10 Best Violin Strings & Sets – 2021 Review

Buying violin strings may seem like a routine that you have to go through every six months to a year, but it doesn’t have to be. With the cost of violin strings sets rising every year it’s important to make sure that your spending money on the best violin strings for the best value so that you don’t spend nearly a hundred dollars on duds. We have you covered in that department.

There is no one violin string that sounds great on all violins since each violin is unique. We recommend trying several different violin strings to understand which strings make your violin sing. Our list below includes violin strings that are rated highest by players, but you will need to find the best violin strings for your violin from this list.

Best Violin Strings

Violin StringRecommended ForPrice for Set
1.  Thomastik DominantIntermediate$47.87
2.  Pirastro Evah PirazziIntermediate/Expert$84.70
3.  JargarBeginner/Intermediate
4.  Thomastik-Infeld – VisionIntermediate$67.11
5.  PreludeBeginner$16.99
6.  Pirastro GoldIntermediate/Expert$82.95
7.  HelicoreBeginner/Intermediate$42.09
8.  ObligatoIntermediate/Expert$93.94
9.  FiddlermanBeginner/Intermediate$32.99
10. Super SensitiveBeginner$16.20

Popular Violin String Combinations

Violinists sometimes mix and match different violin string brands in order to get the best sound. Instead of buying full string sets, you can find individual strings on Amazon, to save money and not waste strings.

E-StringA-StringD-StringG-StringGet Combo
Pirastro GoldDominantDominantDominantBuy

1. Thomastik-Infeld – Dominant

Recommended For:    Intermediate

Thomastik-Infeld Dominants are one of the most popular violin strings due to their flexibility and stable pitch. Many virtuoso violinists use or have used Dominants as their primary string. Dominants have a very long life which makes them worth every penny. Dominants come in different lengths and gauges, so you’ll be sure to find a size that fits your violin.

Dominants were the first strings manufactured with a synthetic perlon or nylon core and have become a measuring stick against which most other synthetic violin strings are measured.

Thomastik Dominant violin strings

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2. Pirastro – Evah Pirazzi Gold/Regular

Recommended For:    Intermediate/Expert

Evah Pirazzi’s are used by a number of virtuoso players including Joshua Bell (violin) and Kristina Fialová (viola). While they have a high price tag, the sound is unmatched. Pirazzis offer a complex and warm tone with dynamic responsiveness and excellent projection. These are great soloist or concert hall violin strings.

Evah Pirazzi violin strings come in three different styles: Regular and Gold. For the beginner or intermediate student, we recommend the Regular style since these are the most cost-effective. The Evah Pirazzi Gold violin strings set is intended for intermediate to advanced players who want a complex sound for solo play or for concerts.

Pirastro EVA419021 Evah Pirazzi 4/4 Violin String Set

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3. Jargar

Recommended For: Beginner/Intermediate

Jargar strings are quite literally the most interchangeable strings. Although they sound perfectly clear as a set, most violinists combine the Jargar strings with other strings. A common combination used with Jargar violin strings is a Jargar E combined with Dominant A, D, and G.

Jargars are available in a variety of gauges.


jargar violin strings

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4. Thomastik-Infeld – Vision

Recommended For: Intermediate

Thomastik-Infeld Visions are the smoother, richer cousin of the the Dominants. Slightly more expensive than the Dominants, Visions are great for the intermediate to advanced player who is looking for a nice complement to their finer instrument. They are great for solo players and orchestra players alike, but really should be used only for solo playing since the Dominants are a more affordable orchestra string.

These strings are brighter than most and sound great on more expensive violins, but may not be heard on lower-end student models. We highly recommend only getting these once you’ve moved on from a student model violin.

Thomastik-Infeld VIT100 Vision Titanium Solo Violin Strings

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5. Prelude

Recommended For: Beginner

Prelude strings are the ideal beginner string since they cost less than $20 and provide a stable sound that suffices for any new student. These are good enough for at least the first year or two of playing, but after that, you’ll want to upgrade to a better set of strings.

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

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6. Pirastro Gold

Recommended For: Intermediate/Expert

Another violin string brand that is a favorite among virtuosos, the Pirastro Gold series is popular for soloists, particularly when the Gold E string is paired with Dominants. The strings are gut strings made from modified synthetic fiber which gives them a quick response and break-in period.

Because these are gut strings, playing on them is different than on regular strings. You’ll need to use the correct bow speed to achieve the right noise. Otherwise, we noticed a slight buzzing noise when the speed and pressure wasn’t right.

Pirastro Wondertone Gold Label Violin String Set

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7. Helicore

Recommended For:    Beginner

Helicore strings are great for beginners and students because they have a clear tone and quick response. For their high quality, they are on the higher end of the inexpensive strings sets featured in this list. Over the last few years, they have been gaining a reputation in pop music. Although the tone and quality is not as high as with other string brands, Helicore strings provide a great foundation for beginners and perform far better than Preludes.

D'Addario Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings

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8. Obligato

Recommended For:    Intermediate/Expert

The Obligato strings for violin offer a slightly brighter sound than Evah Pirazzis. Obligatos are made of the same core material as Pirazzis, but they cost a little less. If you can’t afford Pirazzis, Obligatos make a great alternative.


