From Wesley Hsiao
Posted November 12, 2009 at 10:52 PM
First post here... Since i've been a student for ~6 years, i want to upgrade my strings. I found a ebay post with Eudoxa strings. Since they are gut strings, i thought they would be good to try. I'm just wondering what your experience with it was like, not that if it'll be good with my violin. Also, that ebay post that strings that seem to have been manufactured ~3 years ago. http://cgi.ebay.com/Eudoxa-Violin-String-Set-w-Gold-E_W0QQitemZ330375252663QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4cebe64ab7
Do you think that'll make any difference compared with new strings? (I couldn't find any info online, so...)
Hi, on another thread, someone asked about gut strings and I replied about Eudoxas since I currently use them. (not E)
Basically, Eudoxas have good and bad reputation. Good because many agree that the sound is "heaven" for richness and darkness but bad because they are stuburn, slow to respond and untune just with your hand tempeture and room tempeture (so at every 5 min as I often joke. It's not so far of the truth though) Here is my long opinion on them and it's nothing "scientific", just my honnest thoughs.
"I can say that what Mark said about Eudoxas is true! I am presently in love with them because I'm somehow purist and too much of an old fashion sound lover but for 100% optimum precision and control,they are maybe not the best. If you are a true addict to old sound, they are heaven but you must know that they will untune every 5 min (but it's good to learn to adapt your hand no matter what to play in tune. But if you learn by putting tapes on the finger board, it would NEVER work because this requires stable pitch strings...) The lifespan is medium. You have to change quite often. These strings give an exquisite rich sound but are very stuburn so be ready to fight with ridiculous amount of RELAXATION. This is the secret if you want to be friends with them... they don't take boxing very well and if you boxe with them, you'll just have a bbbbbbbuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I am happy to not have start with them but now, I'm TOTALLY sold to them. I vibrate and play like a star (in comparison not that I really do it like a star...) when I play even cheaper violins with syntethic responsive strings but nothing nothing nothing that I tried sounds as close of the sound I like as my violin with this setup. Well, eudoxas are a great teacher in a way...
Well see this with your teacher, try to figure out if you are for perfection, for sound, for playability. Do you want to sacrifice one for the other? Listen to violinists of all eras on youtube and it will give you an idea of what sound you like (old, modern etc).
If I was a professionnal, I couldn't use Eudoxas... (they did in the past because they didn't have much choice. People had such big hands to compensate... : ) My teacher loves the sound but screams that she would die with this in an orchestra. It's a caprice that is, ironically, very amazing for amateurs who don't have to play perfect... However I agree with the orchestra thing... It would maybe be a burden. Then again, it's a choice... However some are completely "gaga" with the Eudoxa sound so maybe it,s a thing to try once to know for sure (just for a test). Sure good or bad violinists are to be found with any strings."
Thanks, I didn't win the listing...
But It seems like Eudoxa Strings seem to be good. Have you ever tried Passione Strings? They seem to be interesting.
Also, do you know if the age of the unused strings make a different (just interested to know)\
When purchasing gut strings, such as Eudoxas and Olives, you should purchase them from a shop, following the advice of an experienced maker. That's because these strings come in a number of gauges (thicknesses), and you may have to do some testing to determine which gauge will work well on your instrument. Also, it's been my experience. as a a violin maker, that the sound post may have to be adjusted to accommodate the type of string you use.
Regarding the stability and playability of gut strings, yes, it is true that they react to changes in humidity, and they can also take longer to play in compared with perlon core strings. But the sound is magnificent, especially on older instruments, and in comparison, most perlon strings sound like "constrictatones."
Finally, as Anne pointed out, gut strings need to be played differently than perlon core strings. One must use bow speed, rather than pressure, to produce a bigger tone. I think it is very telling that players such as Heifetz, Milstein, Menuhin, and Rosand could have switched to synthetic core strings, but didn't. So, why don't you give gut strings a try!
Actually, I did go to a shop (not violins only however) and they only had dominants, Tonica, and super sentivitate. When I asked if they had any gut strings, they said they didn't have any. I should try another shop.
