Top Viola Strings – Guide & Comparison
If you have little time on your hands and you just want to find the best quality strings for viola, then this short paragraph should give you all the information you need in a concise and easy to read format. After looking at the quality and value offered by each product, we have come to the conclusion that the Jargar Jar-4792 is the one option that you should consider. Coming from a manufacturer that has long been the favorite of both amateur and professional violinists and violists, this option will provide you with the quality that you crave for. It includes a full set of 4 strings that come with removable ball ends. The 4 items have a chrome steel winding and a solid steel core that boasts a direct and clear sound. If the Jargar Jar-4792 is unavailable for purchase, we recommend you consider the Pirastro Evah Pirazzi as your second-best alternative.
Our Top Choice
This set is the right choice if you want a high-quality product that combines top features with an affordable price. It includes 4 items that all have a chrome winding with a core made of solid steel. Moreover, the ball end is removable, for increased functionality, while the sound rendered is clean, direct, and with few overtones. This model is ideal for non-classic players.
These strings are somewhat thicker than others, so if you have any particular preferences when it comes to this matter, then be aware that the tone might be slightly different than what you’re used to.
Given the high-quality construction and chrome steel winding, these strings are durable and render very good sounds, making them ideal for your next purchase.
If a powerful and warm sound is what you are after, this set is the right choice for you. The core is made of modern synthetic multifilament fiber, so you don’t need to worry about durability. Furthermore, the A-steel strings also come with a removable ball, while the set’s overall construction ensures a wide dynamic range that will make your viola sound like you want it to.
There’s a subtle difference in sound compared to other brands, so if you are already used to a tone, these strings might not sound normal. However, you should give them a chance as they might surprise you.
The warm, full, and rich tone rendered by these strings are going to bring new life to your viola, so give them a try and let yourself be inspired as you play.
The 141 Dominant set offers a great tonal performance while being a product designed to last for a long time. The sound rendered is soft and clear, while the construction includes a highly flexible, multi-strand synthetic core, which ensures both durability and a rich tone. The best part is that the strings are resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.
Although these are extremely durable and respond very well to intricate fingering, the player still has to pay attention, since any instrument that includes chords requires special care when handled.
This set offers very good performance when it comes to the tone quality, as well as solid craftsmanship that you can rely on at any moment.
7 Best Viola Strings (Reviews) in 2019
In the following list you will be able to find some of the critically acclaimed products that we have selected. These products have been carefully chosen by looking at the most popular viola strings reviews, consumer reports and surveys, and the overall quality of each option. Take a quick look below if you want to see what the best viola strings for sale are.
- 1. Jargar up to 16.5″ Viola String Set Medium
- 2. Pirastro Viola String Evah Pirazzi Gold Set Medium
- 3. Thomastik Strings for Viola Dominant Nylon Core Set
- 4. D’Addario Prelude Long Scale Medium Tension Viola String Set
- 5. Pirastro Obligato up to 16.5″ Viola String Set
- 6. D’Addario Helicore Long Scale Medium Tension Viola String Set
- 7. Cuerda Viola Pirastro Passione 229441
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently asked questions about viola strings
1. Jargar up to 16.5″ Viola String Set Medium
If you’re looking for a high-quality product that can combine premium features with an accessible price, we believe that the Jargar Jar-4792 is the set that manages to cater to a wider audience without making any sacrifice in terms of quality. It includes a full set that consists of 4 strings that can be equipped to an up to 16.5” viola.
All the four items included in this set have a chrome steel winding with a core that is made of solid steel with removable ball end.
This means that you will get a sound that is direct, clean, and with few overtones. These are ideal for non-classical players, and they are also much more stable in pitch.
What’s more, because this option has a core that is made of solid steel, you will also get the benefit of having them last longer. This is great if you want a premium product that can last you for a long time.
This high-quality set contains 4 strings that can fit a 16.5-inch viola, being made of premium materials.
The strings have a solid steel core and a chrome steel winding, coming with a removable ball end for more professionalism.
When it comes to the tone, these strings manage to deliver a clean, direct sound with few overtones.
Since the strings are made of steel, they are very durable, made to withstand hours of rehearsals.
These strings are medium tension and they are very easy to mount on your viola.
This set combines efficiency with durability, making it a complete product that can improve your musical performance.
The tone delivered by these strings may be different from the one you are used to since they are thicker than other strings.
