Titanium Visions

November 9, 2006 at 07:11 PM · I would like hear reviews from users of Titanium Visions strings, please. Thank you.

Replies (39)

November 9, 2006 at 07:31 PM · They are my favorite, by far.

They offer a wide range of sound, color, and projection, and they speak very well. On the pricey side, and you do need to change them fairly frequently. So worth it.

November 9, 2006 at 09:56 PM · They work great and they're great for concertos but feel very limited with more nuanced bowings and to me, have the same character at every dynamic. Still, they're the only strings I use right now besides the Jargar E, and until I find something better I'll stick with me.

I too change them once a month and I suppose that's expensive.

November 9, 2006 at 10:03 PM · They work great on my Vuillaume.

I like them so much, that I am an endorsing artist for them.



November 9, 2006 at 10:40 PM · I have used lots of other strings, most recently trying olives again at least on G and D which does produce a really darker, richer sound but I have switched back because I missed the responsiveness and ease of playing the Titaniums provide. Over a few years have tried Obligatos, Dominants (which I'm not fond of but which work better on my current fiddle than any previous fiddle), Enfelds Red and Blue, Zyex, Heliocore, Evah's etc. Every fiddle is different, but on mine Titaniums are the best I have encountered.

November 9, 2006 at 10:45 PM · I have limited experience with string brands, but I have used three sets of Vision T Solo mediums, on two different violins. My thoughts:

They break-in almost instantly.

They hold a true pitch incredibly well. (not much wobble)

They have an aggressive upper-midrange, which brings out the "rosin" in the sound. Because of this, they are FUN to play, especially if you are an aggressive player.

They do seem a little one-dimensional. I find it hard to get sweet & mellow on them. Also, on a bright violin, they lack some body.

The Vision T Orchestra strings are significantly warmer, but definitely less fun when you really lay into the instrument. I'm looking for something even warmer, with lots of depth, so I just ordered Obligatos & Larsens. We shall see...

I think Heifetz would have loved the T Solos.

November 10, 2006 at 01:08 AM · The best thing I found with the Titaniums was the short breaking-in period. The biggest downside for me was the short time of "best sound" relative to some others. Sort of like a fruit fly, with the whole lifespan condensed. I have a similar issue with Dominants, except Dominants are half the price! Finally, on my violin anyway, I had the distinct impression of cold metal in the sound.

These could be great on the right violin and for someone who can afford to change them often.

Can I tell you how heartbreaking it was to put on one of those E's and break it within a minute? That's not a bad bottle of wine for that money!

November 10, 2006 at 02:10 AM · Hi,

I use Titanium Vision strings on my antique violin. They're great but I have a possible issue with the e string not being full enough. It's a bit tinny on the open e. This could also be the violin, meaning I need to compensate with a different kind of string.

Nonetheless, they sound beautiful - particularly in the high notes of the e.


November 10, 2006 at 06:27 AM · If I were using synthetic strings, I would use Visions. I definitely prefer them to Evahs or anything like that. However, I find the tone color limited. They have a very fast break in period though, which is great if you need to change strings right before a performance.

That said, I can't use anything but Olivs at the moment. They are just a whole different world.

November 10, 2006 at 01:20 PM · Hi,

I gave these a good try recently, when I was given a set. Like all strings, they have qualities and disadvantages, on my violin at least. They were instantly tuned and held pitch extremely well under extreme circumstances and changes. They are quite loud and project OK. There seemed to be a fair amount of ring.

But like Nathan, I found that their best sound died quickly. They seem to react well to bow pressure, and require a lot of effort on the part of both hands to be played. The range of dynamics is limited, but more so the range of colours. Changing the contact point didn't change much of the colour of the sound.

And then nature's warning - things started to hurt. In retrospect, I think that the excess effort to make them respond was the reason. So, I went to something else.


November 10, 2006 at 03:31 PM · They were designed as a response to Pirazzis but they have much lower tension. This is possibly why they work better than Pirazzis on some violins and vice versa.

That said I completely second Christian's post above. I find it quite ironic that Thomastik are trying so hard to make something better than dominant eg Infeld red/blue and now vision yet dominant remains one of the very best synthetic strings on the market in my opinion.


