A viola is a stringed instrument, much like a violin, but is larger in size and produces a deeper sound. It is considered to be the middle voice between the cello and the violin.
Just like in a violin and in a cello, a viola too requires the best strings to be able to produce the desired sound. And like other strings, viola strings are also available in many varieties in the market, an all of them claim to be the best!
For the best results, violists often combine the strings of different brands for their violas. It is believed that it’s always better to buy a combination of various brands, since different brands may have expertise in different strings.
The best part here is that viola strings are easily available as individual strings instead of all 4 strings coming together. This makes it easier for you to combine strings from different brands instead of being bound to buy all 4 strings from the same brand. We have listed and reviewed below the 7 Best Viola Strings and Combinations of 2020 that are available on your favorite online shopping site, Amazon. On reading ahead, you will also find a Buyer’s Guide that would help you out with your purchase.
Larsen up to 16.5″ Viola String Set Medium Gauge with Ball-End A
Larsen has been a common name for cello, violin and now for viola strings. This is a trusted brand and definitely doesn’t fail to impress its users with these amazing viola strings.
These viola strings clean and offer a rich and clear sound. They are also durable, and like all other Larsen strings, these strings come with all the necessary features to make them one of the best strings available in the market. These are loved by many professionals and are also highly recommended. These strings are medium gauge and fit violas up to 16.5″.
If you are looking to buy the entire set of viola strings from Larsen, then your package would include aluminum/steel and aluminum/synthetic A and D, respectively, and silver/synthetic G and C strings. Though if you are planning to combine your viola strings, then you can go for A and D strings from Larsen, and combine them with strings G and C from Thomastik Infeld Spirocore/Dominant.
- Trusted brand name.
- Clean, clear and rich strings.
- Sharp sound is produced.
- Used and recommended by professionals.
- Medium gauge.
- 16.5″ violas.
- Features all the most required characteristics.
- Full set comes with aluminum/steel A string, aluminum/synthetic D string, silver/synthetic G and C strings.
- Combination of A and D strings from Larsen with C and G strings from Thomastik Infeld Spirocore/Dominant is recommended.
Overall ratings– 5.0/5 stars.
Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant Synthetic Core Viola Strings
These viola strings by Thomastik have a multi-stranded synthetic core that is extremely flexible. They provide the user with a warm tone and is one of the most used brands for viola strings.
These strings give a nice feel and are not affected by humidity changes or levels. They produce a soft sound that is clear, along with a stable intonation. These strings are also very rich in overtunes. They are highly responsive strings that respond to even intricate fingering by the user.
The best part of these strings are that in spite of being non-metallic, they are able to project sound effortlessly and offer radiance as well. They work under any atmospheric conditions and its tuning stability remains the same.
According to our research, the most liked and bought strings from this series are strings D, G, and C. Customers have liked combining these with A strings of other brands.
- Multi-stranded synthetic core.
- Trusted brand.
- Warm tones are provided.
- Give a nice feel.
- Are not affected by humidity.
- Stay the same under any atmospheric conditions.
- Soft and clear sound.
- Stable intonation.
- Rich overtunes.
- Highly responsive.
- Non metallic.
- Tuning stability.
- Excellent sound projection.
- Strings D, G and C are highly recommended to combine with string A of other brands.
Overall Ratings– 4.4/5 stars.
Pirastro Obligato up to 16.5″ Viola String Set
Pirastro is yet another known name in the field of musical instruments and devices. They offer cello strings and violin strings, and their viola strings don’t disappoint as well.
This set of viola strings by Pirastro is known as the Obligato series and these sound brighter than the Evah Pirazzis by Pirastro. They are also a cheaper alternative for the Pirazzis. These medium gauged viola strings that have a new core material and use advanced manufacturing techniques. It provides warm and complex overtones along with stability.
These viola strings also give quick responses along with a quick break-in time. They provide the user with perfect projection and are also extremely durable strings. The full set of these strings would include All Ball-End Steel winding/Aluminum core A string, Silver winding/Synthetic core string G, Aluminum winding/Synthetic core string D, Tungsten-silver winding/Synthetic core string C.
- Trusted brand.
- Bright sounds.
- Cheaper than other Pirastro voila strings.
- Medium gauge.
- 16.5″ Viola.
- New core material.
- Advanced manufacturing techniques.
- Warm and complex overtones.
- Maintains stability.
- Quick response.
- Quick break-in time.
- Excellent projection.
- Highly durable.
- Full set comes with all Ball-End Steel winding/Aluminum core A string, Silver winding/Synthetic core string G, Aluminum winding/Synthetic core string D, Tungsten-silver winding/Synthetic core string C.
Overall Ratings- 4.6/5 stars.
Jargar Viola Strings
These viola strings by Jargar are made in Denmark and are medium gauged strings that are made for violas up to 15+ inches. Jargar has been a one of the favorite options for violin and cello strings, and now, for viola strings as well.
These strings produce a tone that is powerful, and is also very robust. They have a steel core and come with a chrome winding. The strings mentioned above are medium gauged, although these strings are easily available in Dolce and Forte gauges as well. These strings can be used by beginners, and are best for intermediate.
They can be used as a set, but are also commonly combined with strings from other brands. It goes best with D, G and C strings from the Thomastik Dominant series. The C and G strings by Jargar are specially loved by people because of their silver winding which results in a very warm and deep tone.
- Best for intermediates.
- Powerful and robust sound.
- High dynamic capabilities.
- Medium gauged.
- Available in Dolce and Forte gauges.
- Steel core.
- Chrome winding.
- For violas that are 15+ inches.
- Strings G and C are mostly liked by customers.
- Can be combined with strings from Thomastik Dominant for best results.
