How much do decent sounding strings cost?

February 11, 2012 at 11:15 PM · Im just wondering how much decent sounding strings cost. Because believe it or not, ive been playing with strings for 3 years that have cost 50 cents each xD Just recently ive noticed that, yes, they sound awful. I am wondering how much average sounding strings cost and wondering how much you guys have payed for your stings :D

Replies (44)

February 12, 2012 at 01:39 AM · Dominants with a Jargar or Larsen E string are a good choice, about 50 bucks.

There are no playable "Made in China" strings. Most of the good ones are still European.

February 12, 2012 at 02:51 AM · A few nice inexpensive strings are the Helicores, Zyex, Visons are around $40 you cannot go wrong with the Dominants with a gold E for $50

February 12, 2012 at 03:27 AM · Sorry to contradict earlier posts, but I think you can go wrong with dominants. I used them for most of my time on the violin and when I started to try different strings, on more than one violin, I never looked back.

(Sorry to all the dominant lovers)

February 12, 2012 at 03:31 AM · Whenever I switched away from Dominants, no matter for how long, I always switched back; there are few better substitutes on any well adjusted violin.

I get my Dominants for about $40 a set, and Visions for about $30, from

Another good inexpensive string if you like Evah Pirazzis are the Zyex composite strings, which I find to be quite similar for a lower price.

February 12, 2012 at 04:03 AM · I just tried the Peter Infeld PI strings that cost over a $100. I still prefer the $40 Zyex strings.

February 12, 2012 at 05:17 AM · You can get them for something more like $80 at the site I posted..

EDIT: My favorite combo is a set of Dominants (with the aluminum D, not silver) with the Jargar heavy E string, which seems to be used by a lot of other people on this site. It simply draws the best voice out of my instrument.

February 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Thanks for ur responses. Seeing from them I think ill buy the dominant strings. Sounds cheap and reasonable xD

February 12, 2012 at 01:09 PM · But not the Dominant E! That has a less than a satisfactory reputation among many violinists (although I've never used it myself). Try Goldbrokat, Hill or Larson for a really good tone E, and they're not expensive.

February 12, 2012 at 01:16 PM · Using a different E with the Dominants really will make a difference. I switched from the Dominant E to Pirastro's Gold Label E, and not only eliminated the screeching of the Dominant E -- my violin's overall tone improved!

February 12, 2012 at 03:02 PM · Oh No! I'm aaalllll alooooone:)

February 12, 2012 at 06:31 PM · I usually use Dominants, but I must say I like the Tonicas I just installed (after about a 15-year hiatus). They seem like a slightly clearer version of Dominant with a little less tension. Aluminum D, though.

February 12, 2012 at 08:01 PM · I no longer recommend Dominant strings to students on a budget because they have gotten so expensive over the last few years. I found Warchal strings to be just as good for students, and they run around $25 a set.

February 12, 2012 at 08:55 PM · Way to go Emily! I like Warchals a lot too.

February 13, 2012 at 01:16 AM · I agree with Emily. String prices don't usually go hand in hand with quality. Dominants are just a terrible string brand. The Dominant A unravels around 3rd position quite regularly, and their E-strings break a lot.

I recommend the Tricolore strings by Gamut. Really fabulous strings. The Eudoxas by Pirastro are also quite good in my opinion. For the E string, I highly recommend Goldbrokat. They cost about $1.30 each; Menuhin, Heifetz, Milstein, and many of the other great players have used this E.

February 13, 2012 at 08:06 AM · After trying out a variety of E strings, I recommend the golden Evah Pirrazzi string. It had the most clarity and best tone up higher

February 13, 2012 at 09:28 AM · LOL, thanks for the responses. Now i cant decide D:

February 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM · some shops have testers ;) Thats what i did. I then bought my first set from the shop (its only fair) and later sets online.

I currently use larsen tsigane - not the cheapest but they are very stable and have lasted well.

The last point is important: the price of a string should be related to how long it lasts for obvious reasons - which makes Piratzis very expensive indeed and dominants quite reasonable ...

