Spirocore tungsten C, silver G, chrome D with Karneol metal A Evah Pirazzi was absolutely awful. I can't say that I actually "tried" them properly as they came with my viola when I first bought it from the old owner, but I quickly had them replaced. They were so bright to the point that I almost ditched the instrument altogether and I was going to consider a different viola. The Helicores were okay, but I don't think I will use them again since the Obligatos are warmer and the Spirocores are stronger. I like the Obligatos the most; however, I do like the Jargar A more than the Obligato A, as the former is more louder and clearer. I also prefer the Jargar A over the Karneol metal A when matched with the Spirocores since the Karneol metal A seems to ring too much in comparison. I like the power of the Spirocores; however, they sound a bit cold and one-dimensional. When comparing the Spirocores with the Obligatos, the Obligatos are much more warmer and ring more, but they pack less of a "punch" than the Spirocores. Currently, I also have a Larsen A in my reserve, which I have yet to try. I still have all of the above strings in my possession except for the Evah Pirazzi and Helicores. My luthier said to take advantage of a viola as large as mine, powerful strings such as the Spirocores would help bring out its potential. I told him that I preferred a warmer sound, so he said Obligatos were okay, but they tended to be a bit weak and preferred the Evah Pirazzi Golds. What are your thoughts on this string chart from Shar? If this chart is "true" for my viola (I am aware that strings will sound differently depending on the viola), "Warm" and "Direct" is what I like. After reading through other people's posts over the years on this forum, I am considering trying out the following strings (in no particular combination): Full set of Evah Pirazzi Gold Vision C, G and D Vision Solo C, G and D Full set of Permanents Larsen Virtuoso Solo D (to use with the Larsen A I have already) Aricore C, G and D Superflexible Stark Obligatos I have tried Evah Pirazzi Gold on my old student viola and I did like them, but am not sure how they will sound with my current viola. From Shar's chart, Vision appears to be worth trying as it is near the Obligatos, but in other string comparison charts, they suggest that Vision Solo is warmer and more penetrating than Vision. What are you experiences with this? I got the idea of using Permanents from @Andrew Victor (I love reading your posts sharing your wisdom). I wonder if these will have almost the same power as the Spirocores, but sound warmer due to the lower tension? My viola teacher suggested trying out the Larsen Virtuoso Solo D; hence it is on my list to buy and it is a popular choice. I know in this day, Aricores might be an odd choice given that Pirastro has discontinued them, but I see they are still available for sale in some websites and they are apparently a "dark" and "warm" sounding string. I got the idea of trying out Superflexibles from the Thomastik website, but there doesn't appear to be a lot of mentioning of them by violists online. The Permanents and Aricores don't appear in any viola string comparison chart; hence I'm not sure how they would fair against the rest. I will mention the stark Obligatos since I was previously considering giving them a try, but I might be dwelling into dangerous waters as trying light or heavy gauge is a bit of a hit-or-miss according to my luthier. Please let me know what your thoughts are.
  5. Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I have 2 Pirastro rosins, Schwarz and Oliv-Evah. I also have Tonica and Chromcor strings. I currently use Tonica and Oliv-Evah. However, I am a bit suspicious about those two, because there are some differences that are visible: My Oliv-Evah has a writing "Handcrafted Quality" instead of usual "Handmade in Germany" in the internet images. My Schwarz rosin has "Handmade in Germany" writing. My Tonica strings is fine in the outside packaging, but the strings holder (one made of paper with hole in the middle) has a very faint print and some typos. The color winding near the ball is correct, red and white. My Chromcor strings has a stronger print and no typos in the strings holder. Is there a chance that both of my rosin and strings are counterfeit? Or is it just an outdated genuine packaging? (especially for the rosin. There are no typos there) I do have plan to change my rosin in the future to Bernardel or Cecilia. How do I spot a counterfeit in those two?
  6. Hello ive been getting into the gut world, i play mostly romantic era to modern repertoire in a chamber, symphony, and solo setting. I have used the tricolre strings by gamut in the standard "heifetz" setup but i have changed it to a wrapped D (i find the unwrapped one too thick and kinda iffy). The strings lasted from about March 2021 to late August (6 months) and were not dead when i changed them. The only reason i changed them was because the strings were fraying and felt bad under the hand. I had snipped off any large frays and was generally happy with the strings' performance in Florida heat and humidity. Does anyone have any advice for making gut strings last longer???
  7. Just received an ad from Shar for Dominant Pro. Has anyone tried them? I am partial to PIs, but dislike regular Dominants. Getting ready to try Rondos.
  8. The Pirastro D string in the attached photos was purchased a number of years ago - perhaps twenty or more. The string has a loop-end with a knot, fashioned from the light straw-colored core material (see photos p005.png and p006.png). Please let me know if you can provide an identification of the string. Thank you.
  9. I'm not sure if this question is better placed in the Fingerboard or the Pegbox forum, but it seems to be more of a hardware question to me, so I'll place it on the Pegbox. I see violins described as having a "bright" tone, or having a "rich" or "warm" tone. I don't think I've seen them described as having a "dark" tone, which in my mind would be the opposite of a "bright" tone. Anyway, I'm wondering how much a violin's tone depends on the string selection, as opposed to the instrument's actual design, the qualities of the woods used its construction, and setup (tailpiece, bridge, etc.). without making changes to the setup, can one significantly change the tone of the instrument simply by putting on a different set of strings? If the violin sounds too "bright," can you "darken" the tone just by changing the strings?
  10. I was planning on buying some gut strings for one of my cellos. Does anyone here have a particular pair of gut strings they would recommend? They could be pure gut or gut core strings.
  11. Hi colleagues, after publishing the article about strings care and cleaning a few days ago, we have got plenty of e-mails from our customers. They refer we have forgotten to mention cleaning strings by a cork. They were allegedly advised such method on Maestronet. I have to admit we have not included this method, since I did not suppose it could be so popular. In fact, this turned to be the least effective and most string damaging method ever, unfortunately. We will publish more details soon.
  12. do any of you have any experience with this brand of strings .....GALLI I once put a set on a violin ,that a friend purchased while we were on holidays no other strings were available from the local music shop,from memory , they were said to be handmade in Italy . they seemed acceptable at the time ,but i had nothing to compare,and the violin was nothing special thank you in advance........
  13. Hi Tuning problems! I'm very very inexperienced, took about ten lessons but couldn't afford to continue, so trying to teach myself. I also have a comparatively cheap violin - think it cost about £100. I use the fine tuners as much as I can, but inevitably I have to use the pegs. The pegs don't turn smoothly however - they're really stiff and 'jumpy'. I have to exert quite a lot of pressure to get them to turn, then they turn suddenly and I've a broken string on my hands. Or I get it tuned, but then the pegs just slip and unwind again. I've watched dozens of videos on YouTube about tuning, but everyone's pegs seem to turn easily and then stay put. Tried all sorts of methods, pushing/twisting simultaneously, pulling out slightly, turning, then pushing back in - no avail! This has cost me quite a bit in repairs as I am too inexperienced to attempt it myself - would probably do more harm than good. What am I doing wrong!? Any help much appreciated!
  14. Hii :) I need to get new Cello strings, particularly the A string (the core is showing on that one...) and I'm not sure what to choose. I have played the Cello for about 4 years and I currently have pirastro piranito strings. I like them quite well but I'm thinking of maybe upgrading. I still want steel strings, I like the sound :) I have had my strings for about 2 years (I think) but I haven't really used my C and G strings a lot so they are still fine and it feels like a shame to just throw them out. So I'm thinking of maybe only getting a new A string or both getting new A and D strings. And to possibly get a different A string from the rest of the strings. Does anybody have any suggestion of what would be a good combo? Or if I change all of them what a good upgrade set would be? :)
  15. Has anyone seen a Hammig viola sell recently? I know they are rare. I have seen one listed as sold previously, but I can't find the source now. Are there any Germans watching this site who know more about these?
  16. I am considering buying a set of Thomastik Dominants for my viola but I'm not sure which is the correct for the size of my instrument. It is a 16'' viola with a 37 cm string length (measured from the nut to the bridge). Which is the correct set? Is it the no. 141 one or the no. 4125? The measurements in the manufacturer's refer to the instrument's back size of to string length? Any ideas?
  17. I keep on seeing new string offerings pop up such as Ascenté and Octive. There are many others. Has anyone here tried any new strings worth mentioning?
  18. Hello! Brand new here and not very advanced player. I have an old E. Martin fiddle that I'm partial to. It was described to me as very "bass-ey". It has to my ear a nice ring to it. I currently have a set of Tonicas on it. I play only for myself; I don't need more power or volume at all. I would like this violin to sound as "sweet" and be as responsive as possible. I don't like the way Dominants sound on this instrument at all. I was considering Pirastro Violinos on this next because I read this: "Pirastro Violino - Orignally marketed as a student string, their price, while hardly prohibitive, is not insignificant. However, of all the synthetic strings, these are probably the "sweetest." What they lack in projection, they make up for in sweetness. If you have an instrument that needs taming, or has plenty of power but not an interesting tone, these strings are worth a try." Does anyone have experience with these? Does anyone have any string recommendations for me? Thank you!
