What's your string combo?

February 17, 2005 at 10:33 PM ·

Replies (97)

February 17, 2005 at 10:55 PM · I use a Goldbrokat E

a Larson D and A

an Evah Pirazzi G

February 17, 2005 at 10:58 PM · James,

At least you are aware of the truth. :)

--Dan, an enthusiastic user of Pirastro Olivs

February 18, 2005 at 12:53 AM · G Evah Pirazzi

D Evah Pirazzi

A Chromcor

E Gold Label/Evah Pirazzi

February 18, 2005 at 01:22 AM · Hi,

At the moment, I use...

Dominant G

Dominant Siver D

Dominant E

Jargar Forte E


February 18, 2005 at 01:50 AM · Dominants.

February 18, 2005 at 01:54 AM · Infeld Red G

Infeld Blue D

Dominant A

Infeld Silver E

February 18, 2005 at 03:48 AM · The Larsens are fantastic. They are very strong sounding strings. They blend well with the other kinds of strings I use.

February 18, 2005 at 04:04 AM · My G,D, & E strings are Olivs but I do use the Pirazzi (synthetic) for my A. Very good combination.

February 18, 2005 at 04:17 AM · Dominant G, D, A (maybe looking to change, at least should I ever have more money to try things out); Pirastro Gold Label E

February 18, 2005 at 04:41 AM · I am using a Pirastro Universal E, Pirastro Chrome Aricore A and Pirastro Violino D and G. I am very happy with the above combination.

February 18, 2005 at 07:34 AM · Have any of you tried the thomastik Infeld Viennese Melange Violin Strings. Its blend of dominant and infeld. Also the Thomastik Infeld Vision Violin Strings. I'm looking to change strings, right now I use only dominant. I would appreciate some indept advice on the best strings out there to try.

February 18, 2005 at 07:45 AM · G, D, A: Evah Pirazzi

E: Pirastro Wondertone (Gold label)

February 18, 2005 at 12:14 PM · James, I use the exact same combination as you do. I must agree it is awesome, and fits in with what I would like to hear from a fiddle (as James also said, as much as one can expect from synthetics).

Incidentally, seeing as Olivs really do give a very good sound, are they really reliable enough for frequent usage in today's musical environment (where stable tuning is more or less a given)? My other concern with Olivs is how long they are likely to last.

So far, from what I have heard from some people, the instability of tuning is gut strings is overrated, and that they really do stabilise after awhile (I myself have always noticed to the contrary with Eudoxas, though, unfortunately). Also, some say that gut strings last longer than synthetics. This I have never tried for myself, since the strings went out of tune too often for me to use them seriously!

It's a sad situation, though, as I have never quite achieved on modern synthetics the tone which I got out of the Eudoxas ... that is, on the overly frequent but unsustained occasions immediately after tuning when they were perfectly in tune.

February 18, 2005 at 02:24 PM · Just to shake things up, I'm going to mention that I use D'Addario Helicore strings (gasp! metal!) on all my violins. It took an adjustment at first, but now I'm hooked. Of course, I know I'll never persuade any of you purists to try them, but I think you might be surprised if you gave them a chance. They're metal wound on a rope core, except the e string which is aluminum wound on steel. The a string is aluminum wound, the d is titanium, and the g is silver. Absolute tuning stability, of course, under all circumstances. Bow contact is different, and takes some getting used to, but once you've adjusted, no problem. The sound is less complex, which also means purer. The feel of the strings under the left hand is one of the things I've come to love: a very smooth, consistent degree of friction. There may be some drawbacks to the added string tension if your instrument is at all fragile. My main instrument is a modern Italian, quite robust, so no problems there. Geared tuning pegs are a plus for using these strings, since the greater tension makes them harder to tune. But once they're in tune, they hardly ever need retuning.

Oh yes, I guess I should admit that I'm primarily (although not exclusively) a jazz violinist.

If you have more than one violin, and are in the mood for a little experimentation, I recommend them. They may change your life!

February 18, 2005 at 02:20 PM · I must say I've never tried gut-core strings on my own fiddle. Heeding warnings about their sensitivity to changes in humidity, temperature, bad breath, fire, kryptonite, etc., I had to go with synthetic. Olivs certainly look to be less tempramental than most gut strings but it would still be an expensive lesson to try them and discover you didn't like them. Even still, sacrificing the convenience of having your violin stay relatively in tune for the elegant and organic sound of gut strings is something I may have to investigate in the future.

