I know many cellists who use Larsen strings as well as violists who use a Larsen A-string. I personally used a Larsen A on my viola for quite awhile. I have never used the Larsen original violin strings in the past and expected the set to have a steel core like the cello, and viola version but was quite surprised to find that it has a synthetic "multi-filament nylon" core.
The silk of the tail end of the string has the standard blue/gold wrapping. The peg end is has red silk wrapping. The rewrapping signifies medium gauge. The standard/original set has three different gauges to choose from.
As it is for the rest of the Larsen string line all of the strings are very well polished. The biggest shock for me was how thick the strings felt under my fingers. I do not have a way of measuring the exact diameter of the strings, but the G, D, and especially A felt quite large even compared to my viola. Oddly the E-string was very thin. This took some getting used to and after about a week of playing on them my fingers became accustomed to the feel of the strings.
Because of the strings lower tension playing in the upper positions was no problem but the G and D were a little slow to respond.
Neutral. These strings did not have the punch of a "soloistic" or metal string. They also did not have the subtly of a gut string. The set was able to take a little bit from both worlds. I was able to get some very sweet pianissimo tones as well as a clear forte sound without much effort. If I had to perform a solo in front of an orchestra I don't feel that they would have the power to project above the ensemble but would work great on an instrument in the orchestra.
When first installed the strings will have a slight metallic sound. This will continue until they settle in which depends on how much they are played. I installed them on a Friday and after playing for about 3-4 hours a day they were settled in by Monday. I feel I must separate the E-string when describing the set. The E-string has a very sweet tone. It has the brilliance of a high tension steel E without the punch. I would say that the E string could go well with any set. The A, D, and G are a bit different. They didn't settle into anything extraordinary. This is not necessarily a bad thing. They did not have the warmth you would obtain from a gut string, or synthetic (Like the Larsen Tzigane). They also did not have the brilliance of a steel, or high tension synthetic (Like the Larsen Virtuoso) I would consider these strings to be very neutral. They could be an easy challenger to Thomastik-Infeld's Dominant strings.
These strings are very neutral. They seem to bring out a more organic tone of my instrument. If you are unsure of what you are looking for in a string this would be a good place to start. These are great for blending with a group. If you like strings such as Dominants and would like to try something new without going to an extreme these are your set.
I compared the Original set to Larsen's Tzigane, and Virtuoso because it is a fantastic display of the range of synthetic strings on the market. I personally prefer more color and complexity in my instrument and would lean towards the Tzigane side. Others might want more punch and lean towards the Virtuoso side. The Larsen Original/Standard fit comfortably in the middle.
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