Ball versus loop end E strings

About 80% of our E string sales used to be of the ball end version. The choice between loop or ball end used to be attributed to the aesthetic tastes of violinists. But we found that there is also an acoustic difference.

The acoustic difference is caused by the different after-length measurements. The after-length of a loop end E string is significantly longer than the after-length of a ball end E string when attached to a conventional fine tuner added to the tailpiece. So when using a loop end E string the after-length tone sounds lower resulting in a warmer and more projecting sound for the whole instrument. With an integrated tailpiece there is less tonal difference between the ball end and loop end E strings, provided that the tailpiece is not too heavy. To achieve the best sound we recommend either using a loop end E string with an English style of fine tuner or if you prefer to use a ball end E string then use a lighter good quality integrated tailpiece.

The difference in the sound between the two types of E strings (or set-ups) is not huge. However it can be heard and is also measurable using a spectrum analyser. If you combine this with other small but significant sound improvements such as using a Kevlar type tail gut instead of a Nylon one, you can achieve a definite improvement in sound.

Loop end E strings used to be considered less durable than ball end E strings due to more frequent instances of breakage at the loop. However, this normally only happens if an inappropriate fine tuner is used. We strongly recommend adhering to our advice regarding loop end fine tuner set-up.