Best Violin Strings: Reviews & Buying Guide

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When buying new strings for your violin, consider the quality of sound, material, strength and tension of the strings. Knowing these tricks on what to listen for with new strings will help you find the right set.

When starting out on the violin, the instrument may come with a low-grade pair of factory strings. To improve the sound quality of your instrument or you have been playing the same strings for a year, it is wise to buy a new set.

The most common violin strings bought by beginners are approximately $15-$48 on the market and easy to find in any string shop. 

What determines whether violin strings are good or not?

This is a personal choice that depends on the sound you require and the instrument itself.

Better quality strings can pull colorful sounds and overtones from the instrument, no matter the quality of the violin itself. Finding the right strings can adjust the tone of your instrument for the better, from a brighter tone to a warmer sound or vice versa.

Buying new, higher quality strings for your instrument may help it stay in tune as well as strengthen your sound, unlocking the full potential of your playing. 

The tension and gauge varies in light, medium, and heavy, steel-core having higher tension and gut-core strings lower tension. It’s best to begin with medium gauge and test other levels of tension as you advance. Replacing old and tired strings will renew the sound from a flat tone to a vibrant and cleaner tone no matter the tension.

When considering new strings, prices range depending on the aptitude of the material and make.

Top Violin String Brands Ranked from Cheap to Expensive

Prelude Strings

As far as inexpensive strings go, Prelude strings are excellent for new violin students needing an upgrade.

You will find them to have a bright and clear sound, a step up from the factory strings on a new violin. They are some of the lowest cost violin strings recommended for beginners that we guarantee will not break the bank. 

Dominant Strings

Thomastik Dominant strings are the most popular violin strings for beginners at a low cost. Made for fiddle players and classical musicians alike, Dominant strings are durable synthetic-core nylon and wound with aluminum, tin, or silver.

Instructors often rate Dominant Strings as the best violin strings for a smoother and brighter tone.  

Red Label

Fiddle players recommend Red Label strings for hard playability, the strength and stretch of the strings, as well as the low cost to buy them.

Reviews for this brand show that they are a great choice for a brighter sound. The downside is that the brightness would make a violinist stand out in an orchestra.

These are good violin strings for beginners and fiddlers, known for their durability and lasting sound. 

Zyex 

Noted as the best violin strings under $50, Zyex by D’Addario is the perfect in between. A balanced sound and medium tension create that smooth sound to average out a bright instrument. 

Pro Arte

A student brand that comes in various sizes for smaller instruments is the Pro Arte strings by D’Addario. Tin wound and brilliant in sound, these strings offer a lot for the beginner violinist.

They carry a mellow sound compared to many other beginner string options and have quick response from the bow.

Helicore Strings

Another good brand for quality strings for beginners at a great price are Helicore Strings. Made from steel-core, Helicore creates pitch stability and versatility for any violin.

D’Addario Helicore violin strings are a standard for beginner or intermediate players and can easily be found in online string shops or the Amazon store. 

Vision Titanium Orchestra Strings

Vision Titanium Orchestra strings set are made to replace the centuries-old gut core strings in richness of sound.

The consistency and durability warrant the price of these strings which are in the top tier for intermediate and advanced students. When hearing Vision Strings compared to others, they are much more delicate to lend itself to an orchestral setting. 

Obligato Strings

If you are advanced violinist or professional musician in search of new strings to match your level, consider Pirastro Obligato Strings.

Violinists and Violists enjoy the rich, warm, and full sound of these high quality strings. Pirastro co-created a special synthetic-core for these strings that allows them to project and stay in tune, even in changing climates. 

Gold Label 

Pirastro Gold Label strings are some of the best high-end violin strings, popular particularly among violinists.

These gut-core strings produce a warm and colourful sound, often reviewed as having more complexity than synthetic or steel core strings. Gut strings do not last as long as synthetic core strings, but they tend to pull the most expressive and warm tones from an instrument.

It’s common among violinists to buy just the gold E string and have a less expensive set of A, D, and G strings of another make. 

Evah Pirazzi

One of the highest quality violin strings on the market, Evah Pirazzi strings by Pirastro are known for their intensity.

These specialty strings create a bold sound with overtones and fast response. Pirastro’s Evah Pirazzi strings are the best violin strings for professional violinists and soloists, catered primarily toward long-time, serious performers.

If you are in need of enhancing your sound and opening new possibilities in ease of playing, you will hear a difference in tone projection and dynamic range with Evah Pirazzi strings.

What Are Violin Strings Made Of?

String makers such as Pirastro and D’Addario cover a range of options when it comes to string styles.

The material of the inner core is different than the outer material that the string is wound with. They can have a steel-core, synthetic-core such as nylon or perlon fibres, or gut-core made from sheep gut that is thinly pulled and polished by hand.

The strings are wound with aluminum, tin, silver, or gold. Violinists tend to favor a gold E string, an extra perk to being one of the highest melodic instruments in the orchestra and the most composed for. 

How Often Should You Change Strings On A Violin?

Professionals will tell you that the frequency of changing your strings will depend on how much you play.

If you average a few hours a week as a beginner, the answer may be to purchase strings every 6 months to a year. However, at an advanced level while playing several hours a day, you should change your strings every 4 to 6 months.

Unless you are a professional musician, the best strings to buy may be under the $50 range such as Dominant Strings or Zyex. 

 If you are unsure of how to choose the best strings for your instrument, ask your instructor for advice on strings that will fit your violin well. Ask a professional to replace your current strings and demonstrate before you attempt yourself.

Until you know how to tune your own violin, it is recommended that a teacher or string shop switch your strings for you at no cost.

Outline

Strings fit a violin differently and serve a purpose for the type of playing you will be doing. Testing different strings for a few months will allow you to find the best quality that is unique to your instrument.

Utilize the string of your choice to unlock your highest ability on violin.

Karli Rhindhttp://www.karlimusic.com/
Karli has 16 years of experience as a classical violist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Viola Performance from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Music in String Pedagogy Violin from the University of New Mexico. Karli is a certified Suzuki teacher and the Lead String Instructor at Forte Academy of Music in Littleton, teaching violin and viola privately, as well as creating workshops for string students.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Having done some research for a while now, I can easily say this is the most comprehensive article I have read on violin strings along with reviews and recommendations. Very happy I found this site, I will be back. I am ordering some new strings right now. I have Prime as well so I will only have to wait a few days to receive them.

  2. If you are on a budget, Zyex strings are the way to go. I was using Obligato strings prior to these and loved them but couldn’t afford to pay over $100 for a new set so I went with the Zyex ones and have not regretted it. They are very comparable but cost half the price.

  3. I was looking over your case recommendations list and spotted this one. I am buying a case for a friend’s birthday but I could use some new strings so I wanted to buy them now instead of waiting. It has been over a year and I can tell the sound quality is not good at all. Thanks for the list of reviews.

  4. Great list! I was looking at a few places and what they recommended and everyone seems to have Godl Label strings on their list of recommendations. They get some solid reviews as well. Since they are a bit cheaper than my last set, I am going to order them now. Can’t wait to use them!

  5. I can tell that you know your stuff when it comes to violins, wow! I used to teach children’s classes and one thing that was commonly overlooked by the parents was the quality of the strings. They can really make or break a learning experience for a child. Great information and recommendations!

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