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I will be playing traditional/gypsy music on my classical violin, and would like to have a sound that is stylistically appropriate (deep/rich/warm/old/woody as opposed to brilliant/sweet/ringy).

Can I achieve this with different strings? What string characteristics will give me this kind of rich and warm sound, and what are some options I could try?

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This is something really subjective. 'Rich' and 'warm' are fuzzy words which meant different things to different people in the context of violin sound. Also the interaction between violin and string can be surprising. Large resellers have at least 500 individual string references and about 100 full set references. – ogerard May 26 '11 at 11:11
I've added content to my question. – Shimmy May 26 '11 at 11:55
@Shimmy I've rewritten your question to avoid it being closed as a subjective shopping recommendation. If you don't like it, feel free to roll back the edit, but I think this will be far less likely to accumulate close votes. Consider adding what kind of violin you are using to the question. – NReilingh May 26 '11 at 15:40
I think that it's a shame that the question has been rewritten on those grounds. I'm sure that the majority will know exactly what the writer means and would also like even "subjective shopping recommendations." as would I... GeoffB – user645 Jun 5 '11 at 16:36
@NReilingh, thanks, you did a great job, that's exactly what I initially meant to ask, I just didn't know how to express it properly. – Shimmy Jun 5 '11 at 22:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Rather than different strings, maybe try a different bow. You can find a really "heavy" dark and rough horse-hair bow that scrapes the strings a lot more. I've seen it used on a Double Bass but there may be a Violin version.

There's also a great technique is in this video by Taraf de Haidouks

They tie a single horse hair to the string, put heaps of rosin on the fingers and draw it across slowly. You can finger the notes as required.

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Good idea. I recently heard that heavy gauge string can potentially brighten the violin tone, is that so? can they harm the violin? is there even a chance for that? please read this – Shimmy Jul 6 '11 at 23:23

You should try using Pirastro Olive strings which have a natural gut core which will give you the warm deep sound that you wish to achieve.

You can also ask your local professional luthier to make the tip of your bow heavier by adding a heavy metal implant into the tip of the bow. This will increase the stickiness of the sound.

Alternatively you can try using a viola vow which is naturally heavier and the balance is slightly different which will contribute towards the sound that you are trying to achieve.

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