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Cello strings can significantly affect the sound of your instrument. You may want to experiment with different brands to determine the sound you like best on your cello (the same string can produce varied results on different cellos). Strings are made of several different types of materials: all-metal, synthetic-core and gut-core (gut-core and synthetic-core strings are wound with metal). Although strings once were made solely of gut (sheep or lamb intestines), all-gut strings are rarely used today (they're expensive and rapidly go out-of-tune). For directions on how to change strings, visit our Changing Strings page. The following section highlights differences between various types of strings.

Synthetic Core These strings use a core made out of a durable synthetic product such as perlon or kevlar, and are wrapped with metals such as aluminum or silver. Synthetic-core strings are designed to replicate the rich sound of gut strings, and feature a warm, bright tone without requiring the frequent tuning of gut-core strings. Brands such as Thomastik’s Dominant strings were the first synthetic string made, and still enjoy wide popularity.

Metal Strings All-metal strings are often described as having a bright, loud sound. These strings generally have a steel core, which is often the most popular core material used in cello strings. For this reason, some popular brands such as Evah Pirazzi, which use a synthetic core for their violin and viola strings, switch to a steel core for their cello strings. Steel-core strings are wound with various metals such as silver, titanium or steel. All-metal strings often remain in tune better than other strings (the steel core isn’t as impacted by humidity and temperature as gut-core or synthetic-core strings).

Gut Core Strings Some professional cellists prefer gut-core strings because of the rich, warm sound they produce on their instrument. These strings are not as durable as metal or synthetic-core strings, and are more sensitive to humidity and temperature changes (thus requiring more frequent tuning than other strings).

The following sampling of cello strings features some of the most popular brands (additional brands are available). Strings may be purchased in sets containing all 4 strings or as individual strings, and most of the strings listed below are for full-size cellos. String makers often offer different "gauges" meaning thickness (e.g. light/thin, medium, heavy/thick etc.). If you're unsure which gauge to use, medium is often a good choice. If you're a beginner and your cello did not come with fine tuners on every string, you may want to consider adding fine tuners to your cello tailpiece to assist in tuning. If you need strings for small instruments (not a full-size 4/4 cello) click here: Strings for 3/4 - 1/8 cellos.

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