Are Pirastro's Evah Pirazzi's any good?

January 18, 2007 at 06:05 PM · I'm currently looking to buy a new set of strings and I was wondering if anyone had experience with Pirastro's Evah Pirazzi and what they thought of them

Replies (51)

January 18, 2007 at 07:43 PM · Lots of people at v.com have tried them. However, their experience (other than durability issues, perhaps) will be useless to you. What sounds good/bad on someone else's violin will not necessarily sound good/bad on yours. Go to your luthier and have him/her listen to your violin with your current strings and then suggest strings that will better acheive whatever sound you seek. Good luck.

January 18, 2007 at 10:19 PM · Hi, JohnPaul,

I have tried Evah Pirazzis, and I love them! In fact, they have been my choice of string for the past four years. But as Tom above me said, it really does depend on your violin, so do take your violin to your luthier and see what s/he suggests. But my experience with Evahs have been great. They are very responsive, and produce a powerful, loud, but not too steely tone that I like. Unfortunately, they seen to go false extremely fast (for me, anyway), and I feel like I always need to replace strings after two or three months.

January 18, 2007 at 11:23 PM · Greetings,

Julie, thats not so fast. Its about average for a string. I replace dominats about every three weeks,

Cheers,

Buri

January 18, 2007 at 11:23 PM · I used Evahs and liked them. Sometimes they seemed a little hard and metallic.

I am having good luck currently with the new Larsen Tzigane. The are a little more "gut-like" with the big sound of evahs.

January 19, 2007 at 12:42 AM · Buri,

Three weeks?? WOW! I don't think I have an adequate budget for changing strings every three weeks. I didn't know two-three months was average. A lot of my friends here don't change strings for half a year or even a year. I'm not sure how they get by.

January 19, 2007 at 12:47 AM · Evahs are a bit bright and one-dimensional for my taste. I prefer Dominants which are also cheaper.

January 19, 2007 at 12:53 AM · it really does depend on how much you're playing the instrument. If you're practicing 4-6 hours a day, then replacing the strings every couple of months will be average. If you're only practing 1-2 hours a day, then they could well last 6 months or so. If you're in a regularly performing group, then you need top sounding strings all the time, and can't afford to let the sound drop, so it could very well be every 2-3 weeks.

I have been using Evah's for about a year. I liked the sound that they make, but they do seem to lose their sound just slightly quicker than some other strings. Being so expensive, i'm considering swapping to a different string (though undecided as of yet)

January 19, 2007 at 02:29 AM · I just bought a set of Evah Pirazzis a few weeks ago. I'm excited to try them on my new violin (I've never tried them before). I'm hoping they'll last at least three months, if not I'll try obligatos or go back to dominants, which are great strings, but I want to try a few different kinds so I can decide which I like best.

January 19, 2007 at 02:59 AM · Ha, I can barely afford to change my strings when they break :).

January 19, 2007 at 01:22 PM · Hi,

Evah Pirazzi are a good string if they match your instrument! Really - it's a hit and miss thing. Life expectancy is OK, but they tend to go false after a while. Nonetheless, it is among the better synthetic options out there other than standbys like Dominants.

I will insist that with Dominants, finding the right E to match for your instrument can make all the difference.

Hearing people talk of this new Larsen Tzigane makes me interested. I certainly hope that they will have a longer life than their regular synthetic.

Cheers!

P.S. Julie C. - like Buri, I have to change my Dominants about every month to six weeks tops.

January 19, 2007 at 01:49 PM · In terms of changing strings, my luthier's rule of thumb is that you should change strings after 120 hours of playing. So, if you play 4 hours per day, you change once per month.

January 19, 2007 at 04:23 PM · Hi, I've found Evahs to be an exceptional string with a warm, deep sound. They are one of the most powerful strings available, I use them on most of the violins and violas I make. Ultimately it will depend on the instrument.

January 19, 2007 at 07:07 PM · Most reports I read said that Evahs start to die within a few weeks (but worth the trade-off for many professionals.) I found the same to be true, though I suppose it depends on your definition of "die."

To me, once the initial break-in is over (full brightness arrives and fifth position opens up) if the string loses ANY of that harmonic richness, then it is done.

A string that's very close to Evah's, but lasts a looooong time, is Wondertone Solo. I have a set of mediums on right now, and after 3 weeks of ~ 2 hrs per day they are identical to day #3. Out of perhaps 10 brands, only these and Zyex (which I dislike tonally) have lasted like this.

I really like these strings. They don't quite get as warm as the Evah's, but close, and they have the same mids and top-end. Pirastro describes them as having less timbral depth than Evah's, and that's true, but don't let that scare you away, the difference is small.

