How to Choose Replacement Strings for Violin, Viola and Cello

 Our customer often ask - "Which strings are the best?"

Unfortunately this is not an easy question to answer and there is no definitive answer. Every violin player is unique and so is every violin. Therefore some instruments will respond better to a particular type of string than others. Strings vary in their sound, playability, volume and responsiveness.

Types of string

There are three main types of string – steel core, synthetic core and gut core:

  1. Steel Core Strings
    These are generally used by beginner violinists as they last longer and remain in tune longer than synthetic and gut core. They produce a bright, clear sound with few overtones.
     
  2. Synthetic Core Strings
    Invented in the early 1970's by Thomastik-Infeld they have the warm sound qualities of gut but are much more stable in pitch.
     
  3. Gut Core Strings
    They have a warm, rich sound with many overtones. They are generally stable but can react to changing weather conditions and generally require more tuning than synthetic core strings.
 The following brands and sizes of string are usually carried in stock and you may find the following information useful when deciding which is the most suitable for your needs.

Violin Strings

ASTREA

  • Available for 1/16 – 1/8, ¼ - ½ and 4/4 size violin
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Steel core (E steel, A, D and G chrome wound)
  • Suitable for beginners who may experience difficulty in tuning

THOMASTIK-INFELD DOMINANT

  • Available for ½ and 4/4 size violin
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Synthetic (nylon perlon) core – a good alternative to steel strings (E aluminium, A and D aluminium wound, G silver wound)
  • A full and mellow sound, rich in overtones
  • A constant rich tone with bright and clear resonance during arco (bowing) and pizzicato (plucking)
  • One of the most popular strings in the world - used by some of the most renowned violinists in their concert appearances

THOMASTIK–INFELD VISION

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available in sets
  • Synthetic core (E steel wound, A aluminium wound, D and G silver wound)
  • Focused, clear, open and brilliant tone
  • Short break-in period
  • Specifically for advanced level violinist, orchestral or soloist

THOMASTIK-INFELD RED

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available in sets
  • Synthetic core (E chrome steel gold plated, A and D hydronalium wound, G silver wound)
  • Produces a dark quality to the sound with a fuller resonance
  • Designed to be mixed and matched with THOMASTIK-INFELD BLUE to create the balance needed

THOMASTIK-INFELD BLUE

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available in sets
  • Synthetic core (E carbon steel tin plated, A and D hydronalium wound, G silver wound)
  • Produces a brighter sound than the THOMASTIK-INFELD RED
  • Designed to be mixed and matched with THOMASTIK-INFELD RED to create the balance needed

PIRASTRO EVAH PIRAZZI

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Multi-filament synthetic core (E carbon/steel, A aluminium, D and G sterling silver)
  • A wide range of dynamics and expression
  • A full round sound with outstanding response, designed to bring out the best in any instrument
  • Ideal for soloists

PIRASTRO OBLIGATO

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Synthetic (composite material) core (E gold/steel, A aluminium, D and G silver)
  • Warm sound characteristics give a clear and focused tonal response
  • The E is good for solo work as it produces a bright sound

PIRASTRO EUDOXA

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Gut core (E steel/aluminium, A gut/aluminium gauge 13.75, D gut/aluminium gauge 16.75, G gut/silver gauge 15.75)
  • Wonderful rich, warm and full sound
  • Slower response than Oliv or synthetic core strings

PIRASTRO GOLD

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Gut core (E steel, A and D gut/aluminium, , G gut/silver)
  • Produces a high volume and a warm, full sound
  • The E is popular for its brilliance

PIRASTRO OLIV

  • Available for 4/4 size violin
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Gut core (E steel/gold, A gut/aluminium gauge 13.50, D gut/aluminium-silver gauge 16.75, G gut/gold-silver gauge 15.75)
  • Brilliant sound with rich complex overtones
  • The gold-plated E gives a pure, clear and brilliant sound
  • Quicker response than Eudoxa
  • Ideal for soloists

E Strings

Many violinists will use the same brand for a complete set of strings. However, some violins benefit from using a different brand of string for the E as it can alter the tonal character of the instrument.
 
Chappell stock the following additional E strings for 4/4 size violin:

PIRASTRO EVAH PIRAZZI

  • Gold plated
  • Produces a powerful and brilliant sound

PIRASTRO UNIVERSAL

  • Steel string wound with chrome steel wire
  • Produces a brilliant sound and has a quick response
  • Eliminates whistling

Viola Strings

ASTREA

  • Available individually or in sets
  • Steel core (A, D, G and C chrome wound)
  • Suitable for beginners who may experience difficulty in tuning

THOMASTIK-INFELD DOMINANT

  • Available individually or in sets
  • Synthetic (nylon perlon) core – a good alternative to steel strings (A and D aluminium wound, G and C silver wound)
  • A full and mellow sound, rich in overtones
  • A constant rich tone with bright and clear resonance during arco (bowing) and pizzicato (plucking)
  • One of the most popular strings in the world

Cello Strings

ASTREA

  • Available for ¼ - ½ and 4/4 size cello
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Steel core (A, D, G and C chrome wound)
  • Suitable for beginners who may experience difficulty in tuning

THOMASTIK-INFELD DOMINANT

  • Available for ¼, ½ and 4/4 size cello
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Synthetic (nylon perlon) core – a good alternative to steel strings (A, D, G and C chrome wound)
  • A full and mellow sound, rich in overtones
  • A constant rich tone with bright and clear resonance during arco (bowing) and pizzicato (plucking)
  • One of the most popular strings in the world

JARGAR BLUE

  • Available for 4/4 size cello
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Steel core (A, D, G and C chrome wound)
  • Clear, bright response with ample power and projection
  • Popular amongst intermediate, advanced and professional cellists

LARSEN MEDIUM

  • Available for 4/4 size cello
  • Available individually or in sets
  • Steel core (A and D steel core, G and C tungsten)
  • Firm core giving a greater volume and a long lasting life
  • Powerful, brilliant tone
  • A very high quality of cello strings, ideal for professional cellist
If you require more assistance, please contact our team of piano experts in our London store on +44(0) 20 7432 4422. More contact details here.