What type of string?

August 29, 2004 at 04:02 AM · I'd like to know what type and what trade mark of strings you use. anybody knows what solists choose?

Replies (17)

August 29, 2004 at 11:57 AM · i'm currently using Pirastro Obligato's with the gold e string, though will possibly be changing when they next need changing. Teacher is reccommending me a set of strings, I'll get the name and post here

August 29, 2004 at 01:23 PM · To some extent, strings are strings. One can twist a violin's sound one way or another a bit by string choice. In student instruments, I like fitting Helicores with a fine tuner tailpiece. Durable, warm, behave well. The wound E balances better.

Most of the complaints I hear are about the E, with the A string a second. The A problems are most often with the bridge and soundpost, not the strings themselves.

I'm currently playing Zyex on one violin and Vision Titanium on another. Both seem quite nice, but the Vision is starting to please me much, especially the E. I ordered a bunch more. Might as well bootstrap onto that advertising bandwagon.

Tonicas are a good neutral string. Dominants are a standard. I used to set up violins with Dominant G & D, Eudoxa or other A, and Olive E. This seemed popular for a bit.

One thing to watch out for is an overly warm string that may not project adequately, depending on your violin.

August 29, 2004 at 09:50 PM · Hi!

I've tried Pirastro Oliv and Obligato and Corelli Crystal and Alliance.As well as Dominant.My opinion is that Dominant are very good for begginers although I know many who practise on them and are not students any more.For my violin the best combination is Alliance with E Pirastro gold.But they do need a day or two to strech.If you can try as many as you want/can and listen carefully how does your instrument respond and how much strenght you need to get a proper sound.

NELI

August 30, 2004 at 12:22 AM · I've been through the routine testing various strings over the past couple years, and here is what I have come up with:

Synthetic/Metal

Dominant: Nice, honest, and relatively warm tone, that will fit most styles of playing. They don't seem overly bright or dark, and I had no complaints (although some have big ones) over the E-string. Balanced tone.

Evah Pirazzi: After reading Emil Chudnovsky's review of these strings, I went out and bought a set. (Emil's got great advice) All in all, I have used two sets of these, one oddly brighter than the other. I like them, and they sure last long enough. Bright sound.

Red Label: I remember when I was little, in school (not private-my serious violin study began two years ago this past July), I had these strings on. For a little shaver, they're nice, because you don't have to worry about the tuning. Extremely bright, they are great for fiddling styles that require a scrappy sound. But I really wouldn't reccomend them for anything other than some types of fiddling, except for some odd reason you are about to go on stage, your strings break, and that's the only set available (instant setting in time! And metal projects the farthest, albeit without complex sound.)

Pirastro Obligato: Too "tubby", the D-string is garbage, the silver.

Dominant Vision: I really liked this string, Buri's comprehensive review of these was very accurate (Welcome Back Buri!!!). Warm, and stable. However, and this probably had to do with the set, I had a rather odd time with them after a week. I open up my case, and the g, a, and d strings had completely unravled, exposing their "guts" (no pun intended). I kept the e-string, but it had to be replaced due to it snapping.

Gut/Wound gut

Eudoxa: Rich warm sound, perfect for chamber music. A pleasure to play, but wear out soon enough, too soon for me, then the sound becomes weak.

Pure Gut: I like that baroque sound, even on modern music. This is my all time favourite. Extremely rich warm sound, will project quite far in the right conditions, but are no way shoot across with immediate response that Pirazzi's will offer you. Thick, rich, and luxurious, this will take you back to the days of Corelli, Vivaldi and Bach. Most people don't think they are suited to modern music, but I beg to differ. There are indeed drawbacks, and the required frequent tuning is the least of them, because gut is pliable and easy enough to pull with the peg. They are expensive, and must be ordered specially. Like the Eudoxas, and unlike the Pirazzi's and Dominant's, they don't last forever. The upkeep is worthwhile though, and I will most certainly go to these as soon as I get my hands on a baroque violin.

Well, that's my story.

-Maximillian Tresmond

August 31, 2004 at 10:02 AM · Thank you for your answers, do you know about solists? what are their strings?

August 31, 2004 at 03:51 PM · I read that Joshua Bell uses Evah Pirazzis...they seem to be quite popular with the soloists. I use them as well, and like them very much. Nice, quick response. They are bright, but with the right instrument, it is a good combo. The brightness does wear away somewhat, as well, but the projection is always there.

August 31, 2004 at 07:05 PM · Arash,

He is right, Bell does use Pirazzi strings. It's either Pirazzi or Dominant (used by Perlman, Zukerman, Carter, Hahn, to name a few).

Those two are probably the best synthetic strings on the market. Dominant is closer to gut.

August 31, 2004 at 11:33 PM · I use Dominant - not that that's any recommendation. On one occasion, I was in a concert where Ricci played 3 concertos with us - quite some concert!. He used Dominant because (so he said) they were the only strings he could rely on to still be in tune at the end of a Paganini concerto for the harmonics etc.

November 30, 2007 at 03:01 AM · Bell uses Evah Pirazzi with Goldbrokat E. How are the Zyex strings anybody? Someone told me they're loud.

November 30, 2007 at 09:27 AM · Maximillian wrote, "Pure Gut: I like that baroque sound, even on modern music. This is my all time favourite. Extremely rich warm sound, will project quite far in the right conditions, but are no way shoot across with immediate response that Pirazzi's will offer you. Thick, rich, and luxurious, this will take you back to the days of Corelli, Vivaldi and Bach. Most people don't think they are suited to modern music, but I beg to differ. There are indeed drawbacks, and the required frequent tuning is the least of them, because gut is pliable and easy enough to pull with the peg. They are expensive, and must be ordered specially. Like the Eudoxas, and unlike the Pirazzi's and Dominant's, they don't last forever. The upkeep is worthwhile though, and I will most certainly go to these as soon as I get my hands on a baroque violin."

