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Appointments Available: Cello String Library

Appointments Available: Cello String Library

Did you know that your cello can sound totally different depending on the type of strings fitted to it? Over the many years that we’ve been helping cellists, we’ve often been asked whether or not string manufacturers offer sample strings, so cellists can try before they buy. We understand how much of an investment new strings can be for cellists, so we have spent months building our very own cello string library. This exciting service will allow us to fit strings to your cello before you commit to purchasing them! Want to learn more about the string library? Just keeping reading...

Usually when you invest in a new cello, the luthier has made an empirical choice to furnish the instrument with a good set of strings that will generally present it well to help in your selection process. Each model on the shelf will be offered with a specific brand and model of strings that will be a great starter to get you going. However, as you play and work with your new cello, you may find you would prefer to produce a harder or softer tone, warmer, richer, brighter, more direct, or a spectrum of other tonal qualities.

So, what is the String Library?

Simply for Strings has created a trial ‘String Library’ for cellists to visit on appointment and try different string sets and/or combinations, so that we can help with their search for the sound and response they need. Here you can try before you buy, with our guidance and assistance. In this appointment, we’ll have a discussion with you before we start fitting up to three different sets on your cello. We let you trial the strings in-store to determine which strings may suit you and your needs best. And if you need, we can play your cello for you, so you can hear it as both listener and player. It’s an obligation free appointment, all you need to do is bring your cello, and prepare to fall in love with some new strings!

Here at Simply for Strings, we import and sell cello strings made by seven different companies. Between those seven manufacturers, we stock over twenty brands made by them, and within each brand there will be anywhere from one variety up to even five or more options. Quite often we could show you just one brand of strings from only one of the makers, and offer you 2 or 3 A string options, the same in D string, then 3 or more options for your G and C strings. Each of these options will give you a very specific sound and type of response.

Trying to find the best option for you could become terribly expensive, as most professional cello string sets cost above $300: some of the more popular sets are over $500 and even above $600. For this very reason, we try all of the strings on the market, so that in many cases all we need to do is to ask you some questions about your sound preference, try your cello ourselves, and give you very well-educated selection of two or three string options that are most likely to meet your needs.

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What makes such a difference between strings?

Each manufacturer produces several different models for the cellist, offering a wide range of tonal possibilities. Most will make strings designed for beginner students, more advanced players, professionals and some more specific options designed to suit early music. Materials often used in the core of the string are metals, synthetic materials and gut, and the exterior is made using various metals including aluminium.

Strings can be made with these materials in various ways. For example, your steel core could be single-filament hi tensile, or a more flexible single steel core; it could mean multi-metal core strings, or a braided steel rope made of three strands. Your synthetic core is likely to be multiple strands of perlon or another form of nyon, or even kevlar. The core creates the foundation for your string’s characteristic tone. Gut could be highly polished by hand for improved response, or unpolished for a very traditional early Baroque sound. A core could be straight, twisted or braided.

The winding is also vitally important, determining the response to your bowing and plucking, also affecting how the string vibrates. Windings can be a single metal, an alloy of multiple metals, or sometimes even two separate flat metal wires intertwined, so the outside of the string may alternate between aluminum and silver, for example. Common windings are chrome, aluminium, silver, titanium, tungsten and even gold. They can help make the overall tone warmer, brighter, harsher, softer, louder etc. Often there are two layers of winding, and each layer is most likely to be different from the other.

The choice of cores, inner windings, outer windings, and the specific approach to making each string is very specific and you can think of each company zealously guarding its secret “herbs and spices” to make sure nobody can copy their methods exactly!

What’s available in the String Library?

The strings currently available to test in our Cello String Library are as follows. This list sometimes changes, and we’re always looking for new options that are worth including, and asking the manufacturers for these strings. Please call us to check availability if you would like to trial a particular set.

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Current list, as of June 2020.

D’Addario Strings:

  • Prelude ⅛ size
  • Helicore Light
  • Helicore Medium
  • Helicore Heavy
  • Kaplan Light
  • Kaplan Medium
  • Kaplan Heavy
Jargar Strings:
  • Jargar Superior
  • Jargar Superior A & D / Classic Medium G & C
Larsen Strings:
  • Crown
  • Larsen Original Medium
  • Larsen Original Strong
  • Larsen Soloist Medium
  • Magnacore Medium
  • Magnacore Strong
  • Magnacore Arioso
Opal Strings:
  • Opal A & D
Pirastro Strings:
  • Evah Pirazzi Gold Medium
  • Passione Medium
  • Perpetual Medium
  • Perpetual Soloist
  • Perpetual Soloist A & D / Perpetual Cadenza G & C
  • Perpetual “Edition”
Thomastik Strings:
  • Dominant Medium
  • Spirocore Chrome A & D / Tungsten G & C
  • Versum Original
  • Versum Solo
  • Rondo (coming soon!)
Warchal Strings:
  • Warchal Brilliant

