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When it comes to replacing the strings on your violin, you will be met with an enormous range of strings to choose from. Not only will you have literally hundreds of choices; they will vary immensely in price. You can pay a little or an enormous amount for violin strings and your choice should be an educated one. Obviously you won’t choose the most expensive violin strings as a beginner. But, there are more things you should consider, one being whether more expensive necessarily means best.
Although you can undoubtedly expect a higher quality from a set of strings that costs $200 than a set that costs $20, the more expensive set will not necessary make your violin sound any better.There are some reasons why there is such a variety in prices of violin strings, one of the main one being the material used, or the manufacturing and distribution process.
If you want a set of strings that last for a long time, you may actually be better off investing in a cheaper set. This is because the cheaper the string, the harder they are. Perfect in my opinion for beginners and kids who will pluck at the strings and who will be a bit harsh with their instrument. The more expensive the strings, the more fragile or delicate material used. An example of this would be silver-wound perlon core strings. These are certainly not something you would buy for kids or indeed for any beginner.
Most Expensive Violin Strings:
The Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Series with Goldsteel E.
If you do a simply online search for the most expensive strings for violin you the name Pirastro will come up. The Pirastro Gold Series with a Goldsteel E string and a G string that also contains gold are the most expensive you will find online. Whether or not they are worth the money you pay is debatable. Unless you are a pro, do you really want to get only small change from $400 dollars for a set of violin strings? The Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold series is without a doubt the crème-de-la-crème of violin strings. So, let’s take a look at what you get for your money:
- Radiant and Rigorous Sound
- Soloistic play and a broader range of dynamics
- Fundamental sound and solid warm tone
- Gracious sound quality
- Exceptionally quick and swift response
- Subtle tone when playing in the pianissimo range
- A Left hand sensation that is the finest possible
- Strings that are instantaneously playable and pliable.
- Focused tonal occurrence
- Resistant to changes in humidity and temperature; constancy in pitch
- Each individual string is tuned for optimal set harmony.
So, as you can see, when you pay the price tag for this set of strings, you will be getting the most out of your purchase; these strings are nothing short of remarkable. The strings are versatile, and perfect for concerts, recital, and orchestral and solo performances. Used by professional violinists, these strings bring warmth in sound quality that simply isn’t possible with cheaper alternatives. Having said this however, it’s well worth taking a look at the most recommended violin strings; as we said, the most expensive choice may not be the best for you.
Top Violin Strings and Sets
As we said before, with so many different types available, it can be difficult to decide which strings to invest in for your violin. Below are 5 of the best that have been tried and tested, all of them having plenty of positive online reviews. As each and every violin is unique, not all strings will sound good on all instruments.
We recommend that when it comes to changing your strings, you go to a store where you can try out the different ranges. This may work out more expensive than buying online. But there is nothing that beats being able to actually listen to how the strings sound. What works for you and your make of violin may not work for the next person. For this reason, going by recommendation of others may not always bring you the results you are after.
Violin strings vary in gauge, material, and of course price. The gauge is the thickness of the string, the diameter of the strings having a tremendous effect on the sound quality you achieve. The material of your strings is another important factor. Modern strings generally being manufactured from synthetic material and then wrapped on solid or coil metal.
Thomastik-infeld – Dominant:
This set of strings is recommended for intermediate players. They are flexible and offer a stable pitch. Dominants have a long life, meaning that they are well-worth the money you spend. Available in different gauges and lengths, you will be sure to find a set to fit your violin. Prices vary depending on the gauge and length, but are regularly available for less than $100.
Pirastro- Evah Pirazzi Gold/ Regular:
As mentioned earlier on, if you are happy to spend the money and are looking for a sound that is unmatched, you should invest in Pirastro strings. The good news is that they come in different styles, regular and gold, meaning that you can opt for the more affordable regular strings for beginners and intermediate use.
These strings are recommended for beginners and intermediates, and are known for being excellent interchangeable strings. Although they can be used and sound great as a set, many violinists choose to use them in combination with dominants. Available in a wide range of gauges, prices once again depend on the exact strings you choose.
