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String Decisions
Obligato vs. Dominant.
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May 30, 2014 - 4:57 pm
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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You may know I have an illegitimate violin/viola.  This is a 15" viola with 3 original strings and a violin E all tuned as a violin.  But the A was making a racket.  Call it "nasal".  I could only find a Crystal A (violin) to mess with.  Not much help.  Sounds "weich".

So I ordered and received 2 new, viola, A strings but now I'm not sure what to do first?

Dominant viola A, Aluminum wound.


Obligato viola A, mittel.

And the winner is ??????

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Fort Lauderdale
May 31, 2014 - 8:18 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11601

Obligato will probably be more powerful in case that helps. How is the balance between the A and the other strings?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Honorary tenured advisor

May 31, 2014 - 11:23 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 881
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I had Dominant strings on this fiddle for about 2 months and then decided I'd give the Obligatos a try. (E strings aside, since I have a Kaplan wound E string) To tell you the truth I couldn't tell all that much difference. Listening to the same piece under the ear and recorded with both Dominant and Obligato, it was not as big a difference as I expected. The Obligatos had a bit more ring, but then they were brand new as opposed to the Dominants which probably had 40-60 hours of playing time on them. I think I put out a bit more volume with the Obligato strings, but tone-wise they really didn't seem that different, except that I think I may like the Obligato G string bit better. 

They are both great sounding strings though and I wouldn't think you'll be disappointed with either of them. You'll have to decide for yourself which one sounds better, because they'll sound different on every fiddle you put them on. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

June 1, 2014 - 8:48 am
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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I put on the Dominant first just last night.  Will check today.  I do not remember an "A" that that really matched a set.  Always a little more "rowdy".

(Why is a tourte mute played on the "A"?)

I liked Obligatos on my violin.

Pirastro tech told me it takes longer for a violin to settle with a new string than it takes for the string(s) to stop stretching.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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