February 14, 2012 at 07:53 PM · I use heavy Dominant G D(silver) A with heavy Goldbrokat E (every month have to replace the E string but its cheap haha)

I am not happy with the sound of Dominant but it does last and I barely have to tune it (violin without fine tuner can be pain...)

I have tried Evah Pirazzi with gold E string and what disappointment, it goes dull in 2 months and if your hands wet alot like mine you will have black E string in less 1 month haha

February 14, 2012 at 08:49 PM · I found the Dominant E to be too harsh so I replaced it with a Pirastro Gold E - much better. But then I tried a set of Tonicas and my old VSO rang like I had never heard it before.

I got a new violin a month ago and it came with Dominants; when it comes time for a string change I'll try Tonicas again.

February 15, 2012 at 12:03 AM · Although I can't really provide a lot of options as I've only tried the Thomastik, Larsens, Pirastro, and D'Addrios. I find that Dominants do not work as good on some instruments. I used Dominants but now a Solo Passione set. The Helicores are a bit like the Evah Pirazzi's for a good budget. The Zyex are very loud and affordable. The Dominant E string Flat out sucks. Here is a list of good and affordable strings

Dominants $50

A standard replace the E with either a Gold E, or a Universal E

Z'yex $40

A good composite strings, that are very loud. Not recommended for long hours of practicing as it can hurt after a while. Very Stable strings

Helicore $40

A nice string, a string that is not dull, but also doesn't have a lot of colors. A steel string

Pro' Arte $30

Nice warm strings

Prelude $ 20

A standard in Music & Arts, I admit I didn't like them very much and later switched within a week

Tonica $40-$60

I've tried the Old formula and it's like Dominants but it has this dark sound, I'm not sure about the new formula

Violino $50

A good student string, a bit overpriced. But sweet sounding

Evah Pirazzi $70

Some advanced violins have these, a powerful nice string.

The strings I currently use is a set of Passione Solo with a Evah Pirazzi E. It shows a lot of power, although it isn't clear. It cracks a lot, but I love the sound. It blends in with Fiddiling, Classical, and Pop

February 15, 2012 at 03:41 PM · Edward - Patrick has given you a fairly comprehensive list of strings that are fairly cheap. You probably should go to your luthier and ask him/her which of that group is likely to sound best on your violin. Different strings sound different on different violins.

February 15, 2012 at 11:43 PM · Try a Google search for "Maestro Strings" I heard that it was better than a normal professional string yet a lower cost, it's only $40 and they give you a Gold E string.

I find that if you have a hill style fine tuner, meaning you have 1 fine tuner on the E' You can add more to those really bright strings to give it a muddy but nice warm tone to any string set. I use a gut string set with fine-tuners and a loop Evah Pirazzi E.

February 16, 2012 at 06:37 AM · Thankyou for all your responses once again. And thanks Patrick for ur extended response. Really appreciate it :D

February 16, 2012 at 10:59 AM · I'm just trying Infeld Red D and G strings for the first time. They sound OK but I've only just put them on so I need to play 'em in a bit.

They seem to be OK with my PI A string and Goldebrokat E.

I've noticed that my previous (D & G) PI strings sounded a bit strange in small rooms (typical living rooms) but better in larger rooms with dry accoustics and very good when playing in a piano trio in a church the other day. Maybe they need room to blossom?

February 17, 2012 at 01:04 AM · Warchal's Karneol and Ametyst suit students really well. They go for 15 USD on gostrings.

February 17, 2012 at 02:35 AM · The karneols go for $25 and the ametysts go for $33

February 17, 2012 at 03:39 AM · My bad - I meant 25. Actually the Ametyst was like 24.75 few months ago

February 17, 2012 at 07:22 AM · Hey, the Karneol strings are good for anyone. :)

I've been pleasantly surprised at how good Karneol sounds. The early versions tended to have some pitch issues after a month of playing, but the current sets are really good. While I haven't found them lasting much longer than two months for me (I'm on my instrument between 3-4 hours a day), at $25/set I don't mind putting new strings on more frequently!

