How to order special strings

Please provide us the following information for each individual string

  1. The type of core (nylon core, spiral steel core, braided steel core, solid steel core)
  2. The pitch of the string (using the international norm for pitch, or writing it on a stave with the appropriate clef)
  3. The string tension (low, middle, high)
  4. Ball end or loop end
  5. The distance
    1. from the ball or loop end to the bridge
    2. from the bridge to the nut (i.e. the string‘s vibrating length)
    3. from the nut to the tuning peg

Tips on how to re-string instruments

The tailpiece

Ensuring the correct distance between tailpiece and bridge is very important for the purity of the tone as well as the proper fitting of the string on the instrument.
We strongly recommend these measurements for full size instruments:

  • Violin 5.7 cm or 2 ¼ inches
  • Viola 6.8 cm or 2 ¾ inches
  • Cello 12.0 cm or 4 ¾ inches
  • Double bass 21.0 cm or 8 ¼ inches

The height of the string above the fingerboard

When using steel and nylon strings, the distance between string and fingerboard is less than with gut strings. The following numbers are for steel strings and can be adapted for nylon strings by adding a little to these values. Having the strings closer to the fingerboard eases the work of the left hand and extends the life of the string. The measurements are taken exactly above the bridge end of the fingerboard.

  • Violin E | 2.5 mm – G IV 4.0 mm
  • Viola A | 5.0 mm – C IV 4.5 mm
  • Cello A | 4.5 mm – C IV 6.5 mm
  • Double bass I: 9.5 mm – E1 IV 10.5 mm

When to change strings

A string’s component material, especially ist core will eventually become fatigued. The richness of higher partials and the fullness of tone will degrade. First and foremost this happens with intensive amounts of playing. To avoid sound quality loss we advise changing strings at appropriate intervals. Changing single strings instead of the whole set at once, i.e. mixing old and new strings will jeopardize the entire tonal balance of the instrument.

Tips on how to solve a problem with the e-string

Some violins can react sensitively to different thicknesses of E strings. For an optimal response after putting on a set, all strings should be cleaned with a dry cloth before playing. A microfibre cloth is recommended.

Slightly warm up and tune up your strings by sliding your thumb up and down the string about five times applying pressure to enhance stability and put your instrument on stand by for a concert performance.

Repeat this three times to achieve optimal results.

Bowing near the bridge with considerable pressure (bow up and down about five times each) will make the strings ready for concert use in the shortest time possible – to be exact in as little as two to three hours.

However don’t forget that these preparatory measures can shorten the sonic life span of the strings and should only be used if circumstances only give you a short time to prepare your strings.
The strings put on first should be the ones whose tonal characteristics (mellow or brilliant) the player considers more important for his or her instrument. On particular instruments strings may respond differently than one would expect. For example, depending on the instrument the brilliant G string (Infeld Blue) can produce a brilliant or dark sound, since sometimes the frequency characteristics of the violin itself does not match those of the string.

If so, simply change a string within the Infeld Violin system. This easily restores the desired tonal balance. If one or more strings turn out to not match the character of your instrument perfectly, follow these simple steps:

When changing strings start with the E string. The E string provided with the set represents a good choice for the majority of instruments. (Incidentally, the E string‘s ball end can be removed by finger pressure, so that the string can be used with a ball end or loop end as required). E strings with different diameters are available per request as CUSTOM ORDER STRINGS. Now change the G string, then the D string and finally the A string.

In case of any further questions or requirements please contact us via email:

marketing [at] thomastik-infeld.com

What to avoid when re-stringing an instrument

  1. If you put strings on an instrument smaller than the one the strings are designed for, there will be a considerable loss of tension and sound quality. Apart from this, the thicker playing length of the string will end up being wound around the tuning peg, which – especially with thicker strings – will result in damage to the core, loss of tonal quality and strings breaking. This is one of the most common mistakes. Please check out the listing of strings for smaller instruments in our catalogue.
  2. If you put strings on an instrument larger than the one the strings are designed for, e.g. on a large viola, it will have the same effect as tuning the string too high, or tuning from the highest to lowest string instead of the other way around. Doing this even once can severely fatigue the string or break it.
  3. Sharp edges on the bridge, the nut or the tailpiece will damage the string and can lead to breakage. This can also happen if the channels in the nut are too narrow. Channels have to be of sufficient width and prepared with a little graphite from a soft pencil. Another mistake to avoid when re-stringing the instrument is winding the string improperly around the tuning peg. The correct number of windings is between four and five, without any bending of the string between nut and tuning peg and without jamming it against the peg box.