February 18, 2005 at 03:03 PM · Terry,

Interesting. I was unaware it was possible to have a wound E. Several jazz violinists are shown endorsing Obligatos or Eva Pirazzis on Pirastro's website. Have you ever tried these in stark sets? I have also heard that folk fiddlers and bluegrass musicians prefer metal core because they have a certain "twanginess" (for lack of a real adjective). Can metal strings sound tinny or shallow?

February 18, 2005 at 03:17 PM · James,

There's a lot of misconception and prejudice around metal strings. The thing to remember is that, ultimately, no matter which strings you use, it's primarily the sound of the _instrument_ you hear. The string just acts as the trigger, but the listener is hearing the resonance of the violin which is set in motion by the string. So, while to some extent the string colors the resulting sound, the instrument has far more influence on it. A set of good metal strings like Helicores will only sound "metallic" or "tinny" on a violin that has those characteristics. A good violin, well-played, will sound good with any high-quality string, gut, synthetic, or metal.

That said, of course different types of strings do have some influence on the sound produced. But in my experience the difference made by different strings is far more noticeable to the player, who has the strings right under the ear, than to a listener a few feet away. Also, of course, different strings feel different and have a different response, which, again, is something of great importance to the player.

Some metal strings (of which there are as many different levels of quality as with any other type of string) withstand very heavy bow pressure better than gut or synthetic strings, so these are often the choice of bluegrass and other fiddlers who play with a very heavy bow arm.

I've heard that metal strings had a vogue among classical players long ago (1950s?) when the first high-quality metal strings were produced. Even some well-known soloists used and endorsed them. I have the impression that no serious classical player uses them now, and I wonder whether that's just due to prejudice and conformism, since I almost never encounter a "pure" classical player who's ever actually tried them.

February 18, 2005 at 04:28 PM · Thomastik Vision set with a Titanium E.

February 18, 2005 at 04:47 PM · Evah Pirazzi across the board on my best instrument. I have one old bright fiddle with obligatos, another dark one with Prims, and a handful of others with used dominants. Sometimes I'll use a pirastro gold or goldbrokat E.

February 18, 2005 at 08:51 PM · Regarding Olivs:

A) The durability of the strings vary. I'm still on my first G string, and it's been on my fiddle for one year and eight months. It's still doing great. The D and A strings vary in terms of how long they last; I've had some snap after three months, but the current D string I have on right now has been on for five months and is going strong. The thing I've noticed about these gut strings is that they don't seem to go sour. They either break or they just keep on trucking. For comparison purposes, a synthetic string (I've used Pirazzis, Obligatos, Infeld Reds, and Dominants) would last three months on my violin before sounding like a rubber band. So, while the G string might seem like a very, very steep price to pay, buying one has proven to be more economical in the long run! My teacher mentioned that he would frequently be able to use an Oliv G for about a year before having to get a new one while he was still actively performing, so I don't think that my experience is all that unique.

B) Gut strings are less stable than synthetics when it comes to maintaining its pitch. There's no debate there. However, I haven't found myself terribly inconvenienced by it; I find myself adjusting to minute changes in pitch while playing on them, and then tuning every once in awhile during a practice session or when I pick up my violin after taking a break--which is when the most drastic changes in pitch occur, and which is what most people that use synthetics do anyway.

C) From what I heard, some violins do well with gut strings and others don't. In reviewing my experience with Olivs, this would be my biggest cause of hesitation in purchasing a set. They are, in a sense, somewhat of an investment: if they turn out well, you're in good shape; if they sound less exciting, you might have dropped a lot of cash on a bum set of strings. That said, I doubt Olivs would make many violins sound bad--just not at their optimum. I was very lucky to have had my teacher give me a brand new set, but if I had been faced with a $65-$70 experiment, I don't know what I would have done on my student budget...

On another note, I didn't like the Oliv A (which tends to be the one people complain about, if any). It sounded kind of crunchy and weak, so I replaced it with a Synoxa A, which has been behaving like a champ. The added advantage of this string is that it is synthetic, so it is more stable, and I can tune my other strings to it when necessary. I don't use the gold-plated Oliv E because, in my experience, it tends to break prematurely and doesn't sound good enough to justify the added cost when compared to a Gold Label E.

