Paganini was no ordinary violinist, and a series of strings made to honor his revolutionary legacy—Il Cannone—is no different. Powerful, dynamic, rich, and lush in tone without sacrificing a hint of color, Larsen Strings has found a perfect formula to deliver violinists the confident tones, feel, and bow response they desire. So, why change it? For Larsen, the new Direct & Focused line within the Il Cannone family not only improves upon the formula but boasts a completely new winding technique and synthetic core. In this article, we will take you through all the details and get to the heart of what Direct & Focused means for your instrument.
A Silvery Sound
For Direct & Focused, Larsen promises a “silvery and lustrous clarity of sound, forgiving and easy to play.” The sound quality and diverse application of these strings not only sets them apart from others in the Il Cannone line, but also speaks to the nature of finding the right string combination for your preference. Direct & Focused is built for projection but also finesse; Larsen Strings sent this line over the globe to different violinists from some of the most prestigious institutions in Europe, North America, and Asia, as well as had these strings tested on actual Stradivari and del Gesù violins for good measure.
The results were, according to Larsen, significant: “Violinists describe the strings as having empowered the whole instrument with more colour possibilities, more clarity, more edge and greater gain.” Larsen also credits this result to the restructuring of the winding technology of these strings. The D and G strings are wound with pure silver, while the A string is rolled with aluminum.
Soloist Vs. Medium: Which is Right for Me?
The new Direct & Focused string set comes in two varieties: Soloist or Medium. You might be wondering what the difference is, and whether that difference is miniscule or apparent. It is worth noting that the sounds produced by these strings can sound different to each individual player, but also how the player chooses to use the strings to their benefit, whether this is through bowing technique, different string combinations, and the quick response of Direct & Focused on the fingerboard.
In general, however, the Medium has a moderate tension, meant to produce a rich and more powerful sound, projecting the voice of the violin with more color. The Soloist, by contrast, creates a full tone with a lot more focus and presence to your performance. The Direct & Focused line is available in the 4/4 sets or as individual strings. Feel free to get creative with them to find out which combinations work best for you! Check out our play test below to see for yourself.
Two E Strings? Yes, please!
The Direct & Focused line also provides players with the option to test out a new E string configuration using a .28 gauge string and gives you an Il Cannone Warm & Broad E string. Like many available E strings, it comes in a loop or ball-end option; the .28 gauge may yet help you experiment with your sound.
The video below has a complete comparison playthrough of the Direct & Focused line alongside the original Il Cannone Warm & Broad strings, so you will be able to see and hear the differences between the two sets.
Already purchased the Direct & Focused line? Interested in telling us about it? Don’t forget to leave a review! If you have further questions about Larsen’s latest in the Il Cannone line, leave us a comment below!