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Choosing Strings: Synthetic-Core

Synthetic-Core Strings

Synthetic-core strings are made from various types of synthetic materials, including nylon (from which perlon and stabilon are made) and composite fibers. They tend to produce a richer, fuller, and warmer tone quality than steel-core strings. They also generally have greater complexity and a wider spectrum of tone colors, and are capable of more subtle tonal effects than steel.

Many have been developed to assimilate the desired warmth and feel of gut-core strings, but, unlike most gut strings, their pitch tends to stabilize fairly quickly after installation. Because of the above qualities, they are the most popular type of string for bowed string players.

The volume and response of the strings can vary, depending on the instrument on which they are strung. Composite-Core Strings are synthetic-core strings representing the latest in advancing string technology. They are made with new types of synthetic materials combined in new ways to create denser, stronger strings that are immune to temperature and humidity changes.

JSI Special Set for Violin is our own special set put together for Violin combining the clear and bell-like Pirastro Gold Label E string with the Dominant A, D, and G strings. This is a very popular combination of strings for a bright and even sound on most violins.

JSI Special Set for Viola is a great sounding 15"-16" Viola string set at a very attractive price. The Jargar A string possesses a powerful, robust tone with a bright response. Thomastik Dominant series viola strings are among the most widely-used synthetic strings. A highly flexible, multi-strand perlon core makes these comparable in sound and feel to natural gut.

Aricore by Pirastro for Violin, Viola, and Cello. These were Pirastro's first synthetic string and are mellower than Tonicas and have a warmth like Pirastro Eudoxa gut-core strings. The D, G and C strings are popular with cellists who seek a darker sound.

Corelli Alliance for Viola by Savarez are the result of know-how in the process of the composite fibers. These viola strings match perfectly and can be mixed with excellent results either with gut strings or with nylon strings.

Corelli Alliance Vivace for Violin by Savarez have a composite multifilament core and more brilliance than the Corelli Crystal. The tone quality has more richness and complexity, and tend to have a longer life than most other synthetic strings. They remain very stable in variations in temperature and humidity.

Corelli Crystal by Savarez for Violin and Viola. These synthetic core strings are another good alternative to Dominants, when the player desires less of an edgy sound. They are high quality wound Stabilon multifilament strings with a natural warm and rich tone. They have a somewhat darker tone than Dominants, and feel somewhat thicker under the fingers.

Crown Violin Strings are less-expensive perlon-core strings having a bright tone and an edginess to their sound that is popular with fiddlers. Crown violin strings are made in Sweden using proven technology and are well suited for student and professional players alike.

Dominant by Thomastik-Infeld for Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass. The original synthetic-core string, made with perlon. Dominant strings are bright and responsive, and were, at one time, the most popular strings for violin and viola. These strings are long-lasting and reliable. These strings are also popular with electric string instrument players.

Evah Pirazzi by Pirastro for Violin, Viola, and Bass. A wonderfully powerful synthetic-core strings with a lot of richness, depth, and projection to the sound. They is available in light, medium, or heavy gauges. These strings have a brilliant core sound with excellent response and pitch stability capable of providing a range of expressive nuances. Perhaps the best viola strings for power and richness.

Note: Evah Pirazzi Cello Strings are steel-core A & D and rope-core G & C strings.

Evah Pirazzi Gold by Pirastro for Violin and Viola. The sound of Evah Pirazzi Gold synthetic multifilament fibre core strings is full-bodied from the very bottom to the top of the register. The design of the individual strings has been carefully matched to one another allowing for effortlessly smooth transitions from string to string giving the strings both a marked presence and clarity with outstanding resonance.

Infeld Blue for Violin by Thomastik-Infeld. These synthetic-core strings are quite brighter than Dominants, but with more character, complexity and resonance. And, unlike Dominants, they don't have the tinny edginess when first installed. These strings can help a violin speak with greater clarity. These are also designed to be mixed and matched with Infeld Red violin strings. See also Viennese Melange.

Infeld Red for Violin by Thomastik-Infeld.These synthetic-core strings have a dark and warm tone offering subtle playing effects. These are very good strings for darkening an edgy sounding violin. These are also designed to be mixed and matched with Infeld Blue violin strings. See also Viennese Melange.

Larsen for Viola. The A string of the Larsen viola set is steel-core while the D, G, and C strings are synthetic-core. These strings offer a big, brilliant tone on most violas, being slightly darker than Dominants. They're known for their punch and power to the sound, with an amount of depth and complexity. Some players have remarked that the lifespan is shorter than other synthetic-core viola strings.

