Getting Rondo Strings if your local shop doesn't carry them?

December 18, 2020, 11:37 AM · Aside from a 6-hour road trip, is there a way to order Rondo strings? My local shop doesn't carry them at this time. I know Connolly music, the US distributor, has them on their website. I recently bought some other strings on Amazon that were counterfeit, so I'd prefer to use an only portal to a brick-and-mortar violin shop only.

Replies (31)

December 18, 2020, 11:51 AM · I have always purchased my sets from Connolly.
December 18, 2020, 12:19 PM · Jamie, thank you. Do you like them?
December 18, 2020, 1:38 PM · When you sign up for the luthier strings program, you’re required to agree not to advertise the strings online or sell them by mail order. Unless you buy them directly from Connolly at full retail, you have to go to a shop that carries them.
December 18, 2020, 2:09 PM · There were a handful of places in the UK that would sell on-line, but only if you got a large quantity. Don't know if Thomastik has persuaded them to change that policy, but it might be worth a web search.
December 18, 2020, 2:56 PM · I don’t see why you could not call up a local luthier, give them your credit card
And have them mail you a set. If they are not advertising online, not clear what the problem would be. Your “local” just might be a bit farther than most.:)
We buy ours from the Stringhouse in Rochester, NY. Usually try to pick them up but we are an hour away and they have mailed them to me to save the drive or in a pinch. My daughter likes them, Rondos, though we use a different E.
December 18, 2020, 6:41 PM · Our shop had not heard of them. I asked about them today while buying a set of PIs.
Edited: December 18, 2020, 7:28 PM · I guess I was suggesting you redefine what’s local. If you can call around and find a shop that carries them you can order, they just can’t advertise. (Or put them on the web.)
I gave you one, possibly others would chime in if you gave your rough location.
Edited: December 18, 2020, 9:05 PM · None of my local shops carry them. I originally got them in Chicago, and I've ordered subsequent ones from Connolly.

Any reason why you don't want to just buy from Connolly? As far as I know they're the only legit online source for Rondos.

December 18, 2020, 9:44 PM · There's also the official TI online store (ships from Croatia though).

https://shop.thomastik-infeld.com/en/violin-rondo-a01-s-vli-rdo-0001.html

December 19, 2020, 3:54 AM · I would like to try the Rondo strings as well as the fairly new Timbre strings but if I cannot purchase them conveniently then I will pick other brands.
December 19, 2020, 6:16 AM · They sell them at Paganino.
December 19, 2020, 1:16 PM · I’m happy to order from Connolly or another shop, thanks everyone. I am hoping my shop decides to carry them but it’s a small shop.
December 19, 2020, 4:25 PM · Timbre is easily orderable online also, direct from Warchal. I got my strings promptly.
Edited: December 19, 2020, 7:36 PM · Aren’t you in the DC area, Lydia? I have Rondo, TI, and Timbre strings. Not all the shops here have them, but you can get them!
December 19, 2020, 10:07 PM · eBay might be an option.
December 19, 2020, 10:33 PM · really bad idea, too many fakes
December 20, 2020, 9:35 AM · Rich, I am! My usual local shop is Potters; I've talked to them in the past about carrying more Warchal strings as well as Rondos. Their Warchal inventory is hit-or-miss, and they've never carried either Timbres or Rondos, at least pre-pandemic. (I'm only rarely at Gailes, Brobst or Lashof due to distance; I live in Bethesda.)

You're currently at your own shop in Alexandria, it looks like, and are not referring to Weaver's?

Edited: December 20, 2020, 6:04 PM · Lydia,
I have my workshop in Alexandria, but I also meet customers at Weaver’s on days when I’m working there. Get in touch if you’d like to stop in some time.
December 20, 2020, 7:53 PM · Will do, thanks! (I currently have spare sets from Connolly I'm going through.)
January 17, 2021, 10:40 AM · Thomastik Rondo and Ti strings can now be purchased online through Thomastik US importer, Connolly.

