Top 5 Best Violin Strings (2020 Reviews & Buying Guide)

So you are searching for the best violin strings for your instrument. This can seem like a daunting task, especially if this is your first time purchasing violin strings.

Here we have detailed exactly what you need to know before you make your purchase. We have a violin strings review for our top five choices on the market right now. We then have included a buying guide to further help you choose the perfect strings.

Top Picks: Best Violin Strings Reviews

1. JSI Special 4/4 Violin String Set – Best Overall

“JSI

Specifications

  • Size: 4/4

  • Tension: Medium
  • Gauge: Medium
  • Synthetic Core

The JSI Special violin strings are the best violin strings to choose if you are searching for a balance between price and quality.

The JSI Special strings for violin have a synthetic core, meaning you get a balance of the best features of gut strings and steel core strings. These synthetic core strings for violins will ensure that they are reliable and will not constantly slip out of tune, especially if there are drastic changes in the weather. It will also mean that you will get the best sound and tone production for this mid-range price.

This set is a mixture of Dominant strings and Pirastro strings with the E strings being Pirastro and the rest Dominant. This will ensure an amazing balance of sound and tone across the set of strings.

It is quite common for the E string to ‘whistle’ on a violin, and this balance of different strings will ensure that this will never happen.

If you are struggling with tone production and producing a well-rounded sound when you play, the JSI Special violin string set could be a great choice for you and will assist you in achieving that desired, balanced sound.

This combination of dominant strings and Pirastro gold strings will give you an amazingly full sound that can pierce through an orchestra if you are a soloist, or that can, equally, blend in with other instruments also. This makes them the perfect choice for a traveling musician who plays in a variety of ensembles and as a soloist too. The JSI Special violin strings would be for a great choice for a professional and an intermediate player alike.

2. D’Addario Prelude Violin String Set – Best Budget Pick

D'Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale, Heavy Tension

Specifications

  • Size: 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 4/4

  • Tension: Light, Medium and Heavy
  • Gauge: Medium
  • Steel Core

The D’Addario Prelude Violin Strings are the perfect choice for anyone who is on a strict budget.

The strings have a steel core meaning they are perfect for adapting to different external environments. This would be best for anyone who lives in a climate with drastic season changes, or for the traveling musician. The core on the D’Addario strings will also ensure that they are reliable and will not snap easily or slip out of tune often. This is great if you are playing regularly and do not want the hassle of constantly changing strings!

These strings come in a variety of tension to choose from: Light, Medium, and Heavy. This is great if you wish to adapt the sound production of your strings while still sticking to a budget.

These strings are one of the most common brands used for beginners. Due to their budget price, they are perfect for anyone just starting out on the violin. These strings for a violin for the beginner are responsive enough so that untrained fingers can play easily on them, but also reliable enough so that they will not snap under too much pressure (which is common among beginner players).

The D’Addario Prelude violin strings are available in a variety of sizes, the smallest being 1/16. This is one of the most significant reasons why teachers recommend them to beginner students. If you are looking for strings for your child’s violin, or are simply looking for the cheapest choice of strings that you can get a decent sound out of then the D’Addario Prelude Strings would be great for you.

3. Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Violin String Set – Best Premium Pick

“Pirastro

Specifications

  • Size: 4/4

  • Tension: Medium
  • Gauge: Medium
  • Synthetic Core

The Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold violin strings are some of the most premium violin strings on the market right now.

The Evah Pirazzi Gold strings have medium tension and medium gauge, meaning they have the perfect balance between ease of playability, sound project, and brightness of tone. This makes them an ideal choice for anyone who will be playing a variety of styles and needs strings to produce a consistent sound. According to Strings Magazine (2):

The Gold set themselves apart from the normal Pirastro strings by using different windings and construction.

Because of this difference in construction and individual winding around the string, these Pirastro strings are much higher quality than the other Pirastro options. Due to their premium quality, the Pirastro gold strings will give you an amazing sound production, even with someone who struggles with their overall tone and volume projection.

