From Sønderborg in Southern Denmark, to you

When our strings leave Sønderborg in Denmark, they travel to all parts of the world, so you can get a hold of them and use them for your musical activities. To help these strings find their way to you as a musician, we have developed a network of partners who can meet your needs in your local area. Among many highly valued partners, we have had the honor of working together with GEWA for many years. Building a personal relationship to GEWA’s employees is an important step in securing good communication to all the Larsen players in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Therefore, we sometimes invite some of GEWA’s employees and the time had come for Simone Messner to visit us. Simone, who takes care of Social Media & Network at GEWA, was interested in learning more about the mysterious world of string making.

During her visit, we showed Simone how strings are made, from the core to the final string. The first step is to prepare the core of a string. At Larsen Strings, we work with three types of cores: solid steel core, synthetic core and multi-stranded steel core. When the cores are ready, they enter our machinery to be loaded with different layers of materials. Most importantly, our specialized employees and machinery supervise the manufacturing process meticulously in order to support the highly consistent quality of Larsen Strings. After a final quality test, the strings receive their silk colors and are then ready to be packed and shipped to you.

Understanding, not all the secrets, but some of the secrets behind the making of a string is very important for GEWA’s employees, who have the difficult job of communicating the special qualities of Larsen’s strings to their markets. But most of all, what really matters is for us, the people behind Larsen Strings and the people behind GEWA’s communication, to get to know each other better. All while discussing strings we improved our mutual understanding, thus creating strong relations.

It’s all about people.

Thank you to Simone Messner from GEWA for stopping by. We couldn’t do it without you.

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Violin string test in Flensburg

At Larsen Strings we always involve musicians in our string development process. Some weeks ago, we had the pleasure of testing strings together with three musicians from Flensburg during a 4 hours’ session. Trying strings with musicians is an important phase of Larsen Strings’ development process. Even though we have acquired a good understanding of how different materials affect different strings, to really get to know if we are on the right path, we need to work with musicians.

In a first step we tried strings with Kerrin Bohn, who has a beautiful bright sounding instrument. Kerrin played Larsen Original strings, and was happy to rely on the mellow sound these strings provide. By the end of the session, however, she had switched to the Tzigane strings. Besides bringing warmth of tone, the Tzigane strings added a new radiance to her instrument: a warm, carrying spectrum of overtones.

Afterwards, we tried strings with Anja Sommerer, who has helped us many times over the last few years. For some time, Anja played our Virtuoso strings, but this time we had new strings for her. And she liked them so much, she couldn’t stop playing.

To finish the session, we tried strings with Anna-Maria Kotani, who plays a French instrument. Anna-Maria’s final choice fell on the Virtuoso strings.

Why do we keep on developing new strings?

Because we believe that, through research, we can develop strings that will bring new possibilities to musicians. Whether we strive to improve the projection, the palette of colours or the durability of the strings, our goal is always to respond to the special needs of the musicians we meet, and we know that musicians in their creative quest are always searching for new sources of inspiration.

Thank you to all three violinists, Kerrin Bohn, Anja Sommerer and Anna-Maria Kotani, for giving us some of your precious time and especially for your valuable feedback.

We couldn’t do it without you!

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The new Magnacore® Arioso strings provide an exceptional opportunity of creating a beautiful, wide and sophisticated sound at a lower tension level

By: Tobias Krutz, a German violinmaker and cellist from Düsseldorf

The new Larsen Magnacore® Arioso C and G strings are great and powerful and have at the same time a “round” sound. Each string instrument needs a specific tension level to balance its inner resistance. Often an overload of tension reduces the vibrating capacity of the instrument. This is where the new Magnacore® Arioso strings provide a unique opportunity of creating a beautiful, wide and sophisticated sound at a lower tension level. Especially the upper strings gain freedom and volume from the lower tension level.

To read the entire article, originally in German, please visit: http://geigenbau-krutz.de/saitenspannung-und-der-einfluss-auf-das-instrument-neue-larsen-magnacore-arioso/

 

 

Thank you, Tobias, for this very nice contribution to our blog. We couldn’t do it without you!

 

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The Danish Violinmakers Association “Violinbyggernes Mesterlaug i Danmark” visiting Larsen Strings

Recently we had the pleasure of welcoming the Danish Violinmakers Association (“Violinbyggernes Mesterlaug i Danmark”) here at Larsen Strings. The Association held their annual general meeting in Sønderborg and subsequently made a visit to Larsen Strings.

Hand in hand with violinmakers

How we make strings, how we ensure a consistent quality and how our strings may affect their instruments. This is what we wanted to share with the Danish violinmakers, hoping in this way to help them acquire an even better understanding of how strings react to different instruments, allwith the ambition of offering the best possible support to musicians.

From raw material to the packing of strings…

As a first step we looked at the preparation of the different core materials, whether synthetic, solid steel or multi-stranded steel core. We then discussed the making of the strings: How materials and manufacturing are carefully monitored to ensure that strings have consistent quality. Going further, we showed them how the strings are tested and fitted with the Larsen color codes to be ready for packing, sealing and distribution.