- Warm and deep tone is provided.
Overall ratings- 4.0/5 stars.
D’Addario Helicore Viola String Set
These Viola strings by D’Addario are just like the other strings from the brand. These strings are suitable for violas with medium scaled and have a playing length of 14 1/8 inches.
These strings provide medium tension and feature a stranded steel core which provides the user with optimum playability. It gives a clear and warm tone, that is loved by all its users. These are exceptionally versatile strings as they are suitable for a number of playing styles and multiple instruments. They are extremely flexible, which gives them this versatility.
D’Addario uses some of the best engineering technologies for the designing and manufacturing of these viola strings, which are all done in the USA. These strings have an amazing break-in time and have a quick bow response, which makes it one the most comfortable and easy to use viola strings for your viola.
- Suitable for medium scaled violas with playing length 14 1/8 inches.
- Give medium tension.
- Stranded steel core.
- Gives optimum playability.
- Clear and warm tone.
- Very versatile.
- Suitable for a number of playing styles.
- Amazing flexibility.
- Uses best technologies for manufacture.
- Best break-in time.
- Quick bow response.
- Comfortable to play.
- Designed and manufacture in the USA.
Overall Ratings– 4.2/5 stars.
Thomastik-Infeld S23 Spirocore
These viola strings by Thomastik are again one of the most liked strings by customers. They are suitable for beginners, as well as for professionals. They have an extremely responsive sound which is powerful and strong.
The above mentioned strings are medium gauged, but these Spirocore strings are available in light and heavy gauges as well. They possess a multi-wire spiral rope core which is flexible, which in turn results in robust tones. The musical vibration offered by these viola strings is long. They are extremely long lasting and have a very high response.
This set of viola strings are said to reduce inertia, thus resulting in supreme performance. The complete set consists of S18, S19, S20, S22 viola strings, that produce a homogeneous sound which is voluminous as well. It has a stable tuning and provides the user with excellent performance that involves effortless fingering.
In case you are planning to combine your voila strings, string C from this series is worth mentioning as it easily pairs with other strings of different brands.
- Trusted brand.
- Suitable for all levels of players.
- Powerful and strong sound.
- Medium gauge.
- Available in light and heavy gauges as well.
- Multi-wire spiral rope.
- Long music vibration period.
- Highly responsive.
- Reduce inertia.
- Set consists S18, S19, S20, S22 Viola Strings.
- Homogeneous and voluminous sound produced.
- Stable tuning.
- Effortless fingering.
- Can be paired efficiently with strings from other brands.
Overall Ratings- 4.2/5 stars.
Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Viola String Set
These viola strings by Pirastro may be costlier than its alternatives, but the extra price is definitely worth it when you find out these strings are recommended violists like Kristina Fialova.
These are gold viola strings that are also available in a regular style. The size is 4/4 and it has a steel core which comes with a chrome steel winding. The core is synthetic and has multi-filament fiber. If these viola strings are compared with other strings of the Pirazzi series, they seem to sound slightly warmer than the rest.
These strings have a shorter break-in time and are humidity-proof. They are not affected by changing temperatures and maintain their tuning stability in all conditions. The dynamic range offered by these strings is also commendable and the rich overtones and quick response make us forget about their high pricing.
You can combine your viola strings by including strings D, G and C of this series and mixing them with string A of the Larsen series, since they go really well together.
- Recommended by professionals.
- Costlier than other products.
- Available in gold and regular styles.
- Size 4/4.
- Synthetic multi-filament fiber core.
- Chrome steel winding.
- Warm sound.
- Shorter break-in time.
- Humidity and weather-proof.
- Tuning stability is maintained.
- Dynamic range.
- Rich overtones.
- Quick response.
- Compatible with Larsen strings.
Overall Ratings- 4.3/5 stars.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you clean viola strings?
To clean your viola strings, you can simply use a damp cotton cloth and use a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Rub the cloth back and forth along the length of the strings, while the viola is faced upside-down.
Should you wipe rosin off strings?
Yes, rosin should be wiped off your strings. In case of rosin dust, simply wipe off or gently dust the string with a piece of soft cloth. In case there are rosin stains on your strings, then you might need to use pure alcohol to remove them.
When should I replace my viola strings?
If you are confused about whether or not its time for you to change your viola strings, then check out this video to find out when to change viola strings or how often to change them.
What size viola strings should I buy?
The size of the viola strings you need to buy depend on the size of your instrument. It should match the size of your viola. There is no standard size in case of violas, unlike cellos and violins.
What are viola strings made out of?
Viola strings use the same materials as the strings for other instruments of the violin family. They use synthetic materials like nylon, steel and gut.
Before selecting a set of viola strings, or a combination of them, you need to look out for a few features and make a few important decisions as well.
A part of the the decision regarding which viola strings to buy depends purely upon your playing style. According to your playing style, you will require different strings and different combinations, so it is your decision to make!
Always go for known and trusted brands no matter what other brands may claim. The brands listed in the above reviews are the most popular brands in the music world. So try to buy strings from these brands.
The gauge of the strings is another factor to look out for. Heavy strings give a high tension and provide the user with the maximum volume. Light strings provide a brighter tone. As a compromise, go for medium gauge strings since they are half way between heavy and light gauges and provide you with the best of both.
The most common string types are synthetic core, gut core and steel core. Gut core strings give a consistent pitch, steel core strings give a bright sound. The most used one out of these 3 is synthetic core viola strings.
You now have the list of the 7 Best Viola Strings and Combinations of 2020 with you! Only the most recommended and the most used brands are included in this article so that you end up buying the best available products.
Now, don’t think much and place that order!
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Don’t forget to check out our article on the 10 Best Pianos and Keyboards for Starters in 2020.