Helpful information about instrument strings
Strings come in a variety of materials, tensions, and thicknesses or gauges;
and are packaged into sets accordingly. These variations can have a dramatic or subtle
effect on the tone, playability, response and/or projection of an instrument.
When scrolling through our strings you will notice the 'String Options' are
set/default to the most commonly used and/or sold string type,
for example - 'Medium gauge' as apposed to light or heavy gauge; Ball end, as apposed to Loop end.
If you are not sure what string option to choose, the defaulted option will be
the choice for you! The default option represents the most commonly requested string type.
Perhaps taking a look at your old string packages will help you make a better
For the string player
well-versed in selecting a preferred string, we
are pleased to offer you these 'String Options'.
The Core Materials
The core affects the sound and bow response of the string.
- Steel Core: Some qualities of steel core strings include quick bow
response, high elasticity, powerful projection, longevity and stability in
tuning and tone. Steel core strings tend to sound lively and bright.
- Synthetic Core: Synthetic strings are designed to reproduce the
warm sound of gut strings with the advantages of synthetic materials, which
include stability and resistance to temperature and humidity. Big and powerful
tonal volume, brilliance, intensity and warm tones are some of the
characteristics of synthetic core strings.
- Gut Core: Gut strings produce the darkest, warmest tone. They exert
high pressure on the bow, resulting in big tonal volume. Pizzicato players
appreciate their natural, less harsh sound. Because gut core is a natural
material, it is sensitive to temperature and humidity and not as durable as
steel or synthetic core strings.
Manufacturers use different terminology in describing string gauges. Soft,
light, medium, heavy and thick are a few terms used to describe gauge.
- Soft, Light, Dolce, Weich, Thin: Lower tension, low bow pressure,
and a brighter sound.
- Medium, Mittel: The most popular string gauge used because it
balances the tension and sound qualities.
- Heavy, Thick, Stark, Forte: Higher tension, more bow pressure, and
a more powerful sound.
Tonal qualities for all Pirastro strings except
- Weich: brighter, less powerful tone, low tension.
- Mittel: warm, medium power, clear, medium tension. Most Popular!
- Stark: richer, rounder, more powerful tone, higher tension.
- Solo: brilliant, high tension.
Common materials used in string production include Titanium, carbon steel,
chromesteel, silver, tungsten, and gold-plating. Here are some advantages of
various string materials.
- Titanium: Lightweight and yields a warmer tone.
- Carbon Steel: Extremely durable
- Chromesteel: Easy response and a lively sound.
- Tungsten: Used to increase volume output.
- Gold-plating: Primarily used on violin "E" strings for its sweet