Rondo Violin strings at Shar

June 8, 2021, 2:41 PM · It looks like Shar is now selling Rondo strings. They include the steel A as well as the synthetic A.

Replies (30)

June 8, 2021, 2:44 PM · Thanks for posting this! Their price point is higher than Connolly ($98, last I got them) and higher than I've bought them for at a store ($90).

June 8, 2021, 3:57 PM · All the more reason to support your local. Still, a nice alternative when you're travelling and caught in a bind.
Edited: June 8, 2021, 4:08 PM · Those strings have excellent pitch stability and last a long time. The E string is very powerful. A luthier told me that they work well in opening up the sound of older instruments.
Edited: June 8, 2021, 4:24 PM · I like them a lot, but did not care for the E. Too much tension, so I swapped out for some other, mellower options.
June 8, 2021, 5:00 PM · Expensive-must be magical sounding indeed.

Please support your luthiers and buy your Rondos from them instead (if you are able). You are being charged a "middleman's fee" by purchasing through Shar-or so it seems (nothing against Shar.)

Glad I am not too much into modern synthetics. Older tech can sell for much cheaper!

June 8, 2021, 5:02 PM · They are also a retailer. Everyone is looking for a profit, here.
Edited: June 8, 2021, 6:38 PM · I was unable to get a cello set locally and bought them at - good experience there. The cello A is not working quite as well as Magnacore and Larsen Soloist on my daughter's cello - the D is stronger, otherwise a very nice sound.
June 9, 2021, 7:17 AM · Must be a wholesale change in policy. Johnson Strings now offers them online.
June 9, 2021, 7:25 AM · Shar IS my local store. It is about a mile from me in Ann Arbor. The people who work there are all local and most of the selling staff are musicians. The sales they have in store are wonderful and the onsite selection of music is huge. They have huge instrument testing rooms to play in and several smaller ones. I get to know the sales and service people by name. The bow rehairing is right there and they do a beautiful job with quick turn-around. When I bought a violin there, the luthier was happy to tinker with it until I loved the set-up.
June 9, 2021, 10:00 AM · One of my friends owns a bicycle store. He sometimes describes his business as catering to people who think you can go faster without stronger legs. String industry seems to cater to those who think you can sound better without practice. Many famous soloists did/do fine with Dominants. If you can afford these others and want to try them, though, why not? Not hurting anything, keeping economy going.
June 9, 2021, 10:08 AM · Ms. Rose,

I am glad they work well for you as a local luthier. I personally wish them well, and used to order from them a *lot* back in the day. Still do, when they put up a sale and they have something I would like to try. I used to love getting so much sheet music from them.

They do have a generally higher than average prices online at least-not by much, but generally rarely the most affordable. I personally do not mind this from local luthier shops, and perhaps they treat themselves as "local luthiers" who happen to sell online.

That said, the Rondo product in my humble opinion only makes sense as a "luthier product" (much like Warchal Timbre) therefore I thought the higher price for them was intentional, as a sort of "online fee" for not getting them from luthier shops. Perhaps I am wrong and they do sell Rondo for 114.95 even locally. It is a mystery to me. In any case, I meant to save people some money while supporting the shops, rather than throwing shade at Shar Music.

Be well.

June 9, 2021, 10:59 AM · I got an email from Shar advising they now carry the Rondo stings. It had a link to their violin string chart which placed the Rondo‚Äôs right between Dominants and Tonica. Both less then the Rondos.
June 9, 2021, 11:08 PM · The shop I've gone to for the past few decades carries Rondo for noticeably less than the full retail price being charged for online sales. Support your local luthier!

I love the Rondo set. It breaks in very quickly, has exceptionally clear sounding characteristics, and it lasts FAR much longer for me than most other sets. My wife and I find that they work great on both our violins, despite them being very different!

June 9, 2021, 11:23 PM · Many soloists did/do use Dominants because for a long time they were the only synthetic option. (And as a relatively low-tension, neutral string, they do pretty nicely on a lot of older fine violins that need little to no help from strings.)

Dominants are no longer an inexpensive string, relative to the broader string market. Shar charges about $70 for a set. Thus, it may no longer make financial sense to default to Dominants. They have an annoying, metallic, multi-day period. And they only have moderate string life.

In my experience, Rondos break in quickly, sound good pretty much instantly, and have a healthily long life. The longer lifespan alone justifies the premium over the Dominants. And they're terrific on my already very good-sounding antique that just need nicely neutral strings.

June 9, 2021, 11:45 PM · As someone who only goes to the luthier/violin shop when I need something like a rehair or the like, being able to buy my strings and have them shipped to my door is really helpful, especially since I now use Rondo on my violin. I also got emails from Concordmusic and fiddlershop saying they started selling Rondos online as well. And I asked Southwest strings if they would be as well and they said they'd be selling them starting next week.

Also, these stores are selling the rondo strings for VIOLA as well. So if anyone who also plays viola or is primarily a violist wanted to try them on viola as well they now can. I'm going to try them on my viola to see how they fare compared to the normal vision solos and Larsen A currently on my viola when they kick the bucket.

BTW, Lydia how did you get rondos for $98 from Connolly? Anytime I go on their site they're always $114.95, the same price the other sites are now selling them for.

June 10, 2021, 12:09 AM · Rondo (including individual strings) has been available from the official Europe-based webshop for quite a while (at least a year).

Obviously this is less relevant for our many American members.

Strings are one of the very few things that are cheap in Hong Kong, where I live (which is odd, considering that it is one of the only duty-free regions worldwide). Professional violinists get a discount from local music stores. I just bought a set of Dominants for USD 42.5, and previously paid USD 86 for a set of Rondo. My violin prefers Dominants anyway, so I'm happy.

Thomastik Infeld does not enforce minimum string prices, so they can vary quite a bit between regions and shops.

Edited: June 10, 2021, 3:22 AM · I still prefer and use gut even right now (humid and hot) but please understand that it is very possible to like Dominant for what they are, rather than for what their historical purpose was. Yes, they were a first, and some did not even like them back then. But not all that is new is better. The relatively low tension of a light set is unique among synthetics, even most low tension ones. And though they do not sound "gut like", they have a very charming, clear tone of their own that is generally not too dark/overly warm (understanding that some may hate it, of course.) When Obligato was a fresh product, many loved them over Dominant due to their generally "warm" tone and newer tech (some have always thought of Dominant as too bright and hate the metallic, initial tone), but I feel the old Dominant has won that particular battle over the years, especially when Pirastro stopped offering Obligato in many tensions. Loved or hated, they are still a good option IMHO, not because of what they were, but due to how they still sound and play relative to other good, more modern synthetics.

*United States "secret": I just double checked a certain website that generally does not have the lowest prices, but do offer Dominant "custom" sets (your choice of non Thomastik E) for aluminum D sets at $49.99, silver D at $52.00. It is not Shar, Southwest, Johnson, Fiddlerman, or Concord Music. Please do not pay $70.00 for Dominant strings unless you want to specifically support a luthier. For a bit more than $8 dollars compared to Mr. Kruer's country, you can still get them at a fairly decent value. I do not want to mention them as they may raise the price, and I do not want to appear as an endorser or as having a "deal" with them. Their custom sets section is one of the biggest deals for strings online as far as US is concerned, even when their regular sets may be a few cents or dollars above the norm.*

(Because I can find Dominant at 49.99 plus tax, I do not have a too positive view on the new Dominant Pro, but to each their own-if they make you happy, do go for them.)

June 10, 2021, 7:11 AM · If you're buying Doninants for $42.50 you have to seriously consider you might be buying counterfeits because that is below my wholesale price from my dealers only supplier.
June 10, 2021, 7:22 AM · Mr. Taylor,

I think he gets them from a different supplier in his country. That said, 49.99 is also "cheap" in the US if 43.00 is below supplier cost. Not sure how that US company manages to do it.