We are happy to be part of it!

Thank you very much to the Danish Violinmakers Association for giving us the opportunity to show you what we do and for your most important feedback. Musicians use your instruments and our strings to make music to the benefit of the listeners. We are happy and very proud to be a link in this process.

Thank you for stopping by. We couldn’t do it without you, the violinmakers.

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Trying Magnacore® and Magnacore Arioso strings with Troels Svane

On a beautiful afternoon in Lübeck, Prof. Troels Svane had gathered his class and invited some violin-makers for a string session. Dr. Thomas Zwieg, product development manager at Larsen Strings, was there to present the Magnacore® and Magnacore Arioso cello strings.

During the afternoon, Dr. Zwieg strung 13 beautiful instruments. Testing string after string on so many instruments is exhausting, but, at the same time, it is impressive to hear the unique transformation of each instrument as it reacts to new strings. Through the course of the six-hour session, it soon became clear that Larsen Strings could find a solution to every cello. As Troels Svane expressed it:

“It is quite unbelievable how good the Magnacore strings sound. In my opinion, Larsen Strings has achieved a perfect standard set-up for most instruments.”

Every instrument needs something different              

Some of the instruments were new celli built by contemporary violinmakers. Two of these instruments, a cello by Dietmar Rexhausen and another one by Ragner Hayn, were strung with Magnacore strong strings. Conversely, two celli from the two brothers Roland and Christian Erichson used a combination of Magnacore Arioso strings for the G and C strings together with different medium and strong Larsen A and D strings. Besides giving more sonority to the lower strings of these instruments, the Arioso helped the upper strings opening up and thus improved the overall sonority of the instruments.

A Vuillaume as well as another cello from the Vuillaume School ended up with the same set-up: Magnacore medium strings with a Magnacore D strong.

Among the older Italian instruments, three ended up with the Magnacore Arioso strings. The instruments, a Testore, a Ventapane and Troels Svane’s Tecchler, all gained from the extra playability and sonority that the Magnacore Arioso brings. As expressed by Troels Svane:

“In comparison to the strings I had before, the Magnacore Arioso C string is even more substantial, powerful, warm and broad. At the same time, I recognize the radiant sonority of my old strings.”

However, as every instrument is different and needs to be handled in a special way, other older Italian instruments needed something completely different. A Panormo and a Postigilione were at their best when they were strung with Magnacore strong strings.

And finally, a set-up depends very much on the player. Some players like specific set-ups and will use them on all instruments.

Free your voice with the Magnacore Arioso strings

We do understand that seeking the right balance with strings is a long and expensive task. Hoping to help you make the right choice, we have developed a list of aspects that characterize the Magnacore Arioso strings:

  • Lower tension without compromise in power
  • Liberating and accentuating the A and D strings
  • Special freedom of expression and brightness
  • Easy response
  • Effortless playing from ppp to fff
  • Freeing the instrument from excessive tension
  • Given their moderate tension, lending particular benefit to older instruments. This is of course the case for all instruments.
  • Adding to the Magnacore series to achieve a perfect standard set-up for most instruments.
  • Larsen Strings recommends combining the Magnacore Arioso C and G strings with the Magnacore D strong and A medium strings.

Read much more about the Magnacore Arioso G and C strings in the product sheet.

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Highlights 2015: Larsen Strings’ 25th anniversary year

Our 25th anniversary year is drawing to an end, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing Larsen Strings.

In 2015, we launched a revised version of our website and a new blog, all with the purpose of offering additional layers of information. Read about the blog and our aim to establish a community where string players and others with an interest in strings can join the conversation and share their thoughts: blog.larsenstrings.com.

Furthermore, to give a better understanding of how our strings can contribute to your instrument, we have developed a number of videos, which we hope will support and guide you in the search of the perfect set-up. Read more about our videos or even better, take a look at them via You-Tube  or our website.

Certainly, our 25th company anniversary was the highlight of the year. In June, we had the pleasure of celebrating this milestone with business partners and friends. Thank you to everybody who in one way or the other contributed to making the anniversary an unforgettable event. Read about Larsen Strings’ 25 years of history, or watch our anniversary video.

Finally, what made 2015 another special year is the contact we have with you, the musicians – who support us over and over again by playing so wonderfully on our strings.

To learn more about the artists with whom we have the pleasure of cooperating, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus or read our blog.

We couldn’t do it without you!

As always, we are working continuously with optimization of our existing strings and with the development of new strings, and we look forward to 2016 with high expectations.

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Testing cello strings with experts

A musical string is a matter of sound and playability. As such, describing its essence is never an easy task. The most powerful words are weak when it comes to capturing the true nature of a string.

During the last months Larsen Strings has published some videos illustrating the sound and feeling of Larsen’s cello strings. Through these videos experts in the field describe how they perceive our strings.

