New Old Viola
There's still a lot of folklore about old violins,
violas and cellos that go on and on about 'old' always
being better and just by that nature (of just being old)
should somehow substantially improve the quality of the
instrument. Violas tend to be more of an evolved
instrument than that of a violin. In the last
century, even the last 50 years, violas have become more
uniform in size than the century before. Still
though, like the upright bass, there is no one specific
size. Violins on the other hand are very close in feel
and size. Violas can range from 15-17" back
lengths and can cause lots of hand, shoulder, neck
issues to play instruments that are too big.
Today, a new viola will be more geared to all these
considerations. The selection of really great old,
pedigree violas with a desirable size are very hard to
find and afford. The newer violas are 'smarter' in
that they were made with modern considerations of
playing styles, repertoire and the type of strings that
are used today.
Additionally, old violas made with
tops that are too thick, or just inferior materials will
never achieve the tonal characteristics because these
aspects prohibit this.
Responsiveness and new instruments. Of course
when it comes to a viola being played over many years,
it is hard to compare that to a brand new viola.
Just like a brand new baseball mitt that has never been
used or broken in, the wood (especially the top) of a
new viola has to be played in. The misnomer here
is that some thing (wrongly) that it just gets better
and better with each year. Even wine will get sour
if left too long! Some actually think that the
older instruments can be overplayed or overused too much
over the years and need a break. This again, is
The break in time for a new
instrument is greatly noticed the first few years of the
instrument (especially that first year or two) and again
depends on the player. How he/she plays on it, how
much, how hard.
| Combined Custom Sets for Viola
||You name it...we combine it!
| Pirastro Viola Strings
||Evah Pirazzi, Passione, Obligato, Gold
Label, Olive, Chorda, Eudoxa and Paranito
|Thomastik-Infeld Viola Strings
||Spirocore, (most popular
are the C and G's!) Dominants, Vision
| Larsen Viola Strings
||Offered in light, medium, heavy gauge.
||Helicore, Kaplan and Prelude cello
|Jargar Viola Strings
||Jargar Supremes, come in light, medium
and heavy gauges.
||Offered in light, medium and orchestra
||Brilliant and Karneol (These are
new and getting popular.)
We also have some helpful and interesting links about individual string brands, comparisons and some practical related viola information to read: