Perlon core string life span

March 4, 2020, 11:42 AM · Hi all : This week I had the A and D of the Larsen Tzigane that suddenly overnight just lost all their tensions and died (after about 4 months of playing)... First time I had this happen, anyone else experienced something similar with perlon core strings?

I do love the sound and playability of Tzigane but was thinking of maybe trying the Peter Infeld again, how are the infelds in terms of life span ? (I only had a D on for 2 days, almost as good but liked the depth of Tzigane better)


thanks for your inputs everyone.

Replies (10)

Edited: March 4, 2020, 12:10 PM · That's too long between string changes , if you practice at all.
March 4, 2020, 12:24 PM · I found larsen Tzigane to be "funny" strings. They were not good on all but one of my violins when I tried them some years ago - but on that one violin they were pretty outstanding and made it possible to play 2 octaves up the G string; saving that fiddle as far as I was concerned. (That violin had been a gift from a former adult student.)

At the time I talked to Richard Ward about it and he also had doubts about them. Ward worked at Ifshin Violins and authored a number of articles about strings and other things in STRINGS magazine.

Edited: March 4, 2020, 1:51 PM · In my experience the nylon/perlon cored strings (e.g. Dominant, Tonica, or the polyester cored Aricore) deteriorate a whole lot more slowly than the more recent "composite" cores, as well as being on average of a lower tension. I dont know the composition of Larsen strings.

Together with the frenetic marketing of new improved, miracle strings, I have a sneaking suspicion that these newer strings are designed to wear out faster...

March 4, 2020, 1:41 PM · EP Gold died on me within a couple of bow strokes after about 1 month. I refused to believe that, so I desperately tried to play pianissimo and/or in tune for a week.... a real catastrophe.

PI strings die slowly and in sneaky ways, so you end up endlessly trying to fix your tone, but it just dulls out.... they alsetd about 3 months with me. But it was a stretch.

March 4, 2020, 6:27 PM · Hmm guess 3 - 4 months seem to be the average life span for these strings these days... I will probably stick with Tzigane as they do sound and play the closest to gut / Oliv

What do you use on most of your violins these day Andrew ?

March 18, 2020, 6:03 PM · My experience with nylon (aka "Perlon") core strings is that they wear out and go dull even when they still look fine. They aren't long lasting. I think the strings based on other synthetic fibers hold up better (Evahs, Vision, PI, etc.)

Gut strings tend to be the opposite of perlon: they take a little while to stretch out and settle down, then stay the about the same tonally until the windings give up the ghost.

March 18, 2020, 6:20 PM · After a month my ep golds lost their texture. I think dominants and visions are perlon, which means that core probably lasts longer.
March 18, 2020, 6:40 PM · My experience with Larsen strings is that all of them are really short-lived. A month is about all I've gotten out of them. When strings were cheaper, I was willing to pay that price. Not at this point.
March 18, 2020, 10:14 PM · I think it's interesting how different our perception is about useful string life.

We must have very different ideas about what kinds of sounds are acceptable vs. not acceptable.

For me, Dominants tend to sound acceptable (for violin and viola) for longer than the Pirastro synthetics.

But other folks insist that they don't last.

March 18, 2020, 11:59 PM · The life of any string set will vary based on the amount of practicing one does. Players who practice and perform more tend to need to change strings more often.

As a general rule I tell customers that if they play an hour a day, they should expect a set of strings to last about six months. If they play more aggressively or more often, they’ll need to change strings sooner.

A strings have a tendency to wear out faster, especially with Evah Pirazzi sets. Much of this comes from the fact that A strings are typically wrapped with aluminum, which tends to wear down faster than the silver that good D and G strings employ. The Larsen Il Cannone set had enough problems with the A that they began including an “improved” A in each set to make up for the breakage issue.

No matter what set of strings you choose, it’s important to make sure that the setup on your instrument is in good shape. The string grooves at the nut and bridge can cause premature string demise if they aren’t properly cut or lubricated.

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