The Amber violin strings were one of the first I had ever tested for this site. Now that the viola set is out I feel it’s only right to make that the first viola review. Just like the violin set there are two key characteristics of the Amber set. One being the warm tone that it is claimed to provide and the other being the spiral design. This viola set comes with two different A-strings. One has a synthetic core like the D G and C-string while the other is a metal core with the spiral design.
Before we get into the tone of the strings lets take a look at the packaging and look of the strings. They come in a nice box and the inside packaging has information on how to recycle your old strings. One thing that Warchal does well is the silk wrapping. It is always very precise and although does not contribute to the sound can be a big deal for those of us who like things looking as high quality as the sound.
The strings took a few days of a lot of stretching to settle in. These would not be a good idea to put on the day of a performance. They had a slight tinny sound for the first few days as they stretched out like you would expect form a Dominant string. The spiral on the A-string does not go too far onto the fingerboard so any worries of feeling odd under the fingers are not an issue.
The spiral is to both assist in the elasticity of the string as well as allow for a warmer tone than what you would expect from a typical metal A-string.
On that note, yes the metal A delivers a very rich tone. I almost feel that it may be warmer than the synthetic string that I tried first. The set as a whole has a warm sound. I have the exact same feelings as I did for the violin set. It definitely is on the warmer and richer side of the spectrum but had a brighter tone when installed and kept a sort of brilliance even after stretching out. If you are searching for something that is like a gut string this would not be your answer, but if let’s say you like Dominant strings but want something that is a bit darker than these might be perfect.
I always felt that the synthetic A would be a better balance with the rest of the set and although is did have a smoother transition between strings I preferred the metal A. This A would be one that even if I went to another set I would purchase this one on it’s own to use. Very rich while keeping the projecting sound that metal core strings can provide.
The strings are highly polished and feel quite smooth under the fingers. They are a bit thicker if you are used to an all metal set but not overly bulky.
These fall in the middle for projection. If you are looking for a set to solo over an orchestra you would need to make sure you already have a pretty beefy viola first. These are great for chamber or orchestra playing by not being over powering and letting the natural tone of my viola sing through.
These are fantastic strings and fall in line as a neutral/warm string. Not overbearing or feeling like it is adjusting the natural tone of the instrument but warm enough to be able to hear. There is a brilliance to the string that you don’t get from Obligatos and might expect from a Dominant string. What makes this set stand apart is the A-string. This is worth a look and all violists should try pairing it with the sets they might already be accustomed to.
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