10 Best Cello Strings Review 2020

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You’ve likely come here because you are looking for new cello strings. Whether you just want to try out new cello strings, are new to buying cello strings, or you just want to make sure that the cello strings you use are still the best cello strings you can get for your price, you’ve come to the right place.

Cello strings are an expensive investment, but the right strings can make your cello sing. Below we’ve listed what we consider the best cello strings that you can find, but not every cello string will sound the same on your instrment as on other cellos. Therefore, we recommend trying several different cello strings to understand which strings make your cello sing.

Best Cello StringsRecommended ForPrice for Set
1.  Evah Pirazzi Gold/RegularIntermediate/Expert$274.10
2.  LarsenIntermediate/ExpertPrice not available
3.  Thomastik-Infeld SpirocoreBeginner/Intermediate$107.95
4.  Thomastik-Infeld – DominantBeginner/Intermediate$181.72
5.  PreludeBeginner$49.99
6.  Pirastro – ObligatoIntermediate/Expert$249.70
7.  JargarIntermediate$85.65
8.  HelicoreBeginner$124.30
9. Pirastro PassioneExpert$239.00
10.  MeranoBeginner$51.99

Best Cello String Combinations

Cellists often mix and match different cello string brands in order to get the best sound. Instead of buying full string sets, you can find individual strings on Amazon, such as the Larsen A string, to save money and not waste strings.

The most common combination is a Larsen A, Larsen D, Spirocore Tungsten G, and Spirocore Tungsten C.

A-StringD-StringG-StringC-StringGet Combo
Larsen SoloLarsen SoloSpirocore TungstenSpirocore TungstenBuy
Larsen SoloChromcorChromcorSpirocore TungstenBuy
Larsen SoloLarsen SoloSpirocore silverSpirocore silverBuy
Evah PirazziEvah PirazziHelicoreHelicoreBuy

What makes a great cello string?

Every brand of cello string is unique and some will sound better on your cello compared to others. While we have some favorites as you can see from this article, not every one of the top-rated cello strings will sound the best on your cello.

Some cello string brands sound better on the A and D strings while others are great for the G and C strings. In fact, many people like to mix and match cello string sets in order to get the best sound possible. In our “Popular Cello String Combinations” section above, you can which cello string brands tend to work well together.

Make sure it’s in your budget

While we do recommend trying different brands of cello strings, experimenting can get pretty expensive, so we recommend evaluating your budget for cello strings and adjusting accordingly. Even so, if you are a serious player you will want to find the right fit for your instrument and playing style. One potential solution to find the right string is buying a different brand each time you need to replace your strings and over the next few years, you’ll figure out which ones work for your cello.

Get the right gauge/thickness

This is one factor you’ll want to experiment with. Cello strings come in many different diameters, also called gauges, which impacts the sound. Thicker strings are usually better for cellos as they provide a fuller, richer sound.

Check the material of the string

The material of the string impacts the sound. Generally, modern strings are made from synthetic material wrapped in metal coil or solid metal.

With so many cello string options on the market, you might have trouble sifting through all of the options to find the best cello strings.  In this article, we’ll walk through our favorite cello strings, but we recommend that you try brands of cello strings to find the ones that make your cello sound the best.

How much do cello strings cost?

Typically cello strings have to be replaced at least once a year and can cost upwards of $200 on average for a full string set. You can find some beginner strings for less than $100 for a full set, but these strings won’t last long and don’t sound great.

Cello strings are expensive, there’s no way around it.  It’s important to find a balance between sound and price while searching for the perfect cello strings.

Our Top-Rated Cello Strings of 2020

1. Evah Pirazzi Gold/Regular – Overall Best Cello String

Recommended For: Intermediate/Expert

Here at Orchestra Central, we love Evah Pirazzi cello strings because they generally have a complex and warm tone combined with excellent projection and dynamic responsiveness. This combination is not very common amongst cello strings which is why we have rated the Evah Pirazzi’s as our #1 recommendation again.

Loved by amateurs and virtuosos alike, the Evah Pirazzi strings get our highest approval rating. Watch out though: full sets of Evah Pirazzi cello strings usually sell for over $200.

Evah Pirazzi cello strings come in three quality levels: Regular, Soloist, and Gold. For the intermediate cello student, we suggest getting the cost-effective Regular Evah Pirazzi cello strings. The Soloist line is intended for performers who typically solo and this string level provides brilliance for solo performances. Finally, the Gold Evah Pirazzi cello strings are intended for intermediate to advanced players who want a brilliant and complex sound.