Learn more about the strings in our String Library

D'Addario Strings:

  • Prelude
    • Core: solid steel
    • Winding: nickel
    • Warmest sound available in an affordable solid steel core string design
    • Stable in all climates, responsive to the bow, durable
    • Varieties: 4/4, ¾, ½, ¼, ⅛
  • Helicore (Light, Medium, Heavy)
    • Core: A, D, G & C multi-stranded steel; E = steel
    • Winding: A & D titanium; G & C tungsten/silver; Fractional C tungsten/nickel; E = aluminium
    • Clear and focussed articulation
    • Fast, flexible and responsive
    • Very popular string model for electric cellos
    • Durable and stable in humidity
    • 4/4 Varieties: Light, Medium, Heavy
    • Fractional varieties: Medium ¾, ½, ¼, ⅛

  • Kaplan (Light, Medium, Heavy)
    • Core: A & D solid steel; G & C stranded steel
    • Winding: A titanium; D nickel; G & C tungsten
    • Rich and complex tone; stand up well to powerful bowing
    • Diverse tonal palette; ideal for professional players
    • 4/4 Varieties: Light, Medium, Heavy
Jargar Strings:
  • Jargar Original
    • Core: flexible steel
    • Winding: chrome
    • Warm and strong, very playable, responsive
    • Small diameter makes general playing and position changes easier
    • 4/4 Varieties: Dolce, Medium, Forte. Medium E string also available

  • Jargar Superior
    • Core: A & D flexible steel; G & C steel rope core
    • Winding: A & D chrome. G & C tungsten
    • Very powerful and rich, warm and responsive, great solo strings
    • Similar sound characteristics to Jargar Classic, but MORE of it.
    • 4/4 Varieties: A & D Dolce, Medium, Forte; G & C Medium only
Larsen Strings:
  • Crown (Medium, Strong)
    • Core: solid steel
    • Winding: A & D a corrosion-resistant alloy; G nickel; C tungsten
    • Comfortably affordable entry level strings with good sound quality
    • Smoothly brilliant sound without metallic overtones
    • 4/4 Varieties: Medium, Strong
  • Larsen Original
    • Core: solid steel
    • Winding: A & D special precision-rolled stainless steel flat wire; G & C tungsten.
    • An “embracing warmth” with plenty of power
    • Pronounced projection, easy response, rapid tuning stability
    • G & C have a deep, warm and focussed sound with great power and personality
    • Special Medium E string is wound with precision rolled aluminium
    • 4/4 Varieties: Soft, Medium, Strong

  • Larsen Soloist (Soft, Medium, Strong)
    • Core: Larsen solid steel
    • Winding: A & D precision rolled flat steel wire; G tungsten
    • Complementing the Original range and purpose designed for enhanced projection, focus and volume particularly at the higher harmonics as demanded by the professional solo player.
    • Offered in all three tensions for A, D and G optimised slightly above the Original equivalents
    • The strings are based on solid steel cores, different in properties and dimensions from their regular counterparts.
    • 4/4 Varieties: A, D & G strings only in Soft, Medium and Strong
  • Larsen Magnacore (Medium, Strong)
    • Core: A & D solid steel; G & C concentric multi-stranded steel
    • Winding: A & D high quality precision rolled flat wire; G & C high grade tungsten and precision rolled flat wire
    • Extremely well balanced set for the professional cellist offering a charismatic sound with an endless palette of colours to work with.
    • depth, brilliance and flexibility in all ranges of the cello greatly enhance each instrument’s inherent qualities.”
    • a lovely edge to the sound, nice & bright so it carries but still with the famous Larsen roundness. These strings offer many sound colours, from bright to dark, combined with a new clarity and brilliance – a truly singing sound.”
    • Very warm and focussed, large range of dynamics and great string response
    • Very powerful
    • Medium = sonorous and broad, easily playable, suited to cellos with neutral or light timbre.
    • Strong = even more powerful, focussed & direct, especially great for a darker and deeper sounding cello.

