Larsen Virtuoso strings are geared towards the soloist as well as those looking to brighten up their instrument. The instrument I used to sample the strings (as well as every other set on the site) is a Ming Jiang Zhu violin made in 2010 which I would say has a very neutral tone. I have never felt as if the sound was to bright or dark.
The strings come in the typical Larsen wax sealed envelope and have the standard blue/gold wrapping at the tail end (except fr the E-string which is a light blue). The peg end is a beige color which Larsen calls "champagne."
Larsen Virtuoso strings are quite flexible for being a "soloistic" string. On our tension chart you can can see that the tension is less than that of Dominant or even Obligato strings. There is a disclaimer on the tension page that "One string having a different tension than another does not mean it will sound a certain way comparatively." This set is a perfect example of that. The response of the string is fast and does not feel as if the notes are forced or need an unreasonable amount of pressure to sound.
Just like the Larsen Tzigane strings these are very polished, and has very little "string sound" when shifting.
These strings are not quiet. I feel that I do not need to try very hard to get a big sound. The low end of the violin I used to test this set with often sounds muddy and not very clear. This is one of the first string sets that has fixed that issue. The sound projects more clearly on the G-string than many other sets.
The full set has a very clear tone that seems to get brighter as you move up the instrument. The G and D are very similar in tone. As noted earlier the G was clear sounding. I expected this from a soloistic string but was surprised because of the low tension. the clarity of the sound continued even as you shift into the higher positions.
The A-string shines with a bit more brilliance. This is where the strings starts to really sing. Moving onto the E-string turns up the brightness of the tone even more. If I had to give one critique of the set it was that on my instrument the tone was not balanced across all four strings. I find myself working to stay on one string longer just to avoid the difference in tone caused from string changes. That issue is not all that bad though. Many violists and cellists will switch out their higher strings for something with more punch. You will often see a viola with synthetic core D, G, and C string but a metal (often Larsen) A. The E-string in the Virtuoso set being as brilliant as it is does cause some problems if you are used to playing with a more mellow E-string but it also gives new life to those passages where you reach up to the highest positions on the violin.
Larsen Virtuoso strings are clear and loud but with a feel and playability of a warm synthetic string. I would put this set up against a Thomastik Vision, or an Evah Pirazzi as far as tone goes but having a lot more flexibility. If your instrument is relatively dark sounding but cannot handle a lot of tension these are the perfect strings for you.
Previous Spotlight Reviews
Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin
Standard vs. Harp Tailpiece
Electric Violin Comparison
NEW Fiddlerman Strings
Vision Strings (Thomastic-Infeld)
Kaplan Viola Amo/Vivo/Forza
Amber Viola (Warchal)
Evah Pirazzi Gold (Pirastro)
Capriccio Soloist (Dogal)
Avantgarde A (Warchal)
Russian Style A (Warchal)
Kaplan Amo & Vivo (D'Addario)
Red Label Pearl (Super-Sensitive)
Amber - Full Set (Warchal)
Amber - Forte E (Warchal)