(11/6/00 9:46:18 pm)
anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?
I am wondering if anyone has tried
the new Belcanto Gold Strings or if anyone knows any more about them
other than what Thomastik has on their website. I am ready for a new
set of strings and have been enjoying my Larsen A & D and
Thomastik Spirocore Tungsten G & C. Any other
(11/6/00 10:02:44 pm)
anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?
Geez, Andy, it's about time you made
use of the boards!!
BTW: Howdya like
college? USE THE COLLEGE BOARD, TOO!
(11/7/00 11:22:31 am)
anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?
Changing strings is always an ordeal
for me (mostly because when I test strings I end up moving them
between three cellos). Nevertheless I agreed to accept a free set of
BelCanto Gold cello strings from the US rep of Thomastik - although
accepting them was not an instantaneously made decision. I expect
them to arrive within a week or so.
I have agreed to try them
on my three cellos until I find (or don't find) one on which they
have a favorable effect.
I have been pretty happy with the
way my cellos are strung --finally: with Larsen A and D (soloist on
the mellowest instrument) and Spirocore on the C and G (tungsten on
the mellowist instrument, with silver on #2 and chrome on #3 - this
balanced a tendency of the older cellos to be a bit stronger on the
low strings with tungsten). I had liked Helicore, but found the G
and C to be "slower to sound." What I liked most about Helicore was
the way it decreased the effect of the wolf on the G string to the
extent that an eliminator was not needed on two of the cellos.
Obligato strings seemed too "gruff" to me on all the instruments,
but perhaps I did not keep them on long enough to really break in. I
may give another set a "second chance" when I sacrifice playing time
to testing the new BelCantos.
Whatever happens - I shall
report it here.
(11/7/00 5:17:37 pm)
I bought a set at the wwcIII and
even though it's past time for a new set Im holding out until a new
set is mailed from back order. They really let the bass register
sing and since my A string tends to be bright they work better that
larson or Jagar in the higher register. They really have a warm tone
on my cello and after using them the slight wolf my cello had went
away??? Not to mention the gold tone looks nice against my redish
(11/14/00 4:05:26 pm)
I just had the opportunity to try
the Belcanto gold G and C on a modern Italian cello in the shop
which loves the regular Belcanto G and C. In this case, I found the
response of the Golds to be equally fast, the volume production
equally loud, and the overall sound perhaps a bit rounder than the
regular Belcantos without giving up any of the edge. The difference
is subtle, not incredibly substantial, giving the impression that
the two strings are closely related, which of course they are.
Currently, my own cello, also modern Italian, is doing well with
Jargar Forte A and D and Belcanto G and C which I am very happy
with. I think though, that the next time the strings need changing,
I'll try the Golds on the bottom.
(11/15/00 1:49:46 am)
re Belcanto Gold
Dick, knowing what you do about
properties of strings, how would you compare the Golds to Spirocore
silvers?? I like the Spirocores on my cello but am not averse to
Edited by: MaryK
at: 11/15/00 1:49:46 am
(11/15/00 9:37:01 am)
Mary, that's a good question which
also crossed my mind about two seconds after I hit the add reply
button yesterday. Although I don't recall having tried the silver
Spirocores on the cello I mentioned in the earlier post, I have
often found silver strings in general to be round, rich, and
sometimes somewhat slower in response than strings with either steel
or tungsten in the over-winding. One notable exception is
surprisingly the silver Dominant G and C which strike me as being
faster and "punchier" than their steel conterparts. And they're made
by Thomastik too. Go figure. One thing I have noticed about silver
Spirocores on a cello which generally responds well to a rope-core G
and C but doesn't like them as well as Tungstens or Belcantos--in
that case, the silvers tend to sound a bit grainy and too strong in
some of the upper partials giving them a sort of nasal quality while
the tungsten-type strings (which should be brighter by all accounts
in the popular wisdom) sound richer and fuller and much more like a
I just noticed that I have been talking a lot
in this string about G and C as if they are a pair of strings joined
at the hip and must always be the same brand. I don't wish to convey
this impression. While some cellos do respond much the same way to a
bottom pair approach, just as many cellos can be well served by such
bottom pairings as: silver G and tungsten C, Belcanto G and tungsten
C, tungsten G and Belcanto C, etc etc etc. Other G and C strings
which I have often seen succeed on a number of cellos are the
Larsens. Not all cellos, of course, like rope-cores on the G and C.
