Rate strings - longest lasting to shortest life span.

April 16, 2007 at 02:28 PM · We all have our favorite sounding strings for our instruments but this question-poll is specifically about which strings in your experience have retained most of their freshness for the longest time after their initial break-in period. Since a lot of us use a different E string please disregard the E. And if you use another brand A string please respond only concerning the life span of the D and G. Here's a list of several popular strings in no particular order to get you started. You you don't see some strings that you have tried please just add them to your list.

Corelli Alliance

Corelli Crystal

Evah Pirazzi


Wondertone Solo







Vision Titanium Orchestra

Vision Titanuim Solo





Worchal Brilliant

Worchal Karneol

Worchal Ametyst

Replies (53)

April 16, 2007 at 05:41 PM · My experience...

Longest to shortest

Oliv-seem to last forever

D'addario Pro-Arte-lasted forever on my viola

Zyex-last a fairly long time


Vision Titanium Solo

vision (regular)

Evah Pirazzi--lasted like a week!!

April 16, 2007 at 07:16 PM · from the strings i've played:

longest to shortest



olivs. they dont seem to go false as much as they lose their ability to stay at pitch and in tune..


vision titaniums

wondertone solos

evahs-agreeing with hope. these last like 1-2 weeks before going downhill

April 16, 2007 at 11:38 PM · Evahs are such twitchy, high-maintenence drama queens. I got a few good weeks out of them, then they suddenly turned against me.

The Olivs I was playing on until a few weeks ago had lasted quite well since November, then all of a sudden (4 months after putting them on!) they unexpectedly got fuzzy, unresponsive and generally nasty-sounding. I thought there was something wrong with my playing, but then I put on new Olivs and it was just like "Ohhhh....so I WASN'T the problem!"

April 17, 2007 at 03:07 PM · Longest to shortest:

1. Eudoxas - last "forever", like other's comments about Olives (haven't tried Olives)

2. Obligatos

3. Dominants

4. Visions (regular)

5. Tonicas

6. Evah Pirazzi

April 18, 2007 at 02:36 AM · Longest lasting:

Zyex & Violino:

-Both sound just as bad a month after installing them as after 2 days. I don't think picking a string based on longestivity is a very good idea, unless money is incredibly tight.

Helicore: Last forever, and is a nice string IF you like that sound. However, if you play classical music, I doubt you'll like that sound.

The only REALLY good sounding synthetic string I've tried that also lasts is the Wondertone Solo. A very nice string, overall.

FWIW, pure gut strings probably last longer (MUCH longer, according t other threads here) than any synthetic, so add those to your list. If you like the pure gut sound, and can deal with the instability, they are easily the most affordable long-term solution. Well, except for the E-string.

April 17, 2007 at 09:24 PM · For me, Obligatos clearly had the shortest lifetime - you play them in, have about a week, and then it's all downhill. I've had Evah Pirazzis on my violin for 5-6 months at a time - but that's no guarantee they sounded good...

April 17, 2007 at 10:59 PM · Greetings,

I had an adult beginner come to me for a lesson once. I asked what their basic gola was and they siad thta most of all they wanted good intonation.I stood the playing for about ten seocnds and then asked them when they had last changed their dominants. The reply wasa fifteen years ago. That was the easiest lesson I ever gave.



April 23, 2007 at 10:11 PM · i may have to take back what ive said before about the visions lasting a good amount of time.. ive had these things on for about a month and they sound very false.. especially the a.. they lack the tonal qualities and sound color they had 2 weeks ago...

April 23, 2007 at 10:28 PM · This would have to be grouped by instrument. My previous violin loved Eudoxas and I would rate it this way:



Dominant (but very harsh on that violin)

Tonica - crazy. The sounded wonderful for all of two - three weeks then straight downhill!

On my last two violins (from the same maker)




My luthier would beat me with a stick if saw anything other than Dominants (w/ a gold label E) on "his" fiddles. Due to my experience with his fiddles, I have to agree. I (unbeknownst to him) tried others based on my comfort with Eudoxas and Olivs and desire to keep the gut tradition going but the result was not good. If your luthier really knows the properties of a specific set, he/she will make it work for you. In his mind, changing the strings would be paramount to changing the bridge or soundpost. A quality set up is a finely tuned combination of factors. Most players are limited to knowing only how to change the strings, therefore can chase their tails looking for the perfect string when it most likely is the brand the luthier had in mind when he/she cut the bridge.

