What are some nice cheap strings that sounds great and affordable?

June 3, 2012 at 02:29 AM · What are some nice cheap strings that sounds great and affordable?I recently came back from camping and my evah pirazzi strings was unfoiling ( my teacher gave me the set of string)and so i changed them and replaced them with Octava perlon strings (which sounds horrible and just not right for me). Any idea which strings to choose which is super afforable and that sounds nice?


June 3, 2012 at 02:45 AM · What price range is considered affordable to you?

Warchal Karneol: $25 at gostrings.com.

June 3, 2012 at 02:55 AM · Dominant with Goldbrokat E should be more affordable than Evah. It has been the choice of many violinists for decades.

June 3, 2012 at 03:04 AM · You can buy Pirastro Tonicas and D'Addario Pro-Arte strings for less than $30 on ebay. They sound quite nice. Dominants are a bit more expensive at around $40.

June 3, 2012 at 04:23 AM · One caution about steel strings; they are higher tension, and if the violin does have any top plate issues, they will be worse with the higher tension.

NOTE: I am not a luthier, so this is my opinion, not necessarily fact.

June 3, 2012 at 04:33 AM · In my opinion the best strings at any price are Dominants with Gold label E.

Cheers Carlo

June 3, 2012 at 05:04 AM · My favorite strings are Dominants (with the aluminum D) and a Jargar forte E or a Westminster heavy E... I've seen more professionals using these strings (with either of those E strings) than any other variety of strings; at least, that's the case here in New York City

What I find, however, is that PI strings, at double the cost of Dominants, actually last three times longer...

June 3, 2012 at 05:13 AM · At the moment I have the Rotosound silver/student set on and to my untrained ear they sound pretty good, and they were under five pounds for the set.

June 3, 2012 at 06:24 AM · I just use electrical wire and get a great sound. £5 lasts me all year if I buy in bulk.

June 3, 2012 at 09:44 AM · Another vote for dominants with gold label E. That combo is hard to beat

June 3, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Anything by D'addario. They are cheaper because they are made in the US, and the Helicore, and Zyex are both good strings.

June 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Well I play many different styles of music and my current set is Red Label E, Warchal Ametyest A, Evah Pirazzi Gold D and G. I don't know what people consider as cheap is? But when I was starting out I had better luck with strings less than Dominants but have a higher quality. Try the Z'Yex by D'Addrio.

June 3, 2012 at 03:02 PM · Having all four steel strings (e.g. Spirocore, Helicore etc.) ideally means a slightly lower-cut bridge so that they are a little nearer the fingerboard. They may be too bright if the violin is already so. After an initial boost, the extra tension tends to dull the instrument.

I confess I don't understand the E problem: I actually prefer the Dominant E (aluminium wound on fine steel) or the Eudoxa equivalent - I like my high notes to sing, not scream.. Or else a plain steel E with a soft steel A to match it. Even on my viola I hate a metal A, but no-one has come to lock me up yet..

I shall look into Peter's suggestion on electrical wire, but I foresee two problems: the wire is made of copper, which has less tensile strength than steel; and they are graded in amperes rather than notes..

June 3, 2012 at 03:15 PM · I use electrical wire 'cause I play high voltage ... it does get hot though when I hit 1,000 volts ...

June 3, 2012 at 03:39 PM · Oh Peter.....:):)

I think you're a highly charged player!

Do you also highly charge for a performance?:):)

Seriously..... I agree with Brian, the PI's last a lot longer than any other string I know of, while still retaining a quality sound.

June 3, 2012 at 04:58 PM · I gave Connolly Music (the U.S. Thomastik distributor) a call a month or two ago, and they said that their PI and Vision Solo strings are supposed to be their longest lasting synthetics (apparently they're based on a similar design), although the PIs are reported to last longer. When I use PIs, I usually prefer the aluminum D, and I swap the A string for a Vision Solo A string, which has more core to the sound..

June 3, 2012 at 04:59 PM · I think Peter was mocking my cheap strings xD

June 3, 2012 at 05:23 PM · Thanks yall! haha i'll consider the dominant with gold label e and the 25 dollars Warchal Karneol set

June 3, 2012 at 06:07 PM · If you like the gold label E, I'd suggest also trying the goldbrokat .26 gauge E... less than half the price, and similar character of sound

June 3, 2012 at 06:23 PM · @ Peter,

I don't like steel strings, so I tend toward monofilament; my preference is Stren Hi-vis Gold.


June 6, 2012 at 02:41 AM · Ahem, this is what I use: ;)

June 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM · I was in the violin shop today and they recommended Hidersine's strings.

June 7, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Pirastro Tonicas are about $33 a set and they are very nice strings. Less expensive than Dominants and I find them to be less metallic and richer. A very good value.

June 7, 2012 at 12:00 PM · I had an unoficial deal with Larsen strings a while back. I believe they are good, and not very expensive. Peter Infeld are very good also, though I am not sure about their prise tag.Also good and affotable are Zyex by D'Addario.

Though it really depents on what fits for your violin, and your tastes better.

