Violin String Suggestions

June 27, 2016 at 02:06 PM · Hello everyone!

I'm new to the site, but not to the violin! I have 15 years of experience, though I have only experienced two string types, Dominants, and Helicores. This upcoming school year, I will be participating in my university's string ensemble, and I'm looking for a good replacement.

I have three violins, but the particular instrument I'd like to change has a very beautiful warm, viola-like G and D. The Dominants just aren't cutting it on that end of the spectrum. It also has a very loud, but (with the Dominants) lifeless E. In short, Dominants don't seem to provide a balanced sound, nor do they take full advantage of the beauty of this violin's range. As far as Helicores, they just seem a bit too harsh for my musical tastes. I really love the deepness of this instrument. In fact, none of my violins are overly bright.

I have been reading on this site and others, and I know that the two most common responses to this question are 1) every violin reacts differently, and 2) ask your luthier. Let it be known that in the area I live, the last reputable luthier passed away this past year. Needless to say, I no longer have access to his wealth of knowledge and skills.

So, I humbly come to you for your expert suggestions. I should also include that I live in the Deep South of the US. The climate is wild and the humidity is wilder. In addition to playing in the string ensemble, I also play several weddings a year. I would like strings that are versatile enough for each setting.

Tall order, I know, but thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Replies (53)

June 27, 2016 at 02:19 PM · Have you asked your teacher or even a reasonably skilled friend to play your violin for you? Or is your experience limited to how your violin sounds under your ear? The reason I ask is because some "harshness" under the ear is to be expected. Your violin will sound very different from a distance of six feet (or sixty).

If your violin has unusual tonal characteristics, it will be difficult to make a recommendation in this kind of setting. But, I would say based on what you wrote that one possibility could be Pirastro Obligato.

Another thing to remember is that most people are not really satisfied with the E string that comes with a set. For this reason places like Shar offer the most common sets with different E strings at the set-of-strings price. Fortunately E strings are cheap enough and "break in" quickly enough that you can experiment quite widely without going completely broke. You could buy a few E strings and give each one 2-3 weeks' test.

There are some folks on here who will tell you that they have a different make/model on *each* of their four strings. Heaven knows how they arrived at such a configuration, but the answer to "which strings" is invariably "whatever works for you and your violin." Sorry to say that without the advice of an expert who can listen to your violin "up close and personal," you're destined to be doing some rather costly and tedious experimentation.

June 27, 2016 at 02:20 PM ·

June 27, 2016 at 02:27 PM · Before spending any money on string safari, pay a visit to a good luthier to confirm that:

1. the bridge is of proper shape and condition

2. the sound post is placed properly, has good contact points and is of proper length.

Once the above is confirmed, try different E.

..."lifeless E. " sounds just like the one included in set of Dominants.

June 27, 2016 at 04:56 PM · I have one violin that Passiones don't work well for (the G is especially muddy), and another that they're great on (richness and clarity throughout, including at the top of the G). On the violin they work on, they have plenty of projection -- still tons of volume at the back of a recital-hall when it's violin-plus-piano, fine for a Baroque concerto and concertmaster solos, and although I won't have a chance to test this for a few more weeks, I suspect also fine for bigger Romantic works solo with orchestra.

Passiones are an expensive experiment, though. Obligatos might be a better to try first.

Note that a lot of balance in the sound is not the strings. It's the soundpost. I would have the violin adjusted until the strings are balanced properly, and then tweak with strings.

June 27, 2016 at 07:12 PM · I agree with Lydia and Rocky about getting the sound post and bridge checked, but I also note that the OP said he doesn't have ready access to a luthier and sound post adjustments are not DIY, at least not in my hands.

June 27, 2016 at 10:54 PM · I'm not really sure I understood of what you are trying to achieve. If the violin seems imbalanced to you (and there is no local luthier) the Obligato could force it into shape, till you have the time to pay a visit to a luthier...Sometimes I found that when Dominants did not really work, the Corelli Crystal did it.