Prelude is out top pick or violin strings for beginners. Costing less than $20 a set, you really can’t go wrong. They are durable and perfect for kids and beginners. You may consider upgrading after around two years of playing, or indeed when you become more serious about your violin playing.
These strings are a good choice for both intermediates and beginners. They are distinguishable from dominants and resemble gut strings. Selling at just $40, they are three times cheaper than the higher priced dominants, but of more or less the same quality. If you are looking for something a little different or for an upgrade from your beginner strings, you should give Fiddlerman a try.
Violin Strings: FAQS
When buying violin strings or indeed learning to play the instrument, you will have a lot of questions you need answering. When you purchased your first violin, you will also have had a lot of question to ask. So, now you already have your instrument and it’s time to decide on which strings to buy. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about violin strings; they will further help you with your choice:
Q: How much does my choice of strings after the sound of my instrument?
Like with all instruments, there are many different factors that together result in the sound of your instrument. The strings you choose can make a big different, but they won’t fundamentally change the sound of your instrument that is related to the quality and construction of your instrument.
If you were to buy an expensive set of strings and put them on a cheap instrument, it would improve the sound, but your instrument would still not sound like a high quality one. It is preferable to always use the highest quality of strings you can afford, unless you are buying for a beginner or a small child.
It is also important to find strings that match your particular instrument. Take the same set of strings and put them on a different instrument and you will get a completely different sound.
Q: What Makes Different Strings Sound Different From One Another?
The main thing that differentiates the way a string sounds is what it’s made from. In the early days, strings were made from wound and dried sheep intestines. Nowadays, you can find metal and synthetic strings.
Today, solid string and gut strings are available, but the vast majority of strings have a steel or synthetic core that is wound with metal. Gut strings generally provide the warmest sounds, as the material is less dense than metal strings. They also tend to be thicker and less tense than metal strings.
However, they are more susceptible to pitch fluctuation due to humidity and temperature change. Gut core, metal-wound strings are a popular compromise that is used by many classical performers. Steel core strings are durable and stable in pitch, popular with musicians and fiddlers looking for a bright sound.
Synthetic core strings are popular as they are durable, cheaper, and powerful. Many classical musicians also find them versatile and as they have a quick response, they are perfect for all performances.
Q: Can I Mix and Match Strings?
Not only can you use more than one string brand for your violin, it’s actually a common procedure. Violinists often use a different brand for their top string than for their lower strings, some brand like Jargar being used a lot for such combinations.
However, you need to know what you’re doing before you go mixing and matching strings; otherwise it might sound like you are actually playing four different instruments at the same time. To avoid this it is recommended that you use at least two adjacent strings of the same set.
Q: How Often Should I Change My Strings?
To this question there is no one answer, the answer depending on how often you play and whether you play professionally or recreationally. Strings are under constant tension and experience wear and tear. But the most wear comes from sweat from your hands and oils as well as from friction from your bow.
If you play every day, you may need to change your strings every month, but this would only be professional use. When you play for a couple of hours each day, changing your strings once every six months is perfectly sufficient. If your strings sound tinny or dull, it’s time to invest in a new set; another tell-tale sign is that your strings have difficulty staying in tune.
Q: Can I Recycle My Old Strings?
When you buy a new set of strings, you will wonder what to do with your old ones. If they are not snapped or broken, it’s a good idea to keep them somewhere safe for a backup or emergency. You never know when you will suddenly need a string, or indeed someone from your music group or orchestra. Accidents happen to the best of us,
so it serves to be well-prepared. However, if you are building up an ever-growing collection of used and part-used strings, you should consider recycling them. In the last decade string recycling programs have been popping up, and they are for both alloy and metal strings.
The most expensive strings you can invest in for your violin are the Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Series with Goldsteel E series. But, this does not mean you should go out and buy a set today. Although they are undoubtedly the very best strings on the market, they are not necessarily the best for your needs. They won’t make a cheap violin sound professional, and for obvious reasons they are not suitable for kids and first-time players.
When choosing strings for your violin it is important you choose the best material, a cheap set of synthetic strings that will cost you just $20 being more than enough as a beginner. Also remember that in order to play and sound like a professional, it takes a lot more than just a good set of strings. It takes determination, practice, and a lot of hard work.