February 17, 2012 at 09:31 AM · I'm happy if any set lasts longer than two months!

February 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM · I'm really miffed that the ametysts went up. They got a nice mellow and resonant sound. With my experience with the karneols about 5 months ago, tuning stability wasn't the best and they started to loss their luster within a month. I don't know how much longer they were playable because I sold the violin after that first month. If you don't mind changing strings a lot and tuning more often, than get the karneols, but I can't really recommend them. The brilliants however, are a different matter.

February 17, 2012 at 03:04 PM · Not cheap by any means, but.. Ruggiero Ricci says that Peter Infeld strings last at least three times as long as Dominants do, at least for him (which makes them more affordable than Dominants, if you think about it, since PIs are about double the price).

EDIT: The PI set with platinum E is $83 on; it's a little cheaper if you opt for the aluminum wound D instead of the silver wound D; I actually prefer the aluminum D on my violin.

February 17, 2012 at 08:36 PM · You really do have a lot of options for strings, and yes they can get a bit pricy. Its still far cheaper than putting gas into a car and at least for me, good strings make a difference that will keep me happy longer than a tank of gas.

That said, Dominants are a good starting point for certain. Tonicas are definitely cheaper and many people like them better (if you're looking for something a little warmer) Vision are about the same price as the Tonica but are more toward a brighter more focused sound. Either can be had for only a little more than $30, either on my site, but also on I have personally used Zyex as well with very good results (currently have a zyex heavy D and A with a Tungsten Spirocore G and Goldbrokat heavy E) strange combo but it works ok. Not perfect, but interesting.

If you are able to spend more, then your choices increase drastically, with Pi being the ultimate string to try out. $104 for the set with the Platinum E, it is more affordable with a standard E. Everyone should try the top range set at least once though. Amazing!

February 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM · Edward. First off, people are giving options on higher strings that fit your budget. With a player that is playing for 3 years, you might have a instrument in the Beginner/Advanced range About $200-$3,000. I would think that you would have a more contemporary-modern instrument. And these type tend to sound bright. Zyex are very great strings that are cheap, and some people tend to prefer this over Evah Pirazzi ( $70 ) Or Dominants ($50) I STRONGLY suggest you get this. D'Addario strings were always though out for students. They are loud which is a very good characteristic if you are playing in a orchestra, so you can hear, and be heard. It offers both warm and clear notes for those brighter sounding violins. Although it hurts after a while ( Meaning about 1-1 1/2 hours of practicing) You won't practice that much at school, and at home you can just breaks in between. Over the years Thomastik ( Dominants ) has been going down in quality, meaning what used to be a great 6 month string goes down in 2 months, 2 weeks for me. I find the A to have a weaker, non pleasant string. The E really Sucks. But if you want to change the A and E I suggest this. Dominant D, and D. Pirastro Chromcor A and Gold label E. Anyway Pirastro strings are expensive are thought out for professionals. If you have a violin from Music & Arts or similar to a beginner model. They are very easy to play on, offering nice sound, and feel for students. Advance tend to have a harder playibility, but offer wide range and sound. And professional violins are a bit of both. Meaning not always, just in my comparison. Zyex last a while, their composite material make it easy to tune with the pegs ( As advanced students have 1 fine tuner on the E string) and stays in tune, and offers a great sound. What can you lose?

February 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM · Also for your comparison

February 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM · When I used Karneol strings there was only one problem: They are(were?) very weak in the part between the bridge and the tailpiece. All Karneol strings I've used broke in that place.

February 18, 2012 at 09:18 AM · Spot on response Patrick! From the video, i like how the strings sound and such. For a violin player who likes to play occassionally but not all the time, i think it zyex would be a perfect match! Thankyou very much!

February 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM · Glad I can help. Oh, I forgot one important thing about Z'yex. They changed the formula ( Don't worry all stores have the same formula) So they don't hurt your hands anymore! Isn't that excellent! Also they don't lose quality after a while like most strings do. I find them the PERFECT strings. Of course there are better strings with better sound, but this blends in with every type of music, stays in tune, are thought out for players, and after a while the sound still stays the same ( A rare quality in the string world) It's like owning a Strad kind of quality.

