Review: One week with Thomastik Dynamo strings

Edited: March 19, 2023, 2:09 AM · I’ve now played a set of Dynamo strings every day for a week, including 8 hours orchestra rehearsals. I like them a lot – they are maybe the most neutral set of strings that I have played, and I’ve tried 24 sets in the last 12 months! Yes I know I’m crazy (you can find my review of the first half of those sets on this website:

My first impression with the Dynamos was that there is very little metal in the sound, not even during the first hour of playing. After this first hour, the D and G had a full and round tone. The A needed some more time, but after a day or so the set sounded nicely balanced. I did not yet try the E string but used a Pirastro Gold E instead. As you can see in the latest “Michael Explains it All!” video (, the choice of the E string has a strong effect on the sound of the other strings. And vice versa, actually – to me, it seemed that the medium gauge Gold E had much more volume with the Dynamos than they had with other, less soloistic strings.

Because that is what Dynamos are to me: soloistic strings, of a similar category as Evah Pirazzi Green and Gold, Peter Infeld, or Warchal Timbre. But there’s one difference: To me, Dynamos sound best when I play them in piano. In my (lay) orchestra, they did not stick out in any way, it is possible to play at extremely low volume with a beautiful round tone (we’re currently playing Schumann violin concerto, where the orchestra often has the usual pianississimo, plus Beethoven No. 2).

Some comparisons: To me, the sound quality is somewhat related to Evah Pirazzi Golds. But there’s a striking difference: I only played the Evah Golds for one week, then I had to take them off – I didn’t like their sound at low volume at all, they had a hardness that only disappeared when playing them at a higher volume. In the Dynamos, I observed the opposite pattern: a very warm and round sound at low volume, but at high volume there is some edginess added, some hardness that may not be very different from Evah Golds, only it happens at the other side of the dynamic spectrum. Maybe such differences would disappear or change after a few weeks or months of use.

Comparisons within the Thomastik brand: the ease of use at lower volume of the Dynamos reminds me of the Rondos, but Dynamos have nothing of the high-frequency metal that I still find somewhat disturbing in the Rondos (even after some weeks of use). Maybe I would describe the Dynamos as a mixture between Vision Solos and Rondos: as easy to play as the Rondos, with a sound quality that goes into the direction of the Vision Solos, i.e., somewhat reduced higher frequencies. But compared to the Visions Solos, which seemed a bit one-dimensional to me, the Dynamos really offer the huge dynamic range that their name seems to suggest.

Under the fingers, the Dynamo strings feel not as thick as the Vision Solos, but somewhat thicker than less soloistic strings. During the first few hours, I thought that the silver winding on G and D is a bit sticky for the fingers, but this feeling disappeared after the first days.

As usual, I’m not sure they will be my favorite set of strings. To me, and unlike what Michael O'Gieblyn described in his YouTube video, the Dynamos don’t have a particularly broad sound, almost certainly not broader than the Dominant Pros. Instead, they seem rather focused to me, and they are also not, and don’t feel like, a low-tension string. They may still be too soloistic for me, simply too loud when I’m playing in my little practice room or in our living room. Interestingly, the loud volume of the Dynamos comes along well disguised. Maybe they don’t feel too loud because they have that pleasant warm sound signature. They do have some brilliant high frequencies as well, but those don’t stick out like in other sets. I only recognized that they might be too voluminous for my purpose because my ears are slightly ringing; and I discovered that I’m inadvertently playing piano most of the time. But maybe I’m just playing piano because it is so beautiful with those strings?

I’m very curious about the experiences of other people!

UPDATE. Ten days with the Thomastik Dynamos: What a fascinating set of strings. Either the hardness at higher volumes disappeared, or I got used to it. This evening I’m enjoying every bit of it, at all volumes. They even developed some gut-like quality both in sound and in response to bowing. This may become my favorite set of normal synthetic strings (my favorite non-normal sets of synthetic / non-synthetic strings are still Warchal Amber / Pirastro Oliv).

Replies (5)

March 16, 2023, 12:08 PM · Wow, thanks for that review, very provocative. I'm going to wait to hear what other users say before trying them - I mean your lovely review is still a set of strings on one violin.

But staying tuned.. :)

March 16, 2023, 12:24 PM · Oh, this was not meant to be provocative ... as you say, only one violin and one set of ears plus one brain (but several sets of strings).
Edited: March 16, 2023, 3:26 PM · What is your opinion of the Il Cannone Soloist violin strings from Larsen?
Edited: March 17, 2023, 7:25 AM · It takes a while - more than a week or even a fortnight - for this player (petit moi) to adapt to a change of strings, bow or instrument and discover how to get the best out of the new combination. Only when I'm fully familiar and comfortable with the hardware can I give the software its due. Experimentation is fun and harmless now that I'm playing less in ensemble or in public but I find it can easily become a distraction from the nitty-gritty.

March 17, 2023, 2:51 PM · @Alexander: I did not try the Il Cannone strings and will probably not buy them, because I’m not that much interested in soloist strings. From Larsen, I played Tzigane, Virtuoso and Original and will write about them / record them at a later time.
@Steve: Yes, I agree to everything you say; I just added an update to my review. I’m an amateur musician, so it is a bit unclear what the nitty-gritty is; I’d say it is everything I deal with at any given time!

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