By not "cutting" do you mean that you need some clarity/power in the D & G? That way, you could look some higher tension composite strings. Evah Pirazzi (hate them or love them - if you like to dig in with your right hand you may find them great but if you prefer softer touches I'm not sure you'll like them) Vision Titanium Solo (usually vivid and quick to respond, maintaining a clarity up high in the fingerboard) or the PI which seems to be a powerful and flexible string. All these three plus the Obligato, have a significantly larger "tone" than the Dominant and usually take more pressure easily.

June 27, 2016 at 11:21 PM · Thank you all for your replies.

Firstly to Paul: You are right about the harshness under the ear and getting someone else to play. In fact, in order to learn to work with different instruments, etc, my teacher has frequently swapped instruments with me during lessons. I certainly will try a different E, but given that I'm not a fan of the sounds of the other strings anyway, I thought I'd do a small amount of experimentation. Nothing like finding a different brand for all 4 strings though!

To Rocky: As I said, my luthier (and good friend) passed away in 2015. I'd rather leave that sort of troubleshooting to someone with more knowledge and skill than I have. Of course, I still have to find that someone.

To Lydia: I have read good things about both the Passiones as well as Obligatos. I am concerned that Obligatos would have a tendency to be muddy, though. Passiones are slightly out of my budget as well.

And finally to Hermes: You are exactly right about the D & G. More clarity would be nice, which is one of my concerns with Obligatos. I do like a softer touch. I had the opportunity to play on some Eudoxas one time, and they were a dream on the fingers, though I know that's not going to happen given the humidity around here.

Thank you all again! I know the lack of a luthier makes this whole process a good bit more difficult. I hope one will show up soon, or at least that I can find one within a reasonable distance.

As far as Obligatos are concerned (those seem to be most recommended at the moment), have any of you had any experience with them creating a muddied sound? Also what is the lifespan like on a set?

June 27, 2016 at 11:48 PM · I have a fairly dark/warm sounding violin, previously had obligatos but just put on evah pirazzi (green) and am very happy with them.

June 28, 2016 at 02:00 AM · I also use Passione, not the solo.

June 28, 2016 at 02:19 AM · I use the regular. I've never tried the solos, but since I'm looking for less tension and not more, and I have plenty of power, I haven't done so.

June 28, 2016 at 03:01 AM · Synoxa (still nylon, but different tone quality-clear and nice, easy on the fingers), Evah Pirazzi Weich for more power without losing too much brightness. Evah Pirazzi Medium (regular) also work, though a tad less bright, slightly tense, and more "throaty" (to be fair, the Weich is very powerful too). The Synoxa E is the equivalent of a Gold Label E... for some reason, my violin and/or my taste doesn't get along with the Pirastro "Silvery Steel" option so commonly included in their recent sets, including Evah Pirazzi-I found the medium Hill "Special" E to be an extremely beautiful (and even powerful) match with the EPs.

On a budget, maybe Tonica Weichs, or the very good Warchal Brilliant variant (regular, or Vintage for less tension, of course.) Maybe the Tonicas will be "too weak" if you find the Dominants lacking in oomph, but the Brilliant do have power.

Also you can experiment with Es only, and listen to what happens. Sometimes another medium E string brightens the whole instrument, other times a heavy E "wakes up" the others (though the opposite is also common.)

Had to add that, to be fair, Dominants can be powerful, bright strings, so maybe the violin does indeed need a check-up (whenever possible-my condolences). Though some claim the Silver D is "warmer", in my violin it always is brighter and clearer speaking in the top-most register for all brands, so maybe you can try a Silver wound D, if you don't want to quit on Dominant and your violin likes them. In your particular case, wouldn't recommend heavy Dominants, not just due to tension, but because you have deep sounding G/Ds, and it may darken the tone too much (though you never know.)

The Titanium Solo were nice, though the tone is more powerful, rather than just clear. They are not muddy, but certainly not super bright as far as high frequencies are concerned.

(My gut feeling was that you may find my usual gut-core recommendations too "unstable" for what you do, which is why I didn't mention any.)