Note 1: Tzigane Violin Strings by Larsen are synthetic-core strings.
Note 2: Larsen Violin and Cello strings are steel-core.

Obligato by Pirastro for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass. These brilliant yet warm synthetic-core strings offer a fast and easy response. These are available in light, medium or heavy gauges and feature excellent uniformity across the strings.

Peter Infeld for Violin by Thomastik-Infeld are considered by many to be among the best violin strings available for the professional player. These extraordinary strings were named to pay homage to the innovative string engineer and musician Peter Infeld. These are very high quality synthetic-core strings made with lower tension to produce a high number of overtones, which give a rich spectrum of tonal colors, much like gut strings. Infeld created the first platinum-plated E string for this set, which is an option when ordering a full set (tin-plated and gold-plated are other options). Very impressive blend of power and elegance, brilliance and warmth. Some players have remarked about the pleasing soft feeling under the fingers. They hold pitch right at installation. These are highly recommended strings for the professional violinist.

Pro-Arte by D'Addario for Violin, Viola, and Cello. These less expensive perlon-core strings are designed at a lower tension for a warm, mellow tone with a slower bow response. They are less sensitive to humidity and temperature changes, and break in quickly. The violin strings come in light, medium, or heavy gauges, the viola strings come in medium or heavy gauges, and the cello strings come in the medium gauge only.

Synoxa by Pirastro for Violin, Viola, and Cello. Synoxa are perlon-core strings designed as an alternative to Pirastro gut strings. These popular strings provide a similar warmth and colorful tone quality to gut without the long break-in period.

Tonica by Pirastro for Violin and Viola are Pirastro's answer to Thomastik-Infeld Dominant strings. Tonicas are bright, like Dominants, but produce a fuller sound with more overtones and less edginess. The break-in time is very short and they are reported to have a long lifespan. These strings are also popular among electric string instrument players.

Tzigane for Violin by Larsen are named after Ravel's famous solo piece for violin. These strings are made with a lower tension than other composite-core strings. Tzigane strings can improve the tone of a harsh or shrill sounding violin. These strings produce a very smooth yet projecting sound.

Viennese Melange for Violin by Thomastik-Infeld. Thomastik-Infeld has combined a multilayered steel E with the most successful synthetic-core single strings, blending the four into a set. The E01 multilayered steel E string, Dominant medium gauge A string, the bright Infeld Blue D string, and the warm and rich Infeld Red G string make up this incredible set. Viennese Melange are very successful on many violins. Many professional players vote these among the best violin strings they've tried!

Violino for Violin by Pirastro are lower tension composite core strings. They have been described as the "sweetest" sounding synthetic string by some players, as well as being soft to the touch and having a quick response.

Vision by Thomastik-Infeld for Violin and Viola. Vision synthetic core strings are extremely durable with a brilliant and very focused sound. Can give small sized instruments more volume and clarity. We've found them very good for small violas. Among the most durable synthetic core strings. These produce a plain, straight sound without much warmth or complexity.

Vision Solo by Thomastik-Infeld for Violin and Viola feature a technically advanced formulation and architecture designed to produce a blend of exceptional playing and performance characteristics desired by soloists. Capable of a wide range of expression and nuance, these strings are extremely versatile and useful in a variety of performance styles and applications.

Vision Titanium Orchestra for Violin by Thomastik-Infeld are targeted toward orchestral violinists and violists, as well as chamber music players. Developed to replace gut strings, they have an amount of warmth like the Vision Solos, but blend well in ensembles. They can be mixed and matched with synthetic and gut core strings.

Wondertone Solo for Violin by Pirastro are clear, focused, and smooth as well as brilliant not unlike Infeld Blue strings. Wonderstone Solo have a direct sound and less background noise than other synthetic-core strings.

Zyex by D'Addario for Violin, Viola, and Bass. Brilliant, yet warm and rich-sounding composite synthetic core strings with a very focused sound. Zyex strings boast stability under changing climatic conditions with excellent projection. These strings are a good alternative to Dominants and are popular among electric string instrument players.

Next Section: Gut Strings

Notes About Strings

  • The most popular strings are the mid-priced synthetic-core strings.
  • Using gut-core strings can warm up an instrument instantly; the Passione brand stabilize in pitch very quickly compared to other gut-core strings.
  • Players often start with the medium gauge or tension of strings (when offered a choice) to see how their instrument responds to the manufacturer's generally balanced tension, before experimenting with different gauges and tensions.
  • If you have remaining questions about which strings might be best for your instrument, please contact us and we will be happy to help!

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