If you are a musician, you know how important it is to use the best instrument to ensure you get the right sound and purchasing the most suitable cello strings will ensure you get the sound you are looking to create. Cellists are said to spend more time with their instruments than violinists because of the difference in the effortless combination of strings. It is essential to have the best cello string for your cello because it will make any beginner look like a pro.
With plenty of cello strings in the market and all of them claiming to be the best, we are here to ease your life. We have listed the best cello strings in the market today with their pros and cons and have included a detailed buying guide to help you make an informed decision.
1. D’Addario Helicore 4/4 Scale Medium Tension
- VERSATILE STRINGS – Designed for optimum playability, D’Addario’s Helicore...
- STRANDED STEEL CORE – Helicore cello strings are crafted with a multi-stranded...
- FOR 4/4 SCALE CELLO – Scaled to fit a 4/4 size cello with a playing length of...
- BUILT TO LAST – Packaged in uniquely-designed sealed pouches, Helicore strings...
- MADE IN THE USA – D’Addario leverages centuries of string-making experience...
D’Addario Helicore makes impressive cello strings for beginners since they create a good sound, are pretty affordable, and make a rare combination of strings. These strings are perfect for the top of your instrument's range to the bottom with a low tension making it easy to depress the strings, which comes handy for higher up on the fingerboard with the thicker strings. D’Addario Helicore cello strings comprise a multi-stranded steel core meaning it will offer maximum playability while achieving a clear and warm tone.
The D’Addario Helicore string features a 4/4 size and playing length of 27 ½ inches, which will guarantee a quality sound for whatever sound you are going for. Additionally, the strings come with a small diameter making the bow deliver a fast response and a stable pitch sound. Most cellists consider these cello strings to be the most versatile stranded steel-string lines, which can be used at any experience level.
2. Pirastro – Evah Pirazzi Gold/Regular
- 4/4 Cello String Set - Medium (mittel) Gauge
- A String: High-Tensile Steel Core - Precision Chrome Steel Flat Wire Winding -...
- D String: High-Tensile Steel Core - Precision Chrome Steel Flat Wire Winding -...
- G String: Steel Rope Core - Tungsten Winding - Ball End
- C String: Steel Rope Core - Tungsten Winding - Ball End
Pirastro has made a name for making affordable, quality, and long-lasting cello strings, with the model Evah Pirazzi making it to this list. The Pirastro Evah Pirazzi string set is one of the few sets that work well without mixing with other sets because it offers a balance across the instrument's entire range. These Evah Pirazzi Pirastro strings can be used by beginners but are preferable for intermediate or advanced cello players and have been used by some famous people, including Kristina Fialová (viola) and Joshua Bell (violin).
The D and A strings have chrome winding, but the G and C strings have a steel rope core with tungsten winding. It provides a rich and clear sound that lacks a metallic sharpness characteristic of chrome steel, and the cello strings have a great bow response across the dynamic range.
The Evah Pirazzi cello strings are available in three different cellist styles and include the Regular, Soloist, and Gold. The Regular cello style is ideal for a beginner instrument because they are cost-friendly, whereas the soloist is perfect for soloists. After all, it offers a bright and edgy sound than the two other options. Lastly, the Gold line is intended for intermediate or advanced players and is sometimes used with teachers looking for a complex and brilliant sound.
3. Jargar Cello Strings
Jargar strings are the most versatile strings, and even though they sound impressive as their own set, most cellists usually combine them with other strings. The most common combination for Jargar cello strings is Jargar A and D with Spirocore silver G and C. For the most complex sound, you can choose to go with the Silver Sound line, which comes with the G and C-strings in silver, as we have stated above.
These Jargar strings are made of steel core, making them very responsive and brilliant, with all four strings having ball ends. It is available in a number of tensions such as forte, medium, and dolce. Jargar strings are known to offer the high E string for this Jargar string model.
4. Larsen Cello Strings
- Full Set, 4/4 Cello
- Medium Gauge, All Ball End
- Set includes: Alloy-Steel A, Alloy-Steel D, Tungsten-Steel G, Tungsten-Steel C
Larsen strings have become a standard for cello set-ups because they offer powerful and complex tones that can compete with the Pirastro Evah Pirazzi gold line. Larsen strings that are made in Denmark provide a brilliant tone because they have a steel core. Regular Larsen strings are available in a number of gauges: soft, medium and heavy gauges, whereas the Magnacore strings, come in only medium gauges.
The Larsens', just like Jargar string sets which is one of the most versatile strings in the market, can be paired with other range of strings. The most popular combination is Thomastik-Infeld Spirocore or the Dominant G and C strings with the Larsen D and A strings but keep in mind that purchasing single strings can be costly. However, Larsen released their improved Magnacore strings that can replace Spirocores.
5. Spirocore by Thomastik-Infeld
Thomastik Spirocore strings are Austrian-made metal strings with a multi-strand core and constantly compete with Larsen for popularity, especially in the two lower strings. This product by Thomastik-Infeld is consistently among the top recommendations for plenty of professionals and students around the world because it features a unique technical development that increases the sound quality the cello makes. Because of that factor, these Thomastik Spirocore cello strings are equipped with a flexible multiwire spiral steel core.
Apart from this brand's durability because of the high-quality materials used, the product is beneficial because it delivers the same efficiency you would get when playing pizzicato or an arco. Thomastik Spirocore cello strings reduce inertia while offering more musical vibration, and they remain highly responsive and intact no matter how many times they are used. Most cellists recommend them stating outstanding playability and tone, and they make great C and G strings with the sing C strings pairing well with other cello string sets.
What to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Cello Strings
1. Material Type
Your choice of strings can impact the sound quality you get in combination with the responsiveness, playability, and volume level of the cello. A change in something as minor as a solitary string might cause the cello range; however, sometimes, different cello string brands don't react well with some instruments, and sometimes they do. Nylon strings offer flexibility and are comfortable, and can be suitable for any beginner. On the other hand, steel-string types produce a higher bow response and volume than the nylon types but are pretty challenging to play.
Below are the different cello string variables:
a). Sheep gut core
Just like its name, this material is made from the sheep gut lining, and it is the oldest material to be used in the industry. The material is more suitable for pros and offers a complex high-end sound and rich overtones. However, they are hard to keep in tune, take a lot of time before the break-in, and are pretty expensive.
b). Synthetic core strings
This Cello string core material has been around since the 1970s, trying to copy the gut core strings sound without picking up their shortcomings. The cello string materials use a shorter time to settle in and don't have significant humidity and temperature-related problems. The most popular synthetic core string materials are Kevlar and Perlon.
c). Steel core Strings
At the beginning of the 20th century, people started making metal strings, otherwise known as steel core strings. They have become popular fast because of their durability, meaning they didn't easily break, and their ability to improve the pitch. The steel strings can either be a straight wire or a twisted one and come available at different price ranges with both electric cello players and acoustic cello players using them. Steel core strings work well for small instruments, and most of them come in metal wrappings such as aluminum, steel.
d). Gut Core Strings
Gut strings are said to create rich tones and warm sounds, according to some musicians but keep in mind that they provide a slow response and lower tension when compared to synthetic core strings. Most cellos on the market don't work great with gut strings, especially the new models, and they cause instability of the pitch.
2. String Gauge
The tension or gauge of your cello strings is equally essential to consider because there are three different options, and you have to choose the best one for you.
a). Soft Gauge
The cello string soft gauge is also referred to as light or dolce because it's easier to press against the fingerboard, and it puts less strain on your instrument. However, it breaks easily.
b). Heavy Gauge Strings
These cello strings offer more durability, but they exert a lot of pressure on the cello on the downside.
c). Medium Gauge Strings
The medium gauge is in the middle offering more projection power than the soft gauge and at the same time putting less pressure on your instrument than the heavy gauge.
You should ensure you pick a gauge according to your preferred music genre and your style. For a cello player who plays gently with casual styles, the soft gauge cello strings are ideal, whereas for aggressive and fast players, consider the heavy gauge strings. You can also pick the medium gauge cello strings, which are more common if you want to remain in the middle.
3. Winding Type
Winding cello strings is done using many different materials, and more often, it's different metal types with synthetic core strings mostly having metal windings. Some include aluminum, tungsten, silver, chrome, and gold windings. On the other hand, steel core strings use only chrome, steel, or metal, with sometimes one material on the lower string and another on the higher string. Gut core strings can be wounded or unwounded, where standard metals are used for winding and baroque instruments, and modern cellos are used for unwinding.
Different cello string brands come in different scale lengths, and string sets always have the standard 4/4 (27-1/2” scale) size. However, some brands may include other options such as for ½, ¾, and 7/8 cellos, with the cheaper ones coming in ¼ and 1/8 sizes. Musicians who would like to use a full-size cello should be at least 5ft tall, and if they are shorter than that, small-size cello strings of ½ size cello or ¾ size cello should be ideal depending on the size and comfort of the individual.
Price is always an essential factor to key in when purchasing any device, even for cello strings, to avoid buying a brand that will not perfectly meet your needs. Before making your final cello string choice, research all the products in your price range and shop for the strings according to your budget and needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Cello Strings
1. How do you tighten cello strings?
To tighten your cello strings, turn the peg in the opposite direction, and the string will draw itself. However, if the string comes out ultimately, you should place the string end through the peg hole and lift it upwards to hold the string with your fingers until it stays in place.
2. What are the most popular cello string combinations for a musician?
Most cellists avoid choosing one brand of cello strings for all four strings, and they combine a variety of brands for the A, D, G, and C strings. The most popular cello string combinations are Larsen A, Larsen D, Spirocore Tungsten C, and Spirocore Tungsten G.