June 28, 2016 at 01:12 PM · When I see such (great indeed) discussions, I remember how pricey the string chase could be... :(

@ Ian : Regarding the Obligatos, it's not the muddiest string out there. In fact in many instruments they could have a somehow brilliant character, from a distance. Pirastro themselves are marketing them as the "overall" synthetic string nowadays, or something like that. They leave the extra-warm etc adjectives for the Violino model.

When I changed from Dominants to Obligatos I found that they where considerably louder. At least under the ear. I was also afraid that they would be muddy. They where not at all. As most strings they tend to mellow down a little after some time. They are a quality string set, (yet I found the Gold E that comes with them great sounding, supplementing the set, but whistling under my personal bowing).

I think that they are more powerful than the Dominant, and less harsh, especially at the first weeks. I second Adalberto's review of the VTS. And I would add that with the VTS, you cannot hide. Whatever you do, you hear it. The Obligatos have a kind of a "safety net".However, the only problem I found with the Obligatos (even in dark violins) is that VTS and Evah Pirazzi gave me (and me in particular, others could disagree ) a greater dynamic range which I really needed when playing with a piano, or solo pieces. Their left hand feel however, is superb.

If you like a softer touch the VTS could be a better solution than the Evah Pirazzi. I also found they have a gut - like feature, more intense than other brands. They response to bow speed (than just weight and power) is magnificent for a synthetic.

To be honest when I think of Obligatos, richness and not clarity crosses my mind. With your last post, asking for clarity (are you sure? there is no way back hehe) I would lean towards the Visions. Give them a week at least, to form their sound before you decide. Then if you could try the other vision models, according to your taste and if you need small modifications.

June 29, 2016 at 06:59 PM · Personally I love evah pirazzi, they can be a bit pricy but worth it. On my violin the evah pirazzi E doesn't sound too great though so I use a pirastro gold E string with the evah pirazzi G D and A.

I agree with many of the people who have already responded though that you should have someone look at it and play it for you so that you can hear what it sounds like. Also if you take it to a violin shop then they should be able to help you find the right strings to put on your violin :)

June 30, 2016 at 04:32 AM · I didn't like Dominants. They are well-rounded strings all together, but I was unable to find anything special about them. Then I switched to Obligato, the strings I've been using since then.

Obligato is probably the closest synthetic string to your description. You could also try some gut strings: Passiones, Olive, or maybe Chorda - the latter are relatively cheap.

June 30, 2016 at 10:10 AM · @ Gabriel D.

Pirazzi is not gut :) Maybe you meant the Olive?

June 30, 2016 at 10:40 AM · As I've said before, I find Obligatos add character and richness to the sound, which can really help some violins. If your violin has a lot of character and richness to start with, Obligatos might be considered overkill IMHO.

June 30, 2016 at 06:11 PM · Thanks again, guys!

@Reebecca: I 100% agree with you on taking my violin to a violin shop... HOWEVER the aside from my luthier friend who has moved on from this world, we only have what I call "one-size fits all" music shops. The reality is that violinists are hard to find. At my university I am one of maybe 8, and at the slightly larger university just a little further away, they recruit international students. They do this, not because those students are any better, but because they can't find enough students to fill their program. All of that said, I don't think the demand is high enough to have a specified violin shop, so we instrumentalists are limited to the knowledge of those around us as well as our personal knowledge. Regrettably, to say the least :)

@Gabriel: I don't believe (and I could be wrong in saying this) my violin is properly set up for gut strings. I'm fairly certain that you don't need/shouldn't have fine tuners on all strings with guts. All of my violins have 4 fine tuners, however.

@Lyndon: Thanks for your input as that could be a concern. This a very definitely an instrument with a personality. I don't want to overstate that personality, but hopefully to enhance it.

June 30, 2016 at 07:58 PM · As a player with 15 years of experience, you should DEFINITELY not be using 4 fine tuners, period. Arguably you might if you were a fiddler using only steel strings, but even many fiddlers don't have that set-up. You should have only an E-string fine tuner.

