What strings should I upgrade to?

July 31, 2017, 2:36 AM · My violin is a really cheap starter violin probably made in China for all I know, and I've been debating over upgrading the strings for ages. Seeing as my E string broke recently I thought it would be a good chance to just upgrade them all.

I'm not made of money but I don't know what brand of strings are good or just as bad as my current ones which appear to have lost all vibrancy to them. No matter what I do she just sounds sick.

Also, should I just simple upgrade the whole violin (poor Sophia) or try renting one to see if it makes any difference to sound quality. I'm also to blame due to my bad playing haha!


Replies (16)

July 31, 2017, 2:47 AM · Every major string brand is making good strings these days.
If you want to keep it on an budget you may try Tonika first.
We cannot tell you which strings are best with your violin, but those a pretty standard and not as expensive as some others.
July 31, 2017, 3:01 AM · Thank you =) I'll pick some up next time I get paid! They appear to have some good reviews with them :)
July 31, 2017, 3:03 AM · In the price range I guess you are in renting is a good solution. If you can / want to spend $1500 or more you can look for a violin and bow to buy.
Did your violin get set up by a luthier? They often need a bit of love (bridge, soundpost, string afterlwngth, pegs, etc) after comming from china.
July 31, 2017, 6:23 AM · I'm amazed at the low [price Tonica strings are selling for these days. When they were first sold they were the only synthetic-core string in competition with Dominants. I used them on my main violin for quite a few years when I switched from gut-core and Dominants just were not right for it.

Helicore are steel-core strings in the same price range as Tonicas, and seem to work pretty well for some violins.

Changing the E string (to one not from the main set you are using - after you switch to Tonica or Helicore) can also make a big difference. Fortunately most E strings are inexpensive.

July 31, 2017, 8:10 AM · Indeed the Goldbrokat E is really cheap and many people say it's a good string. I have one but I've never put it on. Shar has some sets that come with a different E (such as Goldbrokat) but they only do this with the more expensive sets, not with Tonicas.
July 31, 2017, 8:39 AM · The full set of Tonica should do the trick. I personally love Tonicas, but that's just me.
July 31, 2017, 1:38 PM · When I got my violin, I didn't pay much attention to strings. I did know that prelude were a decent beginner string. Now that I actually got around to starting to play my violin, I really cannot stand the string. I think a set of Tonica/Dominant strings will be purchased VERY soon. Along with a new, better bow.
July 31, 2017, 2:31 PM · Warchal has some affordable strings, great for those on a budget because of their durability


Edited: July 31, 2017, 2:55 PM · Hello Cazzie,

I think the setup of your violin is the most important aspect to be considered here. Has a competent luthier looked at your instrument and said that your bridge and soundpost and tailpiece are as they should be?

I agree with the previous posters Tonica is a great inexpensive string and it is good to have a few extra E strings on hand as they are inexpensive. I have had my E string break several times over the years just sitting in its case .

August 1, 2017, 7:13 AM · I've never taken it to a Luther, I'm kind of embarrassed to and I'm certain they're costly to go and see? Mine isn't even true wood, it's the plastic-esque kind. My violin is in a pretty shabby state ._.
August 1, 2017, 7:28 AM · I second keeping extra E strings on hand.

You might look into the Spirit brand too. Gets decent reviews, and is very reasonably priced.

August 1, 2017, 3:43 PM · You might want to find a new violin that's easy to use, sounds okay and properly made. Then, you might want to invest in some cheap synthetics+steel E strings.
August 1, 2017, 8:15 PM · I found Zyex strings to be pretty easy to play and always stay in tune and pretty affordable.
August 1, 2017, 8:45 PM · Will,

You forgot to mention that outside of mechanical wear the damn things last near forever.

August 1, 2017, 9:16 PM · D'Addario Pro-Artes get a bad rap as cheap dominants, but I like them quite a bit. They're fairly cheap, don't take long to break in, and adjust to different temp and humidity ranges. Takes a day of minimum wage work to pay for a 4/4 set.

They mellow out bright instruments really well, but I wouldn't recommend them if you like a bright sound or have an already dark instrument. The E squeaks a lot so you might want to get a different E.

August 2, 2017, 12:55 PM · Opinions on strings are very controversial because every violin is different, and different players choose to optimize violins in different ways. In addition, differences in bowing styles and hand chemistry can also influence string choice.

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