From Michael De Sapio
Posted September 2, 2009 at 11:54 PM
Are there any notable differences between Pirastro Gold and Pirastro Olive strings in terms of sound characteristics, response, etc.?
All I can tell you is what I recall from my own personal experience, perhaps going back to 40 years ago. In those days, I used Pirastro Eudoxa strings (I can't remember what gauges). I tried their Gold Label, strings because they were cheaper, and they did not support the same tone quality from that violin. When my salary increased, I graduated to Pirastro Olives, which were even better on that. If you read the brief descriptions at the SHAR website you may find a simple explanation involving the fewer gauges available with Gold Label than with the more expensive gut-core strings.
I tried Dominant strings, when they first came out, somewhere in that time frame, but they were no good on that violin. When Pirastro finally issued their Tonica strings, they were OK so I switched to Tonica, mainly because of their resistance to intonation variability when switching venues. I switched back to Olives a couple of times in the intervening years (in fact I still have an unused set of straight Olive strings), but always came up against the humidity/temperature fluctuations when I switch venues. I've also tried Passione strings recently, but so far I've always come back some brand of synthetic-core strings. Presently I like the new Vision-Solo strings the best on all three of my major violins.
Yes there is a difference. One stays in tune the other does not! I would highly recommend Oliv over Gold. Gold sounds nice, but the reliability or pitch with the string is just not good (especially the G).
Eudoxa is also a very good string if you would like wound gut (I believe Oliver Steiner, uses Eudoxa for his G).
Whether strings stay in tune from day to day (assuming that they aren't defective in any way) is a function of the environment and the hardware, not the brand that you use, although we can acknowledge noticeable differences between gut, synthetics, and steel. Depending on your local conditions when you install your set of strings and where you play, your mileage may vary.
Pirastro Gold is a set of gut strings that are manufactured to looser tolerances than their premium sets (Eudoxa, Oliv, and Passione). The G/D/A strings are only offered in a single gauge (medium) as opposed to the 5 different gauges for Passione, Oliv, and 4 different gauges for Eudoxa. Because of this, the Gold set costs much less. If you absolutely have to have gut strings but can't afford their premium sets, this is one of your options.
More specific information on these sets can be found as a PDF information flier from the Pirastro web site here:
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