Violin/violin strings i.d.


QUESTION: Mr. Lashof- Could you give an opinion on what type of strings I have on my violin. I looked at another website that had alot of information about string i.d. but I didn't find any answers.
The string thread winding colors are these.

G- goldish yellow/green
D- olive drab
A- turqouise- It doesn't look light blue to me.
E- purple
These are solid color threads with the exception of the g thread which may have a small ribbon of shinier material interwined.
The entire length of the wound strings (g,d and a) are more tightly wound than the set of Red Label mediums I have on another violin. The others I have to get closer to see the windings while the red labels are easier to see.
Since I'm here Dave, what is the average number of instruments (violins) that serious amatuer players posess? Something in my head tells me to get a few then on the other hand one violin may be enough. p.s.- the lava soap on the tuning pegs works real well. thanks.

I might be able to figure it out, but I need more information. I need to know which end of the string you re talking about and I need the colors for both ends.  For example:
G String, Tailpiece end - Golden Yellow, Peg end - Blue
Please provide this for each string. Hopefully with that I can figure it out. Keep in mind that some colors are slightly off for different brands ie. different shades of green. If it is easier, take a close up picture of the tailpiece and the peg box and send that to me.

Most amateur players I know have only one instrument, they then trade that in towards a better one when they can. I only know a few that have more than one. Working musicians often have several so that they can use a lessor quality instrument for outdoor jobs like weddings and holiday concerts.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mr. Lashof - the colored threads mentioned earlier were from the tailpiece.
The pegbox end are these-
G- is the same as the other end. A golden/yellow greenish thread.
  It appears some of the plating/metal winding is losing it's aluminum
  covering/sheen but nothing is coming apart.
D- tailpiece olive drab- pegbox end - goldish/yellow
  This is a thicker string than the g but I don't think it's as
  strong as the g.
A- tailpiece turqouise - pegbox turqouise

E- tailpiece purple - pegbox purple
  This one may be a wound string. Are wound e strings made for violins?

Well, I wasn't very successful unless it is a combination of a number of different brands.

The E could be a Westminster or a Dominant
The A could be a Thomastic Superflexible or if bluer, than Infeld Blue
The D could be a soft gauge Dominant if not too olive or more likely a Jargar Silver (Dolce)
The G could be a soft gauge Corelli Alliance

There are a few really new strings out now that I am not familiar with the colors, so I guess it could be one of those but in general the major string companies like Pirastro and Thomastic have some consistency and your strings don't fit that.

Sorry I couldn't have helped more, as the color of the strings can very just slightly and your description might be different than my description. Even the feel of strings can make a difference and steel or Rope core strings will have a different feel and thickness than synthetic core strings. There are also many Chinese off brands that are impossible to know what the are.


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David Lashof


I can answer questions on violin, viola, cello and bass making, repair and maintenance as well as supply general violin value ranges and information on instrument makers’ assuming the instrument's as labeled. I don't give values for modern makers as many of these modern makers are yet unknown to me. I can only give you feedback based on what information you give me, and no authority on the instrument can know every maker's work that ever lived. I have access to many books on makers and auction prices on over 25,000 makers, as well as having 36 years of experience with selling and appraising violins. Without having the instrument in hand, any estimate over the internet is just a guess as the label inside an instrument is more often wrong than right, so just having that information is not very useful. Pictures can sometimes be helpful but only so much, as the "feel" of the instrument along with small clues in workmanship and varnish cannot be seen in pictures. Any pictures should be high quality close-ups of the top and back. Additional photos of the front and treble side of the neck are also useful. It is always best to have an instrument seen in person at a violin shop that does appraisals. I can also provide advice on bows, rosin, strings and other string instrument accessories. As I am now retired, I have no bias towards selling anything; I only wish to share my knowledge and experience by providing information for those that may be getting confused by misinformation, misdirection or conflicting statements. (While I have seen many thousands of instruments and have performed numerous appraisals; if I have not evaluated an instrument in person, any information I set forth in an opinion is just that, an opinion based solely on what you have provided. Thusly, no financial decision should be based on that opinion, but rather, further investigation should be performed by having the instrument examined in person.)


I am a retired violin maker and repairman with 35 years experience having worked in Chicago and Maryland at 5 different violin shops and music stores including the first violin repairman at William Harris Lee in Chicago, the head repairman at Weavers Violins in Maryland, and in my own shop of 25 years. I have made 160 instruments and have restored countless professional level and student grade instruments. I am an accomplished violinist having performed with semi-professional as well as amateur groups although I haven't played for years and mostly stay away from questions about playing. I have taught violin making and restoration to about 20 students; three of which have gone on professionally and now have their own shops. I know violins from playing, selling, repairing, making and teaching.

Violin Society of America (VSA). American String Teachers Association (ASTA)

I graduated from the prestigious 4 year Chicago School of Violin Making in 1981 under Master Violin Maker Tschu Ho Lee. I also studied with violin maker Willis M. Gault in Washington DC from 1973-75, who was the former owner of the oldest known example of an instrument from the modern violin family, an Andreas Amati Viola.

Awards and Honors
2008 Chester Petranek Award for service to the music community. ASTA award for service. Top All Expert in Violin for 2014 and 2015.

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I have worked with many professional musicians from DC area Symphonies as well as players from all over the US. Here are just a few, Leonard Slatkin - Former conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. Doris Gazda - Nationally renowned string specialist and composer. Bernard Greenhouse, Tanya Anisimova - Internationally renowned Solo Cellists. Jody Gatwood, Mark Pfannschmidt, Lori Barnet, Doug Dubé, Judy Silverman - National Philharmonic Orchestra. Robert Blatt, David Hardy, Glen Garlick - National Symphony Orchestra. Eddie Stubbs, Brendan Mulvahill, Nate Leath - Professional Fiddle Players. David Basche, Pat Braunlich, John Knudson, Romano Solano, Ed Ferris, Fred Lieder - freelance musicians.

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