Gut Equivalent to Evah Pirazzi?

January 27, 2010 at 10:53 PM ·

I was wondering if anyone with more experience in different strings can recommend which particular brand (or brands) of gut strings might compliment a violin that, in terms of metal strings, sounds best with Evah Pirazzi? 

Also, would any harm be done to the body or bridge of the violin (through uneven tension) by maintaining a metal E string while using gut for the other strings?

Thank you for any imput!


Replies (23)

January 27, 2010 at 11:06 PM ·


the best gut which are bright and (possibly) powerful are Passione although you might try an Olive g with them. Also the most expensive. It won`t harm your violin at all to use a metal e string with gut. Heifetz and Milstein both did this for their whole career.



January 28, 2010 at 12:12 AM ·

Thanks, Buri! 

I appreciate the historical background (Heifetz and Milstein).  I'm curious - why would you suggest the Olive G instead of all Passiones?

January 28, 2010 at 04:03 AM ·


personally I an delighted with the all Passiones but for soem people the Olive G has a richer/darker ooomph to it.   

Incidentally, I can`t stand Evah Pirazzi. It is purelya personal observation but they seem to me to be basically loud and not much else.  The players who use them seem to be unaware of how invariant and bellicose they sound. Sadly they are veyr much in fashion here in Japan. I also think the extra effort required to play them is depilatory to the bow arm over time, especially in younge rplayers.



January 28, 2010 at 04:19 AM ·

Thanks again for the input!

I have observed the same as you about Evah Pirazzis sounding too bright/edgy on many (most?) violins for my taste.  The violin I am wanting to try out with gut is naturally a bit on the muffled or "soft" side and doesn't sound great with something like Dominants, while the Evah Pirazzis seems to help this particular violin speak.  Possibly it won't be a suitable violin for gut strings, since it has this slight tendency to "mumble," but I thought it's worth a try!

Thanks again!


January 28, 2010 at 05:48 AM ·


well I guess sicne you are open minded about synthetic strings (which I`m not;)  )  then it sounds like the vision strings might work well for you.  Perhaps soemone who uses them can say which verison is the most efficacious. I think its the solo label but I`m not sure. 



January 28, 2010 at 01:43 PM ·

Yes, don't rule out Visions. On my old italian I have changed Pirazzis for vision solos and I am amazed. Violin has come to life.

January 28, 2010 at 02:12 PM ·

I am not crazy about Pirazzi's either. I bought a violin for hauling around off craigslist :) which has those in good condition, so I'm just using them up.  Similar opinion to Buri's. You could try Infeld Red, only a little less brash than Pirazzi's, but you might find Infeld Blue too coarse. Toned down from there but still livelier than current Dominants are Obbligatos. Sue

January 28, 2010 at 04:15 PM ·

And if you want, you can try Vision Titanium Solo, that was Thomastik's response to Pirastro's Evah Pirazzi line.

January 28, 2010 at 11:00 PM ·

It is the old...if it aint broken, don't fix it line for me...Maybe I'm just old and set in my ways. I use Eudoxa's and  Oliv's   but then again, I cannot stand CDs either.  I still prefer vinyl

Where's my prune juice?

nopity.gif No Pity image by TGrosjean

January 30, 2010 at 06:49 AM ·

I don't think that gut strings are necessarily less articulate than synthetic strings, especially high tension ones (synthetic strings).  

I also dislike Pirazzi strings (and I think they're popular everywhere now, not just in Japan), buuut....if they seem to be working why are you looking for a different string similar to them?

January 30, 2010 at 09:02 PM ·

I'm just curious about gut strings, as for one thing I have read that they are easier on a violin structurally, and also I've read numerous violinists who say they think nothing equals the sound and tonal color of gut, so have been wanting to experiment.  There's a lot to be said for not fixing what isn't broken, though, I agree!


January 31, 2010 at 12:20 AM ·

Gut strings do sound wonderful.  Try them! 