Hope that helps a bit!

February 18, 2005 at 09:44 PM · I love my Helicores! They never, ever break, hardly go out of tune, never unravel, and sound best on my violin. Other strings I have tried buzz a little, but these are excellent!

February 18, 2005 at 11:26 PM · Vision standards on one violin.

Infeld Blue G

Infeld Blue D

Infeld Blue A

Goldbrokat E

on another one.

February 18, 2005 at 11:55 PM · Infeld Red's on my main violin

An old set of Obligatos on my Electric (replacing the ones from the factory which had been on there for a year)

And an old set of obligatos on the violin that I'm looking to sell.

February 19, 2005 at 12:48 AM · Thanks for your detailed response, Daniel. I might now give another shot at gut strings and try the Olivs!

February 19, 2005 at 04:55 AM · About gut strings. Is there value in trying one of the less expensive ones like the Kaplan gut strings or the Pirastro Gold Label gut strings to see if the violin will prefer gut? I agree that Olives are a big investment. By the way, the last time I played violin when I was 17, my strings were gut except for the e string. I seem to remember naked gut A strings, that were either red or yellowish colored, with loops where you thread them through the tailpiece. Now that I have a 100 year old violin strung with Visions, I wonder how it'll sound with gut.

A trivia question, when were Dominants invented?

February 19, 2005 at 04:45 AM · I remember some kind of wound string with a red gut core.

When were Dominants invented? In 1974. They were accidently discovered while trying to find a cure for moldy cheese.

February 19, 2005 at 07:49 PM · Hi all,

Over the last few years I have tried every string manifacutured except the Kaplan; here are some thoughts...

Gut strings wound and unwound are unstable. The sound is great. Plain gut is totally different from wound as I am discovering now. Stability-wise, they are unreliable, and more so if you have sweaty or humid or warm hand. They will be a mess. The Olives are the best "modern" wound gut, and though expensive are unlike anything. However, the A is problematical (never found a solution to that).

Synthetic strings vary a great deal, and what you prefer depends on how you play. Important in my experience is the E. A different E changes the whole character of the set, and different combinations work better than others. Newer sythetics tend to be more tense than Perlon-core strings, and that factors in to the decision one makes.

Steel Strings: I have little experience with them, though the Helicore are probably the best ones around as the rest, well... the Helicore and are especially popular with violists. I guess they help bring clarity to an instrument where it needs more than a violin.

IMPORTANT - HOW LONG STRINGS LAST... OK, in my opinion most people greatly over-estimate this. Most gut strings last about a month, maybe six weeks for Olives tops. Most sythetics can go for about the same lenght if they have a perlon core and maybe up to two months for newer types of cores, but no longer. Strings go false and lose responsiveness and I think that it is a huge mistake to keep strings on for too long in my opinion as it lead to bad habits. The only strings that last longer are cheap steel student strings which will last for maybe 6 months or a year. But for gut and sythetics (except Obligato in my experience which last up to two months once or twice), I would say that 4-6 weeks is the longest one should keep them on.

Cheers everyone!

P.S. About the Larsens question: I used those for a while. They are very good and not too tense (Perlon core). They are brighter than Dominants with more of a steely edge and punch, and good for concertos. They are very true in pitch, very pitch stable, and great for playing octaves. The only problem is that the G and D don't last anymore than 4 weeks tops and then just die out literally. Good strings though, but a bit too expensive IMO for what you get.

February 20, 2005 at 10:12 PM · Christian's views regarding string life are very interesting, but I would like to add my experiences and those of other players I know are markedly different. Additionally, I consider myself a person who is pretty hard on strings, since my skin acid is relatively destructive and I tend to perspire a little more than might be considered the average.

When I was a student, my teacher had an Olive G on her violin for the best part of 2 years, and I never noticed any material deterioration in the quality of that string. I am sure there was some deterioration, but none that I would have considered significant enough to warrant replacement.

In my own experience I have found A strings tend to lose their sonic quality the fastest, but I still usually get at least 3 or 4 months out of an A string before I feel it has degraded enough to replace.

I recently replaced my D string. I use the Pirastro Violino on the D and G. After a couple of days, the replacement Violino sounded and responded pretty much the same as the old one which had been on for 5 months. I have not had to replace my Violino G yet. But the G string response and tone is quite consistent with the new D I recently put on. This experience seems consistent with other types of strings I have used as well, even the wound gut which were the main string in use back in my student days.