July 1, 2016 at 01:42 PM · Lydia may have spotted something really interesting. Ian, is there any chance you are using removable fine tuners? If so, altering the after length that much usually complicates things, and messes up with the sound of your instrument. Before changing a string brand, you could experiment with a wooden tailpiece, with a fine tuner in the E (or temporarily in the E & A if your A peg is not in a good shape). Even if you are using a composite or metallic tailpiece with built in fine tuners, chances are that you will find a wooden tailpiece more suitable.

Changing tailpieces would be fun, and would cost less than most string types we suggested. It is not something that can be done only by a luthier, and you can find many information online. Plus, chances are your violin will feel lighter (and in my opinion look better). Just make sure you get some spare tail guts as well :)

July 1, 2016 at 01:56 PM · Ian,

as you can see, there are more opinions than fish(es) in the ocean...

.... to add one more:

often forgotten combination, meant to compensate for lack of ballance, is

"Viennese Melange": (Infeld Red G, Infeld Blue D, Dominant A, E01)

July 1, 2016 at 06:38 PM · @Lydia: Thank you so much for your opinion. That is something that I will definitely look into.

@Hermes: I'm glad you expounded on the reasoning behind a different tailpiece. In my area it's common for instrumentalists to have both. One reason they seem to keep the fine tuners is because of outdoor playing and needing to make a small tweak in song without potentially overcorrecting. This particular violin had steel strings on it previously, which is the main reason it has that type of tailpiece. Your posts are always quite informative, thank you :)

@Rocky: So I have learned haha! Thank you for giving me something else to "chew on".

July 3, 2016 at 12:31 AM · Lydia, what do you think about this or, why I don't trust anything!

I have run 2 sets of trial E's ( Concord, Quinn ) with some winners now and then.

However, I also have exactly 12 bows and I can usually make any string configuration sound better.

Should I continue with the string hunt or contemplate bows?

P S. The violin(s) usually want a different bow even every few days!

What an unstable platform!

July 3, 2016 at 06:36 AM · Serious overkill. Beginners should pick one violin and one bow, in my opinion, and stick with them. Rather than spending money on a whole bunch of things that aren't very satisfactory, buy one thing at a higher quality. Experiment with strings until you find a decent combination, but the primary variance in the sound of an instrument is the player. Players without stable technique are much more likely to sound different from day to day.

Experienced players sometimes need different instruments for explicitly different use cases -- for outdoor playing, for electrification, for orchestra vs solo work, etc. Many experienced players also like different bows for different use cases -- a bow for dangerous circumstances (pit playing, orchestra work that requires col legno, etc.), a bow for lighter elegant work vs. heavier playing, a Baroque bow, etc. But at that point in time you're looking at clear differentiation for different purposes, or explicitly collecting.

So I would say: Neither. Pick a decent set of strings. Pick one bow. Go forth and improve as a player. The instrument really isn't all that temperamental.

July 3, 2016 at 08:48 AM · In my opinion, if you want bright and clear, go for PI strings. I would describe them as Dominats with extra power and colours, plus an overall wider range of dynamics.

Personally I don't like how the Evahs feel under the fingers, and in my experience, although they are both bright and powerful, they lack some colours and the ability play very softly.

BTW I agree with Lydia.

Cheers Carlo

July 3, 2016 at 11:59 AM · Dog gone it! Its always me, rarely the tools.

Stay pawsitive,


July 3, 2016 at 12:03 PM · How many strings are falsely accused for lack of a bow ?

Many, sad to say!

Woe is me !

I can't imagine life with less than 3 bows and all the innocent strings I want !

It works.

July 3, 2016 at 02:05 PM · Nothing wrong with having 3 bows (or 50, for that matter) as long as you have a known purpose for each (or you just like-and can afford-collecting them, which is fair.) It can be too much if it becomes an expensive endeavor to find an ideal sound that may not be currently provided by either instrument or player (or both)-in which case, we'll just sound better eventually, with much careful and loving practice work, and in some cases, an instrument upgrade along the road.