April 23, 2007 at 11:02 PM · Chris-

i very much agree with you. my lutheir raves about visions and has them on most of his instruments. hes not a fan of evahs, which i tried out, but they last like a week. i have been very happy with the visions after trying manny differnt strings (obligatos are to wide and low in tension.. etcetc.) but still this set of visions lasted me 4 weeks tops.. i think thats atrocious.. then again, i am a strong player and sweat alot.. (and play A LOT) do you think that could factor into the life of the strings?? on average i play 3 hours a day. on tuesdays, its closer to 6.. 6+3*6 (days)= 24 hours a week. times 4 (weeks in a month) = 96hours a month? can someone tell me if is this is a decent lifespan for a set of strings??

April 24, 2007 at 01:32 AM · Christopher: I wonder if your luthier knows mine. Mine tells me he builds his violins for use with Doms only, and I imagine he would break my bow (not his) if he discovered I used anything else. At first, I thought this was rather outlandish, to say someone could make a violin sound best with a particular string. But my violin sounds great in the low registers, and sweet on the highs, even with the Dom E. How this is accomplished is a true mystery to me. Still, to satisfy curiosity, I may try other strings, as and when I find them.

Ian: I recall Mr Vachon stating somewhere he thought Doms were engineered to last through 120hrs of playing time. Thereafter, downhill rapidly. Check the prior posts.

April 24, 2007 at 02:42 AM · Ian,

Sweat can definitely have an effect on strings. I had a friend in college that actually (shudder to think) used solid steel strings because he sweated profusely and couldn't keep good strings for any amount of time. My luthier does applaud me for keeping the best care of violin than anyone he has ever sold a violin to (probably why he has agreed to apprentice me in violin making) so I do endorse active and frequent care of the violin. That means wiping it down after every time you play it. It really will help.


My luthier is Robert Kimble. He is an amazing wealth of knowledge but keeps close ties to a few very notable figures in the violin world and just about noone else! Strings are an intrigual part of a violin - a luthier should find the set that consistently works for them, otherwise how do you tune a bridge? It is important to note that violin making and violin set ups are two different concentrations. Just because someone is good at one does not even hint that they may be good at another. I am just lucky that Mr. Kimble was in the restoration and set up business years before he made his first fiddle. Who is your maker?

April 24, 2007 at 02:46 AM · Tonicas and Wondertone Solos lasted no time at all for me. I don't mind changing my evah pirazzis so often- whatever it takes to get the best sound! We should all be thankful we play the violin, and not the cello or bass!

April 27, 2007 at 04:09 PM · I'm not thankful--as a converted guitarist, I have a difficult time understanding why 3 short synthetic strings (plus 1 cheap steel) cost double or triple what 6 long guitar strings cost.

April 27, 2007 at 04:43 PM · But I heard some guitarists change their strings once a week.

April 28, 2007 at 10:32 AM · I'll list my experience in decending order of "life":


Vision Titanium

Dominant E

Wondertone gold E

Evah Pirazzi E

Larsen E

Evah Pirazzi

Somewhere around Dominants I'd stick Red Label strings. I played on them when I was beginning to learn violin however, so it wouldn't be fair to include them on the list.

Here's the explanation for my listing:

As far as sound is concerned, I would have to agree about the Evah Pirazzis-They sound magnificent for about two and a half weeks and then putter into a state of lesser brilliance. They do however, still work as a string.

If you're willing to put up with a less vivid sound than a fresh dominant, you can keep them on your instrument. What I tend to do is change them a week before a big performance-and leave it on during the off-season until it either breaks, another gig comes up, or it becomes unbearable.

Vision Titaniums have a similar feel to Evah Pirazzis, but were excessively bright (I would rather say blindingly piercing) on my violin. I put them on one of my older, stiffer violins (an intermediate level instrument) non-luthiered instrument) and it opened up the sound very well.

