Reputable strings site?

Edited: July 12, 2019, 4:58 AM · Anyone know if Gostrings.com is a reputable site?

I really like their price for a full set of Vision Solos with a silver D and a quite long list of E-string options

http://www.gostrings.com/viviasidgsee.html

$47 is a great price, basically half of what Shar and my local violin shop sells it for and they are both authorized dealers. Pretty sure this is less than Shar's sale price. It's so good a price that I wanted to check to see if anyone here is familiar with them. It seems almost too good...

Replies (33)

Edited: July 12, 2019, 7:45 AM · There are counterfeit strings out there. My recommendation is to buy from your local shop. Remember: If you want the local shop to be there, then you have to buy stuff there. That's partly what "being local" is about.
July 12, 2019, 6:41 AM · I am with Paul on this one. I always get mine at my local shop, and when they put them on, it gives them a chance to see if there is any problem with my violin or viola which needs their attention.
July 12, 2019, 6:47 AM · GoStrings is legitimate. I haven't ordered from them for awhile, but I have in the past and received the strings, etc that I ordered. I think she ultimately ended up ordering elsewhere, but they were very helpful when my mom was looking for a 7/8th cello case.
Edited: July 12, 2019, 7:15 AM · It's good to know they are legitimate - and the local aspect is certainly a consideration. There aren't so many local violin shops these days, especially around here... generally I do buy locally if it's available.
July 12, 2019, 7:44 AM · One time I ordered sheet music from them and selected the free media mail shipping option. In the tracking info the package went missing part of the way to my location, but I had to wait a few months before they would refund the purchase since media mail, I learned, has a reputation of randomly disappearing like that but showing up much later. When they finally offered the refund I asked if they wanted to try again with a different shipping method but I didn't get a response, and then ordered from Shar. Glad is wasn't something we needed right away. Lesson learned - no media mail, and "free" can have a special cost of its own. Also as folks here suggest, support your local shop...look what has happened to local sheet music stores. (I do think it's nice to have new strings twice as often as the instrument needs a checkup though, and they're very convenient to order.)
July 12, 2019, 8:01 AM · The set you linked to are Visions, not vision solos - when I looked on the site for vision solos they were at $80. If you subscribe to shar's emails, they have sales for 20% off strings every couple months - brings the vision solos down to mid $60s.
July 12, 2019, 8:11 AM · Another 'buy local'. That is one of the key ways they make ends meet.

Or use amazon and wonder where your city center went.

July 12, 2019, 8:15 AM · Gostrings is good! Ordered my Musafia case through them and a myriad of other things.
July 12, 2019, 8:21 AM · Indeed Elise, that's one of the many reasons I don't use Amazon much these days. I won't say I don't get tempted but there are many reasons not to go there.

Good catch Irene, no wonder the price was so low - wrong set! I think my local store doesn't charge much more than $80. At least for my first set I want to try the Solo E to see what both I and my violin thinks of it.

Edited: July 12, 2019, 9:05 AM · Local shops are not foolproof. Some of them buy stock online.
My teacher has firsthand experience of buying fake strings from a
reputable shop. Go to an official stockist recommended by the manufacturer. (If you wanted, say, a Shure SM57, that would be the only way to go nowadays!)
In the UK thestringzone.co.uk has proved reliable so far.
July 12, 2019, 9:07 AM · Gostrings is the cheapest and best place to buy! I have buying from them for more than 10 years now.
July 12, 2019, 9:32 AM · There've been threads reporting GoStrings problems in the past: LINK and LINK
Edited: July 12, 2019, 10:08 AM · If you tell your local dealer that you're seeing a better price online, sometimes they can bring it down to where it's not that much more. But I don't think you should expect the same price from a small local shop that is trying to pay at least its proprietor a living wage. When Dan Foster was still alive, I would tell him what kind of strings I wanted and he would order them for me. I usually paid about $10 more than I would from Shar. But then when I needed a set of gear pegs installed in my daughter's violin, he charged me close to nothing for the labor because he had never done it before (even though he had made over 100 fine instruments and obviously had the necessary skills).
July 12, 2019, 10:06 AM · For those of us in the U.K. I can highly recommend the Stringzone.
They seem to have everything in stock at good prices, and their service and delivery are excellent. Always choose free delivery - it's still very fast.
Needless to say, I have no connection with them - just a very satisfied customer.
July 12, 2019, 11:17 AM · Gostrings is good. They had a few problems years ago, but worked it out. Definitely a legit place...
July 12, 2019, 11:54 AM · My music store has been good to me in so many ways since I returned to the violin last fall. They do match Shar prices - or other authorized dealers - but haven't asked them to do so.