I believe that what was meant above by Ms. Leong is that having a solid, rather stable foundation in which to work up one's skills is preferable to finding "patchwork" solutions in the way of bow AND strings. The "gear" is certainly MORE than relevant, but most decent "professional" options will work well, from rosin to strings to good value bows (and I say this as a frequent experimenter myself.) It's why many teachers and luthiers recommend many of the "tried and true" solutions-they may not be the "best" (then again, they COULD be in particular cases), but they tend to work just fine and provide a stable platform for further playing improvement.

String choice is nevertheless relevant, as while a not-so-good bow will probably make "better" strings sound worse, it's actually much more reasonable cost-wise to try strings that works for both instrument and bow than purchasing bows that "fit" the strings (apologies for stating the obvious.)

In short, too many variables end up mucking up the testing process, especially on top of any particular player's possibly "unstable" playing (no offense meant, of course, as we are all improving at any level.)

Feel free to disagree, of course. And I know the temptation to keep trying new things is strong in many of us-it may be any individual's personality issue (just watch it, lest you become broke.)

July 3, 2016 at 03:03 PM · Hear, hear...

July 3, 2016 at 03:08 PM · If a bow upgrade could make less expensive strings satisfactory, there could be an economic case over the long term. Pretty sketchy. I also like trying new equipment.

July 4, 2016 at 02:08 PM · I think what Darlene says is just perfect,,for Darlene if not the rest of us. After practicing for an hour to create the perfect tone on a note in a phrase and knowing that switching bows would help, your mind would nag continuously until you tried it. I stepped on Lydia's side of the fence and use Fiddlerman's Carbon bow exclusively which forces improvement in technique if I want a better tone. But then I just put on the Avant Garde A string and now the C note rings well.

July 6, 2016 at 03:33 PM · The attempt to define a violin in terms of discrete variables is basically futile because there are too many variables and they are all happening at one time. Any given violin string of any construction and tension will likely sound different on different violins. Etc, etc. The hope to quantify is doomed.

This leaves us with the best of real possibilities. Playing the violin is an art, not an exercise. It is also not a spoken language.

My bows represent extra degrees of freedom, not art or even good music, however, I'm stuck with using a bow and I'm not even particularly fond of them.

August 12, 2016 at 02:46 AM · (Shame on me, I'm hijacking this topic instead of starting a new one!)

I was hoping to get some suggestions for strings to try on a violin I'm trying out before I go and spend a fortune trying out strings aimlessly. I understand that strings performance can vary significantly from one violin to another, but perhaps with a list of the 'symptoms', folks here with experience on various strings can make some recommendations! :)

I first tried Dominants, but that made the sound very muddy, with exception of the G, the G sounded rather nice. But the projection was low, volume was low, it was just not good.

Then I tried my current favorites and default go-to strings, Zyex, and there was a dramatic improvement on volume and projection and the ringing of the violin, but it sounds painfully plain, with nothing to the tone. It was the first time I experienced how many people have described Zyex strings before: Loud but uninteresting.

Tried Tonicas, and while there's more warmth to them than the Dominants, it's still muddy, and the volume is unimpressive.

And last I tried Helicore, and they sound even more plain than Zyex, though they would be great for some Irish fiddling. ;)

I believe this is a naturally bright instrument, which I don't mind, but I would like some warmth to the brightness, lots of ringing and volume and projection, not too crazy on overtones but with some complexity to them. ...and I don't like Evah Pirazzi. ;)


August 12, 2016 at 03:40 AM · Try plain gut as people did three hundred years ago.

August 12, 2016 at 04:49 AM · Sounds like Vision Titanium Solo strings (or the Solo variety, not Titanium), Fox, from your description. I would recommend others, but it seems you are going after power above any other consideration (which is fine, BTW-your choice.) These are less bright than EP, but still pack quite a huge sonic punch under the ear (though I don't think EPs are really the brightest strings out there-they have a low mid warmth to them lacking in many other strings.)

