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Trying out Pirastro Obligato


Catgut
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After searching through this forum, plus the advice of fellow Maestronetters I've finally decided to bite the bullet and try Obligatos (my violin is currently fitted with Dominants, in which the sound is not exactly to my liking! Plus it's overly bright). It was a toss up between Eudoxas or Olivs, but given the costs, I thought the Obligato was a nice compromise. But I can rationalised that I'm not a professional , so Obligatos it is!

Anyway, I've ordered the set today and should receive it sometime next week. Can't wait to try them! If it doesn't work out, then I'll just have to try the others.

Will keep you guys posted. Thanks again to those who've given their input... it's been a big help.

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You won't be disappointed. They are a fine string and they will give you something different by way of sound and feel to Dominants.

As to their 'life-cycle' - I think what they mean by saying they're short lived is that some feel the rich sound doesn't last as long as one would hope, rather than the strings becoming 'false' or the winding fraying - provided you're careful fitting them (which you should be with any strings since they are all expensive enough these days).

That's been my experience anyway through 3 or 4 sets on violin and viola.

Good luck.

Omo.

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Actually I do find that all the composite-fiber Pirastro violin strings (Violino, Obligato, Evah) have somewhat fragile A-string windings as well as tending to lose their optimum sound sooner than some other brands. They're great strings nevertheless; after trying all 3 on my violin, I now swear by Violinos (which ought to be given a try by anyone who is also interested in Obligatos, as they're a bargain if they work well on your fiddle, and they feel great under the fingers).

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I have heard that about the windings on Evah Pirazzi (and experienced it myself on my one attempted use). I find both the Evahs and even the Violino a little too 'hard' for me, but I take your point. I eventually replace the Obligatos only when I feel I can justify the expense of a new set - not because they're unravelling or gone false. Sure the quality of the sound drops off - but they're still usable and not 'ofensive' to my ears anyway, just a little duller.

One day I'll have to go back to a set of DDominants to remind myself what they sound like.

Omo.

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Violinos are lower in tension (which is why I like their feel) and darker in sound than Obligatos; if that's a good fit for your instrument you may like them. If so, you'll save a worthwhile amount of money in the long run (the Violinos are marketed as a student string and cost just a little more than Tonicas.)

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Omobono, do you mean 'hard' in sound, or 'hard' in feel? I'm confused because SteveLaB finds them lower tension and a little darker than the Obligatos, which seems 'less hard' on both accounts. Are they less complex sounding?

Just curious, because I have been using Dominants and was thinking of trying the Violinos.

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On my violin (The Ex-eBay Gliga), the Violino strings are warmer, richer, and softer to the touch than Obligato. They are slightly quieter, however. For my purposes, they are far superior strings to both Obligato and Evah Pirazzi.

Also, I suspect that someone seeking to get away from the character of Dominants would probably prefer Violino to Obligato, even if the prices were switched.

Rat

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I don't want to be the lone dissenter in this discussion on the Violinos, but on my violin, they did not work at all. Pirastro was kind enough to send me a free set (Pirastro is THE greatest string company), but when I put them on my violin, they sounded dull, weak, and there was absolutely no complexity in sound. To my ears, they sounded like a set of Obligatos that had been on a violin for 8 years. My violin is modeled after "The Cannon," and it sounded like a pop gun while they were on. When I played on them for my teacher, my teacher immediately asked if they were a "student string." He had no idea they actually were being marketed as such. I stick to Pirazzi's now (I'm going to try out the Infeld Reds just for kicks). I'm sure the Violinos are suited for some violins, and I'm sure they sound great on Mr. LaBonne's violin and Desert Rat's, but when they don't work, they sure don't work!

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Whether they bring out the best tone-- or not-- it sounds as though they will be clearly worth a try. And not too financially painful, at least.

Have taken up violin again after many years off, and Dominants sound very "reliable" on my cheap but decent student instrument, but do nothing to give any individuality or character to the sound. Can't afford a new instrument, but feel that experimentation is worthwhile to bring out the best in the one I have. Also would like something a little less loud in my ear. I tend to prefer subtlety to raw power.

Thanks for your comments.

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Your experience is a perfect example of why individual violins do not always prefer the same string. If the top plate thickness or the overall set up requires a greater downward pressure on the bridge to get everything vibrating properly, the lower pressure strings like violinos will not allow the violin to reach it's full potential.

Violinos are a great string and they work well on a large number of instruments but they will not do well on a violin that needs high pressure. I had a similar experience on a Czech fiddle. In that case I changed the setup to accomadate the lower pressure and the violinos sounded wonderful.