The Larsen E that I tried out became false within about two months.

The Evah Pirrazzi E broke before it lived through its term.

The Red label strings I recall lasted almost forever, but I don't think there was much change in their sound. If I'm not mistaken, most of them were solid steel.

That's all I have to say for now.

March 25, 2011 at 08:56 AM ·

In the Great  Ponder on which strings are best for my violin I came accross this topic on how long strings last.  My violin had Evah P strings on when I bought it.  As described above, the sound of the strings deteriorated to the point where I replaced the G and D with Vision Solos a couple of months ago.  I have now replaced the A with a new EP (I happen to have one - and the result was remarkable, again consistent with the limited lifetime of these wonderful sounding strings.

The point of this, however, is that the E string is still fantastic.and I wondered if the blanket condemnation of EP strings might be a bit too severe; I get the impression that the higher strings last much better than the lower ones, in sequence even perhaps.

Incidentally the Vision solo titanium G deteriorated about as fast ast the EP. 

March 25, 2011 at 11:59 AM ·

In my experience one of the best sounding and shortest lasting string is the Oliv A. I've had some begin to unwravel at the nut within a few days. Quothe the raven "nevermore"!

March 25, 2011 at 12:52 PM ·

Does anyone yet have experience with the longevity of Passione strings?

How much of the longevity issue is related to the environment in which the instrument is kept? For those who experienced shorter life with gut, does your instrument remain exposed more than the norm? It seems that these, and several other factors, would affect the life of different types of strings, even things like the type of rosin, frequency and method of cleaning, oils and perspiration from the fingers, etc.

In my own limited experience, so far, Dominants outlast the rest by a lot. They settle fast but remain stable longer:

  • Dominants - 12 weeks
  • Evah's - 3 weeks
  • Infeld Red's - 8 weeks
  • Passiones - TBD


March 25, 2011 at 01:00 PM ·

I use Passiones, and have done since soon after they came out.

For me, they last for a very long time. I had one set on for over a year, and only changed  because I thought I ought to, rather than noticing any particular problems. Of course, the new set sounded different to start with, but settled down within a week or so. They do take a while to stretch and settle, but once they do. they are very stable. I like them a lot.

That said, I must say that I hardly sweat at all on my hands, and wipe my strings down all the time, occasionally removing rosin with a dab of after shave or cologne. I also oil the strings from time to time.

I am also a lazy practiser.


March 25, 2011 at 01:31 PM ·

WOW!!! I thought I was ging crazy, I guess not. I used to use Evah's but I was going thru them in 2-3 months and they are way to expensive. I have since switched to Warchal strings and so far I love them. Warchals are $25 a set and they sound fantastic on my fiddle.

March 25, 2011 at 05:45 PM ·

I used to use Passiones, which I consider the best of the gut. They sound at least as good as Oliv, with a little something extra to the sound, as well as physically. They add some kind of extra thread or filiment which seems to stabilize the string more.

That said, I've opened my case to find this or that Passione broken. (That's how I discovered that filiment.) I mostly use Vision Taitanium Solo, though I will experiment with other E's. This E has gone a tad false, whistles a bit sometimes at string crossings, and is way overpriced.

March 25, 2011 at 06:51 PM ·

Cheaper Es, replaced frequently, seem to me to be the way forward.

Hence the popularity of Goldbrokat, which are less than £1.30 a piece over here.


March 25, 2011 at 07:42 PM ·

I've had Passione's on for almost 4 months now -- been meaning to change before I play with the BSO in a couple of weeks, but they still sound really good, so I think I'll leave them alone.

March 25, 2011 at 11:08 PM ·

Chromcor A made by Pirastro- for some violins it's a wonderful, smooth and beautiful string but the thin gauge has resulted in many a string being false or unable to withstand moderate weight applied into the string right from the get go. Even when I've gotten one that was not false or withstood the weight they never lasted more than a month. I had to switch to Spirocore ( made by Dominant) medium gauge A  and found that they lasted at least a few months and mimicked the beauty of the chromcor A but withstood weight much much better. Pirastro, if ypu're reading this, how about making a medium gauge Chromcor? 
 For E  string I use Olive E stark ( thick gauge) , given the amount of playing I do, they last a month and a half or so. The D is an Obligatp D , which lasts two months and the G is a Pirastro Tonica which in its new formulation seems to be better and longer lasting than the "old" formula G, lasting also about 2 months.