This set is more suitable for non-classical players, so if you are a classical fan, you should reconsider your choice by looking for other features.Buy from Amazon.com for ($58.59)
2. Pirastro Viola String Evah Pirazzi Gold Set Medium
With a core made from modern synthetic multifilament fiber, the Pirastro Evah Pirazzi stands out from the standard Pirazzi due to the powerful, brilliant, and warmer sound that it can create. With this purchase, you will get a wide dynamic range and an emphasis on the individual sound picture of each instrument.
If you tend to perform in diverse environments and locations, you should be glad to know that the material used in the manufacture of the Pirastro Evah Pirazzi makes it insensitive to variations in humidity and temperature. What’s more, this option is also suitable for violas that are equipped with piezo-pickups and for electric violas.
The set includes four strings and the A-steel strings come with a removable ball. Another great thing about this alternative is the outstanding response and tuning stability. This makes it an ideal choice for amateur and professional players alike. Everything will be packaged in a stylish and durable envelope that is designed to keep everything in one piece.
The special thing about these strings is the warm sound they create through their modern synthetic multifilament fiber construction.
With these strings, you can play viola anywhere, no matter the humidity or temperature as they have a sturdy construction that is insensitive to these variations.
This set of strings is versatile since it fits electric violas and viola equipped with piezo-pickups as well.
The strings offer a great response and tuning stability in order to let you focus on your musical performance.
The set works fine for both beginners and professional musicians as it meets all the needs.
For protection, the strings are packed in separate envelopes to avoid any damage.
These strings sound differently from other strings on the market, so if you are used to one type of strings, these may surprise you in an unpleasant way.
The sound of these strings is metallic and not as rich as the sound delivered by other models.Buy from Amazon.com for ($126.99)
3. Thomastik Strings for Viola Dominant Nylon Core Set
Constructed out of highly flexible, multi-strand synthetic core, the Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant offers an alternative that will not only offer you the best tonal performance but also a product that is designed to last and to perform equally no matter the location. The sound is clear, soft, and with a stable intonation which makes it rich in overtones.
Add to that the tonal warmth and the feel of gut string and you have a product that will make it easier for you to sound your best. The use of high-quality materials makes the Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant resistant to changes in humidity and temperature, making it ideal for performers that travel a lot.
The Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant offers a lot of additional advantages including the effortless response to intricate fingering which will not only allow you to perform accurately but will also add further durability to this option. As a plus, the multi-strand nylon core is a great alternative for artists who don’t feel comfortable with or don’t need steel strings.
This product is a great replacement for your viola as the strings are made of a multi-strand synthetic core that offers you amazing tonal performance.
These strings are made to perform with the same accuracy no matter the location or the environmental conditions.
They deliver a soft, clear sound that is rich in overtones, having a stable intonation.
The materials used in the making process allow you to play the viola unbothered no matter the temperature or humidity, making the set ideal for traveling.
If you don’t feel comfortable using steel strings, this multi-strand nylon core alternative must be a good replacement for you.
Even though these strings are durable, if you are a beginner there is a possibility that they would break if not handled with care.
The sound delivered by the synthetic strings is quite different from the one delivered by the steel strings, so if you are used with the second type, this alternative may not suit you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($86.53)
4. D’Addario Prelude Long Scale Medium Tension Viola String Set
When compared to our other picks on our list, the most obvious way in which the D’Addario Prelude stands out is the price. This option is one of the most affordable you will be able to find on the market without actually sacrificing the quality that you get. The solid steel core is optimized so that it creates only the warmest sound possible.
These student strings are designed for amateur artists that can’t spend a lot for their instruments, but that still want to achieve a good performance. The D’Addario Prelude is a preferred choice for educators due to the unique blend of economy, warm tone, and a durable design.
The D’Addario Prelude is designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA, which enables for the company to keep costs lower. This option is sized to fit long-scale viola with a body length of 16-16 1/2 inches and a playing length of 15 inches. These medium tension strings are carefully optimized to fit the needs of as many players as possible.
This set of strings helps you deliver beautiful and warm sounds thanks to the steel core that is very solid and it gives the product more sturdiness.
The strings are ideal for beginners and amateurs since they are affordable and easy to install on the viola.
This set is preferred by many educators because it combines durability with the warm tone in one product that offers the students improved performance.
The strings are medium-tension in order to meet the needs of most musicians.
This set is manufactured in the USA according to strict standards so the buyers can have an amazing musical experience.
This model isn’t a universal fit as it is suitable only for long-scale violas with a playing length of 15 inches.
These strings are not suitable for professional viola players as the sound is a little bit tinny compared to other models.Buy from Amazon.com for ($28.3)
5. Pirastro Obligato up to 16.5″ Viola String Set
The Pirastro Obligato is another premium alternative that seeks to offer only the best experience to both amateur and experienced artists that don’t mind spending the big bucks for a quality set of viola strings. Customers worldwide have nothing but high praise for the range of sounds that it can produce and the complex tone that is rich with overtones.
Another thing that makes this alternative ideal for any kind of artist is the tuning stability which makes playing with these strings easy since you will have to spend less time tuning and more time actually playing your instrument. Add to that the outstanding response and you have yourself the perfect purchase.
The Pirastro Obligato is designed to be used with violas that are up to 16.5 inches. For customers that want their pick to offer great durability, they should glad to learn that this product features the use of new synthetic materials whose whole purpose is to offer great performance in a durable construction.
This set of strings is made to please both beginners and advanced viola players as the product offers quality at a convenient price.
The strings manage to produce a wide range of sounds with complex tones that are also rich in overtones.
You won’t waste your time and energy with the tuning process since they tune very easily so you can focus only on music.
These medium-gauge strings offer the musician a great response for an amazing musical performance in front of the audience.
The strings are manufactured using synthetic materials that are very durable and yet deliver a beautiful sound.
This model is made only for 16.5-inch violas so keep that in mind before buying these strings.
Even though the strings are durable, they need to be replaced after a couple of months as they start to unravel, depending on the conditions they are used in.Buy from Amazon.com for ($116.5)
6. D’Addario Helicore Long Scale Medium Tension Viola String Set
The D’Addario Helicore is crafted with a multi-stranded steel core which results in an optimal playability and a tone that is warm and clear. As a plus, you also get a heavy-duty construction combined with a skilled workmanship process which will provide this product with an increased longevity compared with other alternatives that feature synthetic cores.
Featuring a smaller string diameter your bow response will be quicker. The D’Addario Helicore is scaled to fit 4/4 size violins that have a playing length of 13 inches and are optimized to fit the requirements of a wide variety of players. What’s more, the E string is constructed with a tin-plated high-carbon steel.
These versatile strings are designed to work for as many instruments and playing styles as possible. Because storing and transporting your purchase is crucial, the packaging used is designed with sealed pouches that will provide protection from the elements that could cause corrosion to your newly bought strings.
The special feature of these strings is the multi-stranded steel core that offers you a clear and warm tone and optimal playability.
These strings have a heavy-duty construction despite the fact that they have a synthetic core.
The bow response is quick thanks to the small diameter of the strings which adds performance to the set.
As the issues with the E strings are often encountered by musician, the E string from this set is manufactured with a tin-plated high-carbon steel.
The strings are versatile as they can be used for a lot of playing styles and other instruments besides violas.
It may take you a while to break the strings in and it may be hard to do it by yourself if you are a beginner.
This set is rather low tension even though the strings are described as being medium-tension.Buy from Amazon.com for ($48.95)
7. Cuerda Viola Pirastro Passione 229441
The Pirastro Passione is a unique product on our list, and it stands out primarily because of the manufacturing process that the company utilizes. These strings are manufactured by hand, in a traditional way and utilize a sheep gut core. This helps this option stand out, and if you want the guarantee of quality of carefully hand-built strings, you should consider this alternative.
When it comes to the performance of the Pirastro Passione, customers have nothing but praise. This choice boasts a soloistic tone that is powerful and brilliant. The sound is powerful and offers great projection with an extended range of tone colors and dynamics.
Customers have reported that the dark tone quality of the Pirastro Passione makes it capable of playing very loudly which for a viola is great when playing in an orchestra as players often seek to stand out. The strings are also easy to tune and once tuned they’ll stay so for weeks without you having to adjust them constantly.
These strings are different from the others because they are manufactured manually, in a traditional way using sheep gut core.
The quality is guaranteed as the strings are carefully designed by hand with much professionalism.
The sound of these strings is also as expected, meaning that they deliver a beautiful soloistic tone that is powerful at the same time.
If you are a musician in an orchestra, this set is a great choice for you as it is capable of producing very loud sounds.
The tuning process is easy and it doesn’t take you time and once the strings are tuned, you won’t need to adjust them again for a good period of time.
Since these strings have a gut core, it may seem more difficult to play your viola with them if you are not used to them.