I don't really agree with much of that . First of all pure gut was used by many non baroque players in the 20th century including Heifetz and Milstein. Paganini, Wieniawski, Vieuxtemps, Ysaye, and Kreisler all used pure gut. Were they baroque?

Secondly the required frequent tuning shouldn't be the case if you're using a good set of sheep gut strings. Certain makers make their strings with beef gut which is not as good a material.

As far as pricing goes, you can get gut strings that cost less than synthetics (especially Evah Pirazzi).

November 30, 2007 at 09:43 AM · Concerning soloists: Evah Pirazzi for Vengerov and Dominant for Repin, though he may have changed since (that was back in 1998).

One soloist (was it Repin ?) once told me that on a "perfect" violin Dominants are best, because they are loud and their sound is neutral, they won't make a violin sound brighter or warmer or whatever.

I found that for new instruments which still need to be played in, Infeld Red works nice. Musicians keep telling me: "Hey, this doesn't sound like a new instrument !" - which it pobably would with Dominants.

Another good choice for new instruments: Oliv G and D, Dominant A, Kaplan Golden Spiral Solo E

Gives a very full and warm sound like the Infeld reds, but somewhat more lively.

November 30, 2007 at 01:13 PM · You're going to find a million opinions on this site because this involves a huge element of personal taste. I personally LOVE titanium Vision (solo) strings. You have to try many kinds to know what fits your particular instrument. Unfortunately, unless you are willing to spend a lot of money, this will take a long time!

November 30, 2007 at 02:23 PM · I really like the combination of oliv G and D, Pirazzi A and a Gold E on my 1896 German instrument, which has a deep powerful voice and this combo blends and projects very well for me keeping in mind that I do a lot of chamber and orchestra playing. Also a full set of Pirazzi worked well for me and they are extremely durable. no matter what anyone here says though, you should definitely experiment with your own instrument, it can be a long and expensive task, but it's definitely worth it to find the best combo for your fiddle and bearing in mind that you want strings suited to the type of playing that you do: orch, chamber, or solo.

November 30, 2007 at 02:36 PM · Dominants with Pirastro Gold E.

November 30, 2007 at 03:23 PM · Here are my expirience with different strings on my late 1800 French Violin by Paul Jombar. When I bought the instrument 15 years ago, it had Dominent set on. With them, it produces somewhat brighter side of the sound. As I develop my skill as violinist, I wanted to project more focused and powerful sound, but since I couldn't -still can't- afford nice instrument which nowadays well over six figures, my jorney to find the third alternative, violin the first, the bow the second- the strings began. ^^ I have notes at home, but I wanted to write this when I have more time which is in between my students.

The E string comes in a full set never work well. So, I tried several different E-string and not settled with Hill E. It works with most of the strings which have stronger sound than Dominent.

With Dominent Set, Hill was too bright and loud. I'll add the E-string review later next week after my recital.

First string set I could remember used a long time ago was a set of Eudoxa(before my current instrument.) Nice warm sound, but durability was their biggest problem, especially during wet summer time.

Dominant with Gold Label E was the next set I used for the longest time. As we all know, they are most reliable.

During my college years, I've tried out more than a dozen different sets, in search of more strong, focused, responsive strings, but who said there were such strings???

Jagar set was the essiest under the finger tip, thin and good feels, but small and nazal sound.

Corelli Crystal set was very bright and good ring tone but weak and too skinny projection in sound.

Corelli Alliance set had darker sound but not very good respose and a little too thick in sound and feel under my finger tips.

Tonica is very similar to Corelli Crystal, maybe a touch warmer, good for chamber or orchestral players who don't need to project a big sound.

Vision Titanium had very bright and big sound, but I couldn't overcome the nazal sounding quality.

Infeld Red had some good moments because I used them for almost a year -three sets total- But at the end, I wanted a little more ping to the sound. It has nive warm sound, but a little heavy and dull response.

Obligato with Hill E had nice dark sound with powerful tone, but it misses the brihgtness of the violin sound.

Evah Pirazzi with Hill E was the best sounding and the closest to my ideal sounding string set in all, but the poor quality of the A-string force me to swith the set. The constant problem with the A-string was that the area where the string contacts the nut or the bridge would get unwind as quickly as one minute after putting it in. Actually, I was at a music store exchanging the Pirazzi A-string because of the same problem, and put a new string right in front of the store clerk, and boala! The wind of the string got loose within one minute!!! Actually, I wrote to the company in Germany a letter of complaint about the quality of the Pirazzi A-string, and they sent me four new A-string for free of charge. Well, that was about three years ago. It seems like they've solved the problem until quite recently, and then it all came back. Since September 2007, I've had to replace the A five time, not including the one I immediatly returned yesterday. (Despite of the problem with the A-sting, I love the sound!)

But after what we witnessed yesterday at the store, I've decided to go back in search of other strings and that's why I'm writing here after reading all of your opinions on different strings.

Currently, I have Dominent G, Infeld D&A and Hill E. Actually, Dominent G has more ring than Pirazzi G. I still miss the powerful yet clear Pirazzi A, but with recital coming up in a few days, I couldn't rist anymore unwiding. Infeld D&A aren't too bad actually. Nice warm and a bit more power than Dominent.

I'm thinking about trying out the Larsen Tzigan.

I'll post the review in about two month.

November 30, 2007 at 03:31 PM · Now that the Passione strings have been out for awhile what's the consensus on them?

November 30, 2007 at 09:33 PM · Remember that the string is like a bow-they will go better with certain instruments. My violin goes great with vision-titanium solo.

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

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

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

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning
Violinist.com Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & 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

Subscribe