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Demo of Evah Pirazzi Gold Cello Strings

2. Larsen Cello Strings

Recommended For: Intermediate/Expert

Larsen strings are common for intermediate and advanced players because their complex and powerful tones are able to rival those of the Pirazzi Gold cello strings, yet they are more affordable.

Larsen cello strings are a great option for intermediate to expert players. As with Jargar cello strings, Larsens can be paired with any range of other strings. A popular combination includes pairing Larsen D and A-strings with Thomastik-Infeld Spirocore or Dominant C and G-strings.

larsen cello strings

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Demo of Larsen Cello Strings

3. Thomastik-Infeld – Spirocore

Recommended For: Beginner/Intermediate

Thomastik-Infeld Spirocore cello strings provide a very responsive sound which is why they’ve become very popular among amateurs and professionals alike. The sound is both brilliant and powerful, which helps to pronounce the lower tones of the cello. Spirocores are also popular in string combinations since the single C-string pairs quite well with other cello string sets.

Thomastik-Infeld – Spirocore

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4. Thomastik-Infeld – Dominant

Recommended For: Beginner/Intermediate

Thomastik-Infeld Dominants are one of the most popular strings due to their flexibility and stable, warm pitch. Despite their steeper price, Dominants have a very long life making them a great choice. They come in a variety of lengths and gauges, so again there is a lot of flexibility.

Dominants were the first strings manufactured with a synthetic perlon or nylon core and have become a measuring stick against which most other synthetic cello strings are measured.

dominant strings

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5. Prelude

Recommended For: Beginner

Prelude strings are the ideal beginner string since they cost less than $30 and provide a stable sound that suffices for any new student. These are good enough for at least the first year or two of playing, but after that, you’ll want to upgrade to a better set of strings.

prelude cello strings

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6. Pirastro – Obligato

Recommended For: Intermediate/Expert

The Obligato strings for cello offer a slightly brighter sound than Evah Pirazzis. Obligatos are made of the same core material as Pirazzis, but they cost a little less. If you can’t afford Pirazzis, Obligatos make a great alternative.

obligato

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7. Jargar

Recommended For: Intermediate

Jargar strings have become the most interchangeable cello strings. Although Jargars can be used as a full string set, many cellists combine the Jargar strings with other strings. A common combination used with Jargar cello strings is a Jargar A and D combined with a Spirocore silver G and C. Yo-Yo Ma even uses this Jargar string combination on his Montagnana cello.

When compared to Helicore strings, Jargars have several advantages. First, they have a more powerful sound as well as more dynamic capabilities. Second, their silver-wound G and C strings have an unusual warmth and depth.

Jargars are available in heavy (forte), medium, and light (dolce) gauges.

 

jargar cello strings

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8. Helicore

Recommended For: Beginner

Helicore strings are great for beginners and students because they have a clear tone and quick response. For their high quality, they are on the higher end of the inexpensive strings sets featured in this list. Over the last few years, they have been gaining a reputation in pop music. Although the tone and quality is not as high as with other string brands, Helicore strings provide a great foundation for beginners and perform far better than Preludes.

helicore cello strings

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9. Pirastro Passione

Recommended For: Expert

Pirastro stabilized the gut core in the Passione cello strings to prevent fluctuations from temperature and humidity while preserving the complexity of the tone. Because this is really only needed by advanced and professional players which means these strings are not affordable to the average player, we have put them near the bottom of the list.

The sheep gut core of Passione strings is manufactured and wound in aluminum by hand. Many performers prefer the traditional response of the gut core, but are frustrated by the lack of stability in many gut strings, but the Passione line makes up for that.

Pirastro Passione

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10. Merano

Recommended For: Beginner

Merano cello strings are the cheapest cello strings you can find (usually less than $20 for a full set of cello strings).  They are ok strings for students just starting out but will need to be upgraded relatively quickly due to their lack of longevity and sound quality.

Merano strings are bright and edgy in tone, making them great for popular and folk styles of playing. They are also great additions to an electric cello where string quality is not as big of a factor.

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Conclusion

Finding great cello strings can be a challenge since there are so many options on the market to choose from. We hope this overview has helped you decide on which cello strings you should try next. If you’re still looking for more help with buying accessories for your cello, check out our buying a cello checklist.

Best cello strings

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