The C string may seem to you a tad unresponsive, depending on what bow you are using.Buy from Amazon.com for ($128.58)
Yearly Guide & Report
Finding the best strings for viola isn’t an easy task, especially if you are an amateur artist that has just got the first taste of playing this great instrument. When you add the seemingly endless amount of options that you can choose from, there is no wonder that this can end up becoming a difficult and time-consuming process.
We understand the difficult position that you find yourself in and this why we seek to lift some of the burdens with the help of the buyer’s guide below. In order to compile this guide, we have analyzed the reviews for viola strings that have garnered the best customer ratings and consulted various specialized resources in order to present you the key features that should help narrow your options.
Types of strings
There are three basic types of viola strings, and when making your first purchase, this is a factor that needs to be considered carefully. One type of string may sound great on one instrument, but it could end up sounding dull or sour on another. This is why we recommend you experiment as much as possible; you should never feel discouraged if your first purchase does not live up to your expectations.
If you want to avoid disappointments, you should pay particular attention to all the types available and choose the one that fits your unique needs. The three types are as follows: gut strings, synthetic core, and steel strings.
Gut strings for centuries have been the material out of which strings were made of and to be even more specific; they were made out of pure sheep gut. Nowadays, most gut alternatives only have a gut core and are not in fact made entirely of gut. Gut strings are renowned for their warm and rich sound with many complex overtones. The downside is that they can react to weather and thus require more tuning than the synthetic ones.
The synthetic core is the most popular alternative mostly because they are more stable than the gut option while providing the same tonal color and a much more stable pitch.
Steel core strings are slowly but steadily beginning to be just as popular as gut among the non-classical players. Steel has a direct and clear sound with few overtones, and if they are wound, they can have even more interesting overtones. They are more stable in pitch when compared to gut, and they also last for a very long time. This makes them ideal for entry-level or beginner instruments.
Longevity and care
Another factor that you should take into account when purchasing your first strings is the longevity that you can expect from them. The first thing to know is that if you want a durable option, you will have to be willing to spend more money for it. With that in mind, it is important to know that even good viola strings won’t last forever.
Most musicians recommend that strings should be changed every six months. The reason for this is because, over time, they will lose some of their edge and brilliance, becoming unresponsive and dull. This is a gradual change, and most musicians won’t notice it but the change is there, so when you buy your product you will have to consider this.
High-quality strings might be able to extend this period by a few months, but even they will need to be changed. To extend the life of your products you should also take the time and take care of them. You should always wipe off your viola and strings with a clean and soft lint-free cloth after each practice session.
Whether you are looking for cheap viola strings or the best option money can buy, you should always make sure that what you are buying will work great with your instrument and give you the sounds that you want.
One way to do this is to experiment a lot until you get a taste of what each product can offer. This way you will find it much easier to identify the products that work best with your instrument. If you don’t have time to waste the best thing you can do is go with reputable brands such as Jargar, Pirastro, and D’Addario viola strings.
Frequently asked questions about viola strings
Q: Are viola strings the same as violin ones?
No, a viola uses different strings than a violin. This has to do with the fact that acoustically, a viola has a body that is too small compared to that of a violin. That being said, there are cases in which a violin can be restrung with viola strings, especially when it is done for young violinists who are trying to switch to a viola but cannot yet commit to purchasing a new instrument.
Q: What are viola strings made of?
The three main differences in the construction of a viola string are given by the material that is used as the core of the item. Cores can be gut, metal, and synthetic. The gut alternative is generally made of sheep gut, and together with the synthetic one, is preferred in classical music. Metal strings, on the other hand, are best used for folk styles. The core is wound with different metals that can include aluminum, gold, silver, titanium, chrome, and nickel.
Q: What viola strings should I buy?
This is a question that does not have a quick answer. You should try and match the strings to your viola since every instrument has different needs. All options have different gauges or tension (light, medium, and heavy) and they need to be considered when purchasing new strings. If you don’t know about which option to purchase then, we recommend a medium gauge since it is a good initial choice.
Q: How to change viola strings?
Replacing the strings on your viola is a delicate process that we do not recommend you try unless you’ve done it before or you’ve seen someone else do it. If you do insist on changing your strings on your own, we believe that the easiest way to do so is by searching a video tutorial online and following each step closely. This way, as long as you’re careful and patient, you shouldn’t encounter any problems.
Q: Which viola strings are best?
Each option available on the market serves a purpose and is built with an audience in mind, to say that one option is the best would be simplifying matters too much and would be simply wrong to do. Each musician has his or her own style, and the different strings available are designed to meet the needs of certain types of musicians. An option that works best for a musician might not work for another.