strings size

May 26, 2020, 3:28 PM · My son switched to full size violin. We still have several packs of the 3/4 sized different Pirastro and Dominants. If it is ok to use many brands of 4/4 strings on 3/4 instrument, is it possible to do it the other way? Thanks!

Replies (7)

Edited: May 26, 2020, 4:41 PM · I reckon they make the strings for fractional instruments thicker so that they will have the same tension on all sizes of violin. If that's the case, then the strings will be heavier tuned up to proper pitch on a full-size violin. Doesn't hurt to try, though, since you have extras lying around.
May 26, 2020, 5:04 PM · I have never used 3/4 strings, on a 4/4 or otherwise, so my answer is necessarily a little speculative. What concerns me is whether a 3/4 string would be long enough to wrap properly round its peg, and whether there is the possibility that the string's peg box winding would extend past the nut over the fingerboard.
May 26, 2020, 5:20 PM · I once asked Pirastro if, since they were discontinuing full-size stark-gauge Obligato strings, it might make sense to use their medium-gauge 1/2-3/4-size Obligato strings instead, on a full-size violin.

They wrote that while the full-size stark-gauge Obligato A string, for example, had a tension of 5.7 kp, their 1/2-3/4 size Obligato string would have a tension of a whopping 6.5 kp on a full-size violin.

Edited: May 26, 2020, 5:39 PM · If you bring a 4/4 string to it's normal tension on a 3/4 violin it's vibrating length will be shorter than it's designed for and its pitch will be too high, if you loosen the string to bring it down to proper pitch the strings will get floppy. This might work with some strings on some instruments.

Just the opposite effect will occur if you try to use 3/4 strings on a 4/4 instrument; at design tension the strings' pitches will be too low and have to be over-tightened potentially causing them to break and risking the integrity of the violin itself. I would not recommend trying this, but it might work on some particularly husky instruments.

May 26, 2020, 8:12 PM · Thanks everybody. I do remember that some brands sell 3/4-4/4 sets, but I am not sure which ones these are, need to check. Given that, if these are the ones that I do have, they should work on the full size, what do you think?
May 26, 2020, 9:15 PM · In most cases, 3/4 strings are short enough that they won’t fit without the winding at the top running into the nut. As already mentioned, fractional strings are made thicker to make up for the shorter scale. This makes them feel more supple under the bow.

If the manufacturer suggests they’ll work for either size, then they ought to. I haven’t seen any that fit both 3/4 and 4/4, but there are strings made for 3/4-1/2 and 1/4-1/8. If those are what you have, switch to 4/4.

May 26, 2020, 9:51 PM · Thanks Rich Maxham, I'll check those that I think might be "double sized" and the ones I have.

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