The Evah Pirazzi Gold strings are made from a synthetic core, meaning they have the best features from the steel core and gut strings. The Evah Pirazzi strings are incredibly reliable and will not be greatly affected by weather changes or other external conditions. This makes them perfect for the traveling musician!

Due to the high price and the high quality of the Pirazzi gold violin strings, these would be best suited for a professional soloist or a musician in an orchestra or other musical ensemble. The Evah Pirazzi strings are definitely a premium choice for someone who is serious about their career as a violinist. If you are a professional musician and are searching for strings that will improve your tone immensely, then the Pirastro Evah Pirazzi would be the best.

4. D’Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings 4/4 Size Set with Steel E String – Best For Intermediate Players

D'Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings 4/4 Size Set with Steel E String

Specifications

  • Size: 4/4

  • Tension: Light, Medium and Heavy
  • Gauge: Medium
  • Standard Steel Core

The D’Addario Helicore violin strings include a standard steel core, meaning they are reliable and will not be greatly affected by external atmospheric changes, such as the weather. These strings will also stay in tune a lot longer than some of the other strings mentioned precisely because of the steel core.

The D’Addario Helicore strings are one of the most versatile strings on the market right now. If you are searching for strings in which you can play a variety of musical styles, then the D’Addario Helicore could be a great set for you. According to D’Addario (1):

They work really well for classical playing but also works well for alternative styles playing like Jazz, Bluegrass, and electric instruments.

This also makes them a great choice for players who are still trying to figure out their sound and what style they like the best.

These strings boast tensions of light, medium, and heavy and a medium gauge, meaning that you can highly adapt the sound produced to your particular style and your instrument. Having a medium gauge will ensure that the sound produced is loud enough for performance, but also balances the response on the strings. This medium response will be great for intermediate players.

At a good quality and an affordable price, the D’Addario Helicore strings have become very popular among amateur and intermediate players. Perhaps you are a student at University looking for your next set of strings, or perhaps you are an amateur performer. Either way, these strings would be best suited for intermediate players who are looking for decent quality strings at a very affordable price. The D’Addario Helicore will give you a balance of quality and affordability.

5. Artisan Violin Strings Premium Quality

“Artisan

Specifications

  • Size: 3/4, 4/4

  • Tension: Medium
  • Gauge: Medium
  • Steel Core

The Artisan set of violin strings set are one of the most versatile strings mentioned on the list here. Each string gives off a fantastic tone and sound, especially given the low price. Should you choose to purchase these strings, you will be able to comfortably play all musical styles and genres on your instrument with fantastic sound.

The Artisan strings come in medium tension and gauge meaning they have the perfect balance of sound production, reliability, and versatility. This makes them perfect for a traveling musician who will not only be performing regularly but will be traveling to different environments that could affect the sound of the strings immensely.

These high quality strings are available at an incredibly affordable price meaning they are a great choice for most players who are searching for a new set of violin strings. Although they are definitely not the most premium choice on the market, they are perfect for balancing quality and price.

These strings are the best violin strings if you are searching for super sensitive strings with high responsiveness.

This would do well for an experienced player who will be able to handle the instrument better. A beginner would find these strings too difficult to learn on.

These synthetic core strings get the best deep and mellow sound compared to the other violins mentioned here. Usually, people search for strings who will bring a brighter sound to their instrument, and if this is you then the Artisan violin strings would not be the best for you. Given that they are available in different tension and gauges, they are highly versatile, making them perfect for someone who wishes to adapt their string sound.

Buying Guide

Below we have detailed the top things you need to think about when you are making your purchase.

Types Of Strings

There are three types of strings that you can choose from Gut, steel core, and synthetic core. It is highly important that you are aware of the differences between these strings so that you can make an informed decision about what would be best for you and your violin.