As for the E string, my 6 month old Pirastro Universal E broke in the middle of a private recording I was making last week. I immediately put a brand new Universal E on, and after a bit of playing in, the sound, response and mechanical characteristics were identical to that of the 6 month old one which had broken.

In keeping my strings on longer, I have never had to alter the way I play or my technique in any way in order to accomodate the changing sonic qualities of an ageing string.

In any case, the replacement of strings has to weighed up against other factors such as the cost and the fact that there are other bills to pay apart from replacement strings. I honestly do not see any wisdom in replacing violin strings more often than 3 to 6 months unless they actually break or you are particularly hard on them (for example, perspiration, skin acid damage, etc). Certainly it's all very nice to have a new set of strings each time you flip the calendar over, but I don't see it worth paying for the privilage.

February 20, 2005 at 11:01 PM · I use

G-Dominant (133)

D-Dominant (132)

A-Dominant (131)

E-Pirastro Wondertone Gold

February 21, 2005 at 01:38 AM · Terry, if any string will do on a decent violin, how is it that my (good) spare sounds great with Dominants, but rubbish with Visions?

February 21, 2005 at 01:49 AM · Goldbrokat 26E

Evah Pirazzi medium gauge A,D,G

February 21, 2005 at 02:42 PM · Hi,

Jonathan: I like your post. It's true, many players have had different experiences, and I am perhaps an exception. I have also seen people keep strings on much longer. Unfortunately, in spite of price, I have no choice. I personally have the disadvantage of not only have acidic sweat but very salty one as well. Eats through everything, even the fiddle. So the string corrodes, or using alcohol ends up killing the core.

As for E strings, my favorite is the Jargar Forte E, which seems to be the best match for the Dominants that I have seen on any fiddle. Since it is chromesteel, it doesn't rust or corrodes (the Goldbrokat is terrible for that, but used to be so cheap, it was OK).

Sue: What Terry said is debatable... Sorry Terry. Violins all react differently to different strings. So it really depends on the instrument and the playing style.


P.S. Nice to see the demerits X's working the real way! Don't know where that empty thing came from. Accidental clicking I guess.

February 21, 2005 at 07:11 PM · Sue and Christian,

OK, maybe I overstated my case, although I didn't say that all strings sound the same by any means. What I actually said was, "A good violin, well-played, will sound good with any high-quality string, gut, synthetic, or metal." I still think that's generally true. My experience is that the difference in sound of different strings is much more extreme to the player than to the listener, leading some violinists to become obsessive about something that's not as crucial as it may seem to them.

Another set of issues to be considered is the playing qualities of different strings, meaning speed of response, sensitivity ("stickiness") of bow contact, feel of the string to the left hand fingers, etc. Sometimes a player likes one set of strings better than another because he/she _plays_ better on these strings, and thus makes the instrument sound better.

Anyway, I'm not really disputing anyone's experience of their own instrument/string reactions, just encouraging players to try lots of options, and avoid the obsession of the "perfect" string.

February 21, 2005 at 10:17 PM · Hi,

Terry, you know, in many ways you are right. With many players and instruments it is a question of feel. However, on some instruments, including mine, the difference is so dramatic from one brand of string to the next that it can sound like a completely different instrument to me, and to the listener. Hmmm... maybe I have a weird fiddle... just like its owner! LOL!


February 21, 2005 at 10:26 PM · I tend to think that the further away the violin is from the listener, the less detectable are differences in strings. I only recently completed an "experiment" this morning. I took three recent recordings I had made and created an audio CD so that I could play them back on a decent sound system. Two recordings used Violono strings and the other used quite new Larsen strings. There was quite a noticeable difference between the strings. On these recordings at least, the Violinos sounded quite a lot better with a much more focussed, balanced and meatier sound. The Larsens sounded less balanced and fuzzier with a grittier middle range. Now although when I made the recordings the microphone was admittedly fairly close to the violin, I was listening to the resultant CD quite a distance from the speakers in my sound system. That said, this test is certainly no scientific paradigm, but I found it quite revealing nonetheless, since I expected there to be far less difference in the sound than there actually was. It really sounded like two different violins.

But I do tend to think that the differences are quite pronounced under the ear and less significant in live performances from the listener perspective. I doubt I could tell if a good soloist had changed their brand or type of strings just by listening to them 12 rows back in a concert hall setting (unless it was something radical like going to pure gut or something).

