Russian Style A (Warchal)
Shawn Boucke - Site Director (12/9/14)
In all my years of playing I have used synthetics, gut, and metal cored strings. Finding a comfortable set that has a smooth transition between the lower and upper notes has always been an issue that many violinists struggle with. The Russian Style A is a fantastic solution to the transition issue. I was worried that I would just be avoiding the A as much as the E but it masks the shift in tone so evenly that it becomes a joy to flow across all four strings. If you are struggling with a bright upper register there are many nice E's out there (Like the Warchal Amber E) that can create a richer tone, but adding the Russian Style A may be the best solution to violinist's problems.
C. First (4/29/14)
Interesting string! Very thin, almost heavy gauge E string thin. But the sound is not thin. Very hard to pin down the sound. It is bright, yet not strident. I wouldn't say it's warm, but it has a fair amount of color to it. I suppose it's like a late Fall day in New England. The air is a bit crisp and the sky is bright, but there is still some warmth left in the sunshine, and there is plenty of color to be found... As most steel strings, the response is excellent. The strings also fulfills the manufacturer's claim of being a good bridge between the D and the E. When I tried a Pirastro Flexocor on the same violin it stuck out with that loud, bright, "I'm a metal string" sound. Same with a Helicore. Somehow the Warchal A blends well, much better than the others I have tried. A unique string! If you have a difficult A string, you may want to give it a try, you may be surprised!
R. McDonnell (1/26/14)
Recently, I decided to swap the a string out on a set of dominants for the Warchal Russian Style A. Lately, I've been hearing a lot of good things about Warchal, a newer company. All I can say is wow! It is hard to believe that the string is a metal string. Looking at it, one would expect it to sound tinny and feel hard, as it is a very thin metal string, though it is neither. It sounds a lot like the dominant but with a bit more highs. The sound is very Oistrakh or Kogan-esque: trebly and clear, but not harsh. The string really shines in fast passages of concertos, with a lot of string crossings between the e and a strings. Though it is not as warm or complex as some a's out there, it is much clearer than most and is a very balanced string. It is definitely worth a try for someone in search of a fast, bright, yet warm string.