These durations are based on an average of 3 hours of playing a day.

March 26, 2011 at 12:01 AM ·

 Well I unfortunately have limited experience with strings, but I have to say I absolutely adore my Passione Solo set on my violin! They are great under the finger, last quite a while and stay sounding good for a good while too. The only thing I would say about them is that they are so expensive... this means I cannot afford another set when the time comes. This brings me to dominants. I think we all know dominants are pretty good, apart from the dreaded E... but let's not go there. I think dominants are decent, and they sound okay and last a while. They do have that tendency to unwind though, which is annoying! 

March 26, 2011 at 01:04 AM ·

The trouble with adding your question to an old topic is that noone sees it - they immediately continue on the OP's topic....

I hope noone minds if I start a new one on the same subject.... :-\

March 26, 2011 at 03:42 PM ·

 I have been using dominant and infled reds, vision as well as cheap china strings from yita/ovh perlon strings.


this is how long they lasted ranking from top to btm.

infeld red - 3mths

dominant - 3mths

Vision - 2 mths

china string - 4 mths(since they are pretty inferior at the start)

I practice almost 1.5hrs a day :) going to use my warchal brilliance and try my infled blue set really soon :) waiting for about 1 more mth before changing them :)

March 31, 2011 at 12:36 AM ·

Here goes.

Plain gut:  A's and D's never seem to lose their basic fine quality of sound, though they will go false as they wear out.  When they're old they will fray in the low positions and get worn where the bow saws away at them.  I have never had an A or D break in 50 years of playing.  Gut core G's (Eudoxa, Olive, etc) also last a loooong time.   E's are near the tension limit for gut and some breakages will happen.  The brand matters for E's.  Larsen's Gamut brand are very durable.

Infeld Blue:  not quite immortal but almost.  Keep their tone very well and I have never had one break.

Dominant  - tend to lose their sound in a month.  They also break when they are getting long in the tooth.

Unlike many of you, Evah's have not given me any particular problem.  I used a light (Weich)gauge Evah G with a gut A/D "Heifetz" setup for nine months before it became false. 


August 2, 2015 at 11:18 PM · Any anyone have any insight about Warchals and how long they last?

I've so far tried Ametyst, took a week to break in, and so far the "colour" has lasted over 2 weeks. On Infeld Red, it took an hour or two to break in, then the "colour" faded out within a week and started sounding dull.

Ametyst sounds still good though, but the "colour"/richness has never been better than of Dominants. I always found Dominants too rough.

I am inclined to try Eudoxa and Oliv next after reading this thread.

August 3, 2015 at 01:02 AM · I'm using Warchals at the moment -- Brilliant Vintage on the D and G, the Avantgarde A, and the Amber E. Break-in time was less than a week, I think, although even after a month, stability is less than I expected. The A isn't quite as stable as I'd expect from a steel string. The D and G are less stable than the Pirastro composite-core strings I'd been using (Obligato, Evah Pirazzi, EP Gold); they require daily tuning and are environment-reactive, more like Passiones.

However, they still sound totally fresh after a month, if more Dominant-like than gut-like. Clear, focused, resonant.

August 3, 2015 at 03:19 AM · Vision Solo seem to last longest on both my violin and viola.

I put them on the violin in November and they were really pretty good until July. They have been on the viola even longer. I like their sound very well on both instruments. I have used Infeld Reds for violin G and D and Blue for the A. They sound pretty good too but don't last as long. Doms sound terrible for about a week and then terrific for a month or so. Then they slowly deteriorate and in a few months need to be replaced.

I probably play about an hour a day.

August 3, 2015 at 09:06 AM · Warchal Russian A has lasted well over 300 hours for me and still sounds OK.

The Cantiga D and G also last well - they degrade very gently.

