Monday, May 22, 2023

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Strings- Part IV, Cello

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins
with Kevin Berdine And Andrea Wallick

As we have shared in a previous blog post, "These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Strings-Part III, Cello" Larsen strings continue to be a favorite amongst students, teachers, and cellists in our shop. 

Larsen's standard strings continue to be the strongest contender for most cellos and cellists, but our shop cellists have enjoyed each new string produced by Larsen. When Larsen introduced the Magnacore strings, we were all quite excited to try them out. They did not disappoint! We absolutely loved the warmth that Magnacores produced while maintaining the same playability and projection we have come to expect from Larsen. 
String making at Larsen Strings in Denmark

Here is a video of Gautier Capu├žon talking about Larsen Magnacore strings: 

BUT! In new developments- Larsen has a new addition to the top-of-the-line category, The Larsen Il Canonne strings have been our go-to string and have surpassed Magnacores. Each facet of performance has been greatly improved. These strings are even across strings, incredibly responsive, project more than any other string we have tried, and bring out the best in each cello.
Il Cannone Cello Strings come in two variants: Direct & Focused or Warm & Broad so one can mix/match to fit their instrument needs. Some instruments may benefit from having a Warm & Broad lower end while benefitting from a Direct & Focused upper end. Others may be reversed, while others will be some variation. 

Here are two interesting videos describing Il Cannone strings:

Although one can mix and match, we have had the most success utilizing the Warm and Broad strings. We have found that the Direct and Focused strings are too bright for most of our cellos and for most of our clients. But, if you really like a bright string, these might be the string for you. Check out this great comparison video made by cellist Mikey in our shop.

Our new budget-friendlier string option from Larsen is the Aurora Strings which we think have been a great improvement over Crown strings. We, particularly, use the heavy gauge strings on our cellos and have great success. These strings are brighter than the standard Larsen strings or the Il Cannone, but they are quite responsive, feel great under the fingers, and project very well. If you love the sound and feel of Larsen strings, but have to be a bit budget-conscious, Aurora is a great choice! 

Here is Larsen's video about Aurora strings for cello: 

As always, string selection is very personal. The intersection of cello, bow, and player is very hard to codify, but we have found that Larsen strings are able to meet the needs of most cellists and cellos.  Here is a link to Larsen's website, where there are video examples played by soloists to demonstrate the qualities of each string: Larsen Strings

Are you a cellist or interested in becoming one? Take a look at our Fine Cellos modeled after Stradivari's instruments. Presently, we use one of the types of Larsen cello strings on all of our cellos. 

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