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Violinist.com Interviews: Vol. 1

Our exclusive, one-on-one interviews with 27 of today's best-known violinists, including Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, David Garrett, Anne Akiko Meyers, Maxim Vengerov, and others.

Strings for a Sweet/Mellow Violin

Instruments: Which strings to get for a mellow violin

From Danica Neu
Posted July 6, 2012 at 08:36 AM

Hey guys! I know there are lots of articles about choosing strings, but I'm still confused about what to get! My violin is very mellow and sweet sounding. So far i have tried dominants (which were a bit TOO mellow and dull on my violin), and helicores (which just didn't have enough complexity). If possible I really want a string that has an edge and is warmer sounding, and it would be awesome if it lasts a decent amount of time too :). Also, I unfortunately don't have tons of money to be spending on the most expensive strings, even $60 will take me a while to save up for. So far I'm thinking about getting Tonicas, Visions, Corelli Crystals, Zyex, or maybe Larsen Tziganes if i get enough money. Which one of these would be best for me?? Or would something else be better?

From Nicolas Temino
Posted on July 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM
You could also try Warchal Brilliants. They are very very nice, though E tends to whistle sometimes (dependng on the rosin). Other options: Evah's, Vision solos...
From marjory lange
Posted on July 6, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I have a very sweet violin that responded surprisingly well to Violinos (originally marketed as Pirastro's student strings). I used a more costly E, but that was still not much to lay out.

At the other end of the $$ scale, same instrument sounds magnificent with Peter Infelds...and they last remarkably well (should do, for the price). I was fascinated that both ends of the money spectrum do better than most in the middle--on that particular violin.

From Smiley Hsu
Posted on July 6, 2012 at 02:39 PM
This is not exactly an answer to your question, but a different bow can make a big difference.
From Christopher Liao
Posted on July 6, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I know these strings are a hit or miss, but they work well on my mellower, sweet German violin. The warmness of the violin rounds out the harshness that people usually complain about Evah Pirazzis, altogether resulting in a nice sound. I switched out the E for a Gold Label E though.
From Brian Kelly
Posted on July 6, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Unfortunately, strings sound very different on each violin so nobody can really tell what a set of strings will sound like on your violin. You just have to try them and see...all part of the fun !
I have D'Addario Pro-Arte strings on two of my violins and they sound great on one violin but not so great on the other. I will be trying Tonicas on the latter violin soon. Pirastro Tonicas are worth a look if you have already tried Dominants.
From Danica Neu
Posted on July 7, 2012 at 03:32 AM
@Nicolas: thanks for the suggestion! I think I might try those.
@Marjory: I was actually thinking about those, too but I wasn't sure if it would make my violin even more mellow. Thanks for the info!
Thanks for all your replies! Unfortunately I don't have enough money for Evah's or anything else quite that high, otherwise thats what I would go for! Is there anything else in the 50's and lower range?? I think I'm gonna go for the violino's or the brilliant's. Has anyone else had luck with eitherthese or regular visions on a mellow instrument??

From marjory lange
Posted on July 7, 2012 at 06:17 AM
If you haven't read this article from Ifshin about strings' qualities, it might be interesting. I'd forgotten about it, then stumbled on it this afternoon.
From Nicolas Temino
Posted on July 7, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Danica, you can order the strings directly from Warchal's website. The is a chance of buying once a string set for trial purposes at a very reasonable price.
From Erica Thaler
Posted on July 8, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Tonicas are great strings and will run you about $32. :)
From Elaine Dowling
Posted on September 27, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I would suggest the Corelli Crystals. My violin responds well to Evahs, and the Crystals make a nice but much less expensive alternative.
From Nicolas Temino
Posted on September 27, 2012 at 05:04 PM