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Obligato strings and rosin


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I am getting a set of Obligato's to try out on my violin, and was

wondering if there are any opinions about using the Obligato Rosin

with them.  I am desperately trying to get a warmer, softer

tone.  As a beginner, my teacher recommended Pirastro's Ultra

Sensitive Chromium Steel strings, which I find ghastly on my violin

(despite the fact that she reassured they were "warm"


Any help would be appreciated!  Thanks!

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Good luck with the Obligatos. They are likely to give you a warmer sound. However, your luthier can best advise you as to what strings will give you the sound you seek. S/he can listen to your violin with whatever you have and suggest a reasonable change to get closer to what you are sseking. Remember that all violins sound different with different strings and what gives one person's violin a warm sound may not give the sound you seek. Therefore, your luthier can best advise you.

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My choice would be OBLIGATO WEICH, Obligato's lower tension strings. I've now got them on 7 of my violins after going through Thomastik - Dominants, Blues, Reds, Vision, Vision Titanium; Pirastro - Eudoxa, Olive, Tonica, OBLIGATO-MITTEL (their medium gauge strings), Evah Pirazzi, Larsen, Helicore, and several other brands.

For the E string I use Kaplan-Solutions.

There is a certain quality in the Obligato -Weich strings that seems to bring out what each violin has to offer.

It is not a good idea, in my opinion, to try to change the sound quality of a violin with a set of strings. A brilliant instrument will probably not have buch in the "dark range" to offer. Nor will a dark instrument have much to produce with bright strings.

This particular choice seems to me to be better on all these diverse violins than any of the other strings were after very careful tweaking.


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hey Andrew,

that surprises me...I thought you were really into the Visions...in fact it was because of you that I now am onto the regular Visions, from my long time standby, Dominants...I too have been 'around the world" with strings.

I also agree that you can't really change the voice of a violin with strings, although there will be a set that CAN sound better than others.

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Do you find that you need to play closer to the bridge with weich Obligatos vs. other medium strings?

I tried weich Tonicas that I liked very much, but I didn't like how I had to bow significantly closer to the bridge to get a big sound. So I left the A and put a Dominant G and D back on.


(other) Andy

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generally the thinner the string, the closer you have to play to the bridge. this applies not only to different gauges of the same string, but to completely different strings (like g, d, a, e)....which can all get counterintuitive.

of course for most big sound solo work you're already going to be at the bridge anyways...so using a thinner gauge would really back you up against the wall. imho medium gauge is where it's at.

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Good Morning everyone.  Thanks for the replies.

What I do know is that the violin was strung with Dominants when it

was new (but I bought it used).  I'm hoping that returning it

back to synthetic strings will help.  Next time I'll go with

my own intuition.  I'm hoping the Obligatos will arrive this


Has anyone tried the Obligato rosin?  

LOL my town doesn't have a luthier that I am aware of... we have

only a few "music stores".  And at best they only stock

"student" supplies and the staff don't exactly know much about

violins. I have to special order what I want, and even

then, some things I'll have to order online (ex. Jade,


Thanks again! 

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I use Dominant G D A but Pirastro E (wounded). To soft the sound I use a wire mute on my

German violin. Rosin, a Hill. I am happy with all these on my four violins. ( Sorry, I play only one

violin regularly. Other are just for the show. How can get I some Italian sound out of them?

Please help )

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In reading posts about strings here and on other websites, I find lots of opinions about differences in sound quality but little about the interaction between the strings and the bow. I have found considerable variability in ease of bowing between different string brands and gauges.

For instance, I found Obligato weich less forgiving than mittel when playing double stops or spicatto bowing. With mittel I don't have to worry too much about bow placement on the strings to produce full-sounding double stops or spicatto notes. The difference was so pronounced that I decided to try Obligato stark thinking that my double stops and spicatto might sound even better! But it seemed that I had to work harder to produce any sound with the starks, and they felt thick under the fingers!

Most E strings have "memory" and will spring open when you open the package and unwind them. The Kaplan Solutins E string is uniquely limp; it lays there like a piece of twine after it's out of its package. The windings are clearly visible and it looks like a mini-A string; perhaps it is in fact wound polymer. I found it to be quite high in tension and uncomfortably hard on the fingers. Although its stated purpose is to prevent "whistling", I was able to make it chirp once or twice. I'm much happier with my Hill E, which for me produces a nice sound, is easy under the fingers, and whistles very infrequently.

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"interaction between the strings and the bow" is the exact reason why i currently play on vision titaniums.

i get better feel, pull, and modulation with them than with obligatos and evahs. i actually prefer pirastro's sound over thomastik's...but the interaction isn't as good (for me)...so vision titanium it is!

i have not tried warchals.

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Andew, I'm also surprised to hear that you now seem to be an Obligato man. Your experience had strongly influenced my choice of Visions for a couple violins. I like the Visions, especially for their clarity and responsiveness. And on one old violin in particular, they produce a beautiful dark tone. But for an old Guarneri model, my shop recommended Obligatos (mittel, I guess, with Piastro gold E). I have found them to be very finicky -- warbling or woofing if anything is slightly out of adjustment -- and am about to go back to Visions. The Thomastik rep suggested Vision Orchestras if I wanted the warmth that Obligato promised. I noticed their absence on you list of trials --- an oversight? Too expensive to test out?

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Well, I bought some Hill Dark, and so far I like it.  It

definitely is an improvement from my old rosin... much softer and

took away the kinda airy and gritty sound I was getting from the

strings.  (although I still don't like the Ultra Sensitives).

I'm still waiting for my Obligato's to arrive

Sorry to be a pest, but still no one has answered if they have

tried the Obligato rosin?  

Also, I noticed that Quinn's still has some Tartini for sale.

 If I were to try that instead, which kind? Solo, Symphony, or

Green? Or both Solo and Symphony - what's the difference between

the two? 

Any help, please!

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I use Obligatos and Hill Dark and the combo works fine for me. Once you get to rosins that are as good as Hill Dark, I think you may be deluding yourself in thinking that a change, say to Obligato, will make a real difference (unless you are Perlman).

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I've been happy with Tartini Symphony with Obligatos/No. 1 E but I haven't tried the other Tartinis (nor am I likely to now that they're no longer being made). I understand from others that Green is somewhat grippier; don't know about the Soloist. I used to like softer rosins like Hill Dark but as my playing has improved and I've gotten better equipment I'm finding that harder rosins work better for me. Everyone's different though... -Steve

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