Synthetic strings come the closest to the sound of gut strings, but without the drawbacks that gut strings have, such as the instability of pitch and the long play-in time. Thomastik Dominant strings, made of Perlon, a type of Nylon, were the first of the synthetic core strings on the market. Since the core is synthetic, the string can be more consistent in quality than gut strings, but they do lack the complexity you can achieve with gut strings. There is currently a large selection of synthetic core strings out there, each with its own special characteristics.
Recommended for the violin, Synoxa strings are brilliant sounding, fast responding and have a focus and clarity to them. The Synoxa strings are more resistant to humidity changes and have a quick play-in time.
The Tonica strings are slightly warmer in tone to the Synoxa strings, however still have a quick response. They are also more resistant to humidity and have a quick play-in time. They are the closest in tone quality to the Thomastik Dominant strings and are recommended for use on violin.
The Obligato set is one of Pirastro’s first composite core strings. They are warm and rich in overtones and have great response in all dynamic ranges with a feel that is softer than other strings under the fingers. With the Obligato E string, you have a choice of gold-plated or steel.
Pirastro Evah Pirazzi
The Evah Pirazzi strings join the Obligatos in the Pirastro family of composite core strings. They are more brilliant than the darker Obligatos and have a depth and silvery tone to them. The Evah Pirazzis also offer a gold E as an option. MCH uses Evah Pirazzis on some of our better higher-end violins.
Pirastro Wondertone Solo
Pirastro has modified the composite core material used on their Pirrazi and Obligato strings to bring you the Wondertone Solo set. This set features a nearly non-existent play-in time, immediate response, direct and clear tone with a big volume and dynamic response.
Dominants are the original synthetic (Perlon) core strings and we recommend them for use on violin and viola. They are by far the most popular strings in the world sporting a full, bright and responsive sound. We set-up all of our student level violins with these strings.
Thomastik Infled (Red and Blue)
These were the first new strings from Thomastik in quite some time. They were introduced together and have the same tension as to make it possible for the player to mix and match to achieve the sound that they want. The Blues are brighter in tone quality, and the Reds are warmer and feature a gold-plated E. The Infeld Blues and Reds are only available for violin.
These are high-tech composite strings which are similar in sound to Dominants but with more character and have a shorter play-in period than traditional Perlon core strings. They are becoming more popular as more celebrity violinists are switching over to Vision strings.
Thomastik Vision Titanium
The Vision Titanium Solo strings have a lot of power and warmth and can help duller sounding instruments to be a bit more brilliant. Put on fast responding instruments, they can overpower other instruments if playing in a chamber ensemble.
Previously known more for their steel cello strings, Larsen has developed synthetic core strings for the violin and viola. They are higher priced premium strings and have a warm sound with lots of power and depth.