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Best Violin Strings and Recommended Buying Guide 

 March 3, 2021

By  Zen Chung

If you've got a good violin, you'll find that it already comes with some of the best violin strings in the world. Nonetheless, even these amazing violin strings will need maintenance and replacing every once in a while. In short, you will always need to replace your violin strings. Violin strings are the most integral part of your instrument. This means that ensuring that they are the right length or tension greatly affects your performance.

How Often Should You Replace Your Violin Strings?

As a professional violinist who's been around for a while, you'll realize that your violin strings need to be changed every 300 playing hours or so. In terms of linear time, this translates to having to replace your strings roughly every three to six months.

The time we've given above is just an average estimation. However, if you are a more serious student or professional, you'll find that you need to replace your violin strings a lot more frequently than the three to six months.

That said, replacing your strings comes down to a personal preference as well as how much you're playing your instrument. Because of the frequency of this routine, learning how to do it yourself will save you a lot of time and headache in looking for someone else to do it for you.

We understand that your violin strings are a big part of your performance and that's why today we're going to be looking at the best violin strings in the market.

1. D’Addario Prelude Violin String Set - Our Pick

D’Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale Medium Tension – Solid...
  • EDUCATOR’S CHOICE – Designed with quick bow response and ease of use in...
  • SOLID STEEL CORE – Prelude violin strings are manufactured using a solid steel...
  • MADE TO LAST – With its solid steel construction and uniquely-designed sealed...
  • FOR 4/4 SCALE VIOLIN – Scaled to fit a 4/4 size violin with a playing length...
  • MADE IN THE USA – D’Addario leverages centuries of string-making experience...

Prelude violin strings are known for being the best sounding student strings available. This quality makes them very popular amongst beginners and intermediate violinists. These steel core strings are also preferred by teachers because of the warm tones that they produce.

A unique damping process is used when making them that gives them these warm tones and a great bow response that you will love. You might also enjoy the fact that the Prelude violin strings have a short breaking time. Few things are as annoying as your strings breaking in the middle of a performance.

In addition to being very high-quality, these strings are also medium tension, extremely durable, and very easy to fit. Do you now see why they are our top pick? These affordable strings are loved by violinists around the world because of the above qualities and the fact that they are a good all-rounder and suitable for most levels.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Stable in pitch
  • Available in all sizes
  • Resistant to humidity and temperature changes

2. D'Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings

Sale
D'Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings 4/4 Size Set with Steel E String
  • VERSATILE STRINGS – Designed for optimum playability, D’Addario’s Helicore...
  • STRANDED STEEL CORE – Helicore violin strings are crafted with a...
  • FOR 4/4 SCALE VIOLIN – Scaled to fit a 4/4 size violin with a playing length...
  • BUILT TO LAST – Packaged in uniquely-designed sealed pouches, Helicore strings...
  • MADE IN THE USA – D’Addario leverages centuries of string-making experience...

You'll find that the Helicore violin set is one of the most popular violin string set on the market and is used by both professionals and students. If you are a top-grade student, you may want to invest in these premium steel core strings as they are a great value for your money. Also, if you are going to play in concerts or want to ensure that your professional career stays top-notch, having these strings will be great for you.

These violin strings have a focussed dense tone and a remarkably quick bow response making them great for classical, bluegrass, alternative players, and even those who play electric instruments. So, if you fall under any of the categories and want strings that will deliver a perfectly warm tone, look no further than the D'Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings.

If you are a lower grade student, you may be a tad reluctant to invest in these strings because the difference heard in pitch and tone is very slight. However, once you start progressing through the grades, these differences will be highly recognizable and you will want to get yourself a pair of this violin string set.

Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Very High-quality strings
  • Perfectly warm tone

3. D'Addario J56 4/4M Pro-Arte Nylon Violin Strings

D'Addario J56 4/4M Pro-Arte Nylon violin Strings, Medium
  • 4/4 scale violin with a playing length of 13 inches (328mm)
  • Medium tension
  • Synthetic core produces a warm, mellow tone
  • Less sensitive to humidity and temperature changes, and break in quickly
  • All D'Addario strings are designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA to...

Are you a higher grade musician looking for a set of strings that work well on your violin as well as other instruments such as the viola and the cello? Well, these violin strings do exactly that. In addition, they're designed to have a very short breaking time ensuring that you don't have mishaps when you are in the middle of your grand performance.

These violin strings are constructed with a nylon core that gives them the mellow and warm tone that they are well-known for. If you are a beginner, an intermediate violinist, or even an enthusiast and are looking for new strings, you will appreciate the stable and durable nature of these Pro-Arte strings.

Also, if you are looking for strings that are less sensitive to humidity and temperature changes, these violin strings are a great choice. Although they are slightly more expensive than our top pick, they are suited to a wide variety of players and are great for a 4/4 size violin with a playing length of 13 inches. Because of their nylon core, these strings allow for a great pitch.

Pros:

  • Very good quality
  • Durable
  • Stable
  • Mid-range budget
  • Less sensitive to humidity and temperature changes

4. Pirastro Violin Evah Pirazzi Gold Set

Pirastro Violin Evah Pirazzi Gold Set, Medium Gold Ball
  • Full String Set
  • 4/4 Violin
  • Medium Gauge
  • E String: Stainless Steel Ball-End | A String: Aluminum Wound Synthetic Core...
  • D String: Silver Wound Synthetic Core Ball-End | G String: Gold Wound Synthetic...