August 17, 2012 at 03:29 PM · interesting topic....it's right up in my alley for me (as an accessories geek.) there are many of them out there.

Evah is...one-of-a-kind string IMHO. It sounds just amazingly bright and focused. They are not cheap, but to me worth every penny.

If you want a cheap but good strings....I think "all-round" nylon core strings have more to choose from. I got curious a couple yeas back and have been trying out different strings periodically since then. Here is my take on it....

D'Addario strings like Zyex and Pro-Arte sound pretty good. They are more on the warmer sounding side. So I don't know if you'll like them as a replacement for Evah, but I think they'll make a very good all-round string for many. I think Pro-Arte is one of the most undervalued strings in that sense. Overall, I thought they were very good but since i love Evah, it wasn't my first choice. If you like sweeter sound, then I'd bet you'll like them.

Moving on to Pirastro. Gold Label medium E and Tonica Stark A/D/G combo. A violin maker in FL introduced me to this set. I gotta say this was a real surprise. It's cheap yet feels and sounds very good. Comparing to Dominant, it feels very much the same but with a slightly brighter tone, which I like. Other strings I tried are....Violino. This one is on the warm/dark side. Obligato does sound more like gut but if you can't afford it, this one is pretty darn good. Wondertone Solo was one of the brighter side strings I tried. It's not as bright as Evah but very clean sounding. I tried with a steel core/aluminum wound A, which gave me a nice transition from E. I did like this set a lot.

Now on to Thomastik-Infeld. Vision and Dominant are pretty good for money, not the cheapest nylon strings though nicely rounded for sure. I like strings to have a bit more punch so I'd choose something else. I liked Vision Solo, but..if you ask me to choose Vision Solo or Evah, i'd go for Evah. i mean...only a few bucks difference and Evah is much brighter.

Warchal also had a couple good cheap ones. I tried Karneol and Brilliant. Karneol is much like Dominant. I thought it had a little more punch to it when I needed. So it's a good alternative in that sense, ....yet again, it's probably not an Evah replacement. Brilliant is more like it though. It sounds pretty darn bright. So this might be a good choice for you. The only thing is that I have no idea what the difference between silver and hydronalium D.

Lastly....i recently found "Dogal Capriccio". I can't find much information about it other than they are Italian. It's not cheap but I'm a sucker for new toys...maybe i'll give it a try....(how many drinks do i have to give up to save $70? haha)


August 18, 2012 at 01:24 PM · thanks i found that really helpful. my teach recommended tonica to me i mite try that out.

August 18, 2012 at 05:24 PM · Pirastro Violino

August 19, 2012 at 01:06 PM · Kenneth - different strings sound different on different violins. You now have a recommendation for about every cheap string available. Your best bet is to visit your luthier. S/he can hear your violin with its currents strings and suggest the cheap string most likely to sound good on your particular violin.

August 19, 2012 at 07:08 PM · Kenneth - different strings sound different on different violins. You now have a recommendation for about every cheap string available

Hear, hear!

Lots of people love their Dominants. But on my primary instrument, they don't sound good at all. I've experimented with lots of different strings, and have settled on Warchal Brilliants (not vintage) with a Goldbrokat E for my fiddle, for now.

Warchals sound very good for the money. I like other strings, too -- especially Vision Titanium Solo -- but I can get two set of Warchals for a little more than one set of the Titanium Solos.

August 19, 2012 at 09:05 PM · Hey guys, don't use high tension strings on new and cheap violin as it may cause the neck to wrap. Those new violins, especially, student's violins do not use wood that are properly dried hence it will warp easily if the strings tension are high.

August 27, 2012 at 09:31 AM · I've done a lot of experimentation with strings over the past couple of years, using strings in varying price ranges. If you want a good affordable string, for me the most reliable has been D'Addario Helicore. If you're not a fan of steel core (despite the fact that Helicores are lovely and warm, more synthetic sounding), give Tonicas a try. I have tried them on viola more than violin but they work a treat on a friend's violin which I borrow frequently.

August 29, 2012 at 01:50 AM · Yes! i was thinking of giving Tonica a try. I was also in mind of the helicore steel strings. these two type of strings last for quite a long time.

August 29, 2012 at 06:24 AM · Sometimes when my strings go bad, I find that cleaning the entire string length with alcohol swab rejuvenate the string back to life.

August 29, 2012 at 09:40 AM · Helicores don't last a very long time for me, especially the A string, which I find to have a very fragile winding. I used to use the weich gauge A string in conjunction with Dominant mittel D and G (on the recommendation of Glenn Dicterow), because I wanted a thinner A string under the fingers; I later decided that I much preferred the sound of the Dominant A (which Dicterow also switched back to, later switching to PIs for their sheer longevity).

Whenever you use alcohol on any part of your instrument, remember to keep it well away from the varnish...

I used to use alcohol to clean old strings to keep them going a bit longer, but then a luthier showed me that using steel wool between the bridge and fingerboard would do a much better job of cleaning the string off, if done infrequently.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

2023 Authenticate LA: Los Angeles Violin Shop
2023 Authenticate LA

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop



Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine