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celloadgc
Registered User
(11/6/00 9:46:18 pm)
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Has 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 recommendations?

Thanks!

Laura Wichers
Registered User
(11/6/00 10:02:44 pm)
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Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?
Geez, Andy, it's about time you made use of the boards!!


-Laura

BTW: Howdya like college? USE THE COLLEGE BOARD, TOO!

Andrew Victor
Registered User
(11/7/00 11:22:31 am)
Reply
Re: Has 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.

Andy

Beaker1
Registered User
(11/7/00 5:17:37 pm)
Reply
love them
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 varnish!

Dick500
Registered User
(11/14/00 4:05:26 pm)
Reply
Re: Belcanto Gold
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.

Dick

MaryK 
Registered User
(11/15/00 1:49:46 am)
Reply
To Dick 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 experimentation...

TIA,
MaryK

Edited by: MaryK  at: 11/15/00 1:49:46 am

Dick500
Registered User
(11/15/00 9:37:01 am)
Reply
Re: Mary's question
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 cello "should".

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 Fortes.

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.

Have fun.

Dick

Dick500
Registered User
(11/15/00 12:30:45 pm)
Reply
More string stuff
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 life interesting.)

Dick

MaryK 
Registered User
(11/15/00 2:30:10 pm)
Reply
Re: More string stuff - to Dick
Wow, Dick, thanks for your replies!

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 grins...

MaryK

Andrew Victor
Registered User
(12/1/00 9:46:01 am)
Reply
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.

I 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.

Hats off to Thomastik - again.

Andy

lblake 
Registered User
(12/5/00 11:22:52 pm)
Reply
awwww, geez, Andy!
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 Belcanto Golds!

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!!!)

Andrew Victor
Registered User
(12/6/00 10:55:48 am)
Reply
Laura - to ease the pain!
Laura,
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 me.

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 responsiveness.

Laura- just how long did it take for the Obligatos to sound good and become responsive?

Andy

lblake 
Registered User
(12/6/00 10:29:29 pm)
Reply
Obligato break-in
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.

Andy, how do the belcanto golds compare to the original belcantos, if you can remember?

Andrew Victor
Registered User
(12/7/00 10:02:25 am)
Reply
Re: Obligato break-in
Laura,
"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).

I 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 difference.

Andy

lblake 
Registered User
(12/7/00 11:36:08 am)
Reply
Duhhhh....
had you referred to Ag, i'd have understood. But Tungsten, I didn't happen to remember. Thanks for the explanation. :)

Tylercello
Registered User
(1/26/01 5:51:53 pm)
Reply
Free Strings
How do you get free strings? Or the "opportunity" to try strings. Thanx

lblake 
Registered User
(1/26/01 7:33:03 pm)
Reply
Re: Free Strings
I think you have to be all of the following:
A rocket-scientist,
A highly experienced player,
An excellent writer,
An objective reviewer,
and an all-around nice guy.

:)

Dorie Straus 
Moderator
(1/27/01 5:25:38 am)
Reply
Re: Free Strings
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.

cellochris99
Registered User
(1/27/01 5:42:47 am)
Reply
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.

I was checking out the Belcanto golds at Shar and was suprised to find out that they are cheaper than the regular Belcantos.

Chris

elgee
Registered User
(1/27/01 7:20:23 am)
Reply
Re: Free Strings
But how about the companies dosen't have a website, such as Larsen?

Andrew Victor
Registered User
(1/27/01 1:50:31 pm)
Reply
Re: 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 three cellos.

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!

If a 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)!

Andy


          New Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?-celloadgc-(31)-11/6/00 9:46:18 pm  
               New Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings-Cello in K town 3/8/01 11:50:11 pm  
                    New Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings-lblake  3/8/01 11:14:54 pm  
                         New Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings-Cello in K town 3/8/01 11:47:23 pm  
                              New Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings-42 3/9/01 1:36:02 am  
                                   New Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings-Cello in K town 3/9/01 9:26:59 pm  
               What wrong with my Belcanto Gold D?-elgee 2/19/01 8:07:19 am  
                    Re: What wrong with my Belcanto Gold D?-lblake  2/21/01 1:34:01 pm  
                    re:what's wrong with my Belcanto gold d?-cellochris99 2/21/01 12:37:04 am  
               obligatos and belcantos-cellochris99 1/27/01 5:42:47 am  
               love them-Beaker1 11/7/00 5:17:37 pm  
                    Re: Belcanto Gold-Dick500 11/14/00 4:05:26 pm  
                         To Dick re Belcanto Gold-MaryK  11/15/00 1:49:46 am  
                              Re: Mary's question-Dick500 11/15/00 9:37:01 am  
                                   More string stuff-Dick500 11/15/00 12:30:45 pm  
                                        Re: More string stuff - to Dick-MaryK  11/15/00 2:30:10 pm  
               Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?-Andrew Victor 11/7/00 11:22:31 am  
                    awwww, geez, Andy!-lblake  12/5/00 11:22:52 pm  
                         Obligato break-in-lblake  12/6/00 10:29:29 pm  
                              Duhhhh.... -lblake  12/7/00 11:36:08 am  
                                   Free Strings -Tylercello 1/26/01 5:51:53 pm  
                                        Strings trials-Laura Wichers 1/28/01 4:34:12 pm  
                                        Re: Free Strings -lblake  1/26/01 7:33:03 pm  
                                             Re: Free Strings -Dorie Straus  1/27/01 5:25:38 am  
                                                  Re: Free Strings -elgee 1/27/01 7:20:23 am  
                                                       Re: Free Strings: "Tit for tat"-Andrew Victor 1/27/01 1:50:31 pm  
                                                            Re: Free Strings: "Tit for tat"-ruthann 1/28/01 11:00:14 am  
                                                                 Re: You should know real quick!-Andrew Victor 1/29/01 11:49:54 am  
                              Re: Obligato break-in-Andrew Victor 12/7/00 10:02:25 am  
                         Laura - to ease the pain!-Andrew Victor 12/6/00 10:55:48 am  
                    Belcanto Gold Strings? Reply to myself!-Andrew Victor 12/1/00 9:46:01 am  
               Re: Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?-Laura Wichers 11/6/00 10:02:44 pm  
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