Your favorite string combos?

July 24, 2012 at 04:39 AM · I'm curious as to what strings you guys use most often.

What are your favorite strings/combos?

I'm still experimenting, but so far, I've liked:

(In order, liked the most to liked the least)

Dominants + Jargar Forte E - what I mostly use.

Full set Obligatos

PIs + Platinum E

Replies (32)

July 24, 2012 at 07:33 AM · I like g/d/a evah pirazzi with westminster middle E, but wery wolfy on my violin, so I switch the g to larsen tzigane.I recently switched also the a to larsen tzigane, but I am not sure about that... wanna try an steel a soon.

July 24, 2012 at 03:57 PM · Hi,

On the violin that I have now, I use Dominants A-D-G (silver D) and a medium Westminster E. Best blend for this fiddle after trying several possible Es.


July 24, 2012 at 04:09 PM · On violin:

Oliv "stiff" 15.75 pm G, 16.75 pm D, Gamut varnished 14-15.6 pm A (or a Vision Solo A), Jargar medium E

(My very favorite set, but too expensive)

Dominant G, aluminum D, A, Jargar forte E, Westminster heavy E, or PI tin-plated E

(My favorite set that I can actually afford; the Jargar E is my favorite, but I use the other two E strings in certain situations. Most of my friends use this set as well, with Jargar strings.)

PI G, Dominant aluminum D, A, Jargar forte E

(For violins that need a bit more tension on top of the bass bar.)

PI G, aluminum D, Vision Solo A, Jargar forte E

(A very long lasting set; this is the second most popular set used among my peers.)

On viola:

Dominant C, G, and aluminum D with a Jargar A

Vision Solo set, with Jargar A

Spirocore tungsten C, Helicore G and D (or Jargar D), Jargar A

On cello (which I do not play, but this is what I've seen work best on well adjusted instruments):

Spirocore Tungsten C and G, medium gauge, ALWAYS; works well with:

Jargar A and D, heavy gauge

Jargar superior A and D, heavy gauge (possibly the strongest, most powerful A and D strings for cello)

Jargar A with Helicore or Permanent D, for cellos with a thin sounding D string that need a better transition between A and G

Passione A and D, for cellists preferring a warmer, lusher sound (whereas Jargar strings are bold and clear)

July 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM · I'm cheap so this is my favorite (economy) set

G - Zyex lt

D - Zyex Alu lt

A - Helicore mt

E - Goldbrokat mt

Other Favorites

E - Winter/Spring - mt Eudoxa/Golden Spiral Alu/Spirocore

E - Summer/Autumn - mt Goldbrokat/Gold Label/Westminster

G - Brilliant Vintage

D - Brilliant Vintage

A - Russian A

G - Larsen Tzigane lt

D - Larsen Tzigane lt

A - Alliance Vivace / Helicore mt

Will try list

-Larsen steel core A

-Eudoxa/Chromcor A

-Eudoxa G/D

-Oliv/PI when I feel ballin

July 24, 2012 at 06:13 PM · The Larsen steel A and the Spirocore A are my two favorite steel A strings. I used to use the Helicore light A with wound gut G and D or Dominant G and D, but I decided that the sound was a bit too delicate.

A couple of my teachers use the Prim steel A string, heavy gauge, which I haven't tried myself, having switched back to using synthetic A strings.

July 26, 2012 at 08:52 PM · I use:

Eudoxa G (Silver)

Eudoxa D (Alum.)

Prim Steel A

Goldbrokat E

I also like to use:

Gold Label G

Gold Label D

Helicore A

Obligato Gold E

Evah Pirazzis w/ Obligato Gold plated E

July 26, 2012 at 11:21 PM · Vision solo titanium with A Jargar Superior.

July 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM · I think for a string combo, you can't get much better than Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Small combo, but still...

July 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM · Pirastro "Stiff" Eudoxa G 16.25

Pirastro "Stiff" Eudoxa D 17.25

Larsen Steel Core A (Available in "Medium" Only)

Pirastro Oliv Goldstahl E Stark

The tension of the Eudoxas is high, but the feel under the fingers is actually a bit less than "medium", because they are wound gut (many synthetic core mediums will actually feel tighter than these Eudoxa "thick" gauges.)