  • Larsen Magnacore Arioso
    • Core: A & D solid steel; G & C concentric multi-stranded steel
    • Winding: A & D high quality precision rolled flat wire; G & C tungsten and precision rolled flat wire
    • Lower tension, pure singing sound, well suited to older Italian instruments as well as modern ones.
    • A & D are medium tension, enchanting brilliance and projection with wide range of tone colours
    • G & C Lower tension liberates the whole balance of strings, while providing an easy response and effortless playing in the lower register
    • 4/4 Varieties: A & D Medium, G & C Low tension
Opal Strings:
  • Opal Titan
    • Core: Steel
    • Alloy (including some materials never used before in strings)
    • Professional quality
    • 4/4 Varieties: A & D strings only

Pirastro Strings:

    • Evah Pirazzi Gold
    • Core: A & D High tensile steel; G & C specially designed steel rope core
    • Winding: A & D precision chrome-steel flat wire; G & C tungsten
    • Elegant, clear, full sound with character
    • Full spectrum of sound, great overtones & projection without metallic harshness
    • extremely responsive and react quickly over the entire dynamic range; even with very gentle bow pressure.
    • 4/4 Varieties: Medium
  • Passione
    • Core: A & D single filament steel; C & G hand-wound and polished gut
    • Winding: A, D & G chrome-steel; C tungsten
    • A & D enormous sound, precise and clear
    • G & C brilliant, wide range of sounds
    • Very quick response even in highest registers
    • Passione G- and C-strings are manufactured in three gauges in steps of 1/2 PM.
    • 4/4 Varieties: A & D Soft, Medium, Strong; G 27.5-28.5; C 31.5-32.5
  • Perpetual
    • Core: A & D steel; G & C specially designed steel rope core for each model
    • Winding: A & D chrome-steel; G & C tungsten
    • Special new technology and machinery designed to develop these strings for ultimate performance
    • Great dynamic range
    • Minimal playing-in time
    • Special features:
    • A Soloist Strong: With its impressive technology and design this A string offers many qualities that cellists enjoy: warm tone, strong round sound yet still focused with no metallic overtones. This A also has a thicker gauge and slightly higher bow resistance which provides enormous power and projection. It is the warmest and richest sounding A in the Pirastro program.
    • C Edition Strong: This C string offers a very powerful and strong core sound along with a deep and wonderful warm tone. Its unique special construction results in an enhanced torsional stiffness and tuning stability with a very fast and direct bow response, making it the most sonorous C in the Pirastro program.
    • G & C Cadenza: Utilizing the same core construction as the Perpetual Soloist, the Cadenza G & C strings were created to provide players with lower tensions to match their instruments and allow older cellos to open up and play freely.
    • 4/4 Varieties: Medium (Mittel); Soloist [with optional Strong A]; Cadenza (G & C); “Edition” [with optional Strong C]
Thomastik Strings:
  • Spirocore
    • Core: flexible multi-wire spiral steel rope
    • Winding options:
    • A & D = chrome or aluminium
    • G & C = chrome, silver or tungsten
    • Distinctive, clear sound
    • Several options available for specific tone or response needs
    • 4/4 Varieties: Light, Medium, Heavy
    • Fractional: Medium ¾, ½, ¼

  • Versum
    • Core: A & D multisteel; G & C spiral core
    • Winding: A & D multi-alloy wound; G & C tungsten/chrome wound
    • Elegance, clarity, sweetness, balance, quick articulation, powerful
    • 4/4 Medium only

  • Versum Solo
    • Core: A & D carbon steel; G & C spiral core
    • Winding: A & D multi-alloy wound; G & C tungsten/chrome wound
    • Full-bodied, durable, responsive, powerful, beautiful tone
    • 4/4 Medium only

  • Rondo
    • Core: A & D carbon steel; G & C spiral core
    • Winding: A & D multi-alloy wound; G & C tungsten/chrome wound
    • Powerful, focussed, yet sweet, delicate, noble, reminiscent of gut.
    • More flexible
    • 4/4 Medium only

  • Dominant
    • Core: synthetic
    • Winding: A & D chrome; G & C options chrome or silver
    • Performs like gut
    • Stable in all climates
    • 4/4 Varieties: light, medium, heavy
    • Fractional (medium) ¾, ½, ¼, ⅛
Warchal Strings:
  • Warchal Brilliant
    • Core: synthetic
    • Winding: A = Hydronalium & stainless steel; D = Hydronalium & pure silver; G & C = tungsten & pure silver
    • Brilliant, full projecting sound with rich overtones, enhancing the character of your cello
    • Lower tension, so great with fragile cellos
    • Need three to four days to settle in before reaching their full tone quality

We hope to see you visiting us in-store soon to experience our Cello String Library. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch with us today! We'd love to hear from you.

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