Selecting Strings

The brand of strings you select for your instrument can have a dramatic effect on the sound.

Some strings produce a brighter sound, while others produce a sound that is darker. Not every string reacts the same on every instrument, so the following listings are only offered as a general rule to the bright and dark character of different string brands. If you have no idea where to begin in selecting strings, these guidelines may give you a starting point.

Only the more popular strings in our area are listed here. If we receive enough response about a particular popular brand that is not included in the lists below, we will gladly check it out and add it to the list.

 

Violin:

  1.  Vision Heavy
  2. Vision Orchestra
  3. Vision Titanium Solo 
  4. Infeld Blue
  5. Dominant 
  6. Evah Pirazzi Green
  7. Evah Pirazzi Gold
  8. Vision Solo
  9. Infeld Red

Bright

Dark

 

*Remove whistle on E string:
  1. Kaplan Solution
  2. Universal No. 1 Pirastro E

Brilliant
Warmer

Viola:

  1. Spirocore Silver, mainly for C
  2. Evah Pirazzi Green, mainly for D+G
  3. Evah Pirazzi Gold
  4. Dominant
  5. Obligato
  6. Jargar, mainly for A
  7. Larsen, mainly for A

Bright

Dark

Cello:

  1. Spirocore Tungsten, mainly for G+C
  2. Larsen Magnacore
  3. Larsen Magnacore Arioso
  4. Evah Pirazzi Green, for D+G+C
  5. Evah Pirazzi Gold
  6. Belcanto Gold Spirocore Silver, for G+C
  7. Spirocore Chromesteel, for G+C
  8. Versum
  9. Chromcor, for D+G
  10. Larsen Soloist, for D
  11. Kaplan Solution
  12. Larsen, for A

Bright

Dark

     

For violins, a full set from one manufacturer often works fine, but at times it is necessary to use different brands to achieve an even sound.

Regarding cello strings, we find that it is almost always necessary to mix brands. For example, cellos have the tendency to sound brighter on the A string than on the C string. To make up for this discrepancy, we use a dark-sounding string for the A, such as Larsen or Jargar, and a brighter string for the C, such as Spirocore, Permanent or Belcanto.  For the D string, we find that Larsen solo, Chromcor and Permanent are useful. For the G string, Chromcor, Permanent, Spirocore and Belcanto Gold work well.

For violas, steel strings are included. As with the cello, we often use a mix of brand names to achieve the best sound for a particular instrument. Larsen and Jargar often work well for the A string. For the D string, we find that Dominant, Tonica, Pro Arte, Prim, Helicore and Jargar work well.? For the G string, we often use Dominant, Tonica, Pro Arte, Prim (steel) and Helicore.Finally, for the C string, we find that Spirocore (Tungsten, Silver or Chrome) and Dominant work well. Our first choice is Spirocore Silver when replacing a gut or synthetic core C string (to get more power yet retain the supple character of tone). However, for some instruments, the sound can become a bit abrasive.