For me, Dominants have a short window where they sound good - perhaps 100 hours - then they die rapidly and the A unwinds under the left hand.

My two least successful experiments were the new Tonica and the Karneol, which lasted a short while and then fell off a cliff.

August 4, 2015 at 12:33 AM · I change my violin strings every three months, the E string once a month. I have been using Warchal Brilliants for while, and never noticed any loss of sound quality after three months, but change them anyway. I am now trying Warchal Karneols and have noticed no loss of sound quality with them after three months although I have changed them anyway. They are inexpensive to begin with, and an excellent value in my opinion, and would last some people six months or more.

August 5, 2015 at 01:40 PM · Are we all taiking about long-lasting tone wise, or breakage-wise?

August 5, 2015 at 02:18 PM · "long-lasting tone wise, or breakage-wise?"

Plain gut wins hands down on both counts (except for a gut E of course).

August 19, 2015 at 01:58 AM · In order from longest to shortest:

Obligato - I only tried the G, but it lasted forever, (a really long time) I'll be getting a full set later.

Dominant - Long lasting, but I'm a little sick of the neutral sound. 3-5 months

Vision - Didn't really like the sound that much especially the A string. 3-4 Months

Zyex - Love the sound, but kinda hard to get soft with these strings. I'll try them at some point of this new violin I have. 3 months

Evah Pirazzi - Only tried the E, but I loved it's sound. I played a full set on someone else's violin though. 2-3 months if you're lucky.

August 19, 2015 at 08:35 AM · Yay, old topic resurrected!

I have some odd mix of strings on my violins; here's the data playing/practicing about 2 hours a day:

-Dominants D and A last me about three months.

-Pirastro Tonica G and E last about 2, maybe 3 months. I find my G going out sooner than the E most of the time. I use them as cheaper alternatives to Evah Pirazzi.

Zyex lasts around two-and-a-half months but I rarely used them.

-Evah Pirazzi G and E last about a month maybe. The sound is great but not good value for the money in my opinion.

-Helicore lasted 5 days but that's because I couldn't stand them, the sound was just not right. Gave them another chance on another violin and the G snapped while tuning, something that had never happened to me before! Maybe I had a defective batch.

August 19, 2015 at 10:23 AM · String choice depends on the instrument, the player's technique and personal taste.

I would not choose string by their life span, but by the type of sound and playability they offer.

Life is too short for playing with strings you don't like.

Studying the violin is not cheap so just play with the best strings and instrument you can pay. Just my two cents.

August 20, 2015 at 04:39 AM · What does "2-3 months if you're lucky" mean for Evah Pirazzi strings. Mine last me 6-8 months. Of course, I'm not playing 7 hours a day.

August 20, 2015 at 06:49 AM · I have no scientific evidence for this, but I'm pretty sure things like playing style, technique, repertoire, bow, and rosin type/quality affect the longevity of strings.

It would be awesome if someone did a study on that!

August 20, 2015 at 02:19 PM · Yes, a soloist or a principal with a big sound will worn out new strings. Glenn Dicterow said me he changes strings every week.

August 20, 2015 at 02:22 PM · Paul,

Yes, Evahs last 2-3 months if you are playing 6-8 hours a day. I put my Evah golds on about two months ago, and they're already dead. It's so sad, but time to buy another set. (I have a set of green Evahs in my "violin stuff drawer", but the golds are so much better, so they sit there as emergency backup). It may sound crazy to shell out that kind of money when they have such a short lifespan, but they sound so gorgeous up to the point where they just turn. And, they seem to go from brilliant to dull almost immediately...

August 20, 2015 at 02:36 PM · It must be murder to keep one's violin in tune if you're changing your strings every week. Whenever I swap on a fresh set of Evahs it takes like three days to get to the point where I can play for 10 minutes without having to tune again. How do soloists deal with this? Do they pre-stretch their new sets on a VSO or something?

Wow I just had a business idea. Sell strings that are "conditioned" by playing them for an hour on a Strad. $500 a set.

August 20, 2015 at 04:47 PM · The newer "composites" (Evah, Zyex, Alliance, PI, Vision, Obligato etc) must not be over-stretched: they wont break, but the core seems to stretch unevenly.