As for Evahs, they have high tension and are hard to play on.  Their popularity is something of a mystery to me.  I have tried the "low" tension (weich) Evahs, which actually have the same tension as Medium Obligatos.  I think the Wecih Evahs are much better--not as aggressively metallic and just plain loud as the medium gauge.

January 31, 2010 at 12:21 AM ·

I have just begun using Passiones (from Obligatos, that I like very much), but the Passiones are just beautiful strings....

February 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM ·

I'm really liking Eudoxa these days... To the question however, I would suggest Olive G 16, D 16 3/4, Eudoxa A 13 1/4 (sweetest A ever), (the Olive A is the devil), E Olive Gold medium, (so many good choices) or my newest favorite, Vision Titanium E medium. The Olives have more tension, are faster, brighter, and in my opinion, will be an easier switch from Evah's. I'm not overly fond of Evah's under the ear or the hands for that matter; they do often sound pretty good in a room on other peoples violins. God, I really wish people would stop referring to Passiones as gut core strings, they are not, and consequently (while sounding okay), they just do not offer nearly the character, playability, and sheer delight that Eudoxas or Olives will provide. My $.02... FYI, you may want to write Pirastro a nice email, they’re very kind! 


February 21, 2010 at 06:51 PM ·

John wrote:  "I really wish people would stop referring to Passiones as gut core strings, they are not..."

I'm not sure I understand this comment - again and again the Pirastro website clearly states that Passiones are a gut core string.  True also for every vendor site that I've seen.


February 22, 2010 at 12:12 AM ·

 Depilatory? Brivati-sensei can Evah Pirazzi strings really remove hair? I suspect the spelling monster must have struck again.

February 22, 2010 at 03:43 AM ·

Corwin, maybe this would explain why pirastro put a woman who looks quite happy on the package of Evahs? ; )


February 22, 2010 at 05:24 AM ·

Perhaps Brivati-sensei meant "debilitating"?

Then again, you don't see the lady on the package eating prunes, so that may be reason enough....

February 22, 2010 at 05:48 AM ·


I always leave the malopropisms in. 

Anyway,  I menat defenestration.



February 22, 2010 at 02:03 PM ·

Lynae - I hope you have enough info at this point.  One thing that is important to remember is that gut should not sound like Evahs.  Evahs tend to be quite bright and gut tends to be warmer and more subtle.  So, I think the object of your search may be illusory.  Anyhow, good luck.

February 22, 2010 at 03:35 PM ·

I agree with Tom, gut is a different sound altogether.  Pirazzi's 'steel' sound is far from any type of gut. 

For the classic gut sound (Heifetz, Kreisler etc.) I'd recommend Olive or Eudoxa G, plain gut D&A, and steel E.  The best plain gut in my opinion is made by Gamut  They are actually as stable in pitch as wound gut, last just as long, and have most important of all more tone colors than any other string.   You can order custom gauges; I recommend the higher ones, because the higher gauge strings are stronger and can take more energy from the bow.  The lower gauges can sound quite beautiful on period baroque players' baroque instruments tuned to 419 and lighter baroque bows that do not put in nearly as much force or energy as a modern bow does into a string.

If you're looking at wound gut, I'd recommend Eudoxa or Olive (except for the A-string), and supposedly Passione is very good.  I'd avoid using Pirastro Gold Label wound gut - the sound they produce is very warm and beautiful, but the pitch stability is extremely poor.

Also for anyone switching to gut: get a second violin to stretch your strings for a week (a $200 violin will suffice).  This will make your life a lot easier.

February 22, 2010 at 09:16 PM ·

I love both Passiones and Eudoxas.  My teacher at UW uses Vissions.  They sound nice on his violin!

I may try an Oliv G with Passion A&D and a Eudoxa E.  Love the E!!!!

February 23, 2010 at 03:40 AM ·

Thank you to everyone for the informative input - I've learned a lot just reading your posts, so appreciate that very much!


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