Here is the link:
https://shop.connollymusic.com/ro100-rondo-violin-set/

Edited: January 17, 2021, 11:26 AM · What's the hype with these strings? There are too many sets out there, which aren't "luthier only".
January 17, 2021, 12:02 PM · Is "luthier only" a marketing ploy, or is there something genuinely deeper behind it?
January 17, 2021, 12:06 PM · I dislike that they offer near zero options for the violinist-only one tension, only silver D, etc. They should be doing well due to Dominant, Pi, and word of mouth reputation, and probably do sound fine, but I will never try them. For Thomastik, I think Dominants are more than great enough, though I am sure that is a minority opinion nowadays.

(I think that being more affordable than Pi is also considered a plus-though I do not know how they compare to each other. But at least the Pi line has choices for some of the strings.)

January 17, 2021, 12:53 PM · They are higher tension than Evah Pirazzi, so people must really need tension.
January 17, 2021, 1:01 PM · I'm with David. I don't understand the excitement over yet another set of violin strings, especially when this "luthier only" crap is just marketing. Why don't they make them twice as expensive too? That'll really get people's attention. Works for rosin and shoulder rests. (Not to mention violins and bows.)
Edited: January 17, 2021, 1:14 PM · I've read somewhere, Thomastik say that they made this strigns exclusive to luthiers to support them as professionals, giving them exclusive strings that only they can sell to costumers, but they are strings as any other. There's no "luthier magic".
Edited: January 17, 2021, 4:46 PM · David's remark about the very high tension of Rondos offers me a clue to the answer to my question: With some violins, especially the old, the setup, including bridge, sound post, and perhaps the bass bar, would need to be changed to handle those ultra-high tensions, changes which could not be safely left to the unskilled ministrations of non-luthiers.

My old violin, for example, isn't far removed from its 18th century setup, which is specifically for gut and happiest with the likes of Eudoxas or plain gut. Were I to go down the slippery path of very high tension for this violin (a zero likelihood!) I would get the considered advice of my luthier first, and abide by it.

January 17, 2021, 10:26 PM · According to the tension charts from the manufacturers, it looks like Rondo and EP tensions are basically identical.

Rondos do not feel like a high-tension string, and I don't find that they choke the sound of my violin like Pirastro's high-tension strings do. (My violin needs a different setup for higher-tension strings, but I can use the Rondos with the same setup that I use for Warchal's low-tension strings.)

January 17, 2021, 10:55 PM · Its not whether you feel like they are high tension, its how your violin feels!
Edited: January 18, 2021, 7:45 AM · Tensions:


___Evah Pirazzi Gold:___

G Gold: 4.8 kg | G Silver: 4.9 kg

D: 4.7 kg

A: 5.5 kg

E: 8.0 kg

___Evah Pirazzi:___
G: 4.9 kg

D: 4.8 kg

A: 5.6 kg

E: 7.8 kg


___Rondo:___

G: 4.8 kg

D: 4.8 kg

A aluminum: 5.7 kg | A chrome: 6.0 kg

E: 8.2 kg

January 18, 2021, 12:42 PM · If David Duarte’s numbers are right, the standard Rondo set is almost the same as Evah in tension. The real difference comes if you use the chrome A and/or E. I haven’t used the chrome A much and never use the E string. Thus, using Rondo with the aluminum A and a Goldbrokat E, the overall tension is not higher than Evah and the sound is vastly improved.

I don’t agree with the suggestion that the luthier strings are simply a ploy to market strings that are no different. Those sets were available in Europe for a long time before they finally came to the US and the luthier program was established.

The reason for starting an exclusive program was to respond to the damage caused by drop-shippers and online-only businesses that skirted the rules for advertising. I worked in a shop that had problems on multiple occasions where employees used the shop accounts to order things for themselves and then sold them online through their own businesses to undercut the shop and steal customers. Everyone wants a good price on strings, which is completely understandable, but price wars end up doing more harm than good.

As a condition of approval in the luthier string program, businesses must agree NOT to advertise the strings or sell online or by mail. That’s hardly the most effective way to market a product. Warchal has done the same thing with their Timbre line, and I would not be at all surprised to see more string manufacturers adopt this model in the future.

As to the sound, I think all three “luthier strings” sets are distinct and of excellent quality. They’re not copies of other sets, and they don’t necessarily replace anything. They have their own places in the lineup of strings available.

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