February 19, 2012 at 09:11 PM · Further update on the Infeld Red (D & G) - I think they are pretty horrible on my fiddle - (especially the G). I've had them on for 4 days so they will have had about 8 hours playing. Can't wait to replace them.

February 20, 2012 at 03:38 PM · If you look at the price scale of strings you'll notice that in any given set (except PI) the prices usually goes from $G > $D > $A > $E, and Silver > Aluminum, Gold E > Aluminum E > Steel E, and Synthetic core > Steel core. And depending on retailer Pirastro > Thomastik > Larsen > Warchal > Corelli > D'Addario.

For me I use Zyex G and Alliance Vivace A as its cheap, long lasting and it's pretty good for my violin. They both hold their pitch really well. In the summer I use Helicore A, as its cheap and has good response. I fork out a bit more for a Larsen Tzigane D. I have yet to find a more suitable D for my instrument. If you eat thru E strings, then get steel E's. They're cheap anyways. I often use Goldbrokat, Gold Label and Hill E. One of my violin whistles on the E so I put aluminum ones on. It seems to like the Eudoxa and Spirocore E. My wallet begs to differ.

Also consider Warchal Brilliant Vintage. They're pretty good bang-for-buck strings in terms of quality/durability vs price.

I personally stay away from Dominant/Evah/Obligato as they dont last as long for they price. Most of the time I pay around $50 for a mixed set and they last quite a bit longer than the 3 I mentioned.

YMMV on sound. But in general string construction and material usually determines how much the strings cost.

October 12, 2012 at 05:18 PM · I actually prefer the Dominant alumnium-wound E, or its Pirastro equivalent. But then I'm really a violist.

I'm now waiting for the men in white coats..

October 12, 2012 at 11:51 PM · I see this thread has been resurrected. Meh, more string talk. Here we go.

I like steel strings; they offer a really smooth, pure, and powerful sound; sort of "raw" and "unfiltered," straight-from-the-violin. I use Spirocore G-D-A, and kind of switch around with the E-string a lot. Goldbrokat, Vision Titatium, and gold Oliv have pleased me most so far. String changes cost me around $50.

Based on my experience, strings under 30 dollars are pretty much unusable, and there's no real *quality* difference between strings above $60 (it's all personal preference from there up). From 30-50, there's a gradient in quality, and it's up to the individual to decide where they draw the line.

The cheapest string I've been able to tolerate are Tonicas (about 35), but they're rough and unresponsive, and go false pretty quickly. Whereas the cheapest string I've had no quality-related complaints about whatsoever are, well, Spirocores (50).

So you're a novice and want to know how much "decent strings" cost, you really have to figure it out yourself; experiment between $30 and $50, that's where you'll find your bearings.

October 13, 2012 at 05:37 PM · My violin had dominants on them to start. The A string just broke on me. Based on what my violin sounded like with the dominants, I went to the obligatos. I really, really love them! The dominants are terrible in comparison... At least on my violin. These two things helped me but should not be taken as a guide because each violin is different:

If you skip to near the end of the youtube video, you can skip all his talking and just hear the strings one after another.

October 13, 2012 at 06:53 PM · I've just returned from a day-long workshop on Mahler 5, which I think most would agree is a major work-out. The Larsen Tzigane set I used performed excellently and did everything I expected of it.

October 14, 2012 at 04:15 PM · I recently replaced the Dominants on my violin when the A string started unraveling. This seems to be the common failure mode for Dominants. My teacher uses Obligatos, but they're twice as expensive - so it's back to a fresh set of Dominants for now. They do work pretty well, and if the E gets too shrill then replacing it with a Pirastro Gold is a cheap and effective fix.

I tried Tonicas on my old cheap violin and they made it ring like never before - but given others' skepticism about them I've been reluctant to try them on my new violin.

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