How important are strings in comparison with instrument, bow and rosin?
As an artist, you need the ideal tools in order to get the most out of your appearance, the most of the sound, joy of playing and inspiration! You invest a lot in your instrument and your bow and spend a lot of time rehearsing and performing. As a musician you learn how to use your instrument and bow and to maintain both, but you learn very little about the importance of and possibilities through strings and rosin. Even though strings are the second biggest influencer for your performance. Besides your skill as a musician, the effect of your tools is distributed as follows: Instrument & settings (bridge, soundpost, tailpiece etc.): 59 %, Strings: 23 %, Bow: 14 %, Rosin 4%
Strings influence sound beam (whether it’s direct or broad), sound color, bow noise, projection, dynamic range, your ability to modulate color and the metal factor in your sound. But they also influence the bow hand feeling (bow pressure sensitivity, bow speed sensitivity), the bow response (direct, broad, how flexible) as well as the left-hand feeling (flexibility, forgiving qualities).
Just one example from Thomastik-Infeld’s experience: In 2001, a Guarneri-Del-Gesu is said to have sold for about two million Euro. Unfortunately, the instrument had a very strong wolf tone, particularly when playing C-sharp on the G- and D-string. For this reason, the originally interested and intended buyer rejected the instrument. Taking the wishes of the former owner of the instrument into account, Thomastik-Infeld developed the ideal combination of D- and G-string and was able to tame the wolf. As a result, the instrument was sold with a value increase of over 500,000 Euro, – to the original, now satisfied, buyer. This quite clearly highlights the value of strings and their possibilities.