Gut core strings are made from a combination of sheep intestine and metal. As gut core strings are made from sheep intestine, they are super sensitive to changes in the environment, meaning that when the weather changes or you are traveling a lot, these strings will be affected drastically. They will slip out of tune constantly and they will even become weak and snap easily.

Although this is a massive drawback of gut strings, many musicians still choose to use them as they give the fullest and richest sound out of all the violin strings. Because of this high quality sound production, gut strings will be the most expensive strings that you can choose from.

Steel core strings are the most common violin string used today. Because of its affordable price and reliability, steel core strings are used by both amateurs and professional musicians. The steel core makes them less susceptible to changes due to the environment, making them a great choice for a traveling musician.

Synthetic core strings are becoming more common among violinists today. These types of strings combine the best features of gut and steel core strings. They are very reliable and durable like steel core, but also give an amazing sound and tone production similar to that of gut strings. The synthetic core E strings are the least likely to ‘whistle’ or give any problems. (3)

Gauge and Tension

The tension and gauge of the violin string is another very important thing to consider before you purchase your violin strings. The gauge and tension will play a huge factor in the overall sound production of each string on your violin.

Generally speaking, the wider the gauge on each string, the louder the sound will be and the more you can project in large venues or in front of an audience. The thinner the gauge on each string will have a quieter sound but much higher responsiveness. This means thin gauge strings will be much easier to adapt to your own playing style.

The tension on each string will also affect the sound greatly, and refers to the tone that each string will produce; Light, Medium, or Heavy. If you wish to purchase strings with lower tension, then gut strings would be the best choice for you. Equally, a higher tension string would be a synthetic core one.

We recommend purchasing medium tension and gauge strings in the beginning. Once you are accustomed to these, you can then move up or down in tension or gauge depending on your playing style and musical preferences.

FAQS

The best violin strings and those that are most commonly recommended to students by their teachers are the D’Addario Prelude violin string sets. Not only are these strings very reliable, but they are also very cheap to purchase. This means you will not have to worry if they snap from too much pressure enforced on them, which is a common problem among beginners. They also come in a variety of very small sizes, making them a great choice for children.

The best violin strings for versatility, reliability, and price would be synthetic core strings. As these strings mix the best features from gut and steel core strings, they are great for beginner, intermediate and professional players. Strings with a synthetic core are affordable and will not be susceptible to drastic changes in the external environment. They will also give your violin a rich and full sound production, meaning that you get high quality and affordability all in one string!

Yes, violin strings do make a difference. There is no point in having a very expensive instrument if you were then to pair it with cheap strings. You would not get the benefit of the instrument and you would not achieve the desired sound production. The strings you choose will dictate what kind of sound you will make while playing and also how easy it will be to play. Different strings will give different sounds and which string you choose will depend on your budget.

Restringing a violin can seem complicated, however, once you practice enough you will become more and more comfortable with it. Before you decide to restring your violin, ensure that you have purchased the most appropriate strings for your playing and your instrument. Once you start, only remove and restring one string at a time. If you take all the strings off at once your bridge will collapse and it will be difficult to fix this without help from a luthier.

We recommend the Pirastro Gold Evah Pirazzi strings if you are searching for the strings with the best sound. The Evah Pirazzi strings will give you an incredible tone and sound production, even if this is a technique that you really struggle with. The rich string not only sounds professional, but it will be loud enough so that you can perform to a large audience easily without being drowned out by the other instruments in the ensemble or orchestra.

The length of time between changing your violin strings will depend largely on your playing habits. However, a general rule would be every 9 to 12 months. If you are practicing every day then this should be cut down to around every 3 or 4 months. When you leave your strings on your instrument for too long, regardless if you are playing a lot, the strings will become ‘dead’ and will struggle to produce a beautiful tone.

  1. D’Addario: Helicore Violin Strings. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R18DLT20Qoo
  2. Gear Review: Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Violin Strings. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYSsa3bXFfE
  3. The Violinist.com Guide to Choosing Violin Strings. Retrieved from: https://www.violinist.com/wiki/violin-strings/
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