You can tell because the feel is real rubbery and slow and the sound
is kind of twangy. In that case, a couple of strings which come to
mind fairly early in in my experiments are Prim Mediums and Jargar
You may have noticed by this time that I could very
easily take a "don't fix it if it ain't broke" approach because I
tend to approach string experimentation with a "fix the misbehavior"
attitude. So, if your silvers could use a little less grain and a
little more speed without losing any fullness, by all means try the
Golds. They just might do it.
(11/15/00 12:30:45 pm)
I always think of more to say
afterwards whenever I add a reply. Anyway, after I finished the last
post, I had the opportunity to do string selection for a cute little
highly-arched Tyrolean cello. While several combinations worked
decently, it ended up being happiest with a Gold Belcanto C, a
Flexocor G, a Permanent D, and a Jargar Forte A. What I wanted to
say was that this instrument certainly proves the point that
thinking of strings as "top two" and "bottom two" pairs is not
always valid (much less thinking about strings as complete sets as
provided by the manufacturer). Cellos are simply too individualistic
for that. (And, I might add, so are we cellists. It sure helps make
(11/15/00 2:30:10 pm)
More string stuff - to Dick
Wow, Dick, thanks for your
Generally, I'm pretty happy w/my Spirocore silvers,
and found the tungstens way too powerful for my cello. Hmm, I may
give the Dominants a try next time I need strings, just for
(12/1/00 9:46:01 am)
|Belcanto Gold Strings? Reply to myself!
I've now had the opportunity to try
Belcanto Gold strings on cellos #1, #2, and #3. These strings have a
lot to offer each of the cellos. I especially like the Belcanto Gold
D - it suited #1 especially well even when matched to a Larsen A and
Spirocore (W) C and G. (I switched the D first because the Larsen
seemed a little weak in the setup and I wanted to see how the
Belcanto would compare. The Belcanto C and G make that cello a
little gruffer for really "hearty" playing, but in piano trios, I
have all the sound I want with just a touch of the bow. The pizz is
much better than it had been with the spirocores. A two octave scale
on the C string is real clean and easy - unlike the W Spirocore C,
which was more relictant to sound into the second octave. The
Belcanto A seems a little weaker and nasal on this cello - but after
a piano trio session in which I paired a Helicore A with the
Belcanto Gold set for the Schubert Op 99 - I know that the Belcanto
Gold A is the right string - at least for chamber music - which is
how I use a cello these days (that and to practice) - being a
violinist in orchestra.
On the other cellos I was especially
taken by the way the Belcanto Gold A takes on the character of the
instrument and gives a good sound - although very different for each
instrument. Just putting a Belcanto Gold A and D on each instrument
made the C and G seem better than had the Larsen A and D. The
Belcanto C and G also worked well on these instruments.
certainly like these strings, and this set will remain on cello #1.
When it finally dies, I will get a new set, in spite of the fact
that my cello cases are full of nearly-new Larsens, jargars,
Helicores, and Spirocores.
I had not had a good result with
Belcanto (regulars) - but that was before I but David Bice 8mm
carbon-fiber composite endpins on all three cellos. These have
cleared up the bottom sound and respons a good bit.
to Thomastik - again.
(12/5/00 11:22:52 pm)
You know, I thought I'd gotten
myself out of the habit of aching to try new strings..... but now
you give this description, and having heard enough other reviews of
strings on your cello.... I find myself wanting to test these
Hmmm.... maybe I should whine about it to one
of my brothers, since it's Christmas time, ya think? Andy, I swear,
you are a bad influence on me!
(regardless of how great an educator you are for me!!!)
(12/6/00 10:55:48 am)
to ease the pain!
After trying the set on
all three cellos and "permanently" replacing the Belcanto Golds back
onto cello #1, I ordered two each A and D. I can apply these to the
other cellos or save one set as a spare and get - I think- a large
part of the practical benefits of the Belconto Golds - at least for
I do think it likely that one of the new A/D sets will go
immediately on cello #2.
There was something about the sound
of Spirocore W (C & G) on cello #1 that seems not quite to be
there now with the Belcato G (at least when I practice stuff solo)
although they sure seemed great last week in Trio. But there is no
doubt that the C string response above the first octave is much
easier than it was before - so they are very good for its
Laura- just how long did it take for the
Obligatos to sound good and become responsive?