I do find that when I try to find a string that works, I have to make the mechanical charactersistics a priority. Like Christian my perspiration is quite acidic and consequently I am pretty much confined to choosing strings that are either silver or chromium steel wound.

At least I get far more choice nowadays than I did as a student. The number of Eudoxa D strings I went through in the early 1980s was quite frightening.

February 22, 2005 at 04:41 AM · It'd be nice if people who state how long strings last could say approximately how many hours a day they're using them. I've literally cut the lifetime of my strings to a quarter of what they used to be in the past few years. How? By quadrupling my practice time, of course. (Ok, maybe more like tripling. The difference is probably made up by my increased sensitivity to the tone coming from my violin.)

February 22, 2005 at 03:21 PM · Hi,

Alex, in response to your question... As a general rule, with practice and teaching, rehearsals and concerts, my fiddle get anywhere from 3 to 8 or 9 hours in a day. I guess that makes a difference. In my case, it is also the composition of sweat which just eats through strings gut or synthetic. I am playing a plain gut A at the moment and after only three days, it's already paying the price. Hope this answers your question.

And Jonathan: Although I agree with you, the biggest difference in the case of my fiddle was actually in a Hall away from it. I remember trying two different sets of different strings one week apart (each a week old) in a Hall, and someone coming to ask me the second week if I had bought a new fiddle as it sounded so different and much better. Could be my fiddle though...


March 26, 2005 at 01:59 AM · Hillary Hahn:

Since 1993, Hilary Hahn has played a copy of Paganini's "Cannon" Guarneri violin made in 1864 by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in Paris. She owns several bows, including "an unidentified bow that has French and German characteristics" and a contemporary one made by Isaac Salchow (New York). For strings, she uses Thomastik Dominant G, Silver D, and Dominant A, and a Pirastro Gold Label Steel E.


March 27, 2005 at 12:02 AM · Vision Titanium A, D, and G... Jargar E

My teacher told me to try to get some Eudoxas. Does anyone know how stable they are, especially during the humid summer season?

March 27, 2005 at 12:21 AM · Only on violinist.com would anyone type "We know nothing beats a gut!" ROFL


March 27, 2005 at 01:22 AM · 4 parts player, three parts fiddle, two parts set up one part strings:-

just my break down....


March 27, 2005 at 01:26 AM · no, that's nonsense: 64 parts player, 33 parts fiddle, all the rest the same!


March 27, 2005 at 06:53 AM · One modern violin

Infeld G, D, A.

Goldbrokat E

On another old violin, Dominant G, D, A, Pirastro Oliv gold E

These setups worked well, although once in while I missed gut strings.

March 27, 2005 at 09:42 AM · Viennese melange: Infeld red G - Infeld blue D - Dominant A - Olive E. Works for me.

March 27, 2005 at 02:43 PM · Corelli Alliance Vivace's. I love them!


March 27, 2005 at 04:35 PM · Hi,

Ryan: Eudoxa is a great strings. However, they are not reliable during the humid season since the quick change of humidity makes them unstable. I would not recommend them for summer. However, they are a great string. Coming from Vision strings, it will be an adjustment. The tension of the Eudoxa is much lower, and they don't take as much bow pressure as a synthetic string. However, what you can do with contact point and bow speed is endless, and the more bow you use the more sound you get, and unlike synthetics, there is no limit. Also, the range of colours and responsiveness of a gut string is really unbeatable IMHO. Definitely worth a try!


March 27, 2005 at 06:58 PM · Thanks.. see... I was talking with my teacher about strings. She said she liked my combo with the visions and the jargar. And I actually HAVE a set of Corelli Alliance Vivace in my case, and she wasn't too thrilled with that fact. She said for me to keep my combo, or to get Eudoxas or Gold (something like that). I did use gut strings last summer, and they were nice, but they never were stable (used Olives). I think I'll put on my Corelli Strings in a while, then this Winter use the Eudoxas.

(The reason why I don't want to play on the gut strings is because they're too expensive!!! I can get a vision or corelli set for under $40 compared the gut strings out there!!!!!)

March 27, 2005 at 09:59 PM · my fiddle is well-strung..I'm proud of my fiddle..HAHAHA lol

March 27, 2005 at 10:00 PM · ..sorry...