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9. Fiddlerman

Recommended For: Beginner/Intermediate

Fiddlerman strings resemble gut strings and boast that they are indistinguishable from Dominants by professionals. Costing less than $40, these strings make great substitutes for the nearly triple-priced Dominant strings. Go ahead, given them a try!

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10. Super Sensitive

Recommended For:    Beginner

Super Sensitive violin strings are great for beginners who just want to get their feet wet playing the violin. They are extremely cheap (less than $15 as of this writing), and fairly durable. Made with a steel core with nickel wrapping, these strings will do the job, but should definitely not be used by intermediate players.

super sensitive

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What should you look for in violin strings?

The same brand of violin strings can sound different on different violins. The inherent uniqueness of each violin makes even the relatively stable sound of Dominants sound different. Therefore, you should try many different violin strings before you settle on the ones that make your violin sound the best.

Another great alternative is mixing and matching different violin string sets in order to get the best sound possible. In our “Popular Violin String Combinations” section below, you can see how people tend to mix violin string sets to get the sounds that work best for their violin.

While we do recommend trying different brands of violin strings, experimenting can get pretty expensive, so we recommend evaluating your budget for violin strings and adjusting accordingly. Even so, if you are a serious player you will want to find the right fit for your instrument and playing style. One potential solution to find the right string is buying a different brand each time you need to replace your strings and over the next few years, you’ll figure out which ones work for your violin.

As with violins and bows, violin strings vary on several main factors:


Gauge is the diameter of the violin string and can have a tremendous effect on the sound. You may want to try several strings to see which gauge and thickness sounds the best on your violin.


The materials used to make the string also have a large impact. Whether you go with gut or steel core will make the string sound and vibrate differently. Generally, modern strings are made from synthetic material wrapped in metal coil or solid metal.


Typically having to be replaced at least once a year and costing upwards of $60 on average for a full set, violin strings aren’t easy on the budget. Strings are expensive, there’s no way around it.  It’s important to find a balance between sound and price while searching for the perfect violin strings.

While there are a lot of options for strings and you may feel perplexed at this point, this guide will help you select some starting varieties that will let you experiment with the sound of your violin.

How Much Do Violin Strings Cost?

Typically violin strings have to be replaced at least once a year and can cost upwards of $200 on average for a full string set. You can find some beginner strings for less than $100 for a full set, but these strings won’t last long and don’t sound great. For example, the Merano strings on this list cost just $17. Price does typically reflect sound quality for violin strings so more expensive violin strings generally sound better regardless of the violin.

Violin strings are expensive, there’s no way around it.  It’s important to find a balance between sound and price while searching for the perfect violin strings.

How Are Violin Strings Made?

Historically, violin strings were made from gut, typically dried out sheep or goat intestines. Modern strings are wound with metallic materials like aluminum, titanium, and chromium with synthetic (nylon) or steel cores. Most violin strings are machine-wound, but some, like the Passione strings below, are hand-wound.

How to Change Your Violin Strings?

If it’s your first time changing violin strings, we recommend asking your teacher for assistance since it can be challenging to do until you’ve got the hang of it. If you’re sure that you can handle it, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the violin strings are the right length. If you have a smaller violin and are using 4/4 violin size strings, you will need to trim them. Here’s guidance from Fretless Finger Guides about how long your violin strings should be.
    4/4 Violin = 330mm = 13 inches
    7/8 Violin = 317mm = 12½ inches
    3/4 Violin = 310mm = 12¼ inches
    1/2 Violin = 285mm = 11¼ inches
    1/4 Violin = 260mm = 10¼ inches
    1/8 Violin = 235mm = 9¼ inches
    1/16 Violin = 215mm = 8½ inches
  2. Gently place the violin on its back. You may want to put a towel or soft cloth behind it.
  3. Start with the E string. Loosen it until you are able to remove the string from the peg. Remove the other end from the tailpiece or fine tuner. Make sure that the bridge remains in place.
  4. Get the new string ready. While the peg is out, you may want to apply peg dope to the peg if you are having issues turning it.
  5. Thread the ball-end of the new string into the fine tuner or tailpiece. Thread the other end into the peg and begin turning the peg to tighten it.
  6. Repeat with the other strings. You should do the G string next, followed by the A and D. This will make sure that there is enough pressure on the bridge so that the soundpost doesn’t fall over.

To make sure you are doing it right, you can follow along with this video by D’Addario.

YouTube video

What Strings Do Famous Violinists Prefer?

Famous violinists, of course, tend to favor our recommended violin strings as well Below you can see what some virtuosos prefer.

Itzhak Perlman used Eudoxa early in his career than switched to the traditional combo of Dominants with the Gold Label E. This is also the combo favored by Anne-Sophie Mutter. This is one of our recommended violin string combinations above.

Pinchas Zukerman used Eudoxa as well and later transitioned to Dominants.

Joshua Bell and Ilya Gringolts use Evah Pirazzi violin strings. Yascha Heifetz favored Goldbrokat Medium E, Plain Gut A&D, with a wound G.

best violin strings


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