Violin String Buying Guide for Students and Musicians

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Violin String Buying Guide for Students and Musicians


With so many brands and types of violin strings being produced it can be very confusing for many students and musicians to select the right string that suits their instrument's characteristics. Each instrument responds best to certain types of strings and less well to others. The level of the players expertise and the playing style can also determine which type of string to select. Today, the most popular selling worldwide violin strings are the G, D, and A Strings made from synthetic core combined with a wide variety of steel core E strings. 




Gut Core Strings       

Many Classical musicians still prefer gut strings for their warm sound, full of complexity with rich Overtones. The response is a little bit slower than synthetic core strings. The gut core strings will need to be tuned frequently in the first week after installation and are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. They are also expensive strings to purchase and are not recommended for beginner to early intermediate students as the level of playing expertise needed to utilize the strings tonal qualities.

Pirastro Oliv

Pirastro has produced this premium modern violin string for over forty five years which continues to be used by many of the greatest classical violinists. The string produces a brilliant sound with big tonal volume, rich complex overtones with a relatively fast response. The Oliv E is Gold plated which produces an unusually beautiful and pure brilliant sound.

Pirastro Eudoxa

The standard classical violin string for many years before the introductiion of synthetic core strings. The Eudoxa has a warm, dark and mellow sound with a slower response than the Oliv or Synthetic core strings. The are best suited to Old German and Italian Violins, especially those with a higher arching.

Pirastro Wondertone Gold Label

The Wondertone Gold Label is an economy gut string when compared to other gut strings that is popular and recommended by many professional orchestral players. The string produces a beautiful, warm full sound with high volume. The Violin E string is widely used and matched with other strings for it's beauty combined with brilliance.

Pirastro Chorda

The Pirastro Chorda strings are string designed for authentic baroque instruments The E, A and D are plain gut strings whilst the G gut string is wound with copper wire. The A string is usually tuned to the lower pitch of 415 Hertz instead of the modern standard pitch of 440 Hertz.


Synthetic Core Strings   

Synthetic core strings are the most popular selling  and used by a wide variety of musicians including Classical, Jazz, and Country Fiddlers. Over the last three decades  more musicians have been switched to using synthetic core strings. These strings share many of the tonal characteristics of gut strings and are generally more stable in pitch and offer a faster response. They synthetic core strings will need to be tuned frequently for the first two days after installation and are less sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. There is a growing choice of medium to expensive priced synthetic strings on the market and are suitable for all levels but especially intermediate to advanced students. The most popular synthetic core violin string sets are widely used throughout the world with a steel core E string.

Pirastro Obligato

Many professional classical musicians have switched to the synthetic core Pirastro Obligato string which produces the closest sound to gut strings without the disadvantages associated with them. The result is a string that produces an excellent sound similar to the Eudoxa gut Violin string but with quicker response, dependability in tone and complexity.

Pirastro Evah Pirazzi

The superb Pirastro Evah Pirazzi string is designed to be more intensive, brilliant, powerful, voluminous with greater character than the Obligato. Like the Obligato, the Evah Pirazzi is the result of advances in manufacturing technique and based on n exclusive core material made from modern synthetic fibre. Pirastro developed Obligato and Evah Pirazzi Sets together so that they could be mixed and matched with each other depending on each instruments characteristics.

Pirastro Aricore

An excellent choice on some instruments which require the darkest sound of any synthetic string. The tone produced has a dark timbre and warmth with very little edge to the sound. Sounding dull on some instruments they work extremely well on a violin that produces a shrill or harsh tone.

Pirastro Synoxa

Synoxa strings are recommended by many teachers They produce a clear bright sound, rich in overtones with a balanced response throughout the range. Similar in sound to the Dominant string with greater clarity and focus. Resistant to temperature and humidity and highly tone stable.

Pirastro Tonica

The popularity of the Tonica string has grown over the last few years with many musicians. They produce a slightly warmer and fuller sound with more complex overtones to the Dominant string. They are immediatelt tuned with easy and quick response. They are not sensitive to humidity and have a longer playing life.

Thomastik Infeld Red and Blue

These are medium priced synthetic core strings popular with both soloists and chamber players that were produced by Thomastik Infeld in response to Pirastro's Obligato and Evah Pirazzi sets. The Infeld Red produces a dark warm tone on the majority of violins while the Infeld Blue tends to bring out the instruments brilliance like dominant but with more warmth, character and complexity. The Infeld Sets also have been designed to mix and match allowing the violinist to affect the overall tonal balance of their instrument.

Thomastik Dominant

One of the leading selling Violin strings worldwide used by beginner to advanced students. The dominant is highly flexible, multi-strand synthetic core string famous for tonal warmth delivers a soft clear sound with rich overtones When new, Dominant strings have a metallic edge which fades after a few days of playing. Dominant strings are widely recognized as 'the Refernce standard' for their distinctive toneand playability.

Corelli Alliance Vivace

These premium priced strings are an excellent choice for the advanced to professional player. Some players regard the Corelli Alliance Vivace Set to represent the best alternative to gut strings. They produce a dark and warm sound with richness, character and complexity. The Alliance Vivace are made from a kevlar core rather than perlon and are known to a longer life than other synthetic strings.


Steel Core Strings    

Steel core strings are used by a wide variety of musicians including jazz, country fiddlers, electric violins and beginner level classical players. Steel core strings don't have the tonal characteristics of both gut strings and synthetic core strings. The sound can be described as clear, direct and pure with few overtones and no real complexity. Steel core strings are extremely stable in pitch after installation and are usually not sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. There is also a growing choice of budget to mid priced steel core strings wrapped in a variety of metals such as aluminium, chrome steel, tungsten and most recently titanium.

Pirastro Chromcor

A solid steel string popular for student instruments and a favorite string for country, bluegrass and irish fiddlers. The Chromcor string offers a bright, clean and clear sound with plenty of bright responsive tonal volume. Tuning is immediate and easy.

Pirastro Flexocor Permanent

A new steel core string used by many musicians because of their warm and dark sound. They aslo offer a warm round sound with big volume and a wide range of modulation. They provide a quick easy response with excellent pitch stability.

Pirastro Piranito

Selected by many teachers throught the world for student violins the Piranito offers a high quality string at a competitive price suitable for young to intermediate players. They are tuned with eas\y and quick response with brilliant sound and are not sensitive to humidity.

D'Addario Helicore

Popular violin string set for both electric and acoustic violins. Multi-strand twisted steel core strings are superb for the advanced to professional players and are suitable for players of Classical, Jazz, Rock, Country and Folk Music.  They produce a warm and clear sound with excellent pitch stability and longevity.


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