I am going to be trying some other Es these days (have another replacement Oliv E, but will be trying some others today), but something tells me I'll be back to the Oliv E, because it really sounds good; both powerful, and a very beautiful, enchanting tone.

I have however also used and liked Goldbrokat (medium, heavy, and extra heavy), and Westminster 27.5-I would no doubt use these in the future without reservation. I am curious about plenty others Es out there as well.

I have certainly used MANY other strings, but the above combination seems to work pretty well on my violin. Since my violin was repaired on February this year, I would need to try most other sets again, as my violin sounds better and responds differently to strings right now. The combo above have yielded the best subjective results so far-a powerful, warm sound that is not lacking in brightness at all but is also not all about edge.

(As far as steel As go, I did like Prim Orchestra A a lot-less bright then the medium, and more powerful-, but find the tone of the Larsen a much better fit and transition between the D and E strings-the Larsen is pricey for a steel A, though. The medium Prim sounds just fine, perhaps slightly bright, but not overly so-the response is incredible, though. Tension-wise, the Larsen is between the feel of Prim medium and Orchestra, much higher in tension than medium Prim, but slightly less tension than the Orchestra Prim. The tone is much, much warmer than both Prims-it's hard to tell it's a steel string on an open A.)

August 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Helicore medium G, D, A, Evah Pirazzi E (gold plated)

Have tried many combinations and also like Kaplan Golden Spiral Solo G and D, Helicore medium A and Jargar Forte E.

About to try Pirastro Flexocor-Permanents on G, D and A and will update with how I like them in due course.

August 31, 2012 at 01:40 AM · Most recently:

evah pirazzi 26 gauge gold-plated

vision solo a

vision solo d silver

vision titanium g

Nice bass ring, focused sound, deep fundamentals, sweet highs, and good color modulation on my medium-arched L. Bisiach sr violin.

Prior experiments in the past year switching out combinations of these:


Evah Golds




Infeld blue and red




I've tried practically every string combination with decades of trial and error. I now have a nice "string lab" drawer to fulfill my most recent tone whims, in addition to reading all of these string posts. Thanks for all of your input over the years. (Puts on white coat, glasses, and wrings hands)

October 25, 2012 at 09:39 PM · So the Flexocor-Permanents came off after a month or so. I didn't dislike them particularly; didn't really prefer them to Helicores though, it didn't provide all the colours I was looking for. I would reuse them on a muddy sounding violin to clear the sound up, but for now they're not what I'm looking for. I'm using Wondertone Solos with the steel variant A at the moment, and I really like them. They give more depth of sound, and even though they're not thought of as giving a particularly complex sound, I am able to produce more colours from them.

October 26, 2012 at 01:57 AM · Hi,

I recently switched to a medium Goldbrokat E (still using the same Dominant combination on the bottom three). I find that the balance is better now on my instrument. Since I had posted above, I thought I should update here.


October 27, 2012 at 06:52 AM · My violin sounds best with these E strings:

Pirastro Wondertone Solo Silvery Steel E

Goldbrokat Steel E

October 27, 2012 at 08:58 AM · On my rather dull-sounding violin:

- G,D,A Thomastik PI,

- E Golbrokat

replacing all 4 Dominants.

I prefer wound aluminium E's, (including the Dominant E with an appropriate bow stroke ..)

The PI tin-plated E was louder, and clearer at the top end, but suffocated the other strings.

On my rather nasal viola:

- ALL 4 Obligatos, replacing the warm but rather monochrome Aricores

I hate a booming steel C and a squealing steel A!

On a synthetic A, I get clear, singing tones right to the end of the fingerboard.

It is a big mistake to expect all 4 strings to feel the same way under the bow..

October 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM · Heres what I have on right now:

Evah Pirazzi Gold GDA

Obligato Gold E - stark.

This is one of the only sets that bring out the best in my violin. I stumbled on the E by accident.(friend loaned it to me when mine broke) Was never a fan of Gold E's but I feel the Obligato E paired with the Evah Golds is quite the perfect match.