March 27, 2005 at 11:43 PM · Hi,

Ryan, you can get a set of Eudoxa from SHAR for about 40$ if you use the Kaplan Golden Spiral E instead of the Eudoxa E (better match). The Eudoxa are more stable than the Olivs in my experience, but not as powerful. I agree with you teacher. The Alliance Vivace are problematical strings, the main problem being the excessive tension and uni-dimensional sound.

Haven't tried the Vision, but I might after what you wrote...


March 28, 2005 at 10:02 PM · I'm going to give them a try around October... right when it cools down here and it's a lot less humid. The Vision strings are very good, easy to tune and extremely stable. You can do a lot with them being synthetic strings... the D is much MUCH better the reg. Dominant Silver D. The E string is very metallic sound... can be clean, but the Jargar 1st violin E is a much better sounding with the set.

I may just throw on the Corelli for a 2-3 month experiment just for fun this summer....

Heh.. what ever happened to the days when EVERYONE used Dominants and we were all pleased then?!!? haha

November 9, 2007 at 02:36 AM · How is Viennese melange? I'm using all Evah Pirazzis right now. They're powerful but not much tone color.

November 9, 2007 at 03:21 AM · Dominants G, D, A and Pirastro Gold Label E

November 9, 2007 at 03:37 AM · Infeld Red__G,D,A, Obligato gold-plated E

November 9, 2007 at 04:24 AM · I'm a violist but whatever!

C -- Oliv

G -- Oliv

D -- Obligato

A -- Larsen loop

Althought I only buy the Olivs when I need them to me Obligatos and Olive at least on my 1924 Sderci are switchable at anytime.

November 9, 2007 at 07:49 PM · Since my '05 post I have reverted back to Dominants, with Jargar or Goldbrokat E. This is after trying Evah P, Obligatos, Visions, and Tonicas. I simply like the feel and sound better. The price is nice, too.

November 9, 2007 at 07:56 PM · I've always used Dominants with Gold Label E. In all the years that I've played, this combination has served me superbly. I find that they last quite a while and I am able to get a gorgeous sound out of my violin.

November 9, 2007 at 08:34 PM · Thomastik (Regular) Vision G,D,A

Pirastro Wondertone Solo Silvery Steel E

Usually Dominant G,D,A, but I'm having a good time with the slightly punchier Visions. :)

November 9, 2007 at 09:09 PM · Silver Dominant D and G, Obligato A, and Gold Label E. For some reason the Dominant A doesn't do well on my violin.

November 9, 2007 at 10:04 PM · Pirastro Oliv-G, Gamut Academie plain gut D&A, Goldbrokat steel E (medium gauge).

November 9, 2007 at 10:10 PM · Dominants G, D, A and Pirastro Gold Label E

November 10, 2007 at 12:02 AM · I'm back on Dominants 'cause they're cheap. Jargar E.

November 11, 2007 at 01:53 PM · G, D, A: Dominants. Pirastro Wondertone (Gold Label...whatever) E. Great sound great price.

November 11, 2007 at 03:54 PM · Pirastro Passione with oliv gold E

November 11, 2007 at 05:21 PM · G, D, A Dominates

E Pirastro Gold E (wondertone)

No clue how long they last, my violin came with cheapo student strings. I play 1-2 hours daily, 3 hours weekend days.

January 14, 2008 at 10:59 PM · Do Infeld Blues and the normal Larsens (not Tzigane) sound any different? Most people describe them as Dominants, but higher tension, brighter, and more projection

January 16, 2008 at 09:54 PM · Evah Pirazzi across.

I personally don't like the metal E string. I have yet to try the Gold E or Pirazzi.

The D and G strings of Evah Pirazzi sound very nice. The A string is a bit nasely ( I have a fine tuner on my A string)

January 18, 2008 at 02:36 AM · James, you said that gut strings are the best.

Except for their unstable intonations, are every single gut strings better than synthetic. How about projection? I might use gut strings in the near future.

January 18, 2008 at 02:57 AM · Dominant G, D, A, Goldbrokat E.

January 18, 2008 at 02:51 AM · Well. Out of my three violas I use a different string set-up, and recently I bought a nice little french 17th century violin well acutally my parents did.(for me to experiment on)

My Sderci 1924(main instrument)

C -- Oliv Rigid

G -- Olib Rigid(I recently changed from Obligato)

D -- Obligato

A -- Larsen Medium

Luis & Clarke(practice insturment and outside gig instrument)

C -- Obligato

G -- Dominant

D -- Dominant Silver

A -- Larsen Medium

My NS Electric Viola

C -- Spirocore Tungenstun

G -- Spirocore Tungenstun

D -- Prim medium

A -- Prim medium

Typical Russian viola set-up. I also sorta stole the idea of the Spirocores for clarity from cellist!

My 17century No-name violin

G -- Pirazzi

D -- Dominant Silver

A -- Dominant

E -- Gold Lable


February 4, 2008 at 01:33 AM · E--Goldbrokat .26mm

A--Dominant (medium)

D--Dominant silver (medium)

G--Dominant (medium)

February 4, 2008 at 02:34 AM · E: Varnished gut, Dlugolecki 12.5 ga.

A: Varnished gut, Dlugolecki 16 ga.

D: Varnished gut, Dlugolecki, 21 ga.

G: Silver-wound gut: Eudoxa 15.75 ga.

February 4, 2008 at 05:07 AM · G, D, A Dominics

E Gold plated Pirastro Oliv

February 4, 2008 at 05:45 AM · Oliv G and D

Evah A

Jargar E

I notice that my A string is usually the quickest to go. It often starts to show wear and look as if it's ready to 'unravel' right around the D (3rd finger 1st pos) spot. I keep my nails short, obviously - maybe it's wear from shifting? Has anyone else had this experience with Evahs?

February 4, 2008 at 01:15 PM · Sarah, I'd be curious too. Every string I get that's on for a few months (well after the sound quality has died) eventually does that. I'm not sure what exactly it's from, and it's either by my 3rd finger or 1st finger spot. That happened to me in middle school and high school and then and only then I knew to get new strings... Perhaps you leave them on too long?

February 5, 2008 at 05:35 AM · Eudoxa 17 1/4 G

Gamut Academie "Heavy" bare gut D

Gamut Academie "Heavy" bare gut A

Goldbrokat medium E

Audio samples of above on my violin, Lorenzo Storioni, 1785:


February 4, 2008 at 02:56 PM · Oops! Wrong thread...

February 4, 2008 at 03:15 PM · Christian, wrong thread? You are the string master-yoda!

February 4, 2008 at 03:34 PM · Sarah:

"A" strings wear out faster than the others pretty much with every string type. They are thinner than anything other than the "E" and the latter is typically steel and very durable under the finger.

February 5, 2008 at 01:45 PM · Dominant G

Infeld Blue D

Dominant A

Passione E

Any thoughts on a Larsen G instead for power, responsiveness, and color?

February 6, 2008 at 03:27 AM · On my violin right now:

Pirastro Tonica full set.

I have only had my violin for a little over a year now. It is a modern American violin. I am trying to find the "best" strings for it. I had a full set of Eudoxas on it until I changed to the tonicas. I noticed that my bow is sliding around all over the place on the tonicas and I just can't seem to control it well. I had no problem whatsoever with the bow on the Eudoxas. I dumped them because they went false, and had tuning stability issues. They sounded wonderful on my violin though.

Has anyone else moved from eudoxa or equiv. to tonica or another perlon string and noticed a major bow change? I know that gut and synthetics are different, but to the point where my bow is all over the place??

February 6, 2008 at 04:15 AM · Hope,

Perhaps it's your rosin? Some rosins work well with gut and gut core strings while others don't and you won't have enough grip, thus sliding all over.

February 6, 2008 at 04:17 AM · Do a "search" at the top right and read about these strings:

-Larsen Tzigane


-Vision Titanium Orchestra


Then find an online seller at a discount, such as www.johnsonstrings.com

February 6, 2008 at 11:41 AM · Typically evah pirazzi c g d with a larsen A. Currently trying out Obligatos on the lower strings. Not too shabby but I did have to find new ways to project instead of just muscling through them (which wasn't a good thing anyways, so the Obligatos are sort of correcting my right arm technique, so to speak). The high tensions of the Pirazzis could handle what I would do to it and still speak without crunching.

February 15, 2008 at 01:45 AM · G obligato

d obligato

a zyex

e oliv gold e medium.

nice balance and resonance.

February 15, 2008 at 03:06 PM · curious, how come you use the Zyex A instead of Obligato A?

February 15, 2008 at 08:32 PM · E - Pirastro Gold Label

A - Thomastik Dominant

D - Thomastik Vision

G - Thomastik Vision

The combo works well for my instrument. Great depth, power, and richness on the D and G strings while still retaining brilliance on the E string (well...if brilliance is called for in the music I'm playing, of course).

February 15, 2008 at 11:21 PM · Now I'm doing:

Gold Label E

Dominant A

Infeld Blue D

Infeld Blue G

For the same reasons as person above with Gold Label E, Dominant A, and Vision D & G. =) I like this combo better than my original now that I've discovered the wonders of the Gold Label Steel E!

February 16, 2008 at 12:10 AM · On an older, 1894 German violin (which, dimensionally-speaking, is closely related to the Cannone, less the fuller lower bout) I use the following:

Evah G

Evah D

Eudoxa A

Hill E

The violin was set up with Evah's prior to my having acquired it, so this is the set with which it performs best. I tried Eudoxas across the board, but it really likes Evah strings for the G and D. Curiously, though, the Evah A choked on the violin and it just seemed that the violin did not like such a tense A so I put on my Eudoxa A, and it did much better. I'd like to switch back to gut, and am hoping that perhaps Olivs or the new Passione strings will work better for the G and D, that their tension will exceed that of the Eudoxas and therefore be more fitting for the setup.

February 18, 2008 at 10:40 AM · On my main violin (1900s Gemunder shop fiddle), Thomastik Visions. So far I like them (just got 'em about a month ago), but I'm going to be doing some experimenting with the next few strings changes.

On my backup instrument (late 1800s / early 1900s German 'grampa geige') I've got my spare set of Dominants to stretch - they were cheap backup strings in case i didn't like the Visions. Gonna probably experiment with strings on this one a little too.

My Viola (1900-1920s Jackson-Guldan) has a set of Helicores that I'm hoping to change over to Dominants to at least try, if not to something with a little more tension. yay experimentation!

February 18, 2008 at 12:20 PM · Hi Guys,

why didn`t you tell me there was a whole thread with exactly the same question I asked a couple of weeks ago regarding strings mixing?

Anyway, good stuff, that´s exactly what I had been looking for!

Best greetings, hans

March 2, 2008 at 11:07 PM · hi everyone,

it's funny that I have never heard anyone with the same combo as mine.

E- pirastro universal E

A- tonica aluminium A

D- tonica silver D

G- helicore silver G

I have tried obligato and pirazzi on my violin.

Well, sometimes the expensive ones don't work on certain violins, like mine!

March 2, 2008 at 11:20 PM · Right now I have all obligato strings and it is the best set of strings I have had for this violin but I do need to find a different E. I might try the oliv.

March 4, 2008 at 01:42 AM · Frances ---- Well, the E string Pirastro Universal has a tendency to squeak and be metalic. The A & D to me are tend to be rather bright. But the G!!!! a Helicore!!! that's a little odd. Why do you use a steel-core? I'm guess for power and clarity because some synthetics get muddy and can occasionally be weak. Just a question, Have you ever used a heavy Evah Pirazzi string? Because at the shop I apprentice at I usually try a dominant G then I go from there if I go up I go to a EP the a heavy EP then a Helicore or if I go down I use a Infeld Blue then a Obligato then a Violino(that's if the violin in really agressive or the person wants a really warm violin). So yep that's my little freshman highschool recomendation.

(I'm now am able to recommend strings for violins!!! and I put strings on violins that just come in!!! In other words I got promoted!!! But I tend to get a little bit to extravagent with my choices. lol)


March 5, 2008 at 03:59 AM · Hill"E"(Medium gauge) works great with Obligato G-D-A on my 1890 French violin which produces a little too bright sound with Dominant set.

March 1, 2015 at 01:33 PM · Currently on both my violins:

E: Lenzner Goldbrokat

A: Pirastro Chromcor on one and Thomastik Spirocore on the other, but I'll be experimenting with other steel cored A strings in due course

D: Pirastro Chorda (plain gut)

G: Pirastro Chorda (wire wound gut)

I have been using the E, D and G combination for the last two or three years. Before I recently started experimenting with the steel cored A I used Pirastro Chorda plain gut A.

March 1, 2015 at 01:49 PM · Typically, Goldbrokat for the E and Vision Solo for the rest.

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