In one video, Larsen Strings tests Magnacore cello strings with Simon Morris, Director at J. & A. Beare Ltd. View this video and understand why Magnacore would be Simon Morris’ choice:

In another video Katri Patel from Stringers tries Larsen Fractional cello strings. Together with Larsen Strings, Mrs. Patel discusses the issues she usually experiences with smaller instruments. Watch the video and notice her smile when she plays the Larsen Fractional strings:

In a third video, Tom Woods (London’s cello specialist) is introduced to the Magnacore strings, which he finds very sporty “like a Ferrari set-up”. Listen to Tom Woods’ description of the Magnacore strings:

While the first three videos of the series were produced in London, the last one was made in Daniel Kogge and Yves Gateau’s studio of violin making and restoration in Berlin. In this last video Larsen Strings tests the Magnacore strings together with the cello soloist and conductor David Geringas. Mr. Geringas, who has been playing with Larsen’s strings for almost 25 years, explains that the strings give him the feeling of being at home.

We hope these videos have brought you some new insights about the strings.

For more information, please find the factsheets for Magnacore and Larsen Fractional strings for cello in our homepage:

www.larsenstrings.com/strings/cello/

Please, feel free to share your thoughts about these strings with us.

Because…

We couldn’t do it without you

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Larsen Strings A/S is celebrating its 25th Anniversary

It started with experiments in a garage in Sønderborg. On 25 June 2015 Larsen Strings A/S is celebrating its 25th Anniversary as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of strings for bowed instruments.

Back in 1990 Laurits Th. Larsen, then a violinist at the South Denmark Philharmonic, was contacted by a friend from the USA. The friend urgently needed some cello strings, but the delivery time from the producer was between 12 and 16 months.

– “I spontaneously answered something like ’Don’t worry, I’ll make you some’. And that promise was the beginning of Larsen Strings”, Laurits Th. Larsen says.

Laurits Th. Larsen worked hard to keep his promise, and after 18 months of experiments in the garage he was ready to present the result.

– Laurits Th. Larsen tells: “The responses were extremely positive – the rumour of my strings spread rapidly, and the demand continued to increase.”

At the beginning the production of strings was made on a 100 year old machine – since then development as well as production made a quantum leap. Not least due to the musician from Sønderborg who himself is behind the development of all the high technology machinery today producing Larsen strings for violin, viola and cello for the whole world.

’It’s all about people’

It is essential for Laurits Th. Larsen to underline the fact that for him the most important thing always was the personal relations in a branch demanding both a musical and a human good ear!

“Worldwide less than 10 companies produce strings at the same level as we do, and – as we use to say – ’it’s all about people’.  If there are no human relations in what we do – whether it is in development, in production or in the interaction with our customers and partners – we lose focus. When introducing new products we cannot sell a sound via the internet. We have to go out and meet our customers”, Laurits Th. Larsen says and he continues: “A good string could be compared with a tire – depending on the tire you choose, you can improve your hold on the road or your fuel efficiency, but as a string manufacturer the artistic goal is to create a string that gives the musician the highest degree of freedom to create his own expression.

With 25 years as a prominent figure not only of Larsen Strings A/S, but also the branch in general, the founder of Larsen Strings A/S passed a milestone last year, as he was 60. However, Laurits Th. Larsen has no plans to retire. “I will continue as long as I enjoy what we do.  And I have indeed enjoyed it and still do!”

 

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The musicians’ contribution to string development

What drives us is our love of music. Our goal is to enhance the musical experience of the listener.

And that’s no small matter.

Bearing in mind this ambition, Larsen Strings’ development team is constantly in search of improvement potential that will enhance string evolution. Our highly educated engineers are devoted to developing strings, which respond to the need of musicians and enhance the symbiosis between musician and instrument. Along the way, trying strings with musicians is and has always been the foundation of our work. For this reason, Larsen Strings has entered into a partnership with many musicians as well as with the local symphony orchestra: South Denmark Philharmonic.

Trying strings with two violists

Last week two members of the South Denmark Philharmonic came by to test strings, violists Katrin Rimer and Jan Åkerlind. The two musicians who are partners in both their professional and private lives have developed very similar sounds.

Jan Åkerlind and Katrin Rimer testing strings

Jan Åkerlind plays a viola from Bettina Knutsson while Katrin Rimer’s viola is from Andreas Hötzer. Both musicians have chosen strong tension strings for their instruments as it enables a clear transmission of the vibrations from the strings to the instruments.

For more information about string tension please read the blog: What is the gauge – and how to choose between soft, medium and strong tension strings?

However, while Katrin’s viola would welcome every string we tried, Jan’s instrument was more specifial. Nevertheless, for both musicians we achieved our goal: They left from here happier with their set-up than when they came in. Meanwhile, we gained additional information about our strings, which brings us closer to our goal.

Jan Åkerlind and Katrin Rimer at Larsen Strings

 

Many thanks to Katrin and Jan. We hope to hear from you soon, because:

We couldn’t do it without you.

Eager to know more?

If you wish to know more about string development, string process and Larsen Strings’ collaboration with musicians, please visit Larsenstrings.com or follow this blog…

 

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