I do think that Dominants are not necessarily muddy or weak (they are rather clear and reasonably powerful IME), but every violin and player's preferences are different, of course.

Darkhorse option would be Synoxa, but if you found Dominants lacking in the volume dept., maybe you will also find them lacking. Very good, clear, and strong set, however, and not really identical to Dominants. Very beautiful sound, and most certainly not "muddy" (not a super "warm" string, but not a brittle tone either.)

Warchal Brilliant/Brilliant Vintage. Good "power" sets. There are also many other possibly good newer options for synthetics I haven't tried yet.

Wound gut, I would recommend something like Oliv to achieve what I think you are trying to do. I don't think gut is necessarily weaker than synthetics, and they do last a very long while. Alternatively, Passione Solo. But then, $$$ for both options. Oliv can be very powerful on many violins, but even the cheaper Gold Label ones I am using have huge reserves of power. I have used the Oliv, and can vouch for their power, overtones, resonance, and "brightness meets warmth" tone (medium thickness... I LOVE the Oliv Silver D, which can save you money if going the Oliv route.)

Rather obvious, but remember to use medium or even lower tension if you want to avoid muddiness/lack of clarity-often low tension synthetics are not that less powerful and tend to speak very clearly.

Though plain gut is an option, I don't think it should be the rule for all, unless trying to achieve a specific effect or replicate some music in particular. It's OK to love and appreciate those options, but I wouldn't generally recommend them for most players. Now, more modern plain gut options like Tricolore, etc. I can get behind.

Finally, string choices ARE a compromise-the mythical string that is super loud, but also tame when needed, bright and warm, sublimely responsive, rich "like gut", etc. doesn't really exist-you have to weigh in your priorities and choose among the options accordingly. The closest to the ideal would be gut, but I admit not everybody is prepared nowadays to deal with their relatively few cons.

August 12, 2016 at 05:45 AM · Why is power your top priority? Are you looking for pure loudness under the ear, decibels produced, or projection, and if it's projection, under what circumstances?

I don't think most players are well-served by focusing on power, whether it's in violin choice, set-up, or strings. Players benefit from the accessibility of a broad spectrum of colors, richness in overtones (more complexity tends to lead to easier intonation), and resonance that makes it easier to sustain a musical phrase. You also want to be easily hear yourself in a group, but that doesn't really require power being a priority.

You've already tried to strings that most people turn to when they're on a quest for raw power (which often doesn't necessarily equate to good projection). You could try Larsens, high-tension versions of other string brands, Peter Infelds, and Visions in their various types, but it's all something of a crapshoot.

August 12, 2016 at 08:14 AM · Power! ...POWER! *maniacal laughter* ...did I say that out loud or just think it? Erhm... Anyway,...

Power isn't the top priority, otherwise I'd be happy with the Zyex. I see now it does come off like that's what I'm after on my previous post, but no, I want power AND a pretty tone. The emphasis on the 'power' aspects was because I'm getting none of it with some strings, or all of it but nothing else with the others. I'm trying to find that sweet spot combination middle ground, and the strings I have at hand aren't providing it. And I didn't want to go buying different strings aimlessly, so I asked for some suggestions. :)

I've been wondering about the Vision series. And I have also been aching to try gut strings. I'm thinking I'll see which ones I can get a better deal on and hope for the best! ;)

August 12, 2016 at 09:49 AM · Dominants tend to make every good violin sound decent, so if they don't sound good on your violin, I would wonder about the violin, not the strings, there are strings that sound better than Dominants on some violins, but Dominants are universal string that usually pulls at least 80% of the potential out of any violin IMHO.

August 12, 2016 at 10:35 AM · Dadario Amo or Vivo perhaps?

Check out

August 12, 2016 at 01:30 PM · I agree with Lyndon. Also, I suspect that if your violin sounds muddy with Dominants, it's going to be even worse with gut strings.