(12/6/00 10:29:29 pm)
I've heard for some people it took a
week or two. For me, they sounded beautiful within 24 hours, but
they didn't have the response for at least 3 or 4 weeks - had the
sound not been so nice, I'd not have lasted to know that the
response would have settled in.
What's spirocore W? Weich?
Silver-wrapped? I'm confused... someone else said that, too. I
must've missed something. But, then, I don't deal much with
spirocores... my cello doesn't seem to like them.
do the belcanto golds compare to the original belcantos, if you can
(12/7/00 10:02:25 am)
"W" being the chemical
symbol for tungsten (from the German "Wolfram") I use it as a
convenient shorthand (as I sometimes use "Ag" for silver).
did not like the sound of the ordinary Belcantos at all. I know I
heard them on Derrick's cello, but I can't recall that I actually
tried them on my own instrument.
Like I said, I would try the
Belcanto Golds the cheap way by trying the upper, cheaper strings
first, because I have found that those alone make a pleasant
(12/7/00 11:36:08 am)
had you referred to Ag, i'd have
understood. But Tungsten, I didn't happen to remember. Thanks for
(1/26/01 5:51:53 pm)
How do you get free strings? Or the
"opportunity" to try strings. Thanx
(1/26/01 7:33:03 pm)
I think you have to be all of the
A highly experienced
An excellent writer,
An objective reviewer,
all-around nice guy.
(1/27/01 5:25:38 am)
Not exactly all those things. You
can write letters or emails to string companies, say you're
interested in their strings (since you hear they're so good) and
would like to try such and such. They will often comp you strings.
They often want feedback.
(1/27/01 5:42:47 am)
|obligatos and belcantos
I've put a set of obligatos on my
cello a few months ago. Mine took about 4-weeks to break in. They
really hold their pitch well once they settle in. They really have
brought life into the bottom end of my cello. A lot fuller and
louder. I don't really know what to think about the d-string.... it
sounds different day to day, but overall much warmer and more color,
and overtoneish- good or bad...?..to me ...good. The Obligato
A-string is doesn't seem to allow near the vibrato sweetness and
penetration that the Permanent-A seemed to provide on my cello. The
Obligato-a has much more sound and power though, a little more
surface noise. However, the Obligatos seem to still be improving in
tone, even after a couple of months....maybe they sound their best
when worn out! I'll try Larsen A and D next. My only gripe is that
sometimes they don't seem to respond in the upper pos. on the g and
d, unlike the Permanents that I once had. The Obligatos like some
humidity or they'll sound a little rough. The main characteristic of
the Obligatos on my cello is the fullness and power. These strings
have really taken that end-pin buzz to the next level.
checking out the Belcanto golds at Shar and was suprised to find out
that they are cheaper than the regular Belcantos.
(1/27/01 7:20:23 am)
But how about the companies dosen't
have a website, such as Larsen?
(1/27/01 1:50:31 pm)
Free Strings: "Tit for tat"
I've written about bows, about
instruments, rosins, and strings at internet posting quite a bit. I
guess the Thomastik people saw some of that and having a high
opinion of their new product, offered to send me a set if I would
answer a questionaire. I told them I would even try the strings on
Of course - as you know, I've written about
them and I know the result has paid Thomastik back in some
additional sales - but I thought of it as a favor to other cellists.
Any company that offers freebies has got to have a commercial
reason. It's not a charitable activity, like mine!
company has a lousy product or a well established customer base,
there is little reason to give away samples, but a new product with
outstanding qualities in a market with lots of competition can lead
to valuable endorsements - and of course can break old customer
loyalties an increase sales. Neither is there much point in giving
you something you will buy anyway. Larsen has a great cellist
customer base - chances are still pretty good you will buy strings
from them if they don't give them to you.
One thing working
well for Thomastik with these Belcanto Gold strings is that they
seem to have no break-in period; put them on and they are ready to
go. By contrast, the Pirastro Obligato cello strings are reported in
this very "string" to take about 4 weeks to break in. In that amount
of time I tried them, let them sit on the cello for weeks, tried
them a few minutes more, took them off, sold them to a now satisfied
friend [who had the advantage of my pre-breaking them in]. I have
another set of Obligatos now and am planning to break them in on a
cello I don't use before moving them over to my regular instrument -
maybe that will work for me and I can move them over a string at a
time. Lordy, I thought I was done with this; maybe I'll put it off a
little longer (the company shouldn't be bothered, the strings are
already paid for)!