Thomastik Dominant vs Fiddlerman Violin String Review | Violin Lounge TV #331

by | Oct 23, 2019 | 30 comments

Fiddlerman strings are half the price, but claim to be just as good. Watch my violin string review and demonstration to find out:

For decades Thomastik Dominant have been the most popular violin strings around the world.

But now the people at Fiddlershop say that professionals can’t tell the difference between the Thomastik Dominant and the new synthetic Fiddlerman strings.

So I did this test to find out … especially since they are half the price of our Thomastik Dominant strings!

First I played my violin with the Thomastik Dominant strings, and then using the same violin I tried playing with the synthetic Fiddlerman strings. So the only variable was the strings.

Watch this video and let me know if you tell the difference!

Which did I like best?

Surprisingly enough I actually prefer Fiddlerman strings!

Besides loving the full singing sound they make, it is great that they are only about $30 for a set. While the Thomastik Dominant are around $60 per set.

So if you are beginner or intermediate and asking for string recommendations, I would really recommend these strings.

Guide to buying violin strings

If you’d like to read a lot more about violin strings, what they’re made of and see a lot more string reviews, check out this violin string buying guide.

Fiddlershop says:

These Synthetic core violin strings are of medium tension, optimized for most players! Each string is individually packed and sealed to protect from corrosion.
When compared to the world’s most popular strings (Thomastik Dominant), none of our professionals could tell them apart. Just like the Dominant strings, they are warm and resemble gut strings (while being way more resistant to humidity). They are soft, clear, and rich in overtones. But the best part, they’re half the price of Dominants!


  1. Diane Lawless

    I definitely like the Fiddlerman strings. Strings make a nicer sound!! I am currently using Helicore and wonder what Fiddlerman strings are comparable to those, I guess I might have to ask them and see. Thanks for posting the video.

  2. Robert Virden

    I could hear a very slight difference. But overall I like the sound of the strings by Fiddlerman’s strings. They have better and fuller ring to each note. Thanks for this, some of us, me, need all the help we can get.

  3. Wendy

    It sound excellent, good choice of violin strings.

      • Selina Rootlieb

        I am a really beginner and in a budget. So thanks for this article. My stentor student violin came with the strings on it. So no idea what strings they are. But for now they stil sound good and I am only going to buy new one once they break. I am also from north Holland so maybe I can see you one day!

      • Zlata


  4. Susie Couvillion

    I saw very little difference in the strings. For the price I like the Fiddleman’s strings
    I will have to try them!

  5. Mathilde

    I like the sound of the Fiddlerman strings best. But maybe they do not last that long. How often do you change your strings?

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      I use Evah Pirazzi Gold strings and replace them every three or four moths, but I play professionally. I recommend replacing strings when they lose their sound quality. What strings do you use currently, Mathilde?

  6. Baronice

    Hlo zlata.I like the sound of the fiddlerman’s’s time for me to get a new set of strings,because i only play on the A and E strings my G and D strings sound dull.thanks for sharing this video now i will also try the fiddleman’s string out.regards

  7. Irene Kaiser

    Hi Zlata – I have been using Fiddlerman strings for over two years now, because of the sound quality and of course, the price. I definately recommend Fiddlerman strings.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Great, Irene, I was so surprised by them in a good way. What kind of violin do you have?

  8. Stewart H Holder

    Hello Zlata,
    Many thanks for trying a ‘price/sound competitor’ to Dominants.
    The Fiddlerman strings have what I would call ‘central-shift’ in sound.
    What I mean is that the Dominant strings have an envelope shift towards the higher frequencies;
    whilst that of the Fiddlerman a lowershift envelope.
    To explain; listen to an old fashioned mono record and a High fidelity LP of the same orchestral piece.
    The difference is in the bandwidth; I perceive the Fiddlerman strings as not so piercing compared with the Dominants.
    But this is only my initial reaction. My specification 73 with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Physics and a fiddler.
    What about playing again a melody such as Danny Boy to compare using minimal bow and finger weight and allowing the violin to sing itself ? This what the late Kato Havas always wanted from her students; let the violin sing !

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Thanks Stewart, I’ll keep that in mind for future string reviews. I like the Bruch for these purposes as it’s son filé and covers a wide range of pitch. I heard the same thing you mention about Dominants before. What strings do you currently use?

      • Stewart

        Dear Zlata,
        Thank you for your reply.
        I have tried many strings in the past and my first were Dominant but the D string sounded ‘metallic/tinny’.
        Then Hellicore but they sounded too ‘thin’; onto Zyex which were very rich. Oblicato were excellent but the E string had a tendency to ‘whistle’. Evah pirazzi sounded like a ‘trumpet’ so Pirastro very kindly supplied a free set of Flexocor Permanent which were excellent. Onto Jargar (with a beautiful tone across all strings ;quite thick diamater) then at present I play with Thomastic Spirocore which I compare favourably with Flexocor which is obvious since both have a twisted rope like core but thicker than Hellicore hence more sound. At Christmas I have a spare set of Jargar to revisit.
        My tone has been in the past quoted as quite favourable by the late Kato Havas; so something must be ok.
        I play on an 1886 German Strad copy with excellent flaming on the back with a beautiful old octagonal silver mounted German bow and at present studying Book 4 of The Leopold Auer Graded Violin Course and then for recap Book 1 of Maia Bang’s Violin Course.
        For recreation: Irish Fiddling.
        For help: Your videos enable me to find answers to questions since I am studying on my own. So many thanks for your continued help. Stewart

      • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

        Wow, you’ve certainly tried some strings, Stewart! Amazing that you’ve taken lessons from Kato Havas. I love her books.

      • Helen

        Great video, thank you! I liked both strings and will definitely try the FM ones when I attempt to change mine. Regards

  9. Liz Bustamante

    I too preferred the sound of the Fiddlerman strings, and I’m surprised! I did try a set of Fiddlerman strings several years ago; they seemed to wear out more quickly, but since I forgot which strings they seemed to wear out more quickly than, this observation is not very helpful. 😀

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Hmm, perhaps they’ve improved over the years. I’m too spoiled with my Evah Pirazzi Golds that I just wanted to play the Dominants and Fiddlerman on my spare violin for this video. Maybe others can enlighten us in the comments :). What strings do you currently use, Liz?

  10. Sherylin

    The Fiddler strings sounded warmer and lower in sound.

  11. Roy D. Meyer

    I agree. I like the FM strings softer and baser sound. Thanks for the heads up review and comments. Roy

  12. John Norton

    Interesting comparison Zlata. The Bruch G minor opening is an ideal piece for your demonstration as it gives all four strings a chance to “shine”. On your violin the Fiddlerman strings definitely sound fuller and warmer. Obviously the Fiddlerman strings were a brand new set, and I’m sure your Dominants were in equally good condition, but the Dominants do not “sing” nearly as well. The Fiddlerman sound so much more “alive” and that has to inspire the player with more life when performing as well. I can close my eyes and hear the smile on your face when you played the Fiddlermans. We become so intimate with our instruments that we feel many things; minor differences that others may not even hear. But in this case the difference is huge that everyone can hear, all because of a simple and very sensible change of strings. Same violin, same bow, same delightful violinist… only those strings are telling us the difference here.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Yes, they surprised me a good way, John! This is actually my spare violin I use on holiday. The Fiddlerman strings stay! What strings do you currently use?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *