Pirastro Tonica vs Thomastik Dominant

December 27, 2005 at 05:30 AM · hi,

i'm currently use tonica. I like the sound but somewhat dark and low sound projection. Maybe my violin has a "Dark" sound so i need to use the right string to make it bright.. so i need help from all of you to give me an in depth comparison between this two strings

Thank you

Replies (18)

December 27, 2005 at 11:58 AM · What I found is that Dominants sounded ok on my violin, but Tonica's sounded better. It's very much what works best on your violin. I think most violins will sound fairly good with one of these strings. They're very middle of the range, and will blend with most violins. Chances are, if you use either one, you'll get an ok sound.

Once you start to want to compliment the violin, to put certain characteristics into your sound, then you'll start looking at the more expensive strings. A cheap option is the new Infeld Red and Blues. Not too much more expensive than the tonica's or dominants, the Red and Blue's have certain characteristics that can help you develop your violin's tone. The Red set will produce a darker tone on most violins, whilst the blue will provide more brilliance. The great thing about the Infeld range is that you can mix and match to produce a tone that you like. Want a brilliant tone on the top strings, but a darker tone on the lower ones? Blue A and E, Red D and G.

A note: Some people believe that the violin will take on a different characteristic depending on what order you change the strings over. If you want a darker tone, work in the G, then E, then D, then A. If you want a brighter tone, then work in E, G, A then D. I'm not certain on how much of a difference it makes, but some people swear by it.

December 27, 2005 at 01:09 PM · Hi,

The following thread has the longest most in-depth discussion of strings on this site:


If you don't find the answers you are looking for, just say it...


December 27, 2005 at 04:12 PM · Thanks!

Christian, i read you article.. thank you..


Tonica has a dark sound with tone complexity but low sound projection (which i am experiencing now... i feel like my violin only put 50% effort on giving out the sound... it's hard to "feel" the music because my violin sound "dead")

Dominant has a gut like sound except the E but didn't last long. My question is ... does it has a good sound projection and brightness of tone compared to tonica?

December 27, 2005 at 04:37 PM · I will never go back to Dominants. Tonicas

sound great on my violin and have as much sound projection. Im currently using Evahs but I know they wont last that long, so I might try Larsens next. For the price, I cant think of anything better than Tonicas.

December 27, 2005 at 05:48 PM · Azam -- while these endless discussions about the merits of various strings may be interesting, your best bet is to go see your local luthier. That person will be able to hear what your violin sounds like with Tonicas and then recommend a string to try once you have described the kind of tone you are seeking. All strings sound different on different violins. The strings that might give my violin the sound you seek might well not work for your violin in the same way. Since we cannot hear yours, it is difficult to advise you as well as your luthier could.

December 27, 2005 at 06:11 PM · well a luthier?.... in my area there are no luthiers.. i need to travelled near 200 km to find one.. :(

but thanks for the advice

December 27, 2005 at 07:32 PM · One other thing you should do if you have not done so already is to have someone play your violin for you so you can hear what it sounds like. A violin sounds different under your ear from what it sounds like to others. See what you think when someone does that.

December 28, 2005 at 05:50 AM · yes i'd already done that... it sounds dead...(literally) i mean when i play my friend's violin.. i felt the whole instrument is responding to a single bow, but when me and my friends tried my violin.. it seems that, the violin itself doesn't vibrate fully to produce a sound.. so that means a low sound projection... maybe?

December 28, 2005 at 01:43 PM · How long have you had your current strings on the violin? If it has been more than 120 hours, you may well need new strings. If that doesn't help, then your violin has problems that just switching strings will likely not cure.

December 28, 2005 at 04:09 PM · it's more than 120 hours... thanks for any of your advice i'll let you know..:)

December 28, 2005 at 04:16 PM · Hi,

Sorry for getting involved late - holidays. the 120 hours mark is good. Dominants and Tonica are considerably different. The Dominants is more open, brighter and projects more. Some feel that the Tonica is darker with more overtones. My experience is that of a slower response string that didn't last long. I have always thought that the Dominant was a better string.

Now, there are thigns that your violin may need by the sound of it, like a soundpost adjustment. That done, if your violin is very dark in sound, you may want to try some of the newer core strings that are on the market which tend to be bright and louder - projection, I am not sure.

If you like the feel of a perlon core string, want something better but more focused than Tonicas or Dominants, the Larsens may be a good option. More expensive they have a nice sound, more focus than Dominants though a little less open. An excellent string though.

Good luck!


December 31, 2005 at 07:17 PM · I have gone through many violins and strings over the past few years. Along the way I have learned some truths.

1. the soundpost optimizes the sound quality. It does not make a poor violin sound like a good one.

2. differences between metal and synthetic strings are evident on all grades of violins.

3. Changing nylon strings makes no difference on a poor violin, a slight difference on a student violin, and a great difference on a pro violin (eg Strad).

4. Nylon strings differ between old and new technology, with the new offering more stability and lifespan.

5. Christian speaks the truth!

6. An old violin is often just that - old.

7. A good violin will sound only as good as you are. A poor one will sound poor, even in the hands of a pro. The pro may make the poor one sound better than you can, but it will still be poor.

8. Never buy a violin without bringing an expert along, on your side, to hear you play, and so you can hear him play.

9 Accept that when you buy a violin you are most likely to pay too much. Real bargains are very rare.

10 There will always be a better, more expensive violin than yours. Humans are this way - finicky and insecure.

11 violin often becomes an irrational obsession.

So, if your violin sounds like a dud using a good string like Tonica, or Dominant, or etc, then its a dud. Better to face this than the shrink you may need after you become neurotic about "adjustments".

January 2, 2006 at 01:24 AM · Hi,

Thanks! Don't know quite what to say about No. 5... but thanks!

About everything else - Ron is right and 100% on the money. Listen to the man!


January 23, 2006 at 04:15 AM · already change it! and yup! it's the sound that i want, bright and loud with tone complexity .. oh by the way, before i change to tonica, i use only a cheap chinese strings.... it make a huge different though. when i say sound dead ... it means dark sound... (some people like it though) so whenever i play melancholic pieces.. it will be a huge asset.. so thanks for your comments and advices

January 23, 2006 at 04:54 PM · i have tried infeld (red & blue) dominent, tonica, and evah. evah are the best. they are good sounding and are quite responsive and play well under little finger pressure

January 27, 2006 at 11:56 PM · is the jargar forte E the same as jargar E??? i 'm looking at teh shar magazine right now, it doesnt say "forte"

January 28, 2006 at 12:56 AM · nvm, i found it

January 28, 2006 at 02:50 PM · Hi,

Oliver, Forte is the gauge, the heavy gauge Jargar E.


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