I am going to ask for a set of strings for Christmas! :) I haven't experimented much with different strings, and I don't have the resources to do so a lot at this point, so I am just hoping to get a set that would be fun to try for one cycle of strings (I end up changing them every 4-6 months...whenever they go lifeless.)
I would describe my violin as dark instead of bright. I think it has an especially nice lower strings sound. (A teacher once told me he thought it has some of the depth of a viola.) I much prefer a dark, warm sound rather than a bright sound, but I know that often brighter strings are suggested for a darker violin...
Which brings me to my question: does anyone have any suggestions for a strings splurge?
I normally use the Infeld set that come in a silver package.
If you're using Peter Infeld and like them, there's probably no reason to change, just keep buying the same, they're arguably the best strings on the market and theoretically it makes sense that they work well on your violin. If you would like cheaper but similar ones, try Titanium Solo.
David, I assume you wanted to start a flame war with "they're arguably the best strings"?
There are so many great strings that work well on some violins and not so great on others. And there's no way to know which will work well on your violin until you try them. Which can run into a lot of money, trying to find what's best for your violin and your playing style.
Tony, Of course strings depend a lot on the violin in question and the player, that's why I specifically said "arguably", you need to read all the words. And yes, they're arguably the best strings on the market.
"Mixing strings" is another approach to optimizing an instrument's performance. This mixing can be done by using different gauges of the same string brand, using different brands from the same or ANY manufacturer.
David, I've had a day of arguing with intransigent people and I'm really quite tired of it, but not so much I'm going to ignore you and allow you to leave very questionable statements here without challenging them.
I used to use PIs, which were pretty bright, and I switched to Passione Solo G and D, Eva Pirazzi Stark A, and Kaplan E. I wanted to try out a gut core string, so I went with the Passione Solos, then with my luthier, we played around and matched the other two strings, and my violin seemed to agree. It's all kind of trial and error, and one violin may find a certain set of strings very agreeable, whereas another might not, but I find that the Passione Solos have a nice richness to them. They played a little different than the PIs, so it took a little bit to adjust, but I won't be going back.
If you can afford PIs and have some time on your hands (which I assume with Covid you do), but find them perhaps to be a little too in-your-face, I highly recommend trying the Thomastik Rondos and your choice of E string (although the tin-plated E I think is pretty good).
Easy! The best strings for ME are Dominant (with Silver D) and Pirastro Gold E. I have tried, over time, every set on the market and eventually come back to this combination.
Aquila light plain gut---but not the E string. Use a steel E.
@Tony, You look triggered and to not know the meaning of ARGUABLY, I recommend checking the dictionary online.
For me, Infeld Pi are about $20 too expensive. The platinum E is terribly overpriced (compare pricing with Pirastro's version-it is an absurdity.) Thomastik already has good sounding sets that do not cost as much. That said, I am not saying they are bad strings-they also have become ubiquitous by now, even with some soloists.
Current favorite set on my best violin (2011 Guerneri model by Guy Harrison): Warchal Ambers. Also, Passiones. Got very tired of the sound of Titanium Solo and have given them up. Haven't tried the PIs yet. Definitely did not like the sound of Evahs, especially the Golds. String choice seems highly dependent on the instrument, and you have to experiment over the years. Your ears (and nerves) change too. On my vintage violin (1880s, Mittenwald), which has a darkish sound, the Warchal Brilliant Vintage are a very good match.
Adalberto, I don't remember how we got to the Evah A Stark - I think we were messing around with other strings, and the violin ended up responding better to that one. I had never played on Evahs before, and I remember thinking they sounded a bit hysterical. It may have just been a hunch my violin guy had, but I like the violin's sound. I don't think I'll go back to straight-up synthetics, and maybe I'll try that Oliv at some point.
Thanks for the suggestions! I should have clarified...I use a different E string, a Hill E. And also, the strings are simply ones that my teacher insists all her students use, so they are in no way chosen for my violin specifically. That being said, I don't have complaints re. the sound. In fact, I'm impressed they sound so solid for such a long time. (And they are cheaper in Germany, woot!)
Guts are definitely worth a try! A combo that has worked well for me is:
I also change my strings roughly every 4-6 months, but I always change it up. I figure there are so many strings out there to try, that it's fun to test different sets out. I prefer darker and more colorful sounds, so it helps that I can stick to one end of the spectrum. The Pi strings are fantastic, but I also really like Obligatos, Eudoxa's, Dominants... Some sound better than others, but generally speaking, I find my E string to be the most finicky and have been sticking with a wound Eudoxa on one violin and a Westminster E on the other.