January 19, 2007 at 09:06 PM · Greetings,

>To me, once the initial break-in is over (full brightness arrives and fifth position opens up) if the string loses ANY of that harmonic richness, then it is done.

I think that is an imporatnat point point. I often ask player sif their strings are false and they say no which isbasiclaly true but the initial depth has gone and since we accept what we are use dto a player may maintain the string is fine after a couple of months but tonally it is way under par. An interesting distinction.

Cheers,

Buri

January 19, 2007 at 10:32 PM · I started learning to control my sounding point because of Evah 'E's'. The 'E-gold' tends to be a wild child.

January 19, 2007 at 11:42 PM · Yes, I notice that I tend to like whichever brand I switch to because in comparison with the older dull strings they sound better. I've made the ring around Evah, Dom, Vision, Infeld Blue. Each time I switch, I think I've found a better string. But it is only because the old set was already dull. The A string usually goes first (between G, D, A) making me to pull out okay D and G strings if I do them as a set. I change my e string on a separate schedule. My teacher said that to use a Chromacor A string is a good idea because they will last as long as the G and D strings.

January 20, 2007 at 02:13 AM · I like evahs more so than dominants, but I didn't like having to change them every 6 to 8 weeks. My luthier recommended other brand by Thomastick: Vision Titanium. So far, the string have lasted me about 5 months.

January 20, 2007 at 12:25 PM · Hi,

Tom - 120 hours? Is this true? If that is the case that would probably explain why every three weeks or so I find that strings have died out...

Cheers!

January 20, 2007 at 01:21 PM · it will nice if someone can work out something so that all the freshly used strings can be pooled and redistributed to kids/beginners in need.

changing the strings every 3 weeks, WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

January 20, 2007 at 01:23 PM · 120 hours? I guess that explains why I went through two A strings in 6 weeks at camp, that's when I play most. I guess I should of changed the other strings too, but I didn't have an extra set and they were so expensive at the camp store.

January 20, 2007 at 07:37 PM · How long does it take for Evah Pirazzi's to break in? I'm recording an audition tape tomorrow and was thinking maybe it's time for new strings.

January 20, 2007 at 08:35 PM · Julia, on that short of notice, use Vision Titaniums. They "break in" almost instantly.

January 21, 2007 at 02:12 AM · Christian - that's what my luthier says.

January 21, 2007 at 02:53 AM · I put the Evah Pirazzis on this afternoon. I played for about an hour after I put them on (I had to stop a lot to tune) then took an hour off to rest, and when I came back they sounded great! I think I like them better than the dominants. They are very loud and powerful, yet they seem to enhance the warm sweet quality my violin has. Now I'll just have to see how long they'll last...

I think the next strings I'll try are the vision titaniums, (which I would have tried today for the fast break in period, but I didn't have a set), or maybe I'll see how gut strings compare and try eudoxas (though I'm not sure how they'll sound on a new violin). Then I'll have to choose a favorite.

January 22, 2007 at 01:01 AM · I've been using evah pirazzi strings for several years now and really love them. I'm impressed with the power and clarity that they have brought to my violin

January 22, 2007 at 01:16 AM · Re: Vision Titaniums--my teacher uses those, and she says that on her violin, they make the whole thing sound like a banjo for about a week, then suddenly they break in and sound fantastic.

As for Evahs, they're too high-tension for my taste. I'm going to try these Larsen Tziganes once I get through auditions.

January 22, 2007 at 01:12 AM · I have a Romanian violin that is very warm sounding, and I was having trouble being heard in Irish sessions that I was playing in. Changing from Dominants to Evah Pirazzi (stark) brightened up the tone and brought up the volume. I've had them for a couple of months now, and haven't needed to change yet (though I am surely less demanding than players on the performance circuit).

I have tried metal strings - Helicore - but they were a poor match to that instrument -- made it sound "woolly". I might try something else when it's time to change again.

January 22, 2007 at 01:46 AM · James,

If the Evah's helped your fiddle to be both brighter and to stand out, you will probably think you died & went to Heaven once you try Vision Titaniums. They don't have the depth of Evahs, but they sure do make their presence known. -And how!

January 22, 2007 at 11:34 PM · They are AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I used to use Fominant strings, and thought they were good, untill I put on my first pair of Evah's and was BLOWN AWAY!!!!!! When I bought them, the guys who sold them to me said I was going to become 'spoiled' w/ them, and at first I didn't believe him, but now I see what he means!!!

January 22, 2007 at 11:58 PM · My violin is quite bright and powerful to begin with, so the Evahs were just much of a muchness, I suppose. It's all relative.

January 23, 2007 at 12:11 AM · Maura's point is a good one. On many violins, you do not need more brightness. Mine, for example needs strings that increase the warmth, hence my choice of Obligatos. At first, Evahs sounded wonderful, but after a while, . . . . That's why getting help from your luthier who can hear your instrument with its current strings is important.

January 23, 2007 at 03:01 AM · E.P.s work great on my violin, and I've had no trouble with the gold E. My violin, though it has a lot of depth, quality, and a lovely sound, is on the warm/small-sounding side; these strings add brightness and volume. Vision Titanium also work well for me, though I found they did take three days minimum to break in. With the Evahs it only takes a day or two.

January 23, 2007 at 03:25 AM · I stopped using Dominants a while ago but don't remember them being any less powerful than Evah Pirazzi strings. In fact it might be the opposite. I almost believe the Dominants were closer to a gut core string in that they may sound softer under your ear, but they will carry better than a brighter string in the hall. The Dominants were probably warmer too, the problem was that on my violin the g string choked with the pressure I wanted to use and speed just made the sound less focused. Also I guess I'm too lazy to mix and match strings from different sets, besides e strings. The Evahs definitely are bright, though I have heard them make a great tone on dark violins too. As far as durability, I think they lose some of their brightness after 3-4 weeks, but they don't lose volume and don't become "dull" until a few weeks after that. I like to change them every 6 weeks, or as soon as I can afford another set.

January 24, 2007 at 08:57 PM · One violin maker I talked to about Eva Pirazzi's said that they aren't good in a dry climate. So, maybe where you live is something to take into consideration.

September 9, 2007 at 11:43 PM · I tried Evah strings for the first time this summer, and I agree with a lot of the comments on this board. They sound great and improve the volume of the instrument, but they die much too fast. I've had them for a little less than 2 months now, and they started sounding dull and scratchy at least 3 weeks ago. I'm about to replace them by Infeld Blues, which I have on my 2nd violin and which I believe are better and more reliable overall.

December 4, 2007 at 06:18 AM · How do the sounds of Evah Pirazzi and Infeld blue compare to each other? I've been using Dominants all my life and wanted soemthing for a change

December 4, 2007 at 05:58 PM · Infeld Blue is a lot better in my opinion. The good thing about Pirazzi strings is that they don't really need any break in time. If you've never tried plain gut or wound gut like Oliv or Eudoxa, Pirazzi might seem like a great string.

Dominants are poorly constructed strings.

December 4, 2007 at 06:26 PM · Dominants are not poorly constructed strings

December 4, 2007 at 07:01 PM · Well, I'll use myself as a personal example. When I used Dominants, the A-string would unravel on my Amati like clockwork every month. One summer I broke 6 Dominant E-strings (3 in one day). I remember a rather well known soloist broke 4 of those strings when playing with the Boston Symphony.

Describing Dominant strings as poorly constructed is an understatement. Lots of people get them cause they are cheap. Cheap is not always better!

December 4, 2007 at 07:59 PM · I've never liked Dominants myself, but after a couple of years of frustration with Evah Pirazzis and Obligatos, I seem to be gravitating towards Thomastik again. I liked Infeld Red on my violin, and found Vision Solo much superior. Main reasons: quick response, and the strings don't go dead within three weeks.

December 4, 2007 at 09:59 PM · I played dominants for 15 years before going for Passione. I never broke one dominant string!

PS: I really cannot play Pirazzi's. To high tension and they make all violins sound bland.

December 4, 2007 at 11:36 PM · well there's your problem Nate, you should be playing a Strad!

I have never had an issue with Dominants...I don;t use the E string...I use a Wondertone Gold Label or Jargar Forte...

right now I am strung with Eudoxas and a Golden Spiral E..

but I have tried all the strings...Evahs, Visions, Larsens, Red and Blue, even have a set of Passiones lying around but always come back to Dominants or Eudoxas.

btw, I have never had a string "poorly constructed", no matter what the maker...I have had some E's snap here and there, but that I think is because they went false quickly and I was over tensioning them.

and I too find the newer strings like Evahs, Visions and even Obligatos too "tight"

December 5, 2007 at 08:28 AM · Out of curiosity. Those of you that did try Pirazzi, did you happen to get a soundpost adjustment after you switched? Changing to other types of strings is essentially going to give you violin a soundpost adjustment. (it's the only adjustment a play with no prior knowledge of adjustment can do safely)

When putting on a slightly higher tension string such as Pirazzi you are exerting more downward force on your instrument. I think people overlook strings as well as settle on the "right" string simply because they don't take every factor into consideration.