November 10, 2006 at 04:57 PM · I still find the Evah Pirazzi to give me the best sound on my violin. The only trouble I find with the EP's are the fact that they are very hard to play because they are very tense...

The dominants are easy to play but do not give me the quality of sound the Pirazzi do.. I'm stuck!


November 10, 2006 at 05:39 PM · Peter You might wanna try the Warchal Brilliant strings. Or the Wondertone solo that are made like a Pirazzi with lower tension alternative.

Or why not Olives?

November 10, 2006 at 07:06 PM · Something that hasn't been mentioned:

The type of rosin makes a noticeable difference. Certainly, i would pick the strings first, then the rosin to match (not vice-versa!) but it is important.

With Vision-T solos, I had been using Tartini "solo" (hard,in the brown cloth.) I still have these strings on my old violin, and just tried Tartini "orchestra" (softer, in the red cloth) and the difference is definitely there. The softer rosin still pulls fine, but seems to tone-down the harshness AND gives a bit more timbre modulation. (as apposed to basically NO timbre modulation with the hard rosin.)

This stuff will make you crazy.

November 10, 2006 at 07:02 PM · The Olivs go out of tune so easily, and unwind within two-three weeks of solid playing.

With regards the Vision, I like Nathan's analogy to fruitfly - the G seems to last longer though and paired with Dominant a and d and Pirastro gold label e an affordable and durable combination.


November 10, 2006 at 07:07 PM · Remember my mantra, Allen: Patience. VAS is a slow, long ride. Enjoy it!

November 10, 2006 at 07:10 PM · Ah, but as you know, Bilbo (and will likely not argue) I also have GAS. Lots & lots of it!

November 10, 2006 at 09:36 PM · I have it on my E string (despite my teacher thought it was weird I did that), and I like it a lot. Bright, but not piercing.

Gennady, congrats on many accomplishments starting at a young age! It was fun to read your bio.

November 13, 2006 at 01:50 AM · My sincere thanks to all who posted. Excellent information.

November 13, 2006 at 09:34 PM · I use them and love them! They give such a bright tone to my instrument and really bring out the quality of the sound I am trying to produce. Plus, if one ever snaps, the basic Dominant string will be an nice temporary replacement. The best E string I have ever had! I have never had a string brand that has lasted me so long without breaking or wearing. I can go a good six or seven months in different extreme weather situations without having to change one. Extremely durable.

November 13, 2006 at 11:08 PM · It's interesting to see such variation in the reports of this strings longtivity. Some say 6 months, others say fruitfly.

My own experience was definitely fruitfly, but I am VERY picky about my sound, since I record all the time and can notice subtle changes. I think, to be fair, the reason my strings went bad quickly (three sets in a row) was because I was experimenting a lot with other things, such as after-length & bridge adjustments, so the strings were detuned/retuned several times. This makes guitar strings go bad, so why not violin strings as well.

Which begs the question- Those of you who experience short string life in general, do you use the "wiggle" method of tuning, or do you tune slightly high & pull the string into pitch? I ask because it is my assumption that this will cause the string to lose elasticity, thus hastening its demise.

That's just a guess, but I'd be surprised if it were not so.

November 14, 2006 at 01:21 AM · I personally tune a little high and pull, because otherwise after one loud chord I'm invariably left with a jangling collection of open strings! But I use the same tuning method no matter my string set. For me, like Dominants, the Visions had their best sound after about 2 days and I was disappointed after about a week. The strings I use now, the Infeld Red/Blue, usually don't disappoint me until a month has gone by.

Everyone's instrument is different though, as well as playing schedule.

Allan, I used to tune differently many years ago but I couldn't really compare how long my strings lasted back then. Too much else has changed about my instrument and my ear.

November 14, 2006 at 02:07 PM · Nathan, Do you use a combination of Red and Blue? If so on which strings and why? Thanks....