Be well.

June 10, 2021, 7:28 AM · There are lots of counterfeit strings floating around the far East, on ebay as well as Amazon, it sometimes worth it to pay a few dollars extra to buy from a reputable supplier.
June 10, 2021, 7:56 AM · I just received a new set of Dominants, silver G and D strings, with Larsen gold E substituted, that cost $52, from a reputable US music store. Been buying from them for some time; no worry about counterfeit. Agree with Adalberto. My violin sounds great with just about any string, but I enjoy playing Dominants.
Edited: June 10, 2021, 8:04 AM · I can understand your concerns, but I can assure you they are genuine. Please don't jump to conclusions because of the region - the many working professionals here (including myself) would definitely notice fake strings. Lyndon forgets that in my (very small region) there are no import duties or sales taxes, which helps keep prices down, and I also get a discount offered to pros that register with the shop (a common ploy here). The "list price" I see online at the reputable shops here is about 48 USD.

My point is that string prices can very quite a bit between regions and even shops - I've seen at TI rep on Facebook specifically state that MSRP is just a suggestion and that they allow different regions to set their own prices.

It's worth it to shop around.

I'm not sure about Thomastik Infeld, but I know for a fact that the shop I buy from deals directly with Pirastro when placing orders, as I've made special orders of odd gauge Pirastro wound gut strings and have to wait until their seasonal bulk shipment arrives in order to get the best price.

June 10, 2021, 8:09 AM · I pulled the Connolly price directly off my e-commerce receipts. I don't think I bought on sale. If the price has gone up, *sigh*.
June 10, 2021, 10:54 AM · Mr. Bop,

Indeed that place is among the best to buy strings in the US if you do not use a set's E. I have purchased the 49.99 Dominant (as I favor the aluminum D) with that particular Larsen E in the past, which is very fine. Oliv Es are also quite affordable under such a deal. I have also purchased similar " custom" sets with Oliv and Eudoxa instead, but sadly they do not seem to include the regular Eudoxas as an option.

While of course I do not mind what others buy to makes themselves happy, my concern with high and higher prices is that soon most other companies will follow suit. Thomastik and Pirastro love to compete to see who makes the most expensive modern string set ever-and since players buy the strings anyway, the practice remains. Not talking about inflation, but what I perceive as overpricing in general. I am sure many will pay the Rondo set $114.95 Connolly standard price without much, if any complaints, especially since many well-known players do also use them.

Edited: June 10, 2021, 1:59 PM · Adalberto,
I just ordered a set like that with the Oliv E. Will check it out next time I change.
I also don't mind what others buy, either. Everyone's in charge of their own violin and their own money! Plus, if the Rondos or other strings sound better to anyone on their own violin, it's probably well worth the money to them.
June 11, 2021, 5:36 PM · I'm glad to hear the Rondos more widely available now. I've just installed a set, replacing two week old "Dominant Pros" that didn't work on my violin. After all of the hype, with the D.P., never again.
June 14, 2021, 7:40 AM · Jeff Terflinger - what went wrong?
Also - anyone - rondo outpirces PI string, which is supposed to be the holly grail... What gives?
June 14, 2021, 8:01 AM · No idea what costs of the two lines are, but after a long flirtation with PI, I have come to prefer the Rondos.
Edited: June 14, 2021, 10:20 AM · I have used Rondos lately and the Dom. Pros just sounded more subdued, with less sparkle and sizzle. I did reinstall the Dominants on a brighter, 1943 Carlisle and they do sound better then on the warmer 2017 Melanson.
June 14, 2021, 10:46 AM · Hype gives.

That said, use whatever works best for you, whether it costs less or more than the norm. You and your violin(s) should make the choice, not strictly popularity, what a teacher says is the best, or what famous players use.

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