December 6, 2007 at 07:38 AM · I changed my G, D and A strings last night (Dominants), and what a difference! My old strings were really dead (in retrospect), although I still have a bit of a metallic edge, and I'm still having to tune often.

I have an old Mittenwald violin that's quite warm sounding (but I like it that way) - if you were experimenting, what would you try?

December 6, 2007 at 10:33 PM · I recently changed the strings on my violin (they were due) and took the opportunity to really think about the violin's sound to make my choices. My violin, which is a Guarnerius model, has a wonderful sound and tone and excellent projection. It has a tendency to become warmer and darker as you go from E to G.

I decided to put a Goldbrokat E 27mm so it is ever so slightly thicker and calms the open E nicely and an Infeld Red A and D. That helped maintain the natural warmth the violin possesses. The G was either down in the dumps or a little melodramatic so I brightened it up with Infeld Blue.

This combination works very well. Before, I used Dominants (which I think are excellent and a Pirastro Gold E which perhaps on my violin was a little too high pitched.) The Goldbrokat took that down a notch or two.

Emil

December 7, 2007 at 03:14 AM · Nate, you said that Pirazzis sound great because I did not use gut strings yet. I'm thinking of trying Golden Spiral Solo or Gold Label? Did you try Pirazzi or any of those gut strings mentioned above?

December 7, 2007 at 05:20 PM · I tried Evah's a couple of years ago, but have been using Obligatos since then. I switched back to Evah's this last week - it started off REALLY loud and wiry and it was near impossible to play anything below a mezzo-forte. It's a couple of days later, and I'm enjoying the sound. Very powerful.

December 31, 2007 at 06:25 AM · Glad to have found this string discussion. Maybe someone herein can help me.

I'm brand new to playing the violin (and to anything musical). My violin is an inherited so-so instrument. E. Martin, Germany, built around 1900.

I took it to a shop in Atlanta for advice and they were very helpful. While there, I tried out several violins in the $1,500 - $8,000 range and some bows in the $300 - $500 range and noticed that playing them was "easy." That is, they sounded really nice and I was able to make nice tones and play the simple pieces I know without scratching or sawing sounds or squeaks.

I noticed that all the violins I tried seemed to have the same strings and asked about them. The guy who was helping me said that my violin is rather "bright" sounding and he suggested that if I changed strings I should go with Pirastro Obligatos to darken the really bright sound a bit. I told him to change them.

I am a little confused as I think he put Evahs on the violin. That is, at least, the brand on the envelope he gave me.

He also told me that my bow needed re-hairing as it was stretched out. (I think that's the term he used). I did notice that the bows I tried in the shop were very nice and readily made a nice tone. They did not have time to re-hair the bow; I told them I'd bring it back another day as I didn't want to be without a bow for several days.

Now that I am home, these strings sound, well, awful! Lots of scratching and horrid squeaking--especially at the beginning of a stroke or moving from one string to another. Sometimes there's a short part of a bow stroke--usually near the beginning if it happens--that will produce no sound at all. Yuk!

Can anyone tell me what's going on? I've read herein about break-in times for strings; how long does that take? Is it that the bow needs new hair? Are these higher quality strings more demanding of technique and do they punish even the slightest of mistakes? Why did they sound so great in the shop (on other violins) and so yucky now?

December 31, 2007 at 10:53 AM · @James

In my opinion, they put the same brand of strings on all violins so you can compare instruments instead of strings.

As to the brand: Pirastro Evah Pirazzi have black/green winding, Pirastro Obligatos are red/black.

I've played both and never had any problems with sound. In fact, I found them more forgiving than wound gut strings (Pirastro Chorda C & G are wound, D & A are plain) which I have now on my viola (replaced the Obligatos) to experiment.

If your bow is ok, maybe a new rosin (rosins dries up over time, though nobody could tell me how many months or years it takes) would help. Generally, string crossings have to be prepared carefully and if the bow has the right kind of "attack", there should not be a problem. Experiment and watch yourself on video or in a mirror.

Bye, J├╝rgen

March 2, 2008 at 07:47 AM · Has anybody had a problem with Pirazzi A-string? I love the sound, but the string gets unwound very quickly. -last time i tried, it lost its winding right after putting it on. My luthier checked the nut groove and he ok-ed it.

March 2, 2008 at 11:25 AM · hey Jae,

i have that same problem. it unwinds at the nut part quickly after you install it, correct?

it really is a huge problem for me...so i just went back to good 'ol dominants (and they are cheaper, and they last longer).

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