November 14, 2006 at 03:23 PM · Thanks for descriptions on these strings. Always looking for miracles.:) I did a doubletake on "tune high and pull". My teacher was adamant that this would stretch the string out unevenly at the spot where your hand naturally touches to "pull", thus changing where pitches center very quickly. He always had us take the string a step or two below, pluck lightly and bring the string up to pitch. AS kids we surely wore our strings out learning this technique, and it is ghastly on anything with ill-fitting or worn pegs, but otherwise, I always tune this way. I have taught it to all my students. Sue

November 15, 2006 at 04:35 AM · Ray, I love the sound of the reds in general and use them on G, D and A. For the E I want more brilliance (duh, I'm a violinist!) so I put on a blue.

Sue, I won't claim to know all the physics with the strings. But it seems to me that they're under such tension all the time, pulled between the tailpiece and the pegs, that a little "extra" from a finger wouldn't make much difference. The reason I tune this way is that if I don't, the open strings always end up unevenly low after a minute of playing. I haven't found another solution.

I should mention one more reason I tune high first. It allows me to keep one hand on the bridge pulling back gently while I tune the peg up. Otherwise over time it's easy for it to lean forward.

It occurs to me we should invite an oboist onto this forum if we *really* want to see obsessive! Hey, how do you sharpen your reed knife? :)

November 15, 2006 at 05:58 AM · Nathan, if you tune from below the note, and don't go past (higher in pitch) than the target tuning, there is no way the string will go flat unless it's very new, or unless it is somehow binding on the bridge. (I assume you know how shallow a bridge notch should be)

What will absolutely cause a string to age prematurely is tuning high and pulling. (it is a very slight change each time, but it adds up) I have tested this on both guitars and my violin (with careful A-B recordings, as always) and there is no doubt about it. Every session player I have ever talked to about it feels the same way, simply based on experience.

Tugging is a good way to quickly break-in a string, but it's easy to overdo it and drastically shorten the string's life. (see the very interesting info regarding quick "emergency" break-in on the Thomastik website for similar info)

Strings work by being elastic. The more they stretch, the less elastic they are. For the same reason, strings go prematurely bad if you remove or detune them and re-tune them to pitch. Tis is why it's so hard (expensive) to A-B things like bridge & after-length adjustments.

November 15, 2006 at 06:04 AM · Allan, I'm glad your method works for you but it doesn't work for me and I've tuned I don't know how many thousands of times. :) I'm not the only professional to do things this way either. I'm happy to share my experience but I don't like being told how things are when I see them another way.

November 15, 2006 at 07:31 AM · Nathan, I certainly didn't mean to offend you. However, this is not how I "see" things. This is the conclusion based on viewing FFT graphs.

I'm very careful about such tests.

Additionally, the techs at Thomastik agree with my findings.

There's certainly nothing wrong with doing what works for you, I'm just passing along information that someone might find useful.

I appreciate your opinions as well.

November 15, 2006 at 06:53 AM · Allan,

With all due respect, telling a pro of your pearls of wisdom is like "Borat revealing the painful politeness of American society".

Nate is a fabulous player, who knows how things work.

YOU may learn a thing or two if you manage to really listen.

BTW Nathan, if you like the Reds and Blues, for sure you will love the Titanium Visions, and I say that not because I am an endorsing artist for the company, but because I really like them (especially on my Vuillaume).

November 15, 2006 at 11:03 AM · Gennady, with all due respect back at ya,' I suggest you call Thomastik tomorrow and let their technicians know that they are wrong. They will surely be glad to hear it.

After that, please stop by my studio and calibrate all my obviously faulty hardware, since i am getting false readings. Show me the error in my FFT software, because it surely is giving me a false analysis. Those silly software designers, don't they know this is an art, not a science? !!!

Also, If I tune up into a note, and get there via a fine-tuner (no wiggling or pulling) that note will hold with 1-2 cents all day long. but obviously this can't be right, so PLEASE stop by and show me what's wrong with my strobe. I am so confused...

After that, please tell us all how strings do go bad. Technically, that is. I'm sure everyone here would like to know.

With all due respect.

November 15, 2006 at 11:06 PM · Which is crazier? Gennady re-biasing your tape head, or you telling Nathan how to make benefit glorious his violin tuning? Nathan's a graduate of the best music school in the world. He's a first violin in the best orchestra in the United States of America (God love it). At least Gennady could be trained to work on your equipment. You're telling Lance Armstrong how to ride a bike. You're telling Sacha Baron Cohen how to do an interview. You're telling Emily Grossman how to make tiramisu. I'm sure you do well whatever it is you do, but you're telling Wernher Von Braun how to make a rocket. You're telling Hugh Hefner how to pick up chix. You're telling Walter Cronkite how to host the evening news.

November 15, 2006 at 02:01 PM · Nathan - I love your swipe at oboeists. I live with a clarinetist. Over the course of a 25 year marriage I heard evrything there is to hear about clarinet reeds. I am to understand that I am lucky compared to an oboeist's spouse. Now, my revenge is on. Our daughter is taking violin lessons. He has to hear everything about strings and pay for all the expensive bows and violins I bring home. Life is sweet at the moment.


November 15, 2006 at 02:31 PM · Ihnsouk, no swipe! Just that I've been laughed at by enough oboists for suggesting that we've got so many things to worry about on our instruments. I don't know whether to feel sorry for them or not...

Gennady, I did try the Visions once. I think I had a mini-review further up the thread when it was still about these strings, but if not the short of it was that they seemed too metallic on my instrument. And for a higher price.

Allan, I believe that you research your findings and want me to benefit. If you won't insist that your way is best for everyone, I won't be offended and I doubt anyone else will be either. Interestingly, I met a Thomastik design tech in Vienna who saw my instrument and told me that the Visions (heavy gauge) would be best for me. I tried them right away and had to take them off after a few days because they were so inappropriate for my playing/instrument. I think everyone has to deal with science and art.

November 15, 2006 at 05:02 PM · Allan,

Trust me, say you come up to Pinchas Z. and start telling him how to tune his violin, he will tell you to go take a hike.

I think we are more than gracious about it.

As far as your take on tuning, do you really assume that us pros have not figured this out long ago??

As for strings gone bad, imagine a rubber after much use?!

How good is that?

Samething happens with strings over prolonged period of use (they stretch).

November 15, 2006 at 07:12 PM · I'd like to be there when someone says that to Zukerman. But not even as a fly on the wall, maybe behind a few inches of bullet-proof glass!

November 15, 2006 at 10:27 PM · Nate,

Bullet proof glass will not shelter you from the blast of an atomic weapon.

November 15, 2006 at 10:34 PM · Greetings,

its a memory from decades back, but I think Ricci once talked about the way he tuned the instrument in an interview. he does it exactly as Nathan does it and he went on to compare that with a world class piano tuner a sopposed to an average one. In the former case they tune the string higher and then lower the string by tapping it ith a small hammer. Wonder if I should try that on my violin?



November 15, 2006 at 11:07 PM · ...you're telling Captain Kirk how to waste a Romulan. You're telling Col. Sanders how to fry a chicken...

November 16, 2006 at 02:31 AM · Jim,

or better yet, it's like explaining that A-440 is not a Highway running through Tennessee. :)

Would you like more clarifications Allan?

Here are some for your perusal:

Here are some more Commonly Misunderstood Musical Terms:

Order of Sharps: is NOT what a wimp gets at the bar.

Perfect Pitch: is NOT something at a Baseball game

Bass: is NOT: what no Baseball game would be complete without them, since you have to run to them and around them.

Mixolydian: is NOT a Greek Gay Bar where they play "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen (which happens to be in the Mixolydian Mode).

Ionian Mode: is NOT the gain or loss of electrons.

Dorian Mode: is NOT an English made waste coat worn by Eleanor Rigby (incidentally made famous by the Beatles who composed this famous tune in the Dorian Mode).

Aeolian Mode: is NOT getting to second base on a first date :)

Development Section: is NOT something after the first date.

Coda: is NOT breaking up is hard to do but all's well that ends!

Modes: are NOT, like so many flavors of ice cream, so there are many different "flavors" of Fashion.

November 16, 2006 at 01:05 AM · "But Colonel Sanders, spectroscopic analysis of your fried chicken indicate you should omit secret herb #9 and double the amount of secret spice #7, but to each his own."

Ok, we made a point, let's let him get up off the ground now:)

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