The nylon/Perlon types (Dominant, Tonica, Pro Arte, Crystal, Aricore etc) can be tuned a semitone higher without problems. As can gut (exept the E!)

A friend of mine made a narrow board (to fit in the bow clips in the case) with small pegs to pre-stretch his strings.

August 21, 2015 at 10:59 AM · @Fox - yes, it's interesting that people are reporting such different experiences with certain strings. For example Karneol just didn't last for me, while it works well for others.

When you see what actually happens to a string in super slow-mo it's clear that they take a real beating.

So I suspect that Luis is right when he says that playing with a big sound will reduce string life. I'm playing folk and competing with pipes, accordions, melodions so I go for a soloistic sound with lots of attack. It may explain why some strings die on me, while someone playing with a more chamber sound might get more out of them. Perhaps some string constructions stand up to hard playing better than others?

August 22, 2015 at 04:14 AM · The Warchal Brilliant, Vintage, and Amber have proven to be the longest-lasting for us. The Warchal steel strings (E and A) seem to last forever.

August 22, 2015 at 08:33 PM · My teacher likes to put on fresh strings immediately before a concert. When he told me that, I boggled, since I figured that they would be impossible to keep in tune. But nope.

His trick: Play the theme from Paganini "Moses", at maximum volume and pressure. It's normally played on one string and goes all the way up the fingerboard. Just transpose it for every string other than the E string (which should be immediately stable, being steel). Retune after each repetition.

Works like a charm, at least for Evah Pirazzis and EP Golds. About three to five repeats per string to get reasonable tuning stability, from my experience. My guess is that it does shorten the string life somewhat to do this somewhat forcible stretching, though.

August 22, 2015 at 10:14 PM · Wear of violin strings is like that of car tires - drive your car fast over windy country roads and compare tire wear and life with that from more sedate driving over straight roads in town. Car tires and violin strings both involve friction with another object - road surface in the case of cars, and bow hair with violins.

August 22, 2015 at 10:16 PM · Here are my two cents.

Strings are constantly adjusting. As they adjust many things change with it (Tension and overall mass of the string). Because of this and because of how any particular instrument reacts, the so called "life span" is just what you perceive as a good tone with that particular tension on that particular instrument.

For example. Many people have said that the PI (Peter Infeld strings) change a lot within the first week. It was amazing for a week on my instrument and then went a bit dull while other people have said that it is a bit dull for a week and than perks up.

I think a better question is how much does the string adjust in a certain amount of time, but that is a very vague question in its own right. I feel that rating a strings "lifespan" is not a very helpful tool in in end to rate the quality of a string itself.

August 24, 2015 at 08:33 PM · I used to hate the first few weeks of Dominant strings: they sounded more like Eudoxas when they were well worn in (and I don't mean worn out!)

What's happenning to our ears?

August 24, 2015 at 09:23 PM · Well Adrian,

I think you hit the nail on the head when you are wondering what's happening with our ears.

We have alienated ourselves from gut strings and as a result we tend to perceive the metallic sound of synthetics as brilliance,

This was the case with me as well until I tried the Passiones by Pirastro, They have the true brilliance of gut string without any metallic element which I find most astonishing, of course the colours of gut come as a bonus.

August 27, 2015 at 06:15 AM · I agree with the post from Luis Claudio Manfio. How long strings last could be somewhat important,but do they suit the violin, are you getting the sound and feel you want etc etc. Unless you are very poor and can't afford to replace strings, I think how long they last would be one of the least considerations. I am quite poor, but I would do everything in my power to buy and replace the strings I liked and wanted. On my 1893 German I use a PI G, Evah Gold D, ViolinO A, and a Prelude E. On my considerably less expensive China Fiddle (a surprizingly nice sounding violin that I use for busking, I use a complete set of ViolinO's including the E, as they worked the best after trying several different sets and combinations from my vast collection of used strings and sets. I have always found the subject of strings to be fascinating, but all I'm saying along with Luis Claudio is, if you can, go with the strings that both you and the fiddle like the most, regardless of how long they last.

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