This is the most expensive option on our violin string for a great reason. As the name suggests, these Pirastro strings will give you and your impressed audience a golden and full-bodied sound. We appreciate that this string set is not exactly budget-friendly to everyone. However, if you are a serious musician or a soloist, you will appreciate these strings for the beautiful sound they project.

Also, the flexibility that this strings set offers allows you to easily tailor the piece you are playing to suit your preferences. If you are passionate about your music and your unique style, you may want to get yourself this Pirasto violin string set as these strings enable you to add uniqueness to your piece. Once you fit these set into your instrument, you may never go back to any other strings option.

Therefore, although you may be forced to spend a little bit more than you would on the average violin string set, you know that it's definitely worth your while.

Pros:

Very high-quality

Give a golden and full-bodied sound

Allow for flexibility in your pieces

Effortless transition from string to string

Cons:

Not budget-friendly

5. Prim 4/4 Violin String Set

Prim 4/4 Violin String Set - Medium Gauge with Ball-end E
  • Full Set includes Chromesteel Winding Medium Gauge Ball-end E, Chromesteel...
  • 4/4 Violin
  • Medium Gauge

This best violin strings set is great for producing lively and warm sounds and are budget-friendly. With these smooth sounding and beautifully responsive strings, you will not experience any nasty metallic noises. If you play bluegrass, old-time, or even country music, you may prefer these strings as they are long-lasting and have a nice pleasing tone that is both warm and lively.

These medium gauge strings offer great value for your money even though they are more in the mid-budget range compared to others in the market. They are very easy to clean and you can tune them quite quickly and seamlessly. If you are a passionate violinist, you will enjoy these strings that are made from quality string core and chrome steel winding, and come with ball ends.

Many professionals use the Prim brand strings because of the high quality of sound they give off. If you are a student and want to impress your teacher with your skills, grab yourself this set, and enjoy the nice bright sound it offers.

Pros:

  • Mid-range budget
  • High-quality stings
  • Easy to clean
  • Quick to tune
  • Long-lasting

Now that we're done looking at the best violin strings, which one did you like best?

Let's now look at a guide to choosing the right violin strings.

A Guide to Choosing the Right Violin Strings

Choosing the right violin strings for your instrument can feel a bit like a guessing game. Unless you know exactly what you want or you have someone guiding you, it can be a bit of a puzzle with so many great options out there, including the best five above.

Most violinists often choose to stick with the same strings they've been using for years instead of getting a different set of strings. On the other hand, others constantly seek to have different adventures by changing the types of strings they use. If you are the latter, you may want to improve how your violin sounds or make your playing experience better.

So, how do you choose the best strings for your violin? Here are some factors to consider when buying strings.

1. Your Needs

Knowing what needs you want to fulfil will make choosing a new set of strings an easier experience. Remember that your instrument has its own tonal characteristics that make it unique. Nonetheless, these can be improved by a skilled luthier or even by you when you choose a suitable set of strings. Choosing the right set can come down to experimenting if you're not sure about what you need.

For example, say you want to fine-tune the sound of your correctly adjusted violin, you might take a few different stings and experiment with them. However, before you go down this experimenting journey, use these few questions to guide you so that you're not just shooting in the dark, but you know what needs you want to fill. What's your violin's characteristic sound? What strings are you currently using? What sound are you aiming for?

With the answers to these questions, you can now go ahead to choosing the right set for you. Let's look at some scenarios you may run into.

a). When you're violin is too bright

If your instrument is very bright, you may want to choose a string that is darker and has warmer characteristics. You may want to try our 4th option in this case. Also, if your violin is on the verge of sounding shrill, you may want to get a low-tension string that will tone down the harsh sound.

b). When your violin is too dark

This is the opposite of the above scenario. When this is the case, choose a brilliant string that will brighten your sound.

c). When your violin is unclear or unfocused

If your violin has a mushy core sound, you should get a light-gauge version of the brilliant strings that we've mentioned above. Although different strings usually don't have much volume difference, you'll observe that the brilliant and focused strings that we've mentioned above seem to have a much louder sound and project better.

2. Core material, Gauge, and Tension

a) Core Material

As we've seen with the strings above, the different types of material include gut, steel, and synthetic nylon. The difference between these three string materials that they each impact the tonal quality of the string in a different way. Steel strings have a great ability to resist climate changes and are also able to retain their tune for a long period of time.

You will also note that these steel strings produce more brilliant tones like the ones we've mentioned above. Synthetic strings combine the best traits of the steel and gut strings and are normally preferred by beginners.

b). Gauge

The gauge of your string is its thickness. Strings of different gauges influence the tone differently. For example, you'll find that thicker strings are less responsive but give a more robust volume. Thinner strings on the other hand are more responsive but offer less projection.

If you are a beginner to the violin, you might benefit from our fifth option, the Prim 4/4 Violin String Set.

c). Tension

The wire tension of your string is what we refer to here as tension. It has a huge impact on the tonal qualities of your violin. If you've played a violin before, you'll notice that higher tension creates brighter tones while lower tension is warmer.

An interesting fact is that steel core strings tune better with higher tensions. This is the reason why you'll find many violinists such as yourself using steel core E String.

Conclusion

We've looked at five of the best violin instruments out there with our top pick being the D’Addario Prelude Violin String Set. We hope that you'll use this guide to determine what type of strings you want to get next.

Remember that some of the best strings also require you to dig a bit deeper into your pocket such as our fourth option, the Pirastro Violin Evah Pirazzi Gold Set. Let us know which of these sets you liked the most. 

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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