July 22, 2016 at 05:39 PM ·

After so many hours of trial and testing and $$$ too.... I finally found a combo that pleases me big time and it is as rewarding as wild:

E - Cantiga medium (Savarez)

A - Tricolore 80 heavy gauge varnished (Gamut)

D - Brilliant Vintage (Warchal)

G - Brilliant Vintage (Warchal)

The sound is immensely rich and colour possibilities are unparalleled. Projection is effortless and resonance is hard to beat alike.

This combo defies many cliches and will work well if your instrument reacts to low tension best.

Durability is about 120+ hours of prime sound and can be extended if exchanging the A and E up to 160 hours. The A and E are not expensive by the way.


July 22, 2016 at 06:54 PM · Warchal Brilliants are my favorite.

July 22, 2016 at 09:23 PM · G, D: Thomastik Dominant

A: Warchal Brilliant

E: Warchal Amber

July 23, 2016 at 04:44 AM · Plain gut E, A and D, wound gut G. :)

July 23, 2016 at 06:48 AM · Now playing Eudoxa Gut (stiff) G and D, Dlugolecki Varnished Plain Gut A, Goldbrokat E.

July 23, 2016 at 10:08 AM · Gold Label GDA/Hill "Special Steel" E Medium (ironic, I know.)

July 23, 2016 at 10:38 AM · Since I post above, I should update on this old thread... For the past two years, I have been using the same bottom three (Dominants w/Silver D) but am using the Pirastro Gold Label E. Classic combo and it's been great.


July 23, 2016 at 10:38 AM · Oops! Seems to have double-posted...

July 23, 2016 at 02:14 PM · Currently using Dominant G, D (Alum), A

E: Gold label, Goldbrokat, PI Platinum

Christian, what happened to the Jargar forte combo with dom? Thought from ur previous review commented that it's probably the best combo for dom? What triggered the move to gold label?

July 23, 2016 at 02:16 PM · I play on three fiddles and split up practice/play sessions about equally each day among them. Each instrument has its own string combo. No real favorite, since I like different strings for different purposes, but these recent combos have worked very well:

1. 1869: E - Goldbrokat medium. A-D-G - Infeld Red.

2. 1883: E-A-D-G: Eudoxa. D-G are stiff versions.

3. 1921: E - Goldbbrokat medium. A - Vision Solo. D - Peter Infeld aluminum. G - Infeld Red.

I find the 1921 fiddle setup better for solo repertoire. The 1869 and 1883 setups work better for small chamber material and give these instruments a viola sound in the contralto range, which I really like.

July 26, 2016 at 08:56 PM · PI: G & D (aluminum)

Vision Solo: A

Jargar medium: E

These sound better than Dominants (aluminum D) with a Jargar medium E, although if I was on a budget I'd go for the latter set as they are significantly cheaper than the former and sound almost as good. I used an Olive gold E for many years, but after trying the Jargar based on recommendations here I've concluded it sounds better (although I didn't like the Forte after trying it out).

July 26, 2016 at 10:24 PM · Economical:

Infeld Red E + Warchal Amethyst G,D, and A is interchangeable in between the two sets.

Best Yet:

Warchal Amber E + Obligato G,D and A.

I am yet to try most of the higher-end strings

July 31, 2016 at 06:15 AM · G D A are dominants and I use anot evah pirazzi goldsteel e.

July 31, 2016 at 09:53 AM · on my Hofner copy of guarneri

full set of obligato or vision solo.

on my copy of Maggini famous combination of dominant g-d-a +golden E or Hill E.

for performances: E.P gold g-d-a +eudoxa stark.

July 31, 2016 at 11:51 AM · Kevin: I changed violins a while back, and it can't take the weight and tension of the Jargar Forte. The Pirastro E gives it the flexibility that it needs to respond, resonate and have the best range of colours.

July 31, 2016 at 12:44 PM · On one instrument, just moved on a bit from an all-PI setup (platinum E, silver D) to a Passione heavy A and Pirazzi Gold G (silver wrap). More warmth but not much loss in clarity-- and amazing power.

For another, I had done PI E and A, EP D and G. Not at all bad, but I am currently trying Passione heavy ADG, and experimenting with Goldbrokat 27 E.

Next on the docket for either instrument is Vision Solo. Tried Warchal Brilliant and Brilliant Vintage on the second instrument. Liked the color and power, but didn't quite understand the overtones, which made it harder to play in tune.

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