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They play. If you're buying for a child or beginner student, they'll work just fine, but they just aren't good strings. They feel weak and brittle and they have a very thin tone to them. If you're used to Thomastik Dominants or something of similar/better quality, you're DEFINITELY going to notice the drop in quality with these strings. No intermediate or proficient violinist is going to mistake these for a string set of even moderate quality. If I were an elementary or high school music teacher and wanted to buy some cheap backup strings for my students, these would be a fine enough pick. I'd use them in a pinch, or for a set of strings to really wail on, but I wouldn't play a concert with them or use them for a hymn at church.
I really wanted to like these strings. The price is right, and I love D'Addario's Bass strings, but these are just a step up from junk.