There prices for the strings are also waaaaay too pricey (like $50 for a Tonica). I wanted to buy it online, but Eudoxas are ~50 and Passiones are ~70. Do you know anywhere where i could buy cheaper strings?
Also, I wasn't really interested in what gut strings react vs synetic strings. I had a Ebay listing in the first post that had apparantly old Eudoxa Strings. I wanted to know if those strings had any difference with new gut strings (Eudoxa). Basicially i wanted to know if age causes any difference with unused strings.
Although I haven't tried Eudoxa's, I've heard mixed things about them. I've heard they sound *amazing*, but they also go out of tune every 5 minutes. If you want to try a gut-core string, I suggest Passione's. They are a bit more expensive, but I love them. There is no instability in terms of tuning, and it sounds so nice. If you have to buy the gut strings online, I'd say go with the 'middle' gauge. It's usually a safe bet to go with the middle; you can always order the next set with a different gauge :).
In the old days, when I used Eudoxa, and later Olive strings exclusively I was able to depend upon similar climatic conditions at home and everywhere else that I played. But, by the 1970s, as air conditioning became ubiquitous in public buildings it became necessary to switch to strings that would maintain intonation across a range of humidity/temperature conditions, and I've been experimenting with synthetic strings ever since. Fortunately, something other than Dominants (i.e., Tonica) appeared on the market, just as I needed it.
Just about a month ago, I restrung one of my violins with a set of lightly used Olives I've had around for years. Even after a month, the strings would not stay in tune, even at home. So I switched back to my Vision Solo strings to bring that violin to orchestra and its "controlled air" environment.
If you can count on enough time and opportunity to tune your fiddle a bunch of times you might really enjoy using gut strings, or if you are going to do all your playing in one place, but if you have to count on your instrument being in tune under many conditions, and money is an object in your considerations, forget it!
(Just to add to the confusion, that particular violin (that was not good with Dominants) but was great with Eudoxa and even better with Olives, was no good with Pirastro Gold Label gut strings, either.)
Christopher is right: Kaplan Golden Spiral are a little-known gem for gut strings, and less expensive than Eudoxa last time I tried them.
Gut strings do NOT respond more slowly than synthetics--in fact they speak much quicker and require less bow pressure. Once they stabilize, after perhaps a week, they are pretty stable, although unlike synthetics, they have tendency to rise in pitch in certain conditions like dry heat. If a hall heats up during a concert as one of mine does, this may be an issue.
I grew up on Eudoxa, so I'm very familiar with them. In general there are two issues:
1. You have to get used to them. The bow attack is much different, and the amount of pressure and speed are different. You can't simply lay into them or your fiddle with bark. They are less forgiving of bow technique.
2. Not all fiddles sound good with them. This is unpredictable. I've found that the better the fiddle, the better gut works. Great old Italians with great response sound great, many moderns, less so. On some fiddles, gut, especially in the middle positions, may sound woofy and have some funky notes not present with synthetics (which can hid a violin's weaknesses). You must give them time to break in, especially the A, which can really sound wonky for a while before it starts responding well. And you need to learn to play on them.
Eudoxas have always been long-lived for me. It's the other Pirastro strings which have had poor windings. I think they're worth trying, and they feel great under your fingers. You might find it hard to return to synthetics, which will sound loud and course by comparison.
Wesley, we are told not to buy old gut strings, but like photographic film, the real answer is uncertain. I have gut strings in my drawer that I've tried from time to time that I've had for years and I don't find that they've gone bad. I think it will depend on the conditions they were stored in. As long as they weren't stored in a damp basement with lots of mildew, they may be fine. I'd imagine that storage in high humidity would cause the core to expand, damaging the windings. And if the strings got too dry, the core would contract, causing the winding to loosen and buzz.
I have been using Eudoxas for about 7 or 8 months now. What Scott posted rings true with my violin, an Eastman VL-105. Passione strings give a more complex sound, more over tones, than Eudoxas. Eudoxa strings on my violin are warmer, a tad darker & just as sweet as Passione. Eudoxa strings don't wolf much for my violin and in some ways I like them better than the Passiones, but then again, I miss those sweet bell like over tones, and Passiones are a bit more forgiving with bow technique, at least for me with this violin and my L. Bausch bow. Bows make a big difference too! And what works for one violin wont mean it'll work for another.