August 12, 2016 at 01:39 PM · Thank you Lydia, along with Carlo, you seem to be the only people willing to risk their reputation by agreeing with me on anything!!! LOL

August 12, 2016 at 02:00 PM · Maybe a setup problem, or perspective/personal preference-I just don't see Dominants as muddy, and if anything, they could be a bit richer and/or warmer, though the tone is generally good and even "iconic" at this point (a sort of general tone most of us are very familiar with.)

As far as gut is concerned, he should use the brighter options, as even though Eudoxa are extremely rich and beautiful sounding, they may be darker than what he or his violin prefers (some classic Eudoxa lovers dislike Oliv for being "too modern" or "synthetic like", much like the usual qualms about modern Passiones.) Many great players of old used Eudoxa, but they had amazing violins-though I also honestly doubt most violins will sound THAT bad with Eudoxas. Plus I don't think he will find Eudoxas "powerful" enough, even though they can project well.

(I think players are not that used to gut anymore, and they have to go through an adjustment period which many don't tolerate well, and thus quit on them-which is also fair, but a pity at times.)

August 12, 2016 at 02:06 PM · in the not so common case that I get in a genuine 200 year old violin, Eudoxas are a serious option if I'm not going for max volume, but rather quality of tone.

August 12, 2016 at 05:32 PM · The thing about gut is that it responds slowly, at least for typical modern bow technique. On a very responsive violin, this isn't an issue. On an instrument that already tends to be muddy, I think it'll just go swampy.

Lyndon, I'd bet that you might see good results with Warchal Brilliant Vintage on old instruments that want less tension.

August 12, 2016 at 05:42 PM · Thank you Lydia, I've never tried Warchal, I've heard some people say they don't last that long, but the same is said about Evahs and Obligato, both of which I like tonally. I'm a big fan of Tonica on basic instruments, I'm getting them for $25/set, hard to beat that.

August 12, 2016 at 05:54 PM · most of the strings I've had good results from come from Pirastro.

August 12, 2016 at 10:15 PM · Warchal is very long-lasting, actually. Definitely more longevity than Evah Pirazzi or EP Gold.

August 12, 2016 at 10:19 PM · That's good to know, I take your word for it Lydia, My wholesaler has not been carrying Warchal, but my catalog is three years old, I'm sure they must sell Warchal by now, I'll look into the pricing etc.

August 12, 2016 at 11:25 PM · Warchals deteriorate slowly rather than going all at once, which often happens with EPs and EP Golds. The Warchal Amber E string is also the only E string I've ever used which lasted for a good six months on my violin without going false (I just changed it routinely, it never failed), whereas some property of my sweat or technique typically kills E strings in 2 to 6 weeks.

August 13, 2016 at 11:40 PM · Infeld PIs decay slowly and have a lot of brilliance in overtones. Expensive but worth considering. By comparison, EPs sound OK on the right fiddle until they sound awful.

August 13, 2016 at 11:40 PM · duplicate-- unreliable wifi connection.

August 25, 2016 at 02:20 AM · So I have tried the Vision Solo Titanium strings, and I love them!

On this violin, they are sweet, not overly complex but very interesting, and yes, they have power! But they aren't over the top; feels like there is a reserve of power that I can tap into instead of it being always on, which is just what I wanted! :)

I don't like the E very much, though. I might go back to the Zyex E. Gonna give it a few more days to get used to it or sick of it.

August 25, 2016 at 03:12 AM · Fox, have you tried Warchal Ametyst or Infeld Red?

They were my dark-not-muddy-and-not-edgy solution to my previous violins that refused to sing with Dominants.

My current violin would sing loud and well with anything. Just changes in complexity in tone and how loud its ff sounds.

Infeld Red, their E string in my opinion lasts forever, but rest of their strings sound muddy after the first month or so. They also break-in after a few hours up to a day. Ametyst, they certainly lasted longer, but took longer to break-in, 4 days.

August 25, 2016 at 06:13 AM · Steven, at this time I'm loving the Vision Solo Titaniums, so I'll keep them for now, but once they wear out (or if I get tired of them) I've considered the Amethysts. Of the Infelds, I've considered the blue ones. :)

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Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine