D’addario Kaplan have produced two new string set, the Amo and the Vivo. The branding is a stylish clean presentation, on what used to be very traditional seeming products in the past, but how do they sound?
These are synthetic core strings, and it will be interesting to see how they fare with regular users of Evah Pirazzi, they come on one tension, which is higher tension than standard strings used to be, however slightly lower perhaps than Evah Pirazzi. This indicates that the manufacturers are aiming for projection, without the danger that strings will not speak easily (sometimes a complaint with Evah Pirazzi) or not be warm enough for some tastes.
The early indications are that they will be a great rival for Evah Pirazzi, with the Amo possibly providing a better balance with warmth than Evah. In order to help you decide, we’re offering a very limited number of discounts to try these strings, 50%off with the codes below. Simply copy and paste the code at the checkout. Each code can only be used once.
50% off Discount Code: 4VB0R85B0ZJO
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The best way I can describe these strings is “Warm Soloist.” If you are looking for something to really darken up a bright sounding instrument these aren’t what you’re looking for, they have more subtlety perhaps. If you have a brighter instrument and are looking for a soloist sound without the shrill that many high tension synthetic strings bring these are perfect. They blended well with my violin which leans a bit on the bright side. Across the G, D, and A strings the sounds was very balanced with a lot of power behind it. The E string stands out from the rest, but not in an awful way. Projecting higher melodic lines was very easy with fast response and medium tension.
Vivo is exactly what the name suggests. This might be the liveliest strings I have ever put on my violin (Which at this point is a lot). They are as bright as a metal string but will project over a large orchestra with ease. Even though the E strings looks to be the exact same as the Amo I felt that it had more power and brightness in the Vivo set.Projection
Amo strings deliver quite a punch for being a warmer string. I will definitely be putting these on my “gig” violin. Having the warmer tone, but projection that is comparable to other bright/high-tension synthetic strings.
The Vivo set is without a doubt one of the most powerful you’ll come across, with people reporting that they make an immediate noticeable difference, noted by colleagues! If you are already needing more projection for a violin with a ‘duller’ sound, then without a doubt these will deliver
Complexity is a difficult thing to pin down, however both sets are VERY rich in overtones. Both sets had the rest of the strings constantly ringing with sympathetic vibrations. With that said the depth of tone and richness that you would expect from a gut string or low tension synthetic is not obviously present in the Kaplan set.
It’s hard to look at D’Addario’s new sets without thinking about Thomastik-Infeld’s Blue and Red sets. They should not be placed in the same ballpark by any means though. Infeld Blue and Infeld Red act as a brighter and darker version of the popular Dominant strings which many consider to be a very “neutral” set across the board. Kaplan Amo and Vivo seem to be more focused on the market of violinists that are preferring the big and brilliant sound like that of Peter Infeld, Vision Ti, and Evah Pirazzi. Amo
D’Addario’s Kaplan Amo creates a wonderful balance between a big soloist sound but more warmth that is hard to come by in that category of strings. These strings are perfect for those that already have a bright instrument and would like to have a projecting sound without becoming shrill.
D’Addario’s Kaplan Vivo is not for the timid player. These strings will project to the back of any hall without a problem. They may be perfect for those who have a darker instrument already and need to brighten it up a bit. They do hold enough richness and complexity to be a powerful player in the niche market of higher tensioned synthetic strings.