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I just have to profess my love for Evah Pirazzi. Big, rich sound,and longer life span than doms.(which is still only a pathetic 2-3 weeks for me ). I should stop sweating so much. Maybe nerves? I digress... try them. I have noticed that two thirds of the violinists in my orchestra use them now, too.(not a scientific survey)

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I have tried most of the synthetic-core strings on the market today. I have 6 violins I try them on, and no two are the same.

I have settled down to using OBLIGATOS on only one of these instruments. On this violin they are fantastic (definitely well into the qualities one expects [and is lucky to find] in a mid 5-figures priced violin, the maker is curently charging $2,500 for his instruments) - and with my granddaughter playing it several hours each week she is easily able to get a year or so out of a set, with no obvious diminution in sound quality. (I suspect that if these Pirastro strings are particularly short-lived, it has something to do with sharp corners on pegs, nut, bridge, or tailpiece.)

Three other of the violins thrive with EVAH PIRAZZI (Stark) STRINGS. (Perhaps with an Obligato A or D thrown in on one of them - to balance the tone quality to my preference.)

The last two of the violins I am still trying to find the right voice (at the present time one is strung with Larsen and the other with Corelli Alliance) and I may expand the trias to Dominants later today (just about the only brand I have not reexamined in the past few years).

On viola, I have found Obligatos to be "superior" on both of my instruments - but one actually does even better with a tension-matched mix of Thomastik Spirocore strings (which the other cannot tolerate). The new Larsen C is also a good match to the Obligato set (the populer Larsen A has never matched my ear's concept of what a viola A should sound like). Both of these violas also sound almost as good with a Dominant (medium) set.

Different violins have different "spectral" responses. Different strings produce different sound spectra. To get a satisfactory (to player and/or listener) sound out of a violin you have to match these two properties as best you can over the entire audible spectrum.

Andy

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I had a sample set of "Violino" fiddle strings which tried and quickly discarded on my own fiddle but put on a student's and he didn't complain. In the light of the comments above perhaps I didn't persevere long enough. Anyway, I'm a avowed Obligato fan, in spite of a recent flirtation with Larsen viola strings.

It wouldn't be fair to make any further comment without checking on those strings again.

The one's I am really eager to try next are Zyex for viola.... anyone here tried them? Reasonably priced too I believe?

Any thoughts, Andrew?

Omo.

P.S. As I write I am listening to the Schumann Piano Quartet Op.47 slow movement. simply sublime music, what!

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Well, I finally installed Obligatos on my violin

What can I say but a HUGE improvement from Dominants! My instrument is not exactly the best one out there, but one of the better student models, and has the tendency to be on the bright side. With Dominants, it just had this metallic sound to it. Not anymore!!! It sounds warmer, with a fuller sound, darker perhaps and the E-string sounds great, not at all piercing to the ear. Even my husband, who has no musical interest whatsoever, noticed the difference.

It was quite an adventure, seeing that I've never installed a fresh set in my life... but well... there's got to be a first time, right? I changed the strings one at a time, which was a rather tense moment as I didn't want to break anything!! Nevertheless, all went well. They took a couple of days to settle as I found that I had to tune and re-tune in the first 2 days.

The only thing is that there seems to be a "scratchy" sound on the D string... it's not too bad but I'm wondering whether I installed the string correctly, ie no overlaps in the wrapping etc. I wonder what's doing this??

The rest are fine, although I'm finding that I have to put more pressure on the G string to achieve a full sound.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the result. It's amazing how the sound can really affect your playing... I'm more motivated than ever to practice

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"the reason Paganini called his fave violin " The Canon" was because he said " this violin is a law unto itself; it deserves its' own decree" - as in Papal law, not a big gun."

Interesting revelation and plausible, I suppose? Do you have a reference for that comment attributed to Paganini? When did they begin adding the extra "n" to the name to turn it from 'Canon' to 'Cannon'?

A few quick references from Italiian sites suggest they are in no doubt and unaware of what you suggest.......

http://www.comune.genova.it/turismo/paganini/ita/viol3.htm

"Il famoso violinista lo predilesse tra tutti gli strumenti che possedeva e lo chiamava affettuosamente “il mio cannone violino” per la pienezza del suono."

http://www.niccolopaganini.it/violino.html

"Paganini chiamava il violino affettuosamente "il mio cannone" a causa del suo suono robusto."

http://www.cremonaonline.it/cultura/conten.../art_4625/pag_1

"Il ‘Cannone’, così chiamato per la sua voce potente"

http://www.renatodebarbieri.it/guarneri.htm

"Paganini lo predilesse tra tutti i violini che possedeva e lo aveva denominato "il Cannone" per la sua voce potente e sonora."

http://www.giornaledellamusica.it/online/d...ganini/home.htm

"che lo considerò il migliore strumento da lui mai suonato, e lo definì "il Cannone" per la potenza e la profondità del suono"

Omo.

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