Every violinist knows that strings are a delicate part of the instrument. Nevertheless, they play a big role in the sound quality and tone variation.
When searching for the best strings for electric violin, there are various factors to consider. Quality and durability are key. It's also important to check if the strings are perfect for your violin. There's no harm in trying various types till you find the right one that produces the sound and tone you're looking for.
We reviewed the best electric violin strings and outlined factors to consider when choosing them.
Table of Contents
What Are Electric Violin Strings?
These are strings tailored to be installed on an electric violin. Technically, you can use classical violin strings on your electric violin; however, some violins come with their own specifications. For instance, steel strings feature a magnetic pickup that can detect the signal generated by the strings' vibration. Violins like the MIDI that use magnetic pickups require such strings. Electric strings come plated in platinum, gold, and silver, among other materials.
Below we've reviewed the best strings for electric violin that produce great sound and tone.
Which is the Best Strings For Electric Violin?
Best Electric Violin Strings
1. D’Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings
- VERSATILE STRINGS – Designed for optimum playability, D’Addario’s Helicore violin strings are one of the most versatile stranded-steel core strings available. Helicore strings suit many playing styles, levels and instruments.
- STRANDED STEEL CORE – Helicore violin strings are crafted with a multi-stranded steel core, giving them great playability and a clear, warm tone. Smaller string diameter provides quick bow response while quality materials and workmanship create pitch stability and longevity.
- FOR 4/4 SCALE VIOLIN – Scaled to fit a 4/4 size violin with a playing length of 13 inches (328mm), these medium tension strings are optimized to the needs of a majority of players. The E string included with the H310 set is a plain steel E (tin-plated high-carbon steel) with no winding.
- BUILT TO LAST – Packaged in uniquely-designed sealed pouches, Helicore strings have unparalleled protection from the elements that cause corrosion.
- MADE IN THE USA – D’Addario leverages centuries of string-making experience and advanced computer-controlled winding technology to bring you the most durable, consistent and long-lasting strings. All D'Addario strings are designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA to the most stringent quality controls in the industry.
The D'Addario Helicore Strings are heavy-duty and work well with a wide range of playing styles and genres. The strings are designed for optimum playability, making them super versatile.
The electric violin strings are crafted with a multi-stranded steel core, giving them great playability and a clear, warm tone. In addition, they have a smaller string diameter that provides a quick bow response, while the use of quality materials and artistry creates pitch stability and longevity.
The violin strings are scaled to fit a 4/4 size violin with a playing length of 13 inches (328mm). They are medium tension strings that have been optimized to cater to the needs of a majority of players. Lastly, the E string included with the H310 set is a plain steel E (tin-plated high-carbon steel) with no winding.
The violin electric strings come packaged in uniquely designed sealed pouches, and they are designed to resist corrosion.
2. Thomastik Dominant 4/4 Violin String Set
- Full Set includes All Ball-End Aluminum/Perlon A, Aluminum/Perlon D, Silver/Perlon G, and Ball-End Steel E
- 4/4 violin
- Medium guage
Thomastik-Infeld is one of the top violin string makers in the world. The brand is known to develop and produce violin strings with the vastest range of tone colors since 1919, for bowed, plucked, and world music instruments.
Considered one of the best string set on the market, this full set includes All Ball-End Aluminum/Perlon A, Aluminum/Perlon D, Silver/Perlon G, and Ball-End Steel E. The violin strings are tailored for the 4/4 violin and feature a medium string gauge.
3. Fiddlerman Violin String Set
- Full String Set Includes: G, D, A, E
- Synthetic Core (Perlon Core) String Set - No cheap Steel strings here!
- Professionals couldn't tell this set apart from Dominant Strings in a blind test!
- German made Quality Violin String Set for Full Sized Violins (4/4 and 3/4)
- Medium Gauge - Ball-end E (can be removed)
This string set contains synthetic strings that, according to the brand, were so good, professional violinists couldn't tell them apart from Dominant Strings.
The full set includes G, D, A, E strings with Ball end. In addition, the strings are crafted for full-sized Violins (4/4 and 3/4).
The string set features a medium gauge, and the ball end for the E string is removable.
4. Artisan Violin Strings Premium Quality
What's great about these strings is that they are coated. Hence, you are sure they are equipped for hours of play.
The violin electric strings are designed to produce a unique and soft sound. If you enjoy fine-tuning the sound of your properly adjusted instrument, these are a great choice. The violin strings are crafted t produce complex sound at dynamic levels.
The violin strings feature a steel core that produces a vibrant and more sophisticated expressive sound. The strings guarantee a stable pitch even when first installed and require less re-tuning with a clear, direct, pure, and warm sound. It also has a quick response and a clear, focused, and brilliant tone.
Lastly, the strings are suitable for beginners to advanced players, full size 4 4 and 3 4 size violins. The violin strings have the versatile ability to produce complex tones designed to create a diverse and professional sound for beginner/intermediate players.
5. D’Addario Electric Violin Strings
- Stranded Steel-core
- Medium Tension
- Excellent for Electric and Acoustic instruments
- 4/4 Scale
These electric violin strings are designed to elevate the expressive range of tone for even the most discerning violinist. The strings are made specifically for NS-designed electric instruments but can also be used on acoustic instruments. They feature a steel core and have a medium string gauge.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Best Strings For Electric Violin
a) Type of Strings
Strings are a key and delicate part of a violin. When searching for the best electric violin strings, it's worth noting that you can use a wide range of strings sets on your electric violin, including classical violin strings.
Classical violin strings are compatible with electric violins; however, you have to respect the type of end of the string used by your electric violin (ball end VS loop end).
Dominant strings were introduced by the Austrian string-making company Thomastik about 40 years ago. They feature a core made of Perlon. Synthetic strings tend to be more stable in pitch than gut. As a result, they have a more focused tone with fewer complex overtones. In recent years, other core materials have been used that combine different synthetic materials for a more complex sound, thus the commonly used term “composite” core. While not quite sounding “just like gut,” these newer strings have interesting and sophisticated tonal characteristics.
- The Exception Of MIDI Electric Violins
MIDI electric violins require steel strings. The difference lies in the type of pickup used. The pickup is an element that transforms the strings' vibration into an electrical signal that is then amplified and made audible.
MIDI electric violins use a magnetic pickup instead of the piezoelectric type used in other electric violins. Without steel strings, the magnetic pickup cannot detect the signal generated by the vibration of the strings.
Steel strings can be used on electric violins equipped with piezoelectric or magnetic pickups.
b) Acoustic Result
When searching for the best strings for electric violin, you're likely to come across hundreds of different brands.
Depending on your level artist, some take it so far that they individually choose each string individually to achieve a specific sound.
The string set used on an electric violin does not really have an impact on the sound it produces. In fact, the changes are barely noticeable and are not really audible to the instrumentalist or the audience.
If you have specific strings you enjoy, you can try them on your electric violin. However, it's possible to have a string set that you like for your acoustic instrument but not your electric one. If such a case arises, it's advisable to buy another pack and find strings that you like for your electric instrument.
What's worth noting is that the key factor in the sound of an electric violin is its pickup. The better the quality of your pickup, the better the sound of your violin.
c) Coated Strings
Coated strings have the advantage in that they can take a beating. In addition, a little coating can go a long way in preserving your violin strings.
When it comes to searching for the best electric violin strings, it's important to note that its journey. Everything is dependent on your preference. Hence be careful not to overpay on the account that you heard that strings are superior.
It's always advisable to buy one pack instead of several. Test them out first and see if they suit your preference. The overall aim is to find electric violin strings that you really like.
d) Type of Metal
Various metals are known for creating different sounds and tones; hence you want to consider the type of tone or sound that's best for your genre.
In certain cases, it's best to opt for a composite; however, it depends on your personal preference. For example, if you know you are tough on your strings, it's best to search for the best strings for electric violin that definitely fall under the super-strength category. In this case, the stronger, the better.
e) The Gauge
When searching for the best strings for electric violin, it's essential to pay attention to the gauge. Ensure to choose it wisely, as it matters when it comes to your playing style.
Selecting the right gauge can pay off when it comes to the type of results you'll get. Something else to note is that with gauges, it all comes down to trial and error. So be keen on trying out different ones till you find the one that suits you best.
Pros and Cons of Playing An Electric Violin
For beginners, it's not advisable to start with an electric violin as it would be complex since electric violins use electric components. You'll need to deal with technology and wirings, which might be too difficult to understand at first for a beginner. In addition, electric violins are not suitable for all types of music. For example, if looking to learn classical music, the best choice would be acoustic violins.
However, electric violins do have their advantages. Like any electric instrument, once you've learned the technicalities, you'll realize that an electric violin is the go-to musical instrument for contemporary genres like jazz or rock music. In addition, electric violins are adapted to suit the playing style of current music. This allows artists to be more connected with the music they're interested in. It also allows them to express their creativity since an electric violin can cater to different ranges.
An additional advantage of electric violins is their sound playability. With a normal acoustic violin, you can control the sound through bowing but not eliminate the sound. However, you can plug the headphone jack into the built-in amplifier and practice all day and night quietly with an electric violin. All you require is a good set of amplifiers. The process is similar when recording.
Something worth noting, with electric violins, come amplifiers that can be quite heavy. You'll also need to set it up wherever you go, and this can be time-consuming.
Lastly, electric violins can accommodate more strings since they have a solid body made of wood when it comes to the number of strings. They usually have five to six strings than the normal four strings. The more strings, the more you need to learn.
Frequently Asked Question About Best Strings For Violin
a) What’s the difference between an electric violin and an acoustic violin?
Electric violins are solid-bodied instruments mainly made for added creativity and have a more artificial sound than acoustic instruments. The electric violin is amplified through a jack output, thus allowing for silent practice through an inbuilt headphone amp.
In contrast, acoustic violins are hollow-bodied and more traditional-looking and sounding instruments. They are usually made of wood and produce sound through f-holes located on both sides of the instrument. There's no need for amplification when using an acoustic violin, although it is possible to do on an acoustic instrument.
b) Do You Need A New Bow When Going Electric?
When considering an electric violin, you may also need to consider a new bow. This is especially for musicians who might be thinking of going on gigs/tours. A wooden bow cannot survive being stepped on.
Aside from accidents, an important factor to consider is the care that acoustic bows require. For gig musicians, you might not have the time to be rehairing all the time. You can instead opt for carbon-fiber Glasser bows, which stand up well and come in different colors.
You might also decide to settle for a heavier bow that works better on an electric instrument. With a heavier bow, they can actually play lighter. They can turn the amp up and play softly, and it sounds great.
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