Everyone, thanks for your responses... i guess i'll consider buying Kaplan Golden Spiral strings, otherwise i'll wait for a ebay listing so i could bid.
Also, its a good thing that old strings probably won't make a difference with new strings.
ebay rarely has "deals" on Eudoxas and I caution the condition of a "deal" in an auction based venue on gut strings, although I did hit a home run on 4 Oliv goldstahl "E" strings for $12 total including shipping
I think passione are a better try first. They don't have many of the problems as Olivs and Eudoxa but you still get the GUT EXPERIENCE. For Eudoxa I don't quite like as much. Doesn't sing on my two violins, but I did manage to get a combo that uses the G with Passione D and A. But It still doesn't beat the sound I like of the Oliv G. Just my opinion.
As for string life, I also have about 2 sets of Olivs and 1 set of Eudoxa and couple sets of Passione sitting in the string tube's. They sound pretty good for a couple months old here and there. I'll check the Eudoxa set to see if they are okay and maybe I could send them to you free.
Royce I thought you have a VL - 305 Eastman.
Please try Eudoxa sometime soon; the experience of using these strings is well worth it. While all the complaints are true, no other strings sounds and plays as these. The gauges I have on my fiddle are at this time are G 16, D 16 ¾, A 13 ¼, use your favorite E string, I’m using a Vision titanium E 26, which (after I got used to the brightness) I like very much. I may try the stiff (same gauges, more overtones I hear, pun intended) or the brilliant G and D, 16, 15, respectively. And for the record, I have never played a better sounding A. I especially enjoy the softness under the fingers. Nothing, nothing sounds as gut, the core sound is warm, round and amazing; they breath, almost as a horn. I personally like the slow response, these strings respond quite well to bow speed as opposed to bow pressure, they WILL in my opinion change your playing for the better. Also keep in mind (while very good) Passione are a core gut/synthetic blend, and as a result not the same experience. The same can be said for synthetic and metal core strings, all having their place. I always come back to gut, (Olive, and now Eudoxa, thank you Pirastro) hopefully for good this time.
I would encourage you to buy your strings from a reputable shop large enough to have a fairly quick turnover of stock. Strings do have a shelf-life, and gut strings more than synthetic, though silver-wrapped strings can become tarnished if held for a while. You will get a better sense of whether gut strings are for you or not, and should get a longer playing life out of fresh strings, too. Online catalogs like Shar, Ifshin, Johnston, etc., are all reputable & easy to work with. They regularly have sales on various stuff. Johnston just e-mailed a sale, haven't even looked to see on what. Sue
Vincent: You don't have to send me your strings unless you really want to, then i'll happily accept it.
Anyways I found this website: Iustrings.com that has Passione strings for a cheap cheap, but they have them sold out. I've emailed them a few times and they haven't respond yet. This leads me to think that this is a fake website. Does anyone know anything about it?
No, it's not fake. Just slow communication. I recall buying a set of Evah Pirazzis there. Their strings are sold out often nowadays... cause of good deals.
I have my Passione viola and violin string from Go string.com, cause the IUstring are always sold out.
I have Eudoxa C on my viola and they are right about it, kinda slow to response but has a very warm/dark sound. i love it!
I learned to play the violin in the 1950s with a steel E-string, plain gut A and D, and silver-covered gut G. In more recent years I moved to Dominants for most purposes, but plain gut A and D (not covered) sound fantastic on my old William Forster which still has its original short neck. I think they're Eudoxa, but I'm not sure.
I'm actually tempted to try some Eudoxa's now.. Mabye just a G, and go from there.
Also, I'm pretty sure Eudoxas are wound-gut strings. They look silver-ish rather than a plain-gut, clear string (which I think Chorda's from Pirastro are)
Yes they are wonded strings.
It can never harm to give it a try. You might be so happy or not but at least you'll know. Violin isn't like a car, you can try whatever silly ideas (or almost : ) you have and it's not dangerous to "die" or to get severe kind of any dammage! Just my two cents about a fact that I find wonderful ; )
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