  19. There are so many different violins, fiddles, violinist and fiddlers, equipped with all sorts of accessories in all imaginable shapes and conditions, that it is not impossible to come to the situation where the heap of problems appears at once. Recently, I had such a situation and I ask for the help from Mr. Bohdan Warchal, the member of this forum and the person who stands behind the Warchal brand. Occasionally, I had some problems with the other strings, but I have never got any helpful answer, maybe just because the communication between the manufacturer and the user is completely impersonal, or maybe it is just my impression. This time, I got very elaborate analysis of the causes of the problem, a few various possible solutions and even more - the generous friendly move, which is something that one can get only if behind some product stands the right, live person, genuinely devoted to his business. Maybe the strings are not the big deal for some of you, but for me, the strings are something that I have to use "as is", without any possibility to change something, so the assistance in the process of their selection and use is of maximum importance. Which is something I have got from Warchal. I am not in any way connected with the Warchal as a company, nor with Mr. Bohdan Warchal as a person, I am just one humble, pleased customer.
  20. Hello everyone, I am currently in the market for a new violin. Hoping for a step up from my $1000 infinite strings master build violin. I saw infinite strings' new private stock violins and wanted to know how they compare to the Jay Haide (special and non-special edition violins), and the Scott Cao STV-1500. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  21. So..., The other day a very fine player was in the shop and we were assessing a violin I had recently completed a overhaul on for him. I had strung it with Dominants, a string that even a decade ago I wasn't a huge fan of. However, I had about 5 lightly used sets in my miscellaneous string box (because I never end up using them) but thought every once in awhile a violin sounds pretty good with them and I wanted to just put something on there to get a sense of the direction to go in. He played the violin for a few minutes then asked me to change the Dominants and I suggested Rondos (a bulk purchase only set also by Tomastik). The difference was stunning, where before it had a dull and grating sound, the violin now had a vibrant, colorful, and singing quality. This has played itself out over and over again over the years with many players and instruments. My questions are as follows; 1) why are distributors and many makers, shops, and teachers still relying so heavily on Dominants? and 2) is the Dominant domination coming to end? On that last question, I'm sure it is already happening as synthetic string technology has clearly come a long way since Dominants first came onto the scene and there are so many choices. I'm merely curious how others feel in general about this undoubtedly iconic string set. Love them? Hate them? Good for certain instruments? Do you use them much less now that there is such a panoply of choices? Any other comments about their continued success? Okay, unleash the hornets! Go! P.S. If anyone needs a bunch of hardly used Dominants cheap, I know a guy .
  22. Is there any violinist or violist out there who have had experiences with these Chinese made strings? Thank you.
  23. I have a violin that has not been played for a significant amount of time in the last 5-ish years. It sounds like it needs to open up a bit as a result, and my violin technique could also use a significant amount of refreshing as well. It was made in 1991 by a maker who is still alive and while it might benefit from some adjustments, it has remained in a humidified environment, does not have any open seams or other immediately apparent concerns and I would like to play it for a while before doing so. I am currently overhauling my violin bows, which will all benefit from significantly more than just a rehair. The strings on the instrument (Dominants with a Pirastro Gold E) need to be replaced, and I have a "new" set in the string tube in the case from at least 6 years ago, possibly longer. Do those strings, particularly the synthetic Dominants have a shelf life I should be worried about? Will I be further ahead buying new strings, or am I over thinking this? Is there anything else I should be looking for/concerned about with an instrument that looks healthy but hasn't been played for that period of time?
  24. Have anyone tried these strings, and if so, is there a noticeable difference between the 2? They are priced the same, and the website says the Warchal Brilliant VINTAGE is specifically made for antique instruments. Is this possible? And if so, how? What makes them better for Antique instruments? I played on someone's violin yesterday which had this strings (not sure if it was the vintage or just the normal), and found it had a absolutely lovely sound, so I would want to try it on my own violin. Just not sure about the Vintage vs normal kind. Thank you.
  25. I have an old violin (about 100 years old) that I had restored at my local shop recently. When in the shop I had them put on a set of Dominants (seeing how they are basically a standard to start with.) but the G was very thin and the instrument overall too bright. So I swapped a set of plain gut strings onto the violin and it was much happier (gamut tricolor.) Now that my guts are wearing, I'm looking into what to put on next, but feel very lost. The violin is smaller than most moderns, very light and narrow. I assume low tension, dark strings are needed, which brands of synthetics would you recommend? Thank you!
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