They do a lot for the local music community. It's rather interesting, they do all the band/orchestral instrument school rentals for surrounding school systems. They also have different sections of thier building set aside for the violin store, woodwind store, etc, each section with climate control. Anyway, I digress, they deserve my business. $10 here and there certainly won't make or break me!

Edited: July 12, 2019, 12:01 PM · Local shops, depending on demand an their ordering frequency may have old batches sitting literally for months if not years. If you are into gut strings, this is very important. Moreover, at least here in Toronto, they have a weird approach to exchange rate - prices follow stronger US dollar, but do not drop when local currency gains! With go strings only good experiences so far.
July 12, 2019, 1:03 PM · She's talking about synthetic-core strings (visions and such). Those have essentially infinite shelf-life.
July 12, 2019, 2:35 PM · I've been ordering strings and things from CONCORDMUSIC.COM for years and never been disappointed. They do charge for shipping but I compare total cost to me with other places and they usually win. I've also shopped most of the other on-line string shops and had very good service. I've also been a SHAR customer for 50 years and Southwest Strings almost as long.

My "local" violin shop is wonderful (Ifshin Violins) but 18 miles and one bridge away, here in California that means about $8 for gas and $7 bridge toll.

Edited: July 12, 2019, 5:06 PM · Andrew - ouch! That's not fun, and good to know about Concordmusic.com, I've been on their site.

The information on gut strings is of interest. I'm not going to try them just yet, but I intend to do so sometime next year. It makes sense that they would have an actual shelf life over synthetic-core strings.

Edited: July 12, 2019, 3:42 PM · I've been buying from Concordmusic and also Southwest strings for years. No complaints.
July 12, 2019, 5:36 PM · I can see the argument for buying local ( if possible) to save the “downtown”.

All businesses are motivated by profits and the idea that some merchants are inherently more ethical than others is, I would say, not very convincing.

July 12, 2019, 6:24 PM · I usually buy from quinnviolins.com . Their prices are competitive, and they have never gone wrong. Free shipping on strings only orders, I think.
July 12, 2019, 8:04 PM · David - if I have a choice of giving my money to a business that gives back to the community in some way, and another who, for example, is known for poor service, etc., there is little debate regarding from whom I will purchase, even if I would pay a lower price from the latter. That, however, is theoretical as the Indianapolis area has few actual violin shops.
July 13, 2019, 1:03 AM · Just fyi, shops don't really make money off of strings. Unless you pay them to put them on or something else, like a set-up.
Edited: July 13, 2019, 1:27 AM · Speaking as a small shop, we can buy the strings from our wholesale only suppliers a little bit cheaper than places like Shar, maybe $5-15 cheaper, but by the time you try to carry an inventory of more than one or two brands of strings, it turns into more of a liability, add to that most people expect you to change the strings included in the price, its not something a small shop like mine wants to get too far into.

I'm all for supporting your local violin shops, but string sales are not what's going to make your local violin shop profitable, repairs and most importantly sales are what's going to make a difference, and remember if you don't buy from your local shop but shop around for bargains on the internet, next time you need work on your violin that only a qualified luthier can do, there might not be any local luthiers left, other than guitar centre!!

Edited: July 13, 2019, 7:12 AM · String sales bring you into the store too. While you're there you browse the music titles, you say to yourself, "Gee it would be useful to have another 1/4-inch instrument cable," or "wow I can't live without that Bluetooth speaker that looks like a Marshall half-stack."

And for a lot of local music stores, I wonder if a fair amount of their income isn't rentals and lessons rather than merchandise.

July 13, 2019, 7:13 AM · Eric and Lyndon - good information to have re: strings. That had been my perception before, good to have that confirmed.
July 13, 2019, 7:40 AM · I'm pretty sure Pierre says somewhere that Fiddlershop started life as a string supplier, but there was no money in it.
July 13, 2019, 9:05 AM · Catherine - where do you live? You have said that around you there aren't many local shops.
Edited: July 13, 2019, 1:12 PM · Tom - I'm in Indianapolis. There are several, but not as many as one might expect. The one I go to, described above, is quite good and I start my shopping there. They have done well by me.
July 13, 2019, 3:01 PM · Catherine - I live in the DC area, and I can't say there are lots of luthiers. I know of several that are any good, but that is it. I think there are few cities with lots of them, e.g., New York and maybe the San Francisco Bay area. However, the main thing is that you go to one that is good. So do I. Make as much use of them as you can, and unless you are quite strapped for funds, I would not try to cut corners.
July 13, 2019, 3:54 PM · I concur Tom, and I stopped by there today for my new set of strings! Their prices really are very competitive, which is nice.

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