Changind Dominant Strings

February 26, 2008 at 06:03 AM · Let's say I practice an average of 3 hours a day. I use dominant strings. What is the ideal time frame to change those strings?

Replies (20)

February 26, 2008 at 09:49 AM · Hi Sean,

It varies a lot from player to player how long they use their strings.

Some are quite sensitive to the sound changing after even a few weeks and they change frequently. Others however don´t seem to mind and keep playing even for years.

Bottom line is, when the string starts to lose it´s winding and breaks or if the hand sweat makes the string disintigrate.

With time the sound of strings gets a bit duller if you don´t like that, change them. If you don´t mind, continue playing. So there is no rule really.

Playing for 3 hours per day, a good average guess for the lifespan of a set of Dominants is 3 to 4 months.....but i am sure other people out there might disagree.

Hope this helps....


February 26, 2008 at 02:14 PM · My luthier has a rule of thumb to change strings after 120 hours of use. I follow that but realize that it may be different for different players. However, it saves me from having to try to judge at what point during the strings' gradual deterioration they should be changed.

February 26, 2008 at 02:29 PM · You may be able to stretch the life of your strings that are as fresh as you can find, wash your hands before practicing, be sure to clean your strings well after each practice. The 120 hours suggested works out to about 5 weeks, which would be a pretty $$$ schedule for me. Maybe an idea is to plot out in perhaps 6-month segments, when you have any recitals, juries or auditions, and plan to change strings 10-14 days before those events. Then look at your calendar for any VERY long gaps left, and change once in the middle. Sue

February 26, 2008 at 02:34 PM · Dominant strings have an average of two months life, (sorry about sentence structure). When I used dominants, it took me about a month and a half before they snapped. They aren't necessarily the best strings, but they are good enough.

Try Vision Titanium Solo-those are good.

February 26, 2008 at 04:05 PM · Dominants will not last for a long time, but they produce quite a good sound. If a given violin does not sound good with Dominants, the problem is with the violin, not the strings. The exception is the Dominant E, it's hard to find a professional who uses a Dominant E.

I find some of these new strings (Titanium, Visions) too bright and aggressive for my taste, but that on the instruments I make, they will sound good in other instruments.

Strings are getting more and more dear because of the dollar weakness, most of strings are made in Europe and we need 1.45 dollars to get an Euro...

February 26, 2008 at 06:28 PM · I remember Tom Holzman commented several months ago about the 120 hours. And someone else said 6 months, so for me I think like if it's motor oil. 120 hours or 6 months which ever comes first! ;P

My teacher, Dr. Pinell uses the Vission Titaniums on his violin. They work great especially since his violin has such a rich, dark chocolate like sound. It's a French violin made in 1832, that's thinner than most violins but widder and a bit longer also. Never seen one like this before. But anyway, I asked him a question similar to your's Sean and he said about 8-12 months but it's different with violins and violinists.

February 26, 2008 at 07:25 PM · I have to change mine every month. Sometimes every three weeks. I've noticed lately that they've been going false rapidly, and this just after their big price hike! I don't know right now of a similar brand with a longer life span. If there was, I'd be willing to try it. Even if they cost $10-$15 more, if I only have to change them every couple of months I would still be coming out ahead.

Are the Tzigane strings wound with yellow ochre striped with cobalt? A student of mine has strings that color (put on by someone I can't currently contact in Anchorage), and we have been very pleased with both the tone/tension and the durability. She has very sweaty hands that tend to eat up strings. I'm thinking of trying a set.

February 26, 2008 at 07:43 PM · They could be regular Larsens or Tziganes. What color at they at the peg-end?

February 26, 2008 at 10:15 PM · I know they aren't Larsens because I've never bought Larsens and they looked exactly like a set I tried out once, so they must be the Tziganes.


February 26, 2008 at 10:18 PM · from day to day your strings very slowly fade in tonality.this may take many days,or even weeks.

it will occur and always does.

you may not notice,because it creeps up,slowly but surely.

so,change frequently--as money allows.

you will notice a huge difference and so will your audience.

also,change your bowhair--every 6 months seems to be the rule w/the hair.

the 'key' is that these changes happen gradually and you may become unaware of the changes that naturally occur with the strings and the bowhair.

February 26, 2008 at 10:35 PM · Greetings,

I am the same as Emily. Domoinants last barely a month. Its always case by case. Sara Chang changes them every two weeks.



February 26, 2008 at 11:58 PM · Are you serious Brian? Do you really like those Vision Strings? Maybe it's just my instrument, but I was really disappointed with them. They lasted about two weeks for me. Dominants are way more reliable imho.

February 27, 2008 at 12:33 AM ·

February 29, 2008 at 07:08 PM · Emily, Tziganes are made by Larsen. There are the regular Larsen strings and the newer Larsen strings called Tzigane.

They are colored as you describe and the peg ends of mine are sort of turquoise blue.

The first sets I used a year or so ago didn't seem to last but the current ones are lasting me a good six months.

They are the best sounding strings on my fiddle; especially the e.

March 1, 2008 at 10:33 AM · Thanks for the info, Michael. I was just getting ready to order another set to see how they do this time. Dominants are reminding me of Walmart socks lately.

March 1, 2008 at 01:34 PM · Hi,

Like most Buri and Emily said, I have to change Dominants every 4-6 weeks (well, any string for that matter). I find the 120 hours rule to be about right for most strings. Yep, it's expensive, but isn't sounding good worth it? After all, you do it for the music...


March 1, 2008 at 05:22 PM · My vintner has a rule of thumb that I should drink 12 bottles of his burgundy a week.

March 1, 2008 at 05:38 PM · I like that vintner's rule :-)

March 1, 2008 at 06:50 PM · Does anyone else think Titanium Vision Solo strings sound better as they get old? I found them scary bright at first, but as they age they mellow. Except when the e string broke and it ran me 15 bucks to replace.

March 4, 2008 at 11:57 AM · Bob, I feel that the "golden period" of the Titanium solo starting after 5 Days.After that they are the most stable in tune & in tone string I've ever used. And toward the end of it's lifespan, they got mellower( or dull, depends on you violin & how you described),which is also sounding good. But the responsiveness are already gone ,especially on G string.This is the time to replaced them.

For the E-string ,I never breaking any E string before it needed to replaced.I suspecting it's the sharp end of the hook on that loop end fine turner was breaking the string.If this is the case so,try to file that sharp edge with a fine metal file. The E-string will last much much longer in this way.

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