Before you purchase just any old strings for your violin, you need to understand the basics so you end up choosing the right ones.
A decent violin string should be a balance between good value and beautiful sound. Not all strings are built equally!
Are you a beginner or perhaps shopping for some strings for your child’s violin and find the array of choices rather confusing?
Read on as our experts share some basic information to help make you search for the best violin strings quick and easy.
Top 10 Violin Strings Table
|Picture||Name||Gauge / Core||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|Picture||Name||Gauge / Core||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Prim 4/4 Violin String Set - Medium Gauge with Ball-end E||Medium / Steel||$$$||4.7|
|2. Thomastik-Infeld IR100 Red Violin Strings, Complete Set, 4/4 Size, Synthetic Core ||Medium / Synthetic||$$$$||4.6|
|3. JSI Special 4/4 Violin String Set: Gold Label Ball-End E & Dominant A, D, and G Strings ||Medium / Synthetic||$$$||4.5|
|4. D'Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings 4/4 Size Set with Steel E String ||Medium / Synthetic||$$$||4.5|
|5. D'Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale, Medium Tension ||Medium / Steel||$$||4.4|
|6. Stravilio Full Set High Quality Violin Strings Size 4/4 & 3/4 Violin Strings||Medium/ Steel||$||4.4|
|7. Fiddlerman Violin String Set, Synthetic Core w/ Ball-End for both 4/4 and 3/4 size ||Medium / Synthetic||$$||4.4|
|8. D'Addario Zyex Violin String Set with Aluminum D, 4/4 Scale, Heavy Tension ||Heavy / Synthetic||$$$||4.4|
|9. uxcell Set of 4/4 Violin Bowstring Strings (G-D-A-E) ||Medium / Synthetic||$||4.3|
|10. Pirastro Gold Label 4/4 Violin E String - Medium - Steel - Ball End ||Medium / Steel||$||4.3|
The violin has four strings. Starting from the lowest string to the highest, you have the G, D, A and E strings.
Violin strings come in different “gauges” (or “gages”). The gauge is the measurement of the string’s diameter or thick the string is.
Sometimes string gauges are referred to as Heavy, Medium or Light. Heavy gauge strings are thicker, with lighter gauge the thinnest.
- Heavy gauge strings create more resonance and therefore produce a fuller, more powerful tone, but can result in a slower response time between bow and string.
- Medium gauge is the most commonly selected string type, creating an even, balanced tone throughout the full octave range of the instrument. If this is your first time buying violin strings, we’d recommend going for Medium.
- Light gauge strings produce a bright sound with a quick attack.
You will find synthetic, gut-core, and steel-core strings.
Synthetic core strings are most popular because they are cheaper than gut-core strings. Gut-core strings produce a warmer sound but are generally on the pricier side of things. Steel-core strings produce a thinner, clearer tone but are generally disliked by classical instrumentalists. Steel-core strings are favored by jazz and country fiddlers.
What Does the Fraction on the Packaging Mean?
Violins come in different sizes. You’ll often see wording to the effect of “4/4 size violin strings” on your string packet.
The smallest size is 1/16, which is just 9 inches long.
4/4 violins are full sized, adult instruments and measure 14 inches in length.
The differing sizes are intended for younger players, so, for example, a 1/16 violin would be suitable for a very young child.
Should I Invest in the More Expensive Strings?
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for and when choosing the best violin strings, quality matters. However, some of these strings are really expensive for the full set. How do we put this politely?
The violin is an instrument that can embody the voices of a thousand singing angels, but the very same instrument could sound like nails down a blackboard. It all comes down to technique, and for the learner, it’s going to take a while to reach the ethereal heights of our angelic chanteuses.
A beginner spends the first couple of years learning how to control the instrument, so their tuning and bowing technique may take some time to perfect. It could be years before their playing tone really settles down.
So, in other words, for the beginner, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend going for the top of the range because you’re not going to get the full benefit of the string tone.
Neither should you go for the cheapest – that is just asking for tinnitus!
Do I Change the Full Set at Once?
You’ll find that one string will snap at a time. If you’ve snapped four strings all in one go, step away from the poor instrument! Think about the kazoo.
You can, of course, just replace the broken string, but you will find that the tone of the new string will be considerably brighter than that of the older strings. It can sound a little odd to have just one new string and can make the control over the tone of the instrument problematic for the professional player.
If you’re just starting out, then we wouldn’t worry too much about changing just one string. Let’s face it; it will be cheaper in the long run.
Control over the tone of the instrument comes with experience, so a single bright string probably isn’t going to be too off-putting.
For the pro player, however, a full new set is recommended.
Top 3 Best Violin Strings Reviews
These strings are in the mid-price range and are the go-to choice for players who want strings that aren’t too bright in tonal color. These are steel strings, so they are very stable in pitch, even when first installed. They have a thinner sound than synthetic or gut-core strings, so they might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, they do have a clear, even tone.
Non-classical players often prefer steel strings, so if jazz or bluegrass is your thing, we think that these are the best violin strings for you. Fiddle players will be delighted by the sound they produce.
These Austrian-made strings are favored by both student violinists and professionals alike.
You’ll immediately notice how rich and warm they sound, as opposed to homastik-Infeld’s Blue strings that offer you a more brilliant sound.
Some complain that they are a bit slick, which results in less control over the bow since the rosin can’t grip the string. The sound quality is worth the lack of control, however, because you will get used to playing on these and learn how to deal with the lack of grip the more you use them.
Whether you have an entry-level violin, a professional model, or one you’ve recently taken out of the attic, these strings sound amazing on them all.
If you would like a nice selection of strings at your fingertips, then this package deal contains a lovely mixture that will help you achieve a unique mixture of sounds.
You get the All Ball-End Piastro Gold Label Plain Steel E string, Thomastick’s Dominant Aluminum Wound Perlon Core A and D strings, and also their Silver Wound Perlon Core G string.
That Piastro string is very versatile and mixes so well with different brands of strings.
Together, the set offers higher volume and fuller sound – perfect for the high school orchestra student. Fiddlers don’t